DISCLAIMER: Once Upon a Time and its characters are the property of ABC. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: As many of the Swan Queen Week Prompts I could fit into one story.
SPOILERS: up until the season 2 finale.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To daughter2artemis[at]yahoo.com
Magical Mishaps Happen
"Stop it this instant Ms. Swan." Regina bit out as she swatted at Emma's wandering hands. Why Snow and James had decided to sit across from them leaving Emma on the small love seat couch was curious. The two parents were as white as ghosts with a smattering of green in their cheeks making them look ill. Almost as ill as they had been when they'd all sailed on the Jolly Roger back in Neverland.
"But Reh-ick-ina " Emma hiccupped and a glowing blue bubble escaped her lips and floated in front of the convened group.
"No but's anydon't!" Regina warned as David reached out to pop the floating bubble. Her warning came too late. The man popped it and as Regina expected the sparks of electricity that had been contained in the bubble jumped into David's hand shocking him. She groaned as he clutched his arm to his chest, probably unable to feel the whole thing. Idiot.
"What is going on?" David grit his teeth together, at the end of his rope with this situation.
"I haven't the faintest idea." Regina had some idea but she couldn't confirm that for sure. Not just yet.
Emma began incessantly giggling. Regina turned to scowl at the young woman who was mumbling behind her hand. "You said butts " Then Emma seemed to come through with a moment of clarity, her eyes no longer shinning as bright as a Christmas tree light in a dark room. Regina was almost hopeful that whatever had affected Emma was passing. Until, "You have a great butt no ass. Yeah, ass. Ass is classier like you." Emma reached out with clumsy hands, her eyes aglow once again.
"For the lahovof" Emma's nails scraped delicately across her lower thigh, causing goosebumps to cover her skin. She wrenched her leg away from Emma's exploring hand immediately. "Keep your hands to yourself!" Regina growled as she swatted Emma's hand away from her once again. She stood from the couch to put some distance between herself and the seemingly intoxicated Sherriff. On what the Sherriff was on, Regina did not yet know.
As Regina moved away from the couch, Emma pouted and Snow was quick to take Regina's position on the couch and take a firm hold of Emma's hands. The woman probably had enough of Emma trying to grope Regina in inappropriate places as if her parents couldn't see her doing it.
At first Regina had allowed the touches if only to enjoy the sight of Snow White's ashen face and David's grinding jaw. Then the blonde had proved to be skilled with her hands, even while intoxicated, and Regina had put an end to the touches as quickly as she could. Sadly it hadn't been quick enough, the burn in the pit of her stomach and dampness residing between her thighs were evidence enough of her failure. Regina shivered and pulled her robe tightly around herself, tying the rope around her stomach again, as if stopping the chill of the room from caressing her skin would stop the shivers. This wouldn't do. She could not allow herself to recognize the attraction she felt for Ms. Swan. It was futile. Emma was happily gallivanting around with Neal since they arrived back from Neverland to find the man had lived. She was in a relationship of her own that she needed to value and honor. This reaction to Ms. Swan's touch would not do.
Regina went over to her liquor cabinet and poured herself a glass of her apple cider. As her lips touched the crystal she stopped. She wanted nothing more than a drink, this situation called for it. It truly did. However she refrained. She needed to remain clear headed if she was going to help the two bumbling idiots and their bumbling idiot of a daughter. Sighing, one hand caressed the headache forming while the other slammed her now useless glass back down.
"When did this start?" Regina asked barely looking over her shoulder, doing her best to ignore the sniffling the blonde was trying to contain and the coos Snow was whispering to her suddenly inconsolable daughter.
"Four hours ago." David answered, turning around on the couch to look to Regina, one arm still clutching the other. "What is it?"
Regina wondered why they had waited so long to bring her here. Perhaps they had called Blue to see if she knew what was wrong before coming to her as a last ditch effort when Blue turned out to be useless. Like always.
Regina didn't dignify David's question with an answer. Obviously she was trying to figure this out herself. Having an answer to one single question would not grant her the answers to the universe and all David's problems. "Where did it start?"
"We don't know. We drove over after Henry called us " Regina tensed at the mention of Henry. They had been doing very well after their return from Neverland but he had become distant again when he'd learned of her blossoming relationship with Tinkerbell.
At first he had been very happy that she had a friend, and that friend had been so helpful to them all back in Neverland. Tinkerbell had kept Henry safe when Regina couldn't and she had been grateful for that. It was only when Regina sat Henry down to tell him that her relationship with Tinkerbell was more than friendship that his reactions shifted from accepting to disregard.
Henry had assured her it wasn't the fact that Tinkerbell was a woman that made him uncomfortable with the relationship. He also promised that he was happy for her, happy that she was looking for love and that she'd maybe found it with the spunky fairy. His assurance that he didn't want her to end the relationship was the only reason she hadn't.
He promised that he would tell her if he felt uncomfortable, and he had been truthful. It was the idea of Regina being with ANYONE that made him uncomfortable. Not because he didn't want to see her happy, but because he just didn't know how to react to his mom dating anyonehe'd never had to handle something like that before. So it was new to him and made him uncomfortable because he didn't know how he was supposed to act. He still remained distant, even when they spent so much more time together, and it felt as if they were returning to the time before Neverland, before their bond had been strengthened.
"She was like this in front of Henry?" Regina spun around on her heel, finally realizing what David had admitted. "She was drinking while watching ou MY son?"
"I didn't hick mean it hick." Emma whimpered from the couch, wiping away tears. Regina felt her heart melt at the sight of Emma's pout. So very like Henry's. Any warmth she felt for the sobbing blonde was lost when one of the bubbles that escaped Emma's lips traveled up to the ceiling and popped. The current of electricity it released when it popped caused the lights in the room to glow brighter then was physically possibly, blinding them all. There was a humming that was getting louder and louder even as it's shrill became more of a whine then a hum.
David and Snow looked around the room nervously while Regina's eyes remained on Emma whose sobs were growing more panicked like the whine.
"Get down!" Regina called out into the room as she threw herself under her desk and covered her head. She saw David Snow push Emma onto the back of the couch and the family toppled the couch over and hid behind it. The whine reached a crescendo, the lights flashing dangerously as all the glass around them started to shake. And then as one long whistle blew through the room the glass shattered. Most of it exploding into the room as they were surrounded by glass cabinets, windows, coffee table and picture frames.
When the whine had ceased and glass shards were no longer flying through the air Regina made her way out from under her desk. She hissed as she stepped with her bare feet onto the glass, cracking it underneath her weight. Growling she looked around her office at all the destruction. The glass doors to her liquor cabinet swung back and forth the force of the implosion rocketing them practically off their hinges.
"Are you three alright?" Regina asked into the room, unable to see the three Charmings who were supposedly hidden between her turned over couch and the fireplace.
"We're okay." Snow answered, her head was the first to pop up from behind the couch. Regina didn't even feel a twinge of regret to hear that they were all okay. Their adventure together had done wonders for Regina's restraint when it came to the younger woman and her family.
"For the most part." David answered as his head came into view. The man stood to help his wife and daughter up from the floor.
"That was AWEEESOME!" Emma cackled as she looked around the room and brushed some of the glass shards off of her shoulders and out of her hair. The tears had stopped. The destruction of her private office seemingly enough to entertain the woman.
Did she mention restraint? Yes, her restrained had doubled, no tripled, for her to refrain from strangling the blonde and her giggling self.
Regina growled darkly. She tried to understand that Emma was under the influence of something, something magical that she had no control over. She really did. But her office! It was destroyed!
Regina's restraint was at its end when Emma suddenly realized something. "Oh no " The blonde whispered as she reached out for something from the floor. When she stood back up Regina noticed that she was holding a picture in her hand. Which one, Regina couldn't tell from this side of the room. Emma's eyes were tearing up again as she met Regina's eyes.
Regina's glare softened at the heart broken expression the blonde exhibited.
"It wasn't your fault, honey." Snow immediately tried to console Emma as her daughter sniffled back tears again while clutching tightly onto the picture.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'll fix it. I promise. I'm sorry." Emma swore as she nodded her head up and down quickly. Only to stop and shuffle from one foot to the other, dizzy.
"That will be unnecessary, Ms. Swan." Regina waved her hand in a circle at her hip, muttered a few words, and the destruction that lay around them suddenly disappeared and everything was back to how it had been moments before. Except the picture that Emma held onto. The blonde's natural shield keeping the picture from reforming with the rest of them, a handy tool that had saved them all one time or another in Neverland. Now it was just a nuisance.
"Put the picture down Ms. Swan." Emma nibbled on her bottom lip and stared down at the photograph as if deciding whether or not to do as Regina asked.
"Emma, why don't you do as Regina, says, okay?" Snow asked softly, trying to guide her daughter in her actions.
"It's my favorite picture." Emma admitted, the sound of her voice that of a child rather than an intoxicated adult. Regina's curiosity to which picture it was, grew as Emma caressed the photo lovingly. Surely it was one of Henry that Regina kept up on the mantel.
"Regina!?" The sound of someone calling out throughout the house echoed into the study. "Regina!" Tinkerbell skid across the tile floor outside the office. She pulled herself into the room and right into Regina's arms. Regina caught the worried blonde and held her tightly, sighing against her neck.
"What, what happened?" Tinkerbell asked, still not having noticed the three people on the opposite side of the office.
"It was an accident." Regina caressed Tinkerbell's cheek to calm her and offered a small smile. Something felt off as she did so. Like she shouldn't be touching her lover this intimately in front of the Charming familyeven though they had seen much more intimate gestures between the two of them. She pushed the thought away from her, the feeling like she was cheating, and stared into Tinkerbell's green eyes. "I'm sorry to have woken you."
"You're okay?" Regina nodded and hummed affirmatively. Tinkerbell sighed, relieved. "Then why don't we go back up to bed? Hmmm..."
"Like hell. Take ya hands off her!" Emma yelled, dragging Regina and Tinkerbell's attention away from each other to the other blonde.
Regina was surprised to see that David had both of his arms wrapped around Emma, one over her shoulder and the other wrapped around her stomach to keep her from moving towards them.
Tinkerbell blinked, clearly confused to see that they weren't alone. "Pardon me?"
"Ya heard me ya two timing no good second rate fairy. Get ya hands off-er!" Emma growled as she tried to throw her weight forward to get away from David. "Leh me go. Leh me go, David!"
"Emma, calm down." Snow was quick to jump in her husband's place when Emma got a good shot into his ribs forcing him to release her.
"No. NO! She let me go!" Emma demanded as she started to make some headway in crossing the room towards Regina and Tinkerbell.
Tinkerbell took a step back when Emma got closer and closer, practically dragging Snow with her across the room. Regina rolled her eyes and squeezed her lover's hand before she met Emma half way.
Emma's eyes were glaring daggers at Tinkerbell over Regina's shoulder and she almost seemed willing to plow Regina over to get to the fairy. "Ms. Swan. Control yourself."
"She she " Emma let out a long sigh, her shoulders deflating as she seemed to come to her senses. Emma's eyes dipped and she stared right into Regina's eyes. The warmth laying in Emma's eyes caused her stomach to flutter with butterflies. It wasn't until defeat shone in Emma's eyes that Regina snapped herself out of the trance she'd been caught in. Emma raised her hand and cupped Regina's cheek, her thumb gliding back and forth against the smooth tan skin. Regina gasped at the touch, but did not move away; too mesmerized by the woman in front of her and her softly ethereally glowing blue eyes.
"She doesn't deserve you." Emma whispered so softly that Regina had difficulty hearing her and she was within half a food of the woman.
Regina blinked, as she took an involuntary step backwards.
"What is going on?" Tinkerbell asked. She hadn't moved from the spot she'd been in with Regina, afraid that Emma might lose her mind once again if she so much as moved an inch.
Emma growled, snarled her teeth at the fairy, at her side her left hand formed a tight fists.
"It seems Ms. Swan had ingested magical synthanol of some kind. Of what variety I am uncertain. Her parents brought her here hoping I could explain what was wrong and how to fix it." Regina looked over her shoulder and explained the situation to Tinkerbell as briefly and concisely as she could.
"Well that leaves a few different types of solutions depending on what she's ingested."
"Yes, I was going to explain the appropriate solution. But it seems no one is aware of what she's eaten."
Emma grit her teeth, "She is me and I am right here."
"Yes of course, Ms. Swan." Regina patted Emma's shoulder mockingly before she looked to Snow. Emma too focused on Regina's handthat remained on her shoulderto say anything more at being ignored.
"How long has it been since she's been acting up?"
"Over four hours." David answered as he finally moved to stand on Emma's left side. His eyes on Regina's hand as well.
Regina noticed the forward glances and cleared her through as she allowed her hand to drop away from Emma. She turned her back on the family and walked to stand beside Tinkerbell. "Glowing eyes, electric hiccup bubbles, and hypo whimper." Regina listed the symptoms.
"Well she doesn't have the Eros intoxication." Tinkerbell concluded immediately, though Regina was less sure about that conclusion as she had purposefully left out Emma's need to touch her and obvious jealousy when someone else did. "Which is good."
Regina nodded her head once in agreement.
"Why is that good?" Snow asked curious, looking between the two women, who she was loathed to admit were a very striking pair. Tinkerbell's pale skin, deep golden hair and green eyes complimented Regina's tan skin, dark brown hair and brown eyes.
"If she was intoxicated with Eros tears,"
"The god of love and lust." Regina informed the three oblivious stooges.
"She would have an insatiable sexual desire for as long as it took for her to sleep with her true love and burn off the tears, which sometimes can be deadly when the person is unable to find their true love."
Snow and David's eyes widened in horror and met each other's eyes before releasing a sigh. "And you're sure that she doesn't have that?"
"No." Regina was quick to state but Tinkerbell wasn't. The fairy looked between Regina and Emma and the way Emma's eyes seemed drawn to the brunette.
"Well, does she have a fever?"
Snow snapped her hand to Emma's forehead and frowned. "Yes." Her pitch was higher and obviously sick with worry now.
"That could easily be because she's burning off the synthonol." Regina offered, hoping to calm Snow.
"And if it isn't?" David asked stepping forward.
"Then you would need to find her true love and allow them to consummate their relationship for however long it took to burn off the tears. The more tears consumed the longer the consummation would need to be."
David looked sick to his stomach again while Snow's color drained to truly make her seem as white as snow.
Regina also felt sick to her stomach. The idea of Emma being with her true love made her feel queasy. Why, she couldn't truly understand. She cared for Emma. She wanted what was best for the blonde. They had learned to get along on their travels through Neverland and the Enchanted Forest in their search for Henry. Regina had taught Emma how to use her magic, how to control it and form it to her will. They had bonded. It was only when they'd found Neal that their bond had been shattered. Neal, Emma, and Henry could be their happy little family while she watched from the outside as the practically forgotten step-mother.
Regina swallowed back the bile that rose at the idea of Emma and Neal spending such a prolonged amount of time consummating their love.
"It isn't Eros intoxication." Regina insisted.
"How can you be so sure?" David inquired harshly, "For all we know you could just want her to die!"
"David!" Snow scolded immediately as she snapped her eyes to her husband, missing the horrified expression that crossed Regina's countenance.
Emma, however, didn't miss it, nor did Tinkerbell. However it was Emma that did something about it while Tinkerbell merely spat, "How dare you." at David.
"Emma!" Snow yelled as her daughter turned and clocked David right in the jaw for his accusation.
Snow rushed around Emma to help her fallen husband, who'd been knocked out instantly. His jaw always was his weak spot.
"Emma, you can't just hit people!" Snow sounded like a mother scolding a toddler at the playground. So it wasn't a wonder why Emma completely disregarded her.
"He deserved it."
"He's your father!"
"And he's an ass!" Snow opened her mouth as if to defend David but was stopped by said ass groaning as he came to.
"Take it easy " Snow urged her husband as he tried to stand up, glaring and growling at Regina.
"If I had my sword I'd "
"You'd find yourself impaled by it for threatening her with it." Tinkerbell put herself between Regina and David, a position she mimicked from Emma who was already standing between the fallen Prince and the silent Queen.
Regina released a heavy sigh. "Enough." Regina put a hand on Tinkerbell's shoulder to calm the woman and met Emma's eyes when the blonde turned to stare at her hand on the fairy's shoulder. "The both of you." Regina added. "Let him think what he wants. If Emma were intoxicated by the Eros tears she has only shown an interest in me." Tinkerbell tensed under her hand and David's jaw fell while Snow just seemed to bob her head in sad agreement.
"Which should paint a clear picture that she is not affected by that particular inxotication." Because there was no way Ms. Swan was her true love. No matter what Regina once thought, Emma had her happy ending with Neal and Henry. She would not take that from her. Emma deserved to be happy. "I believe it is simply magical intoxication. How, I do not know." Regina added the last part quickly to stop David from asking any questions.
"If she was practicing her magic in close proximity to alcohol the magic may have seeped into the spirits. There is a chemical composition in alcohol similar to magic that allows it to absorb excess magic." Tinkerbell picked up the explanation and glanced at Regina to finish explaining the phenomenon to the royals.
"When consumed, depending on how much magic was absorbed, the person can become affected by it. Causing uncontrollable magical expulsions like the hiccup bubbles and the hyper whine that caused my glass to shatter." Regina noticed how Snow and David relaxed, "She just needs to sleep it off and stay away from the alcohol that she drank to become this way."
"Are there any side effects?" Snow asked as she stood up.
"She'll have a splitting head ache and might be unable to control her magic for a few days but other than that, some advil, lots of water and sleep should do her well."
"You're sure?" David asked as Snow helped him to his feet.
"As sure as I can be without a sample of what she ingested."
"We'll see ourselves out then." David gestured to the office doors.
"Thank you." Snow looked between Tinkerbell and Regina, though her eyes lingered on Regina. "Come on Emma, lets get you home and into bed."
Regina hid a smirk as Emma rolled her eyes. Her mother was treating her like a child. She was hardly a child, just intoxicated.
Emma opened her mouth to refute but was silenced when Snow continued. "I'm sure Regina will come and check up on you tomorrow morning to see how you're doing. She can join us for breakfast." Snow looked around Emma's shoulder to Regina as she offered up that solution. Regina nodded once.
"You'll see her in the morning. Come on now, Henry's waiting." Snow continued to try and urge Emma to the door, offering up Regina as some kind of prize. Something Regina and David took an affront to, for two very different reasons.
Emma sighed, "Fine." She huffed as she went to follow her parents out the door before she stopped and walked back into the room. She handed Regina the photo that she'd been holding and smiled bashfully at the brunette. "Sorry. Again."
Emma glared at Tinkerbell as she passed the fairy and met up with her parents at the office door. She was unsteady on her feet as she walked, and required both Snow and David to help her walk a straight line. Tinkerbell followed them out so she could lock the door, leaving Regina in her office staring down at the photograph Emma had caressed reverently.
Her heart skipped a beat as she stared at the image. Emma had held this photograph as if it were the most valuable item she'd ever grasped and had cried when she'd seen it was 'destroyed', merely teared at the left edge. Emma's finger had glided over the image, her eyes softening and a small smile fought to spread across her lips instead of the sad one. Regina had been so sure that it was a picture of Henry. Maybe a picture of Henry and Regina together. She never thought Emma would think this photograph was so important, so beautiful that the idea it was ruined devastated her.
The image staring back up at her was not one of Henry, but one of herself, alone, staring into the camera with a wide happy smile surrounded by grass and trees as she sat on a picnic blanket. Henry had taken this photograph on mother's day nearly four years ago long before Emma Swan was even a thought in either of their minds.
Regina continued to stare at the captured moment before her eyes looked up to the hallway when the echo of the front door closing reached her ears.
Regina rubbed her eyes to clear them. She hadn't been able to sleep much last night, her mind restless. Instead of pretending to sleep she came to the office early. Tink had wanted to talk with her about what was bothering her, but she'd dismissed the fairy's worry.
How could she tell her current lover and best friend that she was beginning to re-develop feelings for Emma Swan? It wasn't fair to Tink and it wasn't fair to Regina either. Emma was not interested. No matter what the Sherriff's actions suggested last night the blonde Savior was not physically or emotionally interested in a relationship with Regina. So it was just best to forget her feelings. Push them back down into the darkness where she'd left them buried the last time they surfaced. She had a feeling she'd need a fork lift to help dig deep enough to bury them this time.
The sound of the phone ringing cut into her thoughts. She glanced at the clock. It was just after seven thirty.
"Mayor Mills," Regina introduced herself, unneededly into her own cellphone. She held the phone between her chin and shoulder, forcing herself to pay attention to the reports in front of her.
When their rag-tag group had returned from Neverland and the Enchanted Forest with Henry, Snow abdicated from her assumed role as Mayor and gave the position back to Regina. Snow admitted she wasn't qualified to run the town, not like Regina was. It had been a glorious day for Regina, just to hear Snow admit she wasn't capable of something.
There was to be an official race for the title next fall, but until then Regina had been put back in charge. It seemed the people of Storybrooke finally realized just how much work and love she had for this town. They no longer fought her at every turn; especially when she had the backing of the entire Charming family. No one wanted to belittle her so long as their beloved King, Queen, and Savoir were ready to defend her.
Regina blinked, surprised to hear Henry's voice on the other end of the phone. It was a little early for him to be up on a Saturday.
"Mom are you there?"
Regina dropped her pen at the sound of Henry's panicked voice. "Henry? What is it, what's wrong?"
"Mom!" He sighed, happy to have caught her. "Mom, you have to come quickly!"
Regina was already pushing her chair back as she closed down her computer, piled up the papers on her desk and asked, "Where are you?"
"At home with Emma. Please, mom you have to come now!"
Regina didn't bother grabbing her keys or her purse. She wouldn't need them. She did hang up the phone. Before her hand had even relinquished its hold on the phone she was nothing but a pillowing ball of smoke.
She appeared in the center of the living room, where Henry was still holding the phone. "Mom, are you there? Mom!?"
"I'm here, Henry."
Henry spun around, dropping the cordless phone to the ground. He seemed scared for a moment before he realized his help had arrived. He was wearing his pajamas, a grey plain t-shirt with X-men boxers. His hair was still a mess and there was a bit of sleep dust in the corner of his left eye.
He ran right over to her and grabbed a hold of her hand. She followed after him, letting him pull him up the stairs of Mary Margaret's former home. The couple had moved out a month after they'd returned and purchased the house they'd been looking at, leaving the apartment to Emma and Henry and Neal.
Regina had been over many times for dinner. Family dinners, with just Henry, Emma, and herself after they'd returned. She had even helped teach Emma how to cook something without burning it or breaking the appliances used to make it.
The dinners were almost always pleasant and left Regina feeling light hearted and truly happy. Henry always smiled during all of the meals, except when he was in trouble for doing something he shouldn't. Then he would pout and frown and try and pit her and Emma against each other so he would win. They had become wise to his tricks after the first time and had remained a unified fronton mostly everything.
Now that Regina thought about it, it had been nearly a month since she had been invited to dine here. For the last four weeks she ate dinner with Henry at her mansion. Without Emma. The blonde always waved off the invitations Regina gave with one excuse or another.
It wasn't until Henry told Regina during one of their meals that Emma was probably using their dinners to see Neal that Regina realized she didn't appreciate Emma breaking their 'tradition' for her boyfriend. Regina always requested Tink remain elsewhere during her dinners with Henry because of his anxiousness about them dating. Tink understood as best she could but was often times trying to find ways to win Henry over that didn't include attending 'family dinners'. Regina recognized in Tink the same jealousy she herself felt when Henry did his best to ignore her but happily accepted Emma's relationship with Neal.
It, it hurt that Emma no longer wished for Regina to join their family dinners. That the Sherriff would rather spend the time with Neal then her caused a seed of dark jealousy to plant itself low in her stomach. The sprouting vines were quick to worm their way through her system, making it nearly impossible to ignore.
Emma no longer joined them or invited her over for dinner at this apartment. Instead Emma was inviting Neal. Spending time with Neal. It infuriated Regina that Neal was taking a place that Regina thought of, recognized, and coveted as her own.
She, Henry, and Emma made up a perfect triangular family (at least since Neverland). They did not need Neal to complicate matters and make their triangle a square.
Though if Regina were honest Tink's involvement made things a bit complicated as well. If she were to remain with Tinkerbell what would Henry see Tink as? If Regina were to marry Tinkerbell (which was a long ways off if they ever did) would Henry see Tinkerbell as ANOTHER mother figure? A step-mother?
If Neal and Emma remained together giving Henry his perfect nuclear family, what could Regina really hope for? A step-mother role to the boy she'd raised while she watched Emma play happy family with a man Regina wanted to throw down another portal? No. That was unacceptable.
Matters would be much simpler if it was just the three of them again. Regina sighed. Things would be better if Emma could just return her feelings.
Regina shook away her thoughts and focused on Henry as he led her to the master bedroom.
Henry knocked on the door, waited a few seconds and then opened it. He knew better than to enter a room without being invited, but seeing as it was an emergency Regina refrained from scolding the boy.
"Emma. I called Mom. She's here. She can help."
Emma groaned from underneath the blankets, hiding from the sunlight.
Regina smirked, knowing just how sensitive Emma was going to be too bright lights and loud noises and strong smells. Served her right. Drinking while watching their son. She deserved the migraine that was likely trying to split her skull in two.
"Henry, did your grandparents explain what happened last night?" Regina asked bending down so she was eye level with her son.
"They said she might not be feeling well " Henry looked frantically between Regina, Emma, and the bathroom door.
"Right, and " Regina stood up straight after a moment, "Where are they?"
"They went to get breakfast for us." Regina nodded, "I called you first." That made her feel a sense of pride. Her son trusted her enough to call her first and request her help. He hadn't last night when Emma was intoxicated. Perhaps because he knew how angry she would be at Emma's irresponsibility for drinking while responsible for Henry.
Regina only felt slightly repentant for being so happy over the matter because Emma had to be sick to create such a moment. Sick because of her irresponsibility. So, she was only a little sorry. Just a little.
"Why don't you call them now, dear? I'll get some Advil for Ms. Swan. She's going to need a lot of water and sleep today." Regina moved over to the curtains and closed them, blocking out the light. A small mercy she could afford the blonde who was still hiding underneath the covers. She did it only so Henry wouldn't worry.
Henry didn't move an inch. She just waited at the doorway and watched his mom move around the room picking up Emma's clothes and throwing them into the laundry basket. She muttered something about being a slob and genetic habits.
When Regina could actually see the bedroom floor she sat down on the edge of the bed and grabbed the bottle of Advil that was already on it as she tried to find the edge of the blanket to lift it up.
"Ms. Swan?" The lump under the blankets moaned and turned away from Regina, holding the blankets tightly around her.
"Go away " Emma moaned pitifully.
Regina rolled her eyes, "Ms. Swan our son is watching. There is no need for you to behave like a teenager and set a bad example."
The sound of the toilet flushing reached Regina's ears and she sighed, about to call out for Henry to find out what Snow and David said, when she noticed Henry hadn't moved from his spot at the doorway. Her brows scrunched up as she stared at the bathroom door attached to this bedroom and watched the door slowly open.
If Neal stepped out from that room Regina wasn't sure she could control her actions.
"What was that about behaving like a teenager?" Regina's eyes widened as Emma stepped out from the bathroom running a towel through her wet hair. She wore nothing but a white tank top that fell just to the top of her kneesmaking it somewhat appropriatebut only just barely.
Regina looked at the woman that made her way over to Henry and ruffled his hair as she tossed the towel haphazardly to the floor Regina had just cleaned. Regina tracked the woman's movements to the closet where she disappeared. She stared back to the towel and scowled. She blinked several times before she looked to the bed she sat on and the lump that still remained there.
"See!" Henry threw his arms up in the air as if he was finally proving a point he'd been arguing for an hour.
This predicament unexpected and surprising predicament would be why Henry had called. Why hadn't he just said so when she first arrived? A little warning would have been nice.
"Ms. Swan?" Regina asked slowly as she stood up from the bed and moved to stand beside Henry where she could look at both the bed and the walk in closet.
"Really, Regina? You can at least call me Emma." The half-naked woman popped her head out from the closet. "Especially after last night." She winked causing Regina to flush a bit at the insinuation that dripped from Emma's words.
"I'm never drinking again." The one under the covers moaned as she rolled herself up into the blanket, tighter. If that were possible.
"Oh and why is that Ms. Swan?" Regina asked, now focusing on the bed. The woman in the closet appeared again, this time with a pair of jeans on and a toothbrush hanging from her mouth. Where she got the toothbrush Regina didn't even ask. But she was at least staring at the lump on the bed as well, eyes wide.
"Because I'm hearing things." The lump spoke.
"Like?" Regina pressed, watching the shock and fascination cross the fully dressed and mobile Ms. Swan as she too moved to stand by Henry, eyes riveted on the bed.
"I'm hearing myself flirt with you."
Regina scuffed, "That's because you were flirting with me and in front of our son, no less." Regina's glare was directed at the blonde to her right who smirked and shrugged her shoulders.
Henry cringed; he hadn't really wanted to think about how Emma had winked at his mom like that with him standing right next to her. He also really didn't want to know what happened last night between his moms either. There were just some things kids didn't want to know about their parents. Most of this seeing this was one of them.
"Well you are irresistible, can't blame a woman for having eyes." The flirtatious double said aloud as her eyes roved up and down Regina's body.
"The hell!?" The sleepy head finally popped out from underneath the covers, throwing them away from her as she sat up abruptly. Her mouth fell open as her hand pressed tightly against her forehead, surely woozy from sitting up so quickly. "I'm seeing things " Emma stared at Henry and then Regina with pleading eyes, "Right?"
Henry shook his head no, his eyes moving between the two identical copies of his blonde mother.
"No. You are not." Regina wrapped one arm around Henry's shoulders and pulled them a step away from the double fully dressedif a tank and jeans counted as fully clothed.
"What the hell?" The Emma on the bed asked cringing at the sound of her raised voice.
"What she said." The other pointed a thumb at her double. Both of them looking to Regina for answers. It made Regina a little dizzy trying to keep eye contact with two pairs of the same beautiful eyes.
"Do either of you happen to remember last night?" Regina inquired, wondering if she could get answers about what Emma had ingested in the first place and then keep it out of the woman's reach.
The flirtatious Emma grinned lecherously as she licked her lips. "I certainly do."
Regina tried to maintain her composure as the dark lustful eyes racked over her body once again as that pink tongue swiped sinfully across plump lips. Regina suspected whatever that Emma remembered wasn't actually what happened last night. Or maybe it was. Emma had been rather promiscuous last night and daring with how and where she touched Regina. And in front of the two idiots no less.
"Not really, no. Why?" The sleepyhead asked, trying to massage her headache away.
Regina was starting to get a headache trying to differentiate between the two women. "Alright. Emma "
"Yes?" They both answered.
Regina pinched the bridge of her nose. "I am going to call you Sherriff Swan." Regina pointed at the blonde standing closest to her.
"So long as I get to play your Sherriff lat "
"Hey! Henry's right there! Keep it in your pants will you!? Jesus " Emma covered her eyes with the palm of her hands.
"I think that ones the real Emma." Henry volunteered as he pointed to the Emma on the bed. Regina nodded.
Regina was inclined to believe him. The 'other' Emma was far too forward. The problem was that both of these women were the 'real' Emma. They were just separate parts of her. The lecherous one seemed to be Emma's lustful side, kept hidden underneath the more subdued and controllable side of herself that was currently resting in bed. The devilish Id of Emma's psyche stood not three feet from her while her Ego lay up in bed. Interesting. She wondered briefly where the supergo was hiding.
"There are only two of them, yes, dear?" Regina asked in a whisper to her son.
"Uh huh, only two." Because if there were more Henry probably would have made his panicked phone call from the sidewalk outside the apartment. These two were enough of a handful.
"I'm as real as her, kid." Sherriff Swan crossed her arms and glared at Henry. Then her eyes fell on Regina, "You're mom is free to frisk me to find out."
"Enough of that." Emma threw her pillow at her double, upset with the way the double was treating Henry and Regina, especially how she was treating Regina in front of Henry.
Regina looked at Henry from the corner of her eye, "Henry, why don't you go see if Snow and David have returned."
"But " They'd have heard the door if they had returned.
Regina didn't let him continue his protest, "If they haven't, perhaps it would be best to call them and have them return immediately."
Henry sighed, looked between his three?...moms and left to get the phone and call his grandparents. He never got to be involved in the cool stuff. Even though he really felt uncomfortable with the way 'Sherriff Swan' was treating him and looking at his mom. It was kind of like how Emma looked at his mom sometimes when she didn't think anyone was watching. If it was the same look and meant the same thing he was glad to be getting out of that room.
When Henry left the room, Regina realized her mistake. Sherriff Swan was quick to slide as suavely as she could next to her, her eyes not high enough to be considered anything but rude. Regina cleared her throat to try and dislodge Sherriff Swan's eyes from her chest. It only made the woman smirk as she brought her hand to Regina's wrist and slowly started to glide her three fingers up and down the bare skin. Much like Emma had done the night before. This was how it had started. A seemingly 'innocent' touch to her hand, turned into a delightful scratch to her outer thigh, before a daring massage of her inner thigh.
Emma gasped at the sight and watched with curious eyes as Regina's brown eyes darkened for a moment as if she were enjoying the contact before the Mayor quickly stepped away from her pompous double.
"Leave her alone." Emma was slow to swing her feet over the edge of the bed, everything moving around in circles.
"Why?" Her double only spared her with a glance. "She's obviously interested." Before her eyes were fixated on Regina once again.
"Right, because her running away from you is considered 'interested', god. I am not that obtuse."
Regina hadn't even known Emma knew the word obtuse let alone had the ability to define herself as not being it.
Emma stood up from the bed and bent over to lean on her side table so she could remain standing. "God it feels like my head is going to explode."
"The side effects of magical intoxication." Regina frowned at the wince Emma was trying to hide. "There is Advil, it may help. If it doesn't I have a remedy that will keep the migraines at bay until the side effects wear off."
"When will " Emma waved her hand at her double, " that side effect go away?"
"I'm the side effect? I'm in tip top shape. Maybe you're the side effect. You look kind of gray."
Emma scuffed, "Yeah, because I normally go around flirting with the mother of my son. Who, by the way, is taken." Emma stressed that last part, as if it might stop Sherriff Swan from doing anything else.
"That's because she hasn't been with us yet."
Regina fought back the delightful shiver that arrogant statement caused and the ideas it inspired. Imagining two beautifully annoying Emmas' using their skilled hands on her waiting flesh was almost too much.
Emma groaned as she was forced to watch herself grab a hold of Regina's wrist and pull the woman flush against a body that looked like hers but wasn't. It sucked too because she could count the number of times she got to hold Regina on one hand. It was a privilege her double didn't deserve to experience.
"See, I'll prove it." Sherriff Swan's grin worried Emma and Regina.
The embrace, had it come at any other time might have been comfortable, but for Regina it was anything but at the moment. She could feel Emma's breasts press exquisitely against her own and could smell the blonde's shampoo wafted up from her wet hair. The blonde's nipples pert against the thin tank top she wore, and damn it all to hell a single drop of moisture was sliding across the smooth slope of Emma's neck. Right. In. Front. Of. Her.
Regina wanted nothing more than to relax into the arms held so securely around her, press her lips against Emma's neck and swipe her tongue up the trail that single drop left behind. Or maybe just breathe in the woman's scent as burrowed into Emma's neck, secure and safe in her arms.
But she couldn't! This wasn't Emma! It wasn't right.
Regina started to struggle to free herself from Sherriff Swan's grasp. Her hands rose up to the blonde's shoulders so she could push her away but as she did so the blonde leaned forward and stole a kiss.
Regina heard Emma moan and as much as she wanted to pull away from the lips pressed firmly against her own she couldn't will herself to do it. Her eyes were wide as she stared at the blonde's face until she realized exactly what was happening and her eyes fluttered closed on their own accord. Her hands gripped tightly at Sherriff Swan's shoulders ruffling her tank top. Regina was the first to move her lips, deepening the kiss, as her nails bit into Sherriff Swan's skin.
The blonde moaned at the bite of Regina's nails and the delicate touch of her lips against her own. Regina felt a soft touch move from her elbow down her forearm to her wrist. The touch became a firm grip. A part of Regina's brain panicked. Would she be pushed away? It was all to prove a point after all, and the point was well proven if their dual moans had anything to say about the matter.
"Emma? Regina? Henry said that " Snow gasped and involuntarily eeped as she stepped into her old bedroom to find Regina and Emma locked in an embracekissing. "Emma!" Snow yelled, her foot stomping down to the ground harshly.
Regina pulled away from Sherriff Swan, the only part of their body connected being their hands.
The Savoir refused to release her hand. Regina's face was red as her blush burned her cheeks. She felt like she'd been caught with her hand in the cookie jar before supper. At least Snow wasn't as capable of dealing out punishment as her mother had been.
"Don't you Mary Margaret me, Emma Swan. What in the world is going on?"
"I can explain." Emma promised as she stared at her mother with a nervous smile.
Snow tapped her foot impatiently as she crossed her arms over her chest.
"What? What is it? What's going on?" David asked as he finally made it up the stairs. All he noticed out of the ordinary was how bright red both Emma and Regina's cheeks were, Snow's angry glare fixed on the two women, and the fact that Emma and Regina were holding hands.
"It wasn't me. I mean, I " Emma looked over her shoulder at the bed side table and then back at her mother. "I didn't really, I didn't initiate it."
Regina's eyes widened at Emma's lie. "Sherriff Swa "
"REGINA!" Regina cringed at the shriek that escaped Snow's lips. She sighed and turned to slowly look at the woman in front of her.
"It wasn't me. Your darling daughter is lying." Regina rolled her eyes, she hadn't time for this nonsense. Now that dumb and dumber were here she could leave them to handle Emma's more shameless self. She wasn't the type of woman to be played.
"It wasn't Regina either."
Now Snow didn't know who to glare at, neither did Regina.
Regina almost expected that to have sounded from behind her. But it hadn't. Peering over her shoulder towards the bed Regina saw that Emma was no longer there. Looking around the room, ignoring Snow and her mental break down, her eyes came across nothing. No proof of Emma anywhere.
Regina's eyes widened as she looked down at the hand still holding hers and tried to pull it away, but Emma wouldn't budge. She wouldn't let go.
Snow waved her hand in front of her face to wipe away whatever thoughts were clogging her brain at the moment.
"I saw it with my own eyes. Do not take me for a fool. ONE of you kissed the other." Regina chuckled and winced only minimally after doing so. "I'll deal with you in a moment, your Majesty." Snow raged her eyes promising a fate worse than death. If Regina didn't have her magic she might be afraid.
"Kissed?" David asked his voice very soft as he stumbled back involuntarily.
"It wasn't Regina. And it wasn't me." Emma groaned as she slapped her left hand up onto her forehead. She winced and rubbed at the sore area after a moment.
"Headache back?" Regina asked softly, Emma nodded her head once. Of course it would be, Snow had been hollering like a banshee since she'd come into the room. And now that Emma had returned to having only one corporal body the headache would remain with the refused woman.
Regina reached up with her free hand and pressed her thumb against a pressure point and circled it around to loosen the tension there. "There, better?"
Emma's eyes were crossed as she tried to watch Regina's hand before they fell to Regina's eyes instead. "Yes." She whispered softly, her eyes dipping to stare at Regina's lips. She involuntarily licked her bottom lip, savoring the taste of Regina's lip gloss.
Regina smiled softly as she continued to massage the center, then either side of Emma's forehead for a few more moments, completely missing Ms. Swan's actions. She allowed her hand to fall away after another moment. "Good."
Emma cleared her throat as she looked away from Regina and focused on her mother. "Look, Snow, did Henry tell you what was going on?"
"Yes, he said there were two of you?" David supplied since Snow was too busy watching as Regina dropped her hand away from Emma's forehead, shocked at the kind display between the two women. "What did he mean?"
"There were two of me. When I woke up this morning there were two of me. I had a double, a twin."
"More like the manifestation of one part of your psyche, to be more accurate." Regina ignored the glare sent her way by all three Charmings. They never did appreciate the answers she had readily available to them when they didn't need them.
"How is that possible?" Snow asked, finally coming out of her stupor.
"Regina says it was a side effect of the magical intoxication." Emma supplied the only explanation she had available to her.
David and Snow both turned their attention to Regina. "I did warn you that Emma's magic would be acting oddly for the next few days as a side effect of her ingesting so much magical synthonol."
"You didn't tell us she would wake up with a double." David accused, eyes narrowing at the witch.
"I had, and continue to have, no idea what the side effects will be." Regina looked to Emma, "I am sorry but the effects differ per person."
Emma shrugged off Regina's apology. Recognizing Regina's knowledge on the matter could only go so far. So why couldn't David?
"That doesn't explain why you were kissing each other when I came in." Snow brought them back to the original issueor her original issueas she re-crossed her arms and spared an unforgiving glare at both women.
"My double thought it would be funny to fuck with Regina, so she grabbed her and kissed her."
"So how did you end up kissing her?" Snow asked, eyes squinting in concentration.
"I don't know." Emma looked helplessly to Regina to see if the brunette had any answers. Regina did have an answer but she refused to acknowledge it. She had watched her double's lips touch Regina and then something sparked low in her belly. It wasn't just arousal, though she certainly was aroused at the sight of Regina and her kissing. It was jealousy of sorts. Anger. She didn't want to WATCH her double kiss Regina. She wanted to kiss Regina. So, suddenly she had been. Almost as if her wish had come true. How, she hadn't the faintest idea, but she was still getting used to her own magic and how to control it. Even with Regina's lessons she still had a lot to learn about what she was capable of, take this morning and last night as prime examples of that.
"It most have worn itself out." Regina shrugged trying to belittle needing an explanation for why the double was suddenly gone.
She felt a tingle run down her spine at the lie and felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand on edge. There was a perfect explanation for why the double was gone, why Emma was now one whole person again. The only magic strong enough to overpower another magic was true love. Which was why Regina refused to voice such an accusation because, well, it was preposterous.
Regina glanced shyly at Emma from the corner of her eye, wasn't it?
"What I'm more interested in is why you're STILL holding hands." David supplied suddenly, making all the women in the room turn to him with varying degrees of a raised eyebrow.
Snow's eyes finally seemed to fall onto their joined hands. Regina really hoped Snow wasn't going to start screeching again. Emma wouldn't be the only one with a headache if she did.
Regina rolled her eyes as Emma sighed.
"Regina won't let go."
"Emma won't release me."
The women spoke at the same time, eyes widening as they snapped their eyes to each other.
"What do you mean I won't release you/let you go?"
Regina tugged on her hand again and watched as Emma did the same. "Release the grip you have on my wrist this instant Ms. Swan!" Regina took to trying to walk away from Ms. Swan to extract herself from the blonde's grip. She only ended up pulling Emma with her as the blonde's fingers remained clamped on her wrist.
"I can't!" Emma whined as she stared at her fingers and thought about them releasing Regina's wrist, but nothing happened. She concentrated harder than her headache would normally allow, and still. Nothing. Her fingers remained super glued to Regina's wrist as if they were holding their own protest.
It wasn't like Regina's hand was unpleasant to hold. It was almost nice. Scratch the almost. Regina's hands were generally soft, except right in the center of her palm there was raised skin, a callous of sorts that Emma was fascinated with.
"Ms. Swan. Stop." Regina hissed; goosebumps forming up the length of her arm as Emma ran her pointer finger back and forth across her palm.
"What do you mean you can't?" Snow asked as she stepped forward. She grabbed a hold of Regina's arm and Emma's and tried to physically pry them apart. Regina stared at Snow, eyes wide and unbelieving as the woman continued to try and tear their hands apart.
"It's not working." Snow finally admitted with a heavy sigh, meeting Emma's eyes with a worried glance. As if this would be a hardship on EMMA. Regina fought the urge to roll her eyes but she couldn't.
"Did you exert yourself?" Regina asked darkly, eyes shining with the promise of pain if Snow so much as touched her again without her permission. They had a truce, an understanding, but that didn't mean she wanted the woman touching her. She wasn't even sure she wanted Emma touching her and she was pretty sure she was in love with the blonde.
"Here, let's try together." David offered as he moved to stand beside Regina. Regina didn't even get to open her mouth before Snow was rushing to Emma's side and pulling on her daughter's arm.
"Mary Margaret!" Emma complained as she tried to pull her arm away from her mother.
"You need to move with me, Emma. We'll get you two apart." Snow vowed tugging on Emma's arm again.
Emma didn't compensate for the pull and ended up falling towards Snow, dragging Regina with her.
"Here, together." David announced as he touched Regina.
Regina snapped her head to David eyes glued to his arm as it snaked its way around her waist. She stared at him as if he were insane. He was it was unthinkable. He. Was. Wrapped. Around. Her. D
id he not know who she was?!
Then her eyes saw David and she did a double take, it looked like her father was awkwardly hugging Regina. "David ! Let her go!"
Regina remained still as David was thrown several feet away from her, his back meeting the wall. A smirk crossed her face as he hit the wall with the loud resonating THUD. He didn't fall to his ass like she hoped but bent over, dazed by the blow.
"Regain!" Snow screeched, again. Regina cringed and looked to the complaining woman.
"I am standing scant feet from you, Snow. There is no need to screech."
Snow ran over to help David up to his feet. Glaring at Regina as she did.
Regina sighed, "I did not do that, though if your husband did not release me I would have been happy to." Except she'd have sent him flying out the window or down the stairs. Much more efficient punishment for touching her without her permission.
"Oh?" Snow looked disbelieving. "And who--"
"I did." Emma waved her free hand awkwardly outward as she leaned over to stare at Snow and David from behind Regina.
"Emma?" Snow was scandalized.
Regina found it rather endearing. Last night she clocked her father for threatening her, knocking him out cold. Today she threw him against a wall for touching her.
"It wasn't my fault."
Regina snuffed, because she thought Emma's inability to control her magic was the perfect excuse, and the Sherriff could use it for the next two days or so.
Snow no longer appeared scandalized, rather she seemed sorry for Emma. Regina refrained from saying anything, lest she have to hear Snow shrills echo around the room once more.
"Moms, is is everything okay?" Henry asked from the door as he peeked his head into the room. He looked between his mothers and his grandparents.
"Everything is fine Henry." Regina assured him with a smile. "It just seems Ms. Swan's glued her hand to mine."
Henry raised a brow obviously finding that explanation impossible. It was her. She was looking into one of her own incredulous gazes and was warmed to realize that.
"Kids gonna be a killer when he's a teenager." Emma mumbled only loud enough for Regina to hear.
"Yes, he is." Regina agreed just as quietly. And she would loathe it when it came but would be proud all the same. He was her son, in most manners, intelligence, and logic if not by blood.
"Is that what that thud was?" Henry asked as he slipped into the room, still a bit unsure. "Where's the other Emma?"
"Back where she belongs." Regina stated as Emma nodded enthusiastically.
"Thank god." Emma muttered under her breath.
Henry smile was telling, he was glad the other Emma was gone. "Good. She was, well, kinda inconsiderate and rude."
"Hey!" Emma was obviously insulted even while Regina found their son's opinion refreshing and accurate.
"Yes, she was." Regina quickly agreed.
"Okay, enough of that." Emma complained as she watched Regina and Henry share secret pleased smiles with each other. They did that more often now. It was nice. So long as she wasn't the one at their mercy. Which wasn't very often since she was whipped by both Mills'. The only blessing was that only one of them was aware of just how whipped she was, and it wasn't the woman stuck to her hand. Thankfully.
"So, how'd you get stuck together?" Henry asked as he stood in front of his moms and lifted their joined hands and looked at them critically.
Regina and Emma shared a momentary glance, Emma's cheeks flaming red while Regina tried to control her own blush.
"I don't want to know do I?"
"No." All four adults quickly spoke up and Henry nodded, accepting that. For now.
As he lifted his mother's arms up so they were held above his head and he could look under them and get a better visual he tried to wiggle his finger under Emma's to loosen the grip, but he couldn't.
Emma winced. "Owtch."
Henry bashfully dropped their hands and stepped away, head down. "Sorry " He apologized; he hadn't meant to hurt her.
"It's alright Henry." Emma patted Henry on the shoulder and nicked his chin with the side of her pointer finger, raising up his head so he'd look at her.
"At least you didn't try and yank our arms off." Regina exaggerated her tone purposefully, sniffing as she turned her nose up to Snow and Charming's actions.
Henry snickered as Emma used her good arm to pull him into a hug. "Is that why Grandpa's over there?"
Emma cringed, feeling a little bad about throwing David all the way across the room. "You could say that kid."
"Ms. Swan threw him across the room with her magic." Henry's eyes widened as the other three adults in the room gasped Regina's name. "It was not her fault. Nor, would she make you believe, was this." Regina gestured to their sealed hands.
"It wasn't my fault!" Emma defended herself, rolling her eyes at Regina. "Like I want to be stuck to you." Inwardly she cringed at her tone, that had been more biting then she'd intended.
Regina didn't let the words affect her. She was expecting them. She was already well aware of whom Emma would much prefer to be attached to. He thankfully was nowhere to be found and for that Regina was thankful.
"Can I get stuck to you?" Henry asked, slipping out from underneath Emma's arm, just in case. His moms being stuck together was one thing. If he got stuck to Emma while she was stuck to his mom it would be all kinds of awkward. He'd need even more therapy.
"I am, unsure." Regina admitted, as she watched Emma's eyes tear up a bit at Henry's dismissal of her. Regina knew how much that could sting. She patted Emma's hand with her fingers, causing the Sherriff to meet her eyes. "It is only to be safe."
"Yeah, no offense, Ma. It's just that being stuck to you would be awkward. And stuck to you while you're stuck to my mom would be humiliating. We'd have to stay in and stuff and " He didn't want to think about how they'd sleep or get changed or shower. He shivered, yep. Therapy was where he was going to be for the foreseeable future.
"I'm sure she understands, don't you honey?" Snow asked as she came up behind Henry and draped her hands on either of his shoulders.
"Of course. I just I'll miss your hugs until this is over is all." Henry beamed at Emma's admission. He was still young enough that he would enjoy hugs from his mother. Soon that time would be gone, and Emma had a lot of lost time to make up for. This predicament didn't help.
The sound of Regina's cellphone cut through the room. Regina tried to reach around her body to grab her phone but her deep pockets made it impossible. Growling in frustration Regina glared at Emma, pointing blame.
Emma rolled her eyes, "Let me get that for you." Emma used their combined hands, stepping behind Regina a bit awkwardly, so Regina could grab the cellphone.
The caller ID read Tink. Emma tried not to scowl at the name. She really had liked the fairy. She had saved them all a time or two during their travels. It was just well she hated her. Hated that Tinkerbell got to be with Regina. Hated that Tink could hold Regina. Could spend hours with Regina. That the fairy touched Regina, got to see Regina bare and breathless and god! How beautiful that would be.
Emma ground her teeth together as Regina swiped her finger and picked up the call. "Darling? What are you doing up so early? Oh. Yes, well I am with Henry at the moment. There was a bit of an emergency. Yes. Emma is fine. In one piece. No " Regina laughed, the sound of it made Emma's ears twitch and her heart ache. "No, she has not blown up anything. Or set anything on fire, yes hahaha, very unlike herself."
Emma's sorrow was replaced with annoyance as she cleared her throat loudly. Regina knew she was standing right there. It was impossible not to know, they were attached!
"Yes, well." Regina eyed Emma carefully, trying to understand the changing emotions on the blonde's face. "Lunch? Uhm I'm afraid I won't be able to do lunch this afternoon darling. No, no, work isn't consuming my attention. There is just "
"Oh give me the phone." Emma growled as she stomped her foot and wrenched Regina's iPhone away from the woman. "Tinkerbell?"
"Look. Regina can't go to lunch. She's stuck."
"Stuck, stuck how?"
"To me. She's stuck to me. I'm my own personal superglue factory. She can't make lunch. Might not be able tomake dinner later. Can she call you right back though? We're kind of busy."
"I, uh, buh " Emma didn't wait for Tinkerbell to say anything more, she ended the call and glared at the phone as if the inanimate object was the center of her frustration. "God." Emma ignored the odd looks everyone was giving her, especially her parent's and thrust the phone into Regina's face. "Here."
"That was wholly uncalled for, Ms. Swan. She might have been able to help."
"Yeah? Well I don't want her help."
"Ms. Swan. You are acting like a child!" Regina scolded affronted by Emma's refusal to even consider allowing Tinkerbell to help them.
"I am not!" And yet, she was.
Emma wished she could cross her arms or walk away. Walking awaystomping reallywould be preferable to standing here like this internally fuming that Regina's girlfriend probably could help them, fix the mess that Emma had created. Just like Tinkerbell had before.
The fairy just came flying in on her shimmering wings with a big smile and a witty snarky humor that pulled them all in. Pulled Regina in and helped soothe the wounds that Emma had made in the brunette's heart when she'd welcomed Neal back with open arms.
Really, it wasn't her fault. Neal had been so happy to see her and she had just been so happy that he was alive. When he kissed her as they embraced, it wasn't her fault. But she hadn't stopped him. Hadn't said anything. She kissed him back in fact. But that wasn't when she'd hurt Regina. Well, yes, it was. It was the first time she hurt Regina. But what had ruined what had grown between them was what came next.
Emma hurt Regina, irreparably when she'd closed ranks on her, cutting the brunette off now that Neal. Henry was thrilled to have his biological dad back and Emma was letting herself forget, was letting herself push Regina away by throwing herself at Neal and their happy 'family'. Having Henry and Neal together was one a dream come true for her, but it was an old dream. An outdated dream and she was stupid for being blinded by it.
They had left Regina, again. Turned on her, again. What they, what Emma her broken in Regina, Tinkerbell had fixed. Tinkerbell made Regina happy. Tinkerbell gave Regina a friend who wouldn't abandon her when things got tough. And everyone thought they fit and looked so good together. Everyone was always saying how striking a pair they made. And all Emma could think was that Tinkerbell had stolen her place. Just like Regina felt like Neal stole her place.
It was just, Tinkerbell made Regina smile and laugh.
God, Emma missed being the one to make Regina laugh. Missed being the one that Regina talked to, really talked to, about everything.
There had been something. Something wonderful and magical happened between her and Regina while they were in Neverland. Even after they had Henry back and were trying to get back to Storybrooke, there was something between them. This pull that made Emma crave Regina's attention, her affection. At first Emma blamed the magic lessons. The magic was messing with her head, making her want things that she shouldn't. But that wasn't it. It was just an excuse. One of many.
Hell, Emma blamed the thrall she felt towards Regina on the circumstances, needing to save Henry, just needing someone.
By making Regina feel the same, by acknowledging that pull and then running into Neal's arms as soon as he'd returned had destroyed something beautiful. Emma proved something to Regina in her actions. Through her actions she made Regina believe that it wasn't Regina that Emma needed or wanted. It had just been someone, anyone. Regina had been the substitute, the interim person while Emma waited for someone better, someone she really wanted.
But that's not how it really was. Emma hadn't meant for it to seem like that. Wanting it to not seem like that and making sure it wasn't like that were two different things though and she'd been scared. A coward. So she'd lost it, whatever IT was because she was afraid of what it might mean.
Emma wasn't afraid of IT anymore; the connection, the feelings she had for the witch.
What Emma was afraid of was losing Regina, losing what could possibly be the truest and purest love Emma had ever been a part of.
"Ugh!" Emma groaned as her mind raced. Why did everything have to be so complicated? Why couldn't things be easy? Like they used to be? Before everything got complicated with grown up problems!
"Mom look!" Henry pointed at the space between Emma and Regina.
Regina smiled as she looked down and saw her own hand in front of her, no longer attached to Emma's. She wiggled her fingers and rolled her wrist around as she gripped the appendage with her right hand. Henry rushed to give Regina a hug.
"Looks like I will be able to make lunch after all, Ms ." Regina eyes widened as she looked to her left.
Henry stopped mid step, sure that he could hug Emma now that she was no longer sticking to his mom, except.
Henry's eyes widened comically. Somewhere to his right Snow fainted into David's arms. Henry and Regina both heard the thud and David trying to wake his wife up, but neither looked away. They couldn't. Even David's eyes were hard pressed to look away.
"..Swan?" Regina asked with a thick swallow.
"How?" Henry asked as he stared up at his mother, hopeful she had some clue.
Regina's jaw was open and her eyes wide, uncertain. She couldn't take away the worry in Henry's blue-green eyes anymore then she could her own.
"I, I don't know." She had never seen something like this happen so quickly, so painlessly. Emma didn't have the training to transform on her own. It was a learned ability that took practice to master and often hurt the first few times. This was no ordinary transformation spell though. There was no recognition in the eyes staring at her. None, at all.
It also didn't appear to be painless, as there were tears in the big wide blue-green eyes.
The blonde was fiddling with her fingers as she stared at Regina. It was as she started to chew on the inside of her lip that Regina had to keep mum. The woma girl was adorable. Precious. So very precious. She looked completely lost and unaware of what was going on around her, which endeared her to Regina even more.
Emma's head tilted to the side as she stared at the people around the room. Why were they looking at her like that? She sniffed in through her nose and used the back of her hand to wipe at her nose.
"Can you fix this?" The man asked as he stared at the tall lady in front of her next to the boy. The boy looked scared. She wondered if he was lost too.
Regina looked to Charming baffled. "I don't know. It seems each symptom wears itself out. Rather quickly too. We shouldn't have long to wait before it rights itself again."
Emma sniffled again as she stared up at all the people around her. She rocked back and forth on her feet. The last thing she remembered was that nice lady from Social something coming to get her. She was going to a new home. Maybe she had fallen asleep and this was her new home. The tall brunette looked like she was in charge. Maybe she was her new person from Social something or other. The boy seemed to stick close to her.
"Is she sick?" Emma asked as she pointed to the woman on the floor.
"No, she just fainted." Henry answered his mom, and cringed. He was really going to need therapy after all of this was over. Maybe he could call and make an appointment a head of time with Archie.
"Oh." Emma saw cartoons faint all the time. She was sure the woman would get up soon. Just like in the cartoons.
"Where am I?"
"You're home." Henry supplied since Emma was looking right at him at the question.
"Oh." Emma whispered, biting at her thumb nervously as she shifted forward and backwards.
David looked at the little girl standing in front of him. His little girl. She couldn't be more than six years old with long blonde hair done up in pig tails and a yellow sundress with orange spots. She was adorable. And she bit her fingers, like he used to as a kid.
This is what Emma had looked like when she was six, or younger. The little angel in front of him was his baby girl, as a little girl. The little girl he didn't get to raise and watch grow up because of the woman standing beside his grandson. He gritted his teeth.
"How long?" David asked as he settled Snow's head on his lap and glared at Regina. Placing blame.
"I " Regina shrugged her shoulders helplessly.
"How long, Regina!?" David hissed angrily.
Regina's shocked silence grated on his nerves. This was his daughter they were talking about and he had no way of helping her. He was her father and he had to rely on the one person he hated most to help him, help Emma.
It infuriated him. Because, because a part of him didn't want Emma to get older again. A part of him wanted Emma to stay the precious little girl in front of him so he and Snow could raise her themselves, like they were supposed to. And that made him feel awful and guilty and angry at himself more than anything. Because Emma wasn't a little girl anymore. She was a grown women who had already grown upwithout themand had a child of her own that she needed to be here to raise.
Regina was just an easy target. She always had been.
"Leave her alone!" Emma stomped her feet as she moved to stand in front of Regina. Her feet were in Disney Princess sneakers, with velcro fastenings.
David tried to calm Emma down, sure that he could. He was her father. He could handle this. "Emma, sweetie I wasn't "
"I'm not your sweetie!" Emma scrunched up her face and glared at David. Her face became bright red and blotchy like a child's could be as they got angry. Her tiny hands were fisted at her sides as she held David's eyes. "You, you big meanie!"
Regina clapped a hand over her mouth and bit into her bottom lip as hard as she could, nearly drawing blood, to keep herself from cackling at the sight of David. The brave Prince Charming being called a big meanie by his daughter.
"Oh my head " Snow took that moment to begin to wake up. She clutched at her head and looked up at Charming confused. "What happened?" No one answered the woman, better to allow her to see what had happened with her own eyes.
Emma smiled as she watched the woman sit up. See, she so knew she'd wake up, just like in the cartoons.
They all knew when Snow caught up, Snow gasped as her eyes landed on the tiny blonde child standing in front of Regina protectively.
Henry was standing to Regina's right, staring at the little girl who was a few inches shorter than him. His eyes seemed permanently enlarged as he watched his mother-turned-six year old glare at her father, not knowing it was her father.
Snow sat up slowly and wondered what had happened to make Emma seem so angry. Her cheeks, they were so pudgy and Snow just she just tears sprang to her eyes. She covered her mouth with both hands as she stared at her little girl. She was so beautiful.
"She's so beautiful." Snow's voice was about three octaves too high as her tears began to fall down her cheeks in earnest.
Snow crawled over so she was kneeling in front of Emma. The girl only an inch taller than her mother in that position. Snow dropped her hands to her lap and stared into Emma's eyes, nibbling on her bottom lip like Emma had moments before. Without asking or warning Snow wrapped Emma in a tight hug, pulling the younger version of her daughter into her arms.
"Can't breathe ." Emma croaked out as Snow squeezed her really tight.
"Oh, I'm sorry " Snow apologized as she released Emma. Wrapping her arms tightly around herself instead as she watched Emma retreat behind Regina's legs.
Emma was quick to take three big steps away from Snow so she couldn't get her, and hid behind Regina. Peeking around the Mayor's leg to look at the crazy lady who'd hugged the air right out of her chest.
"Don't mind them dear, they're just overwhelmed to see you." Regina, the only one of the adults in the room with any experience raising a child, was quick to placate Emma's fear of her own parents.
"Who are they?" Emma asked as she took a hold of Regina's pant leg and stared up at her. She jutted her chin towards Snow and David, watching as the adults stood up to their feet slowly.
"They are " Regina cringed, if only minutely, "Your parents."
Emma's eyes widened as she looked away from Regina to stare at the man and woman. "The meanie is my dad?" Emma whined, looking back to Regina for confirmation. Regina nodded once. "My real dad? Not just my foster dad?" Emma's voice was small as she asked the question, as if feeling silly for asking, because of course these weren't her real
Emma twisted her head to look back at Regina so fast everyone else in the room was a little worried she might have pulled something.
"You're lying." Emma accused, though the accusation was weak as tears formed in the little girls blue eyes.
Regina didn't correct Emma's misinterpretation. She simply stared down into the little girl's eyes and tilted her head to the side, asking Emma silently: do you really think that?
"They can't be. They left me." Emma sniffled back her tears and she wiped at her nose with the back of her hand again. She came out from behind Regina's legs, but only to stand next to Regina. One of her hands still held fast to Regina's pants. The fabric clutched tightly in her small fist.
"It wasn't like that Emma."
"Oh yeah!? Well, what was it like?" Emma asked cause, she really didn't know what it would be like. She had wanted her parents to come and get her since she was old enough to realize that they weren't there. But she was old enough to know they left her. They left her and now they were back and that just made things so confusing because she was happy. So very happy that they came for her, but she was sad and angry too because they'd left her. And she didn't understand why.
"They were, in a very hard position, Ms. Swan." Emma looked to Regina with tear filled eyes. "It was impossible for them to keep you. But they are here now. And they love you."
"Yes, yes, we do, we love you so much." Snow picked up where Regina left off, reaching out and stepping towards Emma, only to shrink back when Emma sided up tighter against Regina.
Snow and David both looked like they were meeting Emma for the first time. Again. It made Regina's heart ache for the two of them. She was a parent. She knew what it was like to meet a child that didn't know you. What it was like to be taken away from them. She knew now that it was a curse far worse than she could have ever imagined.
However, they had chosen to send Emma away so she could break the curse. Regina had no intentions of killing Emma as an infant. She had thought about making Snow and Charming watch as someone else raised their daughter. At that point in her life Regina wouldn't have been able to raise a child. She wasn't in the right frame of mind then. She hadn't the love in her heart needed to raise a child properly, but she wouldn't have killed Emma. Even if the girl was destined to destroy her curse. How could she when she would remain an infant for 28 years?
"You're my ma and pop?" Emma asked sniffling again as a few tears fell from her eyes.
"Yes we are." Snow breathed out the response so softly it felt like a caress. David had an arm around the back of Snow's waist, looking like the perfect couple. Like in the movie Annie. Except they weren't fakes.
"Yeah, well well what color is my blanket?" Emma asked turning so her body was facing Regina's right side and she could hold onto Regina's leg while she stared challengingly at Snow and David.
"Purple and white." Snow answered the question with a small smile, immediately. "I made the blanket myself. Your name is embroided on it, in purple."
Emma's eyes widened, because, well Snow was right. They knew. Maybe they really were her parents. Maybe she could be happy that they came to get her, because, well they finally came to get her.
Regina stood awkwardly in the midst of the conversation. Her leg held captive by the young girl. Emma was currently hiding her face against Regina's leg using her pants as a tissue. Regina tried not to think about that.
She was doing her best to try and block out this whole experience really. She couldn't understand why Emma was clinging to her, and not to Snow. No one ever thought of her as maternal. Even after raising Henry. She got along well with children, if a bit awkwardly, but they didn't run from her. Or they hadn't before the curse broke.
"They are your parents, Emma." Henry insisted as he looked at his mom.
"They are huh?" Emma asked as she pulled her face away from Regina's leg to look at Henry. "Are you my browther?"
Henry's eyes, if it were possible, got larger. He looked lost. How did he answer that question?
"He's my son, Henry." Regina saved Henry from his dilemma, making him sigh with relief.
"Ohw, Henry " Emma tested the name and nodded her head twice, approving.
"I'm Sn " Snow stopped. "Mary Margaret and this is David." Snow gestured to her husband who smile and waved at Emma anxiously.
Emma peered up at Regina, waiting for her to introduce herself as well.
Emma nodded, "Rehgeenaaah." Emma sounded out Regina's name slowly before smiling up at the woman whom she already liked for some strange reason. She normally didn't like people. Or strangers. But she liked Regina. And Henry. She wasn't too sure about the big meanie or Mary Margaret.
Emma pulled her hand up to her mouth and started to chew on her thumb while the rest of her fingers remained tight around Regina's pants.
"None of that." Regina reached down and tugged on Emma's hand to keep her from chewing on her thumb. Boogers were one thing. Drool was another. Saliva was Regina had issues with saliva. Always had. It had been a rather adventures first few years as a mother when she constantly had to fight back her gag reflex when Henry began to drool excessively on her. It was fine when it was not on her person. She only had issues when there was too much of it and it touched her.
"Sowwy." Emma dropped her hand away from Regina's nice pants and wiped it on her dress.
"It's fine." Regina assured the nervous child at her feet. God, this was she should leave.
The sound of Emma's stomach grumbling made Regina stare at the little girl's stomach. "You don't happen to have a lion in there, do you?" Regina asked on instinct, she used to tease Henry about the lion and tiger in his stomach as young boy as well.
Emma and Henry giggled. He obviously recalled her asking him the very same question.
"No, silly." Emma blushed, holding her tummy as she looked down at her shoes.
"No?" Regina seemed unbelieving. "Perhaps a tiger then?"
Emma shook her head excitedly from side to side as she laughed, "Noooo I'm just hungry."
Snow cleared her throat, breaking the pleasant moment as she drew attention back to her and Charming who were still standing awkwardly in the doorway.
"We have breakfast downstairs." David offered.
"We have French toast and pancakes and eggs. I could, I could make anything you want." Snow seemed desperate, and maybe she was.
But Regina wondered what would happen when Emma returned to her adult self. Would she recall this, any of it? Would she appreciate knowing her parents got a small taste of what raising her would have been like? Or would she despise it as it was just a reminder of something they all didn't have?
Would this come back to haunt Regina? She didn't know, and as she watched Emma awkwardly move towards Snow, who held her hand out to the girl, she couldn't help but worry about it.
"Are you coming?" Emma asked when she and Snow reached the doorway. She stared at Regina and then Henry.
"I am. I'm hungry." Henry was quick to follow Snow and Emma downstairs.
"How long is she going to be like this?" David asked as he and Regina remained in the room.
"A few minutes more, hours, another day I truly haven't any clue." Regina wished he could believe her.
"I think it would be best if you left then."
Regina regarded David defiantly, suddenly interested in staying just to piss him off. Then again, she didn't want to be here much herself, but she didn't want to give him the satisfaction of knowing he 'made her leave'.
"Very well. Enjoy the time while it lasts. But do be careful. It would be a shame if Emma returned to herself and recalled all the horribly embarrassing things said and done."
David cringed, thinking about what exactly Emma might remember and how much of it. He left the room and joined his family downstairs, leaving Regina to see herself out.
Regina stood at the bottom of the while Henry and David set the table.
Snow was showing Emma where everything was and sitting her in her seat at the table that was apparently 'her' seat.
"Henry!" Regina called out, pulling Henry's attention away from his mission to grab the silverware from the drawer.
He rushed over to stand in front of his mom a big smile on his face. "This side effect is kind of creepy. But cool. You think she'll play video games with me?" Henry asked, peering over his shoulder to see Emma looking at them even while Snow talked to her.
Regina rolled her eyes, "She has always played video games with you." Why should she stop now when she actually had a valid excuse for playing them?
"Yeah, but this time I might be able to win!" He seemed very pleased about that, so Regina did not bother to tell him to go easy on Emma as she was 'younger' then him. The mere idea of it made Regina shiver uncomfortably. Besides, Emma had never gone easy on Henry in all the times Regina had seen them play or heard Henry's retellings of their 'game time'.
Regina cupped Henry's cheek and kissed the top of his forehead. "I am going to go back to the office, darling."
"You're not staying?" Henry frowned; he'd expected his mom to stay.
"No, I have some things to get done at the office. Now that Snow and Charming are here to take care of Emma, I need to get back." She didn't want to leave Henry here as well, but she feared she wouldn't be able to make him go with her.
"Oh, uh, okay." Henry nodded; ready to walk away when he stopped and hugged Regina tightly. "Love you mom."
Regina felt her heart stop beating for a moment. It still pleasantly surprised her when Henry expressed his love for her so openly. She wrapped her arms around him and closed her eyes against her tears. "I love you, Henry."
"Course you do." Henry grinned as he looked up at her, "I'm a lovable guy." The grin he sported was a replica of Neal's. Regina didn't appreciate it, but she couldn't hate it. It was her son's grin even if it did take after his biological father's.
Regina rolled her eyes, "Who has been influenced by Neal's insufferable charm it seems."
Henry laughed a little, "Maybe."
"If you need anything, call me."
"I will," He promised before he hugged Regina again, "Thanks for coming mom."
"Anytime Henry." Regina watched as he slipped back to get the silverware for breakfast.
Regina didn't say goodbye to Snow or David. She made her way to the front door. With one last glance at the group she smiled and made her way out of the apartment, content to know that Henry had wanted her to join them.
It was hours later, while Regina was sitting at her home office that her phone rang. She stared down at the device with a grin. It was Emma's cell. It seemed this particular side effect must have worn off. Regina had to admit that she was curious to see what Emma remembered, if she remembered anything at all from her time as a child.
"Ms. Swan, how are you this afternoon?"
Regina pulled the phone away from her ear and stared at it for a moment before bringing it back. "Emma?"
"Yeah " There was sniffling coming from the other end of the line and what sounded like someone pounding on a door.
"Emma, sweetie." That was Snow.
"Emma open this door!" And Charming, being anything but charming.
"No! Go away you big meanie! Go away!"
"David, calm down."
"She needs to open this door. She's been in there for an hour."
"Yes, I know that David but yelling isn't going to help anything."
"I, I just don't understand." David sounded defeated, and so very lost.
It would appear that this particular side effect had not worn off.
Regina wondered where Ms. Swan was that she was able to lock herself in for an hour. Regina thought David would have broken down the door already, no matter what room Emma locked herself in.
"Regina?" Emma whispered into the phone. The sound was a bit distorted.
"Yes, Ms. Swan?"
Emma giggled, "No one calls me Ms. Anything."
Regina pinched the bridge of her nose, trying her best to refrain from finding this younger version of Ms. Swan as adorable as she truly was.
"Where are you, Mmm Emma?"
"Where are you hiding?"
"In the closet."
Regina pinched her nose tighter and bit into her tongue for a moment to bring her mind out of the inappropriate place it had just gone. "Why are you hiding in the closet?" And how did she know how to operate a cellphone?
"To hide from my parents."
"Emma? Emma who are you talking to?" Snow asked, not unkindly.
"Go away!" Emma yelled, supposedly at the closet door she was hiding behind. No wonder why Charming hadn't broken it down. He'd run the risk of hurting Emma if he did.
"Why are you hiding from your parents?"
Regina ran her hand up into her hair and tussled it a bit. She needed to remain calm. Emma was only six years old, maybe even younger. It wasn't as if the girl was deliberately giving her one word answers. Still, Regina was going to need more than that.
"They're mean. And I don't like them." Emma sniffled. Helplessly Regina listened as Emma's sniffles turned into sobs. "I don't like it here."
"Regina, lover, you in here?" Tink walked into the office but stopped when Regina held up a single finger to hold the fairy at bay for a moment.
"Who's that?" Emma asked, obviously hearing Tinkerbell's voice through the phone.
"Someone's there though, I heard them."
"Emma, sweeit, who are you talking to?"
"Maybe she's talking to herself." Regina grinned at the sound of Henry's voice coming through the line.
"Okay, Emma you need to open this door. Right this instant." Snow's voice was demanding and took upon a tone Regina often heard from the younger woman.
"I thought you said we needed to be calm." David pointed out, and Regina imagined Snow sparing him an evil glare.
Amusing as this all was, she still didn't know what Emma wanted or what Emma expected her to do. Come and get her? Snow would kill her and Regina wouldn't even hold it against her.
"What do you want, Emma?"
Tink's ears perked up at Emma's name, her eyes glowering at the phone in Regina's hand. She crossed her arms tightly across her chest and tapped her foot impatiently. Tink was so sick and tired of Regina's life revolving around Emma Swan.
"Can you can you come back?"
Well, at least Emma didn't want her to take her away.
"Please?" Emma pleaded, the sniffling began again and Regina's heart broke as she imagined the tears falling down pudgy cheeks.
"Emma, please honey, open the door." Snow sounded desperate, probably more heartbroken at the sound of Emma's sobs and sniffles than Regina.
"I shall be there soon. Will you consider letting your parents in?"
"No. Not until you get here."
Regina sighed, "Very well."
Regina hung up, promising Emma three times that she would be there, but she had to hang up the phone first.
"So, off to save the Savoir again, huh?" Tink asked as Regina stood from her desk.
"Tink, please don't be like that I "
Tinkerbell held up her palm, she didn't want to hear anymore of Regina's excuses. Maybe she was being petty, but she could feel the pull that existed between Regina and the White Princess. It frightened Tinkerbell. The thrall between the two women was a threat to the relationshipher first relationship in a very long time.
Regina walked over to Tinkerbell and tried to kiss her lips, but at the last moment Tink turned her head, offering Regina her cheek.
"I won't wait up." Tink promised as she spun on her heel and marched away.
Regina sighed as she watched her lover leave. A small part of her wanted to go after Tinkerbell and talk to her to assure her that this was only temporary. But a larger part of her recognized that this wasn't temporary.
They would need to talk after this was all finished. Regina just wasn't sure how to go about that talk. She'd never had a lover she could reveal the true nature of her feelings to before. And telling Tink that she was in love with Emma was only fair.
It would then be Tink's decision on whether or not to continue in their relationship. A relationship that Regina would promise to put her all into, because her love was unrequited, and sooner or later she would learn to accept that and move on.
With a heavy sigh Regina disappeared from her home and materialized inside Emma's apartment.
"Oh, you're here!' Henry hung up his phone and ran over to Regina, almost exactly as he had this morning, except this time his hair was combed and he was dressed for the day. "I was just going to call you. Emma's locked herself in the closet and won't come out."
"So I heard."
"You did?" Henry asked as he led Regina into his bedroom. It was a mess. Just as Regina expected. If she'd had the time she'd pick up a bit, or tell Henry to, she would have.
As it was, Snow was rushing over to her with a pleading expression upon her face. "You have to help us get her out of there. She's been in there for over an hour."
David glared at Regina as she made her way over to Henry's closet. Wondering what had happened that caused Emma to run and hide in the closet and dislike her parents so much she'd refuse to come out.
"What do you expect me to do?"
"I don't know, anything. Please, she says she'll only talk to you." Which hurt Snow, but she couldn't think about that pain right now. She had to focus on getting Emma out of that closet.
"I thought these side effects weren't long lasting. That's what you said, isn't it?" David asked, obviously looking to point blame on her. He was frustrated, so Regina let it slide. Like she always did.
"I also said I had no idea what could or would happen." Regina wiggled her fingers as if to remind the Prince what had happened to her that very morning.
Snow glared at David before turning pleading eyes back on Regina.
Regina sighed as she squeezed between the two idiots and knocked on the closet door. "Emma? I've arrived. Just like I promised. Can you open the door now?"
"Are the others gone?"
"No, they are still here." Regina looked at David and then Snow.
"Make them go away. Then I'll let you in."
Regina squinted at the door. "The deal, if I remember correctly, was that you would come out."
"Not yet. I needs to talk to you."
Regina looked over her shoulder at Snow and David and then pointedly looked at the exit.
"I'm not going any"
"We'll go. We'll go." Snow promised, already tugging on David's arm to take him from the room. Henry followed after them and gave his mom a thumbs-up before closing his bedroom door.
"They're gone, Mmz Emma. You can let me in now."
A few moments later the closet door unlocked and opened the tiniest bit. Regina opened it completely and saw Emma was cramped in between piles of Henry's toys and clothes that he merely piled up, probably when he was supposed to clean. It looked cramped and as Regina stepped inside and Emma closed the door behind her, she realized just how cramped it was. Emma fit nicely inside but Regina had to bend awkwardly not to hit her head on the shelf above the clothes rack.
At least the light in the closet was working.
"Sit. Sit." Emma insisted, pointing to the cleared spot on the floor. Regina sat down, but to accomplish the feat she had to pull her knees up tightly to her chest and wrap her arms around her legs.
"Now, what is it that you wished to discuss with me, Ms. Swan?" And why oh why did it have to be here, in this small space?
Regina closed her eyes for a moment, breathed deeply, and tried to control her racing heart. She did not do well in cramped spaces. The only reason she was holding herself together was because of the light hanging above them, lighting the closet. Regina still had nightmares about the hours even days her mother would make her spend in the 'pit'. A dark crawl space with only enough room to stand hunched over and not even enough room to lie down. It was dark and damp down there and ever since Regina had panic attacks when in cramped dark spaces.
Emma was the only one who knew about her object horror and fear. They had been trapped in a cave in while running from the Shadow, in Neverland. The space they had to occupy together was larger than the 'pit' but not by much. They had been trapped inside that cave for two days. The only reason Regina left that cave alive was because of Emma. Emma kept her calm and used her magic to create light for as long as she could, for as long as Regina needed her to.
It was in that cave that Regina realized just how deep her feelings had become for Emma. Sadly, it was only nine short days later that they escaped Neverland and found Neal traveling with old friends of Emma's and Snow's in the Enchanted Forest.
Regina was snapped out of her thoughts by Emma's sudden and unexplained compliment. "Thank you ?"
Emma blushed as she kicked the tip of her shoe into the floor, scuffing it.
"Why am I here, Emma?"
"Because I was lonely." Emma whispered, staring at the floor.
"There are three people outside this door that would be more than happy to keep you company." And the two adults of the three were probably furious that Emma seemed to prefer her company to theirs. Internally Regina sighed; it would just be another reason why the love birds despised her. But after such a long list of faults what was one more?
"Yeah, I guess but they're not." Emma sighed.
Emma bit her bottom lip before being brave enough to look into Regina's brown eyes. "You."
Regina gasped, she couldn't help herself. Why was it that Emma's double and now her younger self were so interested in her? Why did they want to spend time with her, see her as something desirable and now pretty, but the 'real' Emma didn't?
Why couldn't this have happened months ago before they'd found Neal? Why couldn't Emma be brave like her double was and kiss her if she wanted to, or tell her she's pretty and she wanted to spend time with her like her younger self? Why was that so hard for Emma?
Then again why was that so hard for Regina to admit as well? She had admitted her feelings to herself, sure. But she'd never said anything to Emma. She may have implied once, but that was before Neal, before she realized that it was hopeless to have any type of feelings for Emma.
"It is time for you to come out of the closet, Ms. Swan." Regina cringed at the command but was firm in her resolve. She would physically drag Ms. Swan out of the closetchild or notif she did not leave with her.
Regina stood up as much as she could, and prepared to leave, with or without Emma.
"Wait! Don't leave me." Emma begged as she grabbed a hold of Regina's hand and as Regina stared at the small appendage, it started to morph, and change, and grow.
Regina watched as before her the young child that had been there matured into an awkward pre-teen, then into a teenager braces and all, until finally she was staring at the tall, muscular blonde Sherriff she loliked.
"Owtch!" Emma grasped at her head as she bent low to keep from hitting her head against the shelfagain. "Head rush " Emma muttered as she fell back against the wall of the closet and leaned heavily against it. "Uh Regina?"
"Where are we?" Emma asked as she stared at their surroundings.
Regina smiled, she couldn't help it. "In the closet."
Emma sputtered, "What?"
Regina chuckled softly, "I'll explain, just as soon as we get out of here."
There was an urgency in Regina's voice that Emma understood immediately. Emma's eyes widened in understanding surprised that Regina was in this closet at all to begin with. As Emma looked around she realized it was Henry's closet. She really had to talk to the kid about how he cleaned his room, because this certainly wouldn't do. Not that she could talk about messy rooms. Though, her room had been almost presentable this morning.
"Right, yeah, let's talk after we come out of the clozz " Emma stopped talking and cringed. "I didn't mean it like that." She practically begged Regina not to comment on her slip up, but by the twinkle she saw in Regina's eyes she knew it was only a matter of time before it'd come up, at just the right moment.
"Of course not, dear." Regina smirked evilly, "Of course not."
Emma groaned as Regina smiled at her. Of course, of course she had so say something so cliché and embarrassing in front of the Mayor. Why couldn't it have been Ruby? At least Ruby would laugh with her about it. That is, if Ruby would stop staring at Regina's girlfriend long enough to say anything.
Just thinking about Tinkerbell made Emma's blood boil. Was the WHOLE town in love with Tinerkbell? Or was it just the women closest to her, because at this point it wouldn't even surprise her if Mary Margaret suddenly found herself in love with the fairy too.
"How'd we get here?" Emma asked as she leaned towards the door, not much room to take a step forward with the both of them inside.
"You were hiding from your parents." Regina answered as she wrapped her hand around the door knob, twisted and pushed. Regina swallowed thickly as she pushed at the door again, the doorknob still turned.
"Why, what'd they do? And why'd I hide in the closet?" Emma looked down as Regina started to twist and turn the doorknob of the closet with a bit more urgency.
Regina put her left hand against the wood of the door and tried to push it open but it wouldn't budge. Not even a little. Her breathing started to quicken as her heart pounded against her chest frantically. "No " Regina whispered, her eyes tearing up as she turned the door handle and pushed with all of her strength. "No nonono."
Emma's eyes widened as she realized what was happening. Regina was falling apart right in front of her. Images of Regina clawing at the rocks that kept them stuck inside a cave flashed through her mind. She shook them away because now wasn't the time to remember those two days. Right now she needed to get Regina out of this closet before she started to hyperventilate.
"It's okay let me try?" Emma asked as she touched Regina's shoulder, making the woman hop up a bit, thankfully she wasn't standing underneath the shelf or she'd have banged into it rather hard.
Regina's eyes were already glazed with tears, and fear. She stepped as far to the side as she could manage, basically leaning into a pile of containers filled with toys and clothes. Regina didn't even issue a biting comment about Emma thinking her incapable of opening the door. She was too busy focusing on her breathing and the technique Emma had taught her so she didn't pass out; like the last time.
Emma reached a hand out and turned the knob. It wasn't locked, it was still turning all the way. But for whatever reason it wasn't opening. Maybe there was something on the other side keeping the door jammed. Emma put her palm flush against the wood and pushed against it like Regina had. Nothing. It didn't even move a little bit.
Looking at Regina in the corner of her eye, she wasn't doing good already.
Regina was looking at Emma's hands upon the door. Regina turned her head slowly to meet Emma's eyes. Emma watched as Regina swallowed thickly and nodded her head curtly, just once, before her eyes rolled around their surroundings. The brunette's hands started to shake as her chest continued to heave.
"Get me out of here, Ms. Swan." She ordered through gritted teeth, blowing out her breath strongly before breathing in deeply a single tear slipping from her left eye. Emma watched it slide down Regina's cheek and how Regina wiped it away angrily with her index finger.
Regina closed her eyes, to keep the tears from falling and focused on her breathing. She grasped her hands together at her side, squeezing the material of her pants reflexively.
"Right." Emma nodded and turned back to the door. "Yeah, okay. Hang on." Emma leaned back from the door, kept the knob twisted and then threw her shoulder against it.
It didn't budge. But that didn't stop Emma. She leaned back and threw her weight against the door again. And again. And again. Each thud echoed in the closet but did nothing to the door.
Emma's shoulder was going to be bruised, but she'd be damed if she had to watch Regina break down again in fear. When they were in Neverland it had taken everything inside Emma to not bring Cora back from the dead and kill her all over again. When Regina could calm herself down to sleep she had nightmares, and begged her mother to let her out. That she'd be good and do as she was told. The whimpers and pleas were so soft, so childlike it tore at Emma's heart, at her very soul.
Regina cringed, jumping a little, each time Emma's shoulder connected with the door and they were still bathed in only the light of the single bulb above their head. No fresh cool air swarming in thanks to Ms. Swan breaking down the door.
"If you cannot break it down I will blow it up." Regina told Emma. She felt sick to her stomach. She needed air. She needed to be out of this damn closet!
Emma knew then, just how little time she had left. Regina had tried to blow up the rocks around them during the cave in. It had only resulted in Regina being thrown backwards against the cave wall, the rocks imbued with some kind of gem that refracted magic. It was the gems that they found in that cave that helped them defeat the Shadow in the long run.
Regina's magic had been useless, dark magic was practically sucked dry by the gems. But Emma's wasn't. She couldn't use magic against the rocks but it didn't suck out Emma's magic like it had Regina's. She could at least light her hand up like a flash light and keep them from being completely consumed by darkness, both real darkness and imaginary.
"I think I got it." Emma lied as she moved back until she hit the wall of the closet and then rushed the three steps forward, shoulder bent, hand wrapped tightly around her wrist, eyes closed and teeth gritted as she waited for contact.
Regina opened her eyes just in time to see Emma bounce back from the door. Instead of following Emma's progress backwards like she should have her eyes remained on the door, or what was directly in front of the door. A wall. A barrier of some sort. It rippled as it absorbed the hit Emma had delivered to it. The ripples spread and Regina watched with a sinking heart as she realized the barrier now covered the door and the door frame itself.
They were trapped. Inside Henry's closet. This wasn't happening. It wasn't happening.
Regina began to panic. At least the light was still
"Shit." Emma groaned as she fell into an awkward position against the far wall, her hands reaching out to grab anything to keep from falling. It caused a bit of an avalanche and Henry's hockey stickwhich Regina had told her not to buy the boy to begin withkicked up and slapped against the light bulb, casting them into the dark.
The crack of the bulb and the sudden darkness did is.
Regina climbed over the mess of crap that covered Emma's legs, one leg between the Sherriff's ankles and she banged against the barrier with her fists. She tried to push her hand through the barrier with using magic but the barrier repelled each of her attempts.
"No. No .let me out! Let me out!" Regina threw her arms into the barrier and felt tears falling down her cheeks as she was repelled over and over again. Regina felt faint, she couldn't get in enough air. It was too warm. Too crowded. Too dark. She needed air. She needed light. She needed to get out.
The air in the closet was already warm and stale, a stench sticking to the air thanks to the dirty clothes and socks littering the area.
Behind her Emma was struggling to get up from the floor. She had landed on something very hard that was pressing into her hip and back and the toys on top of her weren't helping her. She couldn't find a good grip on anything to help pull herself up. The sounds of Regina's pleas only egged her on as she tossed the toys off of her and used the wall to pick herself up. Cringing in pain she fumbled in the dark and grabbed a hold of Regina. She touched Regina's shoulder first and let her hand slide down the brunette's arm until she could grab a hold of her hands and pull her back away from the door.
Regina fought against Emma's hold on her, desperate to get out. She couldn't do this again. She couldn't do this again. The last time had almost killed her. She refused to be stuck here. Refused. She tried to will herself out of the room, to transport, but with Emma's arms around her she couldn't go anywhere.
"I hate you I hate you." Regina whispered, her anger and fear making her thrash all the harder. But Emma wouldn't let go. She was there. Surrounding her with her arms. Pulling her closer so her back was pressed tightly against Emma's front.
Emma wasn't sure who Regina was talking to; the memory of Cora or to Emma herself.
"I've got you. I've got you." Emma promised as she dropped her chin to Regina's shoulder and held onto the thrashing Mayor. "It's just Henry's closet. We're not in a cave. You're not buried under anything. We're in my apartment. We're surrounded by our son's mess." Emma's voice was soft as she spoke, trying to talk Regina down. "We'll get out, just like we did last time."
Regina stopped fighting her.
Emma focused on her hands and making them emit light, just like she'd done when they were in the cave. Her hands rested securely around Regina's stomach, overlapping.
It took a lot of energy and concentrationand her head started to pound like she was about to get a nosebleedbut light started to shine from her hands. The warmth of the emission seeped into Regina's stomach.
Regina's eyes fell to look down at the light suddenly filling the closet. She stared at it, hypnotized.
"Breathe in deeply. Like me deep breath in .and out " Emma gave the instructions several times, waiting for Regina to comply and follow her directions. At first the breaths weren't that deep they were still very shallow, but by the fifth time Regina was breathing normally and was able to mimic Emma's breathing. Good, at least now Emma was assured Regina wouldn't faint.
Regina relaxed into Emma's hold, her breathing finally starting to calm down, watching as Emma's hands rose and fell with the movement of her stomach. The light coming from them keeping her calm, focused.
"So, you going to tell me why we're in here?" Emma asked with a grin, even though she felt light headed. Better to stay focused, keep talking, keep them both talking.
Regina laughed humorlessly. "Just as soon as you can tell me why you won't let us out." Regina's words weren't as biting as she wanted them to sound, her need to take in several breaths between the comment softening it.
"Yes, your magic." Regina swallowed as she dropped her hands to Emma's wrists.
Emma thought she was going to pull them off of her, so she was pleasantly surprised when Regina just held onto her, keeping her arms where they were.
"I don't know why, sorry."
"Mhhmmm pity. Here I thought you might just want to spend time with me." Regina sighed heavily, closing her eyes for a moment, suddenly feeling a tightness in her chest as her breathing shallowed out again. "You could have just asked."
"No, no, none of that." Emma quickly noticed the change. "Come on we've got this. Deep breath in, there good, now out."
Regina wanted to say so many disparaging things to the woman behind her. But she couldn't catch her breath to do it properly. Instead she was forced to rely on Emma Swan. Again. It was humiliating.
"So, you were right." Emma said a few moments later, after Regina had regained her even breathing.
"I often am." Emma chuckled because only Regina. "About what?" Regina couldn't follow where Emma's train of thought had taken her.
Emma smirked, "The hockey stick."
Regina groaned. "Of course."
Regina truly loathed Ms. Swan's decision to go over her head and buy Henry the hockey stick he wanted. The two of them had gone out to play roller hockey with Nicholas and Eva. Regina got a phone call not two hours later from Emma, in the hospital. Henry had been knocked off his skates and he'd broken his wrist.
Regina was furious. She'd blamed Ms. Swan of course, because it was her fault after all. She had given in, even after Regina had said no. Henry hadn't minded the two of them fighting over the hockey stick so much anymore, because he was doted on hand and foot while his wrist healed.
And now the damned thing had caused them to be bathed in darkness. Except for Emma's hands. Regina was too out of sorts to control her magic enough to light the darkness with her own magic though she certainly had enough fear to burn down the closet with them inside of it.
"You became a child."
"Hey, look I understand that I was wrong but there's no need to start insul"
Regina rolled her eyes, "No, Ms. Swan. The reason, we are here." She paused, "You turned into a child. Five or six by the looks of it."
"I what?" That didn't make any sense. Why would she turn into a child? How? And why couldn't she remember? "I, I can't remember."
"Perhaps that is for the best."
Regina smirked as she heard Emma gasp, "Why? What did I do?" Emma was worried now. What embarrassing thing had she done that she was better off forgetting?
"Let's see " Regina pretended to ponder. "You called your father a 'big meanie'," Emma cringed yeah, that sounded like her. "Asked Henry if he was your browther." Regina really wished she could see Emma's face but she would just have to do with imagining how the blonde looked.
"How'd he take that?"
"Well," Regina tilted her head to the side, "He took the whole thing rather well I believe."
Emma sighed, relieved. "Anything else?"
Regina hummed, "Besides locking yourself in this closet for an hour for whatever reason. Calling me because you refused to leave unless I was here. Insisted I come in here so you could tell me a secret."
"A secret?" Emma paled, not that Regina could see it. Her palms became sweaty, but that could easily be blamed on the heat of exerting her magic as she was.
"Yes, apparently. You were lonely with your family and wanted to spend time with me." Regina waved her hand through the air as if that meant nothing to her. "You complimented me on my beauty, as you well should "
Emma scuffed, fighting off a blush and a grin at the idea of her younger self being brave enough to tell Regina she was beautiful. Only for the former Queen to literally disregard it as something that should be done mandatorily.
" and you used my $200 pants as a tissue for your running nose."
Emma guaffed, unable to keep herself from laughing at that last part.
"Really, Ms. Swan. I expect you to pay for the dry cleaning." Regina informed in a bit of a huff, even if she had to fight off a smirk.
Emma continued to chuckle, "Sure, sure thing, Reh hahaha gina. Oh man, I'm sorry. It's just I did that a lot with my social services officers."
"It is very unhygienic. And your finger biting habit is an inherent trait that took me years to break in Henry." If Regina could manage it, she would have crossed her arms.
"My apologies your majesty." Emma calmed herself down, shaking her head against the top of Regina's.
The smell of the Mayor's shampoo quickly wafted to her nose and captivated the blonde. She stopped laughing and took a long deep breath, her eyes closing at the delicious, enticing smell of coconut and pineapple. Smooth and tangy, spunky, just like the woman herself.
Regina's muscles tensed as she heard Emma take in a deep breath as her nose was pressed almost directly into her scalp. She felt Emma's body shiver at the scent she just took in, the blonde's grip around her waist tightening just the smallest bit.
"Ms. Swan " Regina whispered her voice cracking as she turned her head towards her shoulder.
"Yes?" Emma breathed out the single word, a questioning tilt to it. Her face was only centimeters away from Regina's. Her eyes were heavy and her breath shallow as she stared at the shadow of Regina's lips. She could taste Regina's breath on her own lips.
The light emitting from Emma's hands started to flicker, dimming as Emma leaned forward. "You smell delicious." She just needed to be brave like both her double and her younger self. She just needed to take a chance, because Regina was worth it. They were worth it.
Regina felt her breath hitch inside her chest as Emma's face moved closer to her and once again she found the touch of soft damp lips pressed against her own. She moaned into the kiss as her eyes closed and her hand found its way up into Emma's hair. She threaded her fingers through the blonde lockes and twisted herself just a bit more.
A small part of her knew this was wrong. That she should stop. The kiss this morning had been one thing, but this, this was another. And yet she couldn't fathom pulling away. She forgot where they were, her panic, everything. Regina just knew how soft Emma's lips were and the way her knees nearly buckled as she tasted the inside of Emma's mouth.
Regina always imagined a fiery dueling kiss between the two of them. And here they were, sharing their second kiss, and it lacked the duel Regina assumed would be there. The passion, the fire was certainly there, but there was something sweet and comfortable about it as well. Something familiar.
"Regina " Emma's whisper was more a moan against Regina's lips as she leaned back, just so their lips weren't pressed firmly against each other, though they still touched as Emma ducked her head and brushed her nose against Regina's. "I'm "
"Don't." Regina warned as she turned to face Emma, the blonde's hands remaining wrapped around her as she turned in her arms. Regina kissed Emma again. Her heart would break if Emma apologized, took this back. Her desperation bled through into their kiss as she demanded, begged, Emma to meet her.
This couldn't all be in her head. There was far too much proof for it all to be something Regina was hopefully imagining. The blonde, she was the one to kiss her first, both times. That had to mean something. Her double kissing her. The child clinging to her, trusting her, telling her she was pretty and wanting to be by her. The magic keeping them stuck together and now trapped. There had to be a reason for it.
If there wasn't, Regina wasn't sure she could stomach the aftermath.
"Moms?" Henry's voice cut through the door.
Emma pulled away first. Regina simply dropped her head to Emma's shoulder and let her hand slide free from Emma's hair. She licked her lips as Emma answered their son.
"Henry?" Emma breathed a sigh of relief, "Henry, can you open the door from that side?"
"Uhm yeah. Why?" Henry asked as he took a hold of the door knob and tried to pull it open.
The door didn't even snag. It opened. Light and air flooded into the closet.
Henry noticed how close his mothers were standing but before he could really think about it he noticed Emma wasn't little anymore. "Emma! You're you again!" He smiled brightly as he rushed into the closet to join in the hug his mothers were sharing.
Emma had been about to open her mouth to warn Henry about the barrier but the warning caught in her throat as Henry raced into the closet and wrapped his arms around Regina and her, pressing up against the side of them both. Uncaring of what toy he stepped on or didn't.
Regina cringed as Henry's arms wrapped tightly around her, but she forced herself to deal with her sudden desire to run. It wouldn't be fair to Henry. Besides, she felt she was backlogged on hugs from her son and would never turn away from one.
"Grams and Gramps wanted me to tell you dinner was almost ready. I think they'll be happy that you're you again Emma. They didn't seem to know how to handle you being little again."
"I bet you did though, right?" Emma asked as she smoothed out Henry's hair at the top of his head.
"Yeah, I just got you to play games and stuff with me. Kicked your butt too." Henry looked up and smiled at Emma, but his smile started to disappear when she saw the mascara that had run down his mom's face. "Mom?" Henry asked gently reaching up to touch her cheek where the evidence of her tears remained.
Regina's eyes widened as she realized what she must look like. She used the back of her hand to try and wipe at her cheeks.
"What happened?" Henry looked at Emma, his eyes accusing. The only one who could have made his mom cry was his other mom, which made things awkward.
Emma felt a swell of pride swirl in her chest when Henry accused her, without even accusing her outright of being responsible for Regina's tears.
"Ms. Swan did nothing, wrong Henry." Regina promised as she cupped Henry's cheek. She hoped Ms. Swan understood she truly meant that. The kiss, although unexpected was not unwanted.
"Then why were you crying?" Henry asked, stepping out of the closet.
Regina was quick to follow him, glad to no longer be trapped inside the small confines. The only reason she hadn't rushed out of the space the moment Henry opened the door was her desire to remain in Emma's arms. And the fresh air and the knowledge that escape was now readily available.
Regina tried not to recognize that her body suddenly felt very cold without Emma wrapped so securely around her.
"I was " Regina swallowed thickly; she did not like admitting her fears to anyone.
"Your mom's claustrophobic." Emma supplied an escape for explaining WHY she was scared and easily summed up her fear with just one word.
"What's that mean?" Henry asked scrunching up his face as he looked between his mothers.
"It means I am afraid of being in small spaces." Regina offered a nervous smile to her son, and prayed her would not ask why she was scared of them.
Emma touched Henry's shoulder gently, "It's a phobia, which means it's really really scary for your mom."
"Like that movie we watched! Arachnophobia." Henry connected the dots with a smile, but frowned as he realized his mom would have been so scared she couldn't move or hardly breathe. Just like the main character in that movie had been when the spider was crawling up his body.
"Yes, just like that." Emma didn't meet Regina's eyes, knowing the woman was not going to be amused with the type of movie Emma had left Henry watch while she had him.
Regina was indeed glaring at the blonde. Letting their son watch such a movie was hardly appropriate. However, it seemed he now understood just how afraid she had been while in the closet.
"But " Henry tilted his head to the side as he considered his brunette mother. "Why would you go in there if you were going to be scared?"
Emma had to admit, it was a good question. A question, Emma wanted to hear the answer to as well, even though she had a pretty good idea why.
"Ms. Swan would not leave the closet unless I went inside. There was little choice." Even as she said it, Regina knew it was a weak excuse.
"That's not true." Henry was quick to point out, "You could have just pulled her out with you instead of going in there." He didn't want his mom to sell herself short. If he understood how scared his mother was of small spaces then what she had done was very brave. And she'd done it for Emma. It made him smile, because that meant they really did like each other.
"The kid does have a point, Regina." Emma said as she took up a position behind Henry, her hands resting on either of his shoulders. It was safer behind Henry. It kept her away from Regina and hopefully that would keep anything magical from happening, or would help her keep from kissing her again. Both were legitimate reasons to put space between the two of them.
"And what point is that?" Regina asked, glaring at Ms. Swan, frustrated with the other woman.
"That you did something that scared you to help Emma." Henry smiled, "That you were brave and selfless." Regina's eyes softened as she saw Henry's bright, proud, smile directed at her.
"And true?" Emma asked, wondering why that sounded so familiar.
Emma's eyes widened in recognition as she nodded, now understanding why those three words sounded so linked in her mind, her mouth opened in a silent 'O' to express she figured it out.
"Perhaps I did. But I did promise." Regina felt very uncomfortable being praised for such a simple deed. Before Henry or Emma could say anything else Regina addressed Henry, "Did you not say your grandparents had fixed dinner?"
"Yeah, they did. It's ready. Are you going to join us this time?" Henry asked, smiling wide with hope.
Regina couldn't say not. Not when Henry looked so pleased at the idea of her staying for dinner. "I shall be there momentarily; I just need to wash my face."
"Awesome! Take your time." Henry raced out of the room, yelling out to his grandparents: "She said she's staying!" Obviously they had sent Henry to collect them, and to see if Regina planned on staying for dinner.
With Henry no longer present, there was nothing between Regina and Emma. Except space and their fears and cowardice.
"Won't Tinkerbell be looking for you?"
Regina cringed as her girlfriend's name was brought up. "No. She doesn't expect me to return until much later this evening." And even then, Regina knew Tinkerbell would be in the guest room.
"Oh, uh everything," Emma clicked her tongue against her cheek, "okay with you two?"
Regina straightened her shirt and stretched her jaw for a moment as she considered how nervous but almost hopeful Emma seemed at the prospect of their being issues in her relationship.
"Is there something wrong with your relationship with Neal? I haven't seen him around all day."
Emma should have expected Regina to deflect, but she had almost had an answer. "Let's not do this " Emma warned, knowing where their fight would lead.
"Do what, Ms. Swan?"
Emma grit her teeth, "I don't want to fight with you, Regina."
"Heavens forbid, but may I ask what did you want to do? Highlight my misgivings? My inability to uphold a normal relationship? Hmm what was it you wanted me to say?" Why would she bother asking if she wasn't fishing for something? Regina realized she was over reacting, she did. But she wasn't comfortable and when she was uncomfortable and vulnerable she lashed out.
Emma felt her blood begin to boil, their emotions already on edge after everything that'd happened within the last twenty four hours. "I just wanted you to say yes!"
"Yes?" That would mean Emma wanted Regina to tell her how happy she was with Tinkerbell, that there was nothing wrong between them.
"You know, I I ah, I don't know. A part of me wants you to be happy no matter who you're with. But the bigger part of me, Regina? That part wants you to only be happy with me. So yeah, I wanted you to say yes, so I could forget about the kisses--"
"Because you don't want this-me." Regina felt her heart plummet and the pain it hurt so much more then she thought it would to have Emma's feelings spelled out so clearly for her. "You never have!" Regina raged, suddenly feeling like a fool. A stupid fool who thought she could finally have the world, but was only delusional. Then why? Why would Emma kiss her? To play with her? Toy with her emotions? See just how far she could go before Regina would break? Well she was broken, and when she was broken she attacked hard and fast. There was no mercy given.
"Regina that's not " Emma tried to grab a hold of Regina.
"Don't touch me!" Regina quickly moved away from Emma, furious. Tears pricked at her eyes. "You've played me for the last time, Ms. Swan."
"Regina, no, that's not what's " Emma reached out again.
"Silence!" Regina screamed, the walls around them shaking, the witch's rage boiling over until it was forced to be released by magical means. Emma was thrown across the room, her body connecting solidly with the wall beside the doorway. "You're no better than your mother. I never should have trusted you. I won't be fooled again. Not by you or any of your kin."
"What's going on?!" David asked as he ran into the room, Snow just behind him. Both their eyes moved to Emma. There was a moment of sadness when they realized Emma was all grown up again, but it was quickly replaced by concern.
Snow helped Emma stand up, her eyes weary as mother and daughter looked to Regina.
Regina met David's eyes, unwilling to even look at Emma anymore. "Tell Henry I'm sorry, but I won't be able to stay for dinner." Regina didn't wait another moment. She disappeared in a cloud of black smoke and crackling purple electricity.
"Regina!" Emma called out into the empty room. "Damn it!" Emma raged as she kicked out at the useless smoke. She growled her anger.
"Don't!" Emma warned both her parents. "Just just don't." Emma pushed passed them and went straight for the door. She grabbed her jacket and slammed the apartment door behind her.
Henry watched from the living room as Emma stormed away and frowned. When his grandparents came up to him he looked at them helplessly. "What happened?" He questioned quietly.
Snow and David shared a look before they shrugged, "We don't know, Henry."
Henry sighed. "They were doing soooo good!" He frowned as he made his way into his bedroom, no longer hungry.
To Be Continued
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