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No Ordinary Love

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Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Once Upon a Time characters.

Regina grabbed herself a bottle of her hardest apple cider and poured the drink in a tumbler. Then, she chugged the liquid down with vigor and slammed the crystal down on her pristine mahogany table. The cider sloshed onto the table and it probably will leave a ring but right now, she doesn't care to be prim and proper that her hateful mother groomed her to be. She looked around at her immaculate home, shrouded in luxury that will almost rival her castle in the Enchanted Forest. It was as close as one could get to a castle in this town she has made after casting the curse that ended all curses.

She laughed, but it lacked any mirth. This curse was supposed to bring her happiness. To see that insipid Snow without her Prince Charming and for nobody to have happy endings was supposed to bring her joy. It was a joy to stroll through her town, seeing these fools suffer and fear her presence, just as she has suffered when a certain brat couldn't keep her mouth shut about her love affairs. But going through the same routine got old very quickly. It has been seventeen years into the curse, and she is just down right bored. Rumple surely didn't mention this part of the curse. She felt nothing but emptiness, like she was missing a piece of herself.

Regina shook her head and took another swig of her honey crisp cider. Maleficent and Rumple did warn her that she would have a grave price to pay for this curse. Scaring these poor peasants brought her a short moment of satisfaction in the beginning, but now the taunts lost their blunder. She was no longer challenged and to be honest, she missed that. She wanted to meet her equal. She sighed heavily, taking in her surroundings. A break from Storybrooke shall suffice. She has yet to venture outside of Storybrooke. The curse has somehow programmed everyone's minds with the knowledge of this world's modern conveniences. If not, she would have been spooked by television and would have no clue how to operate a car.

She walked away from the study and left her glass and stomped in her high priced heels to climb up her elegant marble stairs to her room, determined to find some type of excitement out of the suffocating town that she controlled. She opened the door to her bedroom and perused her closet to find a nice party dress. Her collection is rather limited, considering most of her wardrobe consist of very business formal attire since she is mayor of the town.

While fumbling through her clothes, she thought of where she should take her first trip. Her mind wondered on a show call "Friends". It is such a peculiar series, one of those non-sensical comedies. It is not like she can relate to having friends to confide in. Her only friend in her youth was Rocinante. Her mother made sure to stomp such a weakness of wanting those types of relationships in her life. The one adult friend she had, if you want to call it that as two women just sharing their hatred of certain princesses, was buried underneath the library.

"A-ha." Regina said as she pulled a nice-tight flighty black A-line dress out of her closet. "This will do nicely." New York. That is where the show "Friends" was filmed in. It seemed just quite the place to get into some debauchery. "New York, here I come".

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"Hey, Em. I got something for ya." Scrubby Neal pulled out a near perfect card ID that closely resembled her being twenty one as they sat in a busy café in Queens. Emma dropped her spoon of lentil soup and grabbed the card from him. "Sweeeettttttt. Thanks Neal. Have a told you that you were such a good influence in my life?" Neal chuckled and took a bite out of his greasy cheeseburger.

"Ha. Don't say I never did anything for you. But be careful, you don't want to get pinch for being a minor for just trying to get some ass," he crassly pointed out.

Emma met the scrappy ruffian, Neal, while breaking into a vintage Beetle that he himself have stolen beforehand. After nearly getting caught because of speeding, Neal came up with a great excuse to not get searched so the cops didn't find out that the vehicle wasn't theirs.

They have not been separated since. They were like Bonnie and Clyde, stealing from stores on the small time side to survive another day. Neal was like a brother she never had. She has always lived a lonely life, being an orphan after being left by her parents like a piece of trash on a highway in Maine. Neal was family.

Of course, Neal tried to make moves to become more than that, but she had to tell him that she was not interested when he discovered that she had a package herself. It has always been a thorn in her side. It is bad enough to be considering a throwaway, but it has been worse to feel like some type of freak and that is probably why no one loved you. She still remembered the time she opened her heart and entrusted Neal with a secret you has told no one.

Neal and Emma were sitting in the bug in an abandoned, dimly lit parking lot, enjoying some convenience store junk food that they stole a couple of hours ago. Emma told a small joke and both just laughed heartily. Neal turned towards Emma, noticing how a carefree Emma is really beautiful. It is not like he hasn't noticed it before, but a wave of lust and comfort rolled through him. So, he proceeds to lean over the gear shift and kissed Emma lightly.

Emma is shocked into immobility, surprise at Neal's boldness. His scrubby chin tickled her face. She considered Neal to be like a brother, nothing in the realm of any romantic sense. She didn't not reciprocate the kiss, which Neal mistakenly believed since she is not pushing him away, she was giving her consent.

He slowly moves his hand to her stomach to rub, and dives his hand into the waistband of her tight jeans to touch her more. When his hand goes further down he felt an appendage so he hastily snatched his hand away in haste like he touched a burning iron. He looked at her in shock and confusion. "What the hell!?"

Emma just shook her head in disbelief, she dropped her bag of Doritos when Neal face smashed her. She didn't know why she didn't push Neal away when he initiated the kiss but knew she was in deep shit when his hands were going in her pants. She knew she should have stopped it earlier. Now Neal was going to treat her like a freak. So is starved for companionship, she didn't want to frightened him away by rejecting him so suddenly.

She has lived through many rejections growing up parent-less, with people who couldn't give a rat's ass about her. She experienced the pain of being bullied because she was different. She had foster parents who called her an "abomination", saying things like "she shouldn't be living."

She couldn't stand to face another taunt or rejection for being different, that is why she turned towards her door and unlocked it to run away from this awkward situation. Before Emma could leave the car, Neal grabbed her left arm from leaving the passenger seat. "Wait! Emma! Shit. Please just stay. I didn't want to hurt you in any way. Please don't leave. But…please, can you explain that? Please?" Emma slowly turned to Neal, contemplating whether she should tell him about her abnormality. Neal's brown eyes penetrates her with curiosity, confusion, but also gentleness. She didn't sense any judgment or disgust from. She exhaled slowly, wanting to get this secret out and settles back into her seat.

"Neal, yes, what you felt is what it is. I had developed a fully functional penis since I was a baby. I didn't tell you because I fear that you would have made fun of me and dropped our friendship like bad habit. I am not attracted to guys. Initially, I didn't stop you because I didn't know you had feelings for me and if I stopped you, I feared you would have abandoned me," Emma lowered her eyes to the car floor before her and sadly finished, "like everyone else has." Silence encompassed the whole car and passed for a few minutes. Nothing could be heard in the car except car alarms randomly going off in the city that never sleeps.

Neal faced the front window, and ran his hand through his unruly hair. He slouched into his seat. He returned his gaze to Emma, observing her with her eyes shut, breathing harshly, looking like she wanted to bolt after her confession.

He lift her chin towards her. "Em, look. For one, you shouldn't have let me continue to touch you if you didn't want it. You shouldn't have to feel like you have to allow unwanted touching to continue because you are afraid that person wouldn't like you anymore. That is not cool at all and I'm sorry for misinterpreting your response. Two, I know how it feels to feel like you are not wanted. I thank you for trusting me enough to tell me about your…." he slowly gestures to her crotch, "…package." He chuckled softly, trying to lessen the tension in the car. Emma smiled a little, relieved to find that Neal does not hate her very existence. Neal removed his hand from her chin and good-naturally said, "Besides, now you told you like girls, that just means we have more in common. But I bet mine's is bigger."

Emma now fully laughed, shaking her head, not believing the turn of events of today. She is so happy to find someone that still treated her like a human being, and still wanted to be her friend. She is also glad that Neal understood that they can be nothing but friends.

"Emma, you know that I really don't have any family, but I consider you part of it. Don't forget that. You are my sister, even if I just had tried to grope you." They both laughed, understanding the turn of their relationship, they are truly now family.

Emma slightly shook her head from her memory and gave him a goofy smile. "Thanks for this Neal."

Neal rubs his patch of hair on his chin. " Don't mention it sis. Just go and enjoy yourself." He gave her an impish grin. "Can't I go with you? Like….there has to be some ladies that are into guys, right?"

Emma just shakes her head. "No Neal. For the last time, you are not going to a lesbian club to try to hit on chicks. Don't you have straight ones you can chase?"

"Emma, how else will I live out my threesome fantasy?"

"Dude, you are insane."

"Well, I'm happy you are trying to put yourself out there. But please be careful. I bet there are some real tough ladies that go to those clubs. If one of them get too handsy, knee them in the crotch, give them a right hook, and elbow them in the back."

"Wow, so you are like some karate master, huh?"

Neal relaxed in his seat and shrugged. He had a faraway look when he casted his eyes away from her stare. "There are crazier things to be, trust me on that."

Emma continued to devour her soup. "Hmmppp…whatever. But I am so amp for tonight. I just want to be somewhere where I can be myself and have some fun."

Neal looked over Emma, tough and street smart, but still had insecurities and a deep sense of longing. "Maybe tonight starts a new beginning for you. Who knows?"

Chapter Text

Black pumps, a form-fitting black skirt with jagged leggings, and a red V-neck blouse exited out of the taxi into bustling, high tempo New York City. It is 8pm and Regina Mills had blood red lipstick and eye shadow that made her brown eyes pop and looked fierce like the Queen she was, or still is she secretly thought, and is on a prowl for excitement.

She took her time to take in her surroundings. New York always seem to amaze her while watching TV shows. It appeared to be the most popular city to set for a show's location. In the Enchanted Forest, castles were the tallest structures in the land. But here in this city that is so nice that they name it twice, there was a building in every corner but matches up to it height and grandeur of her old home.

She walked down an avenue towards her destination, "Alley's Corner". It was much to her surprise and pleasure to find this world had clubs that are dedicated to women who found joy in other women. Such proclivities were never outright displayed in the Old World. Regina found she enjoyed the bodies and company of women after a beautiful maiden, Mara, attended to her during her nightly baths. One time, she reached down to clean her private area. Mara somehow touch her in such a way, it gave her an immense amount of pleasure. That touch opened up so many opportunities for the young queen to explore sexual relations with women. Her itch was never scratch when performing her wifely duties with the King.

Regina's frown wrinkled in disgust. This was definitely not the time to think about that old crinkly fart her mother forced her to marry. No, this was a time for freedom. Freedom she did not experience under the strong hand of her mother. Freedom that was out of her grasp when married to the king. One does not say no to a king. Tonight, she was unleashing her inhibitions and breaking from the mundane routines of the curse she casted.

The bright hot pink neon lights displayed "Alley's Corner" had an extensive line of eager ladies looking for a fun time out. Regina strutted towards the front of the line, ignoring the numerous looks of envy, incredulity, and lust that was thrown her way. She stood right in front of the 6'5 tattooed bouncer with a military style crew cut. His bright blue eyes took in Regina. She definitely looked like a woman that can pull in more business.

He removed the velvet rope that barricade the line from the club and waved her in. Regina gave him a nod, lift her chin, and regally stepped into the dimly lighted club. Regina looked around and took in the sights and sounds before her. It is somewhat packed. Women were gyrating on each other to high-tempo pop music.

Her heels clicked on tile flooring with neon lights flooding multiple colors throughout the expanded area. The walls thicken to cage in the loud music so it didn't escape into the busy streets of the city. The bar was a full circle with women clambering over to try to get their drink orders. Regina looked around and found an empty seat on the elevated bar and daintily sat down. She waved a hand and caught the attention of a raven-black hair bartender with a silver lip ring and skin tight black t-shirt. "Hey miss, what can I get ya?"

"An apple-martini," Regina answered, projecting her voice. The lady proceeded to fix her drink as Regina eyed her. She wanted nothing but the best. When the drink was completed, Regina tasted it, hum in satisfactory, and slipped her a few bills. She turned around in the swiveled seat and looked at women dancing as she sipped her drink. Her cider was better but it will suffice. Here, she felt that she didn't have to be the Evil Queen, nor a mayor. She can just be Regina. Her moments of solitude are interrupted when a slightly drunk woman slid into a cushioned bar stool after it had been vacated by a previous customer.

"I'm not a photographer, but I can picture me and you together." The woman had on a garish looking t-shirt, short brown hair, and baggy jeans with Chucks. Regina burst out laughing and the intruder laughed along with her, thinking that she effectively broke ice and was about to serenade her with more cheesy pick-up lines.

"Oh dear, don't think I was laughing with you. I was laughing at you. Please take those awful lines and make like a bug, and fly away." The woman's smile became heartbroken and she slowly exited the scene with her pride crushed but Regina didn't care. It served her right to dare enter her presence with such lame attempts, and she was not appealing in the least bit.

Regina crossed her legs and turned her attention back to the crowd on the floor and just continued her people watching. She was working on her second drink that she ordered earlier. It surprised her that someone took that long to approach her. She knew she was a very attractive woman and was used to getting hit on. She did not mind the flattery but women tended to be smoother than the last one. She has always enjoyed female pleasantries then male.

It wasn't another twenty minutes until another suitor tried to take a crack at her. A tall woman, at least 5'11, with spiky black hair and eyes, a built frame walked right in front of her.

"What would you like to drink?" Regina eyed her up and down, she was definitely not her type and something about her aura did not entice her in the least bit.

"Presumptuous are we?" Regina pointed to her almost full glass. "I already have one and can get my own." Regina turned towards the bar, promptly dismissing her. She finished her drink and walked to the other side of the club, worming her way through sweating bodies on the dance floor to occupy a quieter, more secluded area of the place.

Regina didn't realize that the woman was following her and just walked right beside, "Come out and dance with me."

Regina snapped her head towards the intruder. She could not believe that this brute dared to give her an order and not take a clue that she didn't want to be bothered. "Since you cannot take a hint and have limited intelligence, I will be very straightforward with you. I do not want to drink, dance, nor even converse with you. And you definitely need to work on wooing a lady. Now be gone." Regina hoped that it will end there but her bicep was clenched by a very strong grip. The Neanderthal veered her head towards Regina's face, smelling of old cigarettes and cheap whiskey, pushing her body closer to her. "You don't have to be fucking rude. I was asking nicely."

Regina scoffed, sucked her teeth, and tried to tug her arm away from tight calloused hands, but couldn't escape. She hated feeling trap and powerless, she wished she had magic now to blast this beast away because right now, she is not physically strong enough to face this woman but she refused to show any weakness in front of the brute.

With a voice so venomous that has brought villagers to their knees, she seethed, "I don't remember you asking anything. And no means NO. Now unhand me, NOW!" Her heart pounded, she didn't want to make a scene and then the problem escalate to where police could get involved and would want to get her background. Having them try to poke in her past and for her to be forced to say that she is from a magical realm or from a town that didn't not exist will not be the highlight of her day. She definitely needed to create an identity in this world.

The butch female smirked, knowing that she had the upper hand, not appreciating this bitch slighting her. "Or what princess? What are you going to do about it?"

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Emma finally entered Alley's Corner after waiting in line for over thirty minutes on a warm May evening. "Music" by Madonna bombarded her as she saw women of all shapes and sizes dancing and having a good time. This was her first time in a true adult club, chills of excitement ran through her veins. She definitely has to thank Neal for her fake ID that got her in this mature club. Emma brushed off imaginary lint from her plaid, Catholic school girl skirt she was wearing with black leggings, combat boots, with wire-framed glasses and a high ponytail.

She pushed her way through a crowd, standing in an unoccupied corner of the club, just drinking in the scenes before her. She was hesitant to join in the festivities, wanting to just get acclimated with her environment, she was more of a lone wolf. She observed a couple in a heated argument until the taller one tongued down the other one, probably to shut her up. Emma giggled to herself.

Emma's eyes landed on a woman of perfection sitting at the bar. The dark-haired beauty had smoky chocolate brown eyes, with plump-red lips, and showing just the right amount of cleavage that was sexy but respectful. And she was totally out of her league. That woman was like Versace and she is Goodwill. She set her back on the wall, carefully devouring the sight of this magnificent woman. She hoped she does not come off as stalkerish but she is truly the most captivating thing in this club.

She saw an average size woman approach the alluring beauty. She said something to her. Since she couldn't hear their conversation over the loud music, she had to pick up body language. She witnessed the dark beauty laughing. Emma felt an immense amount of jealousy overwhelm her. She wanted to be on the receiving end of that smile. The woman said something back and the other one's smile was completely wiped away and she walked somberly with a dejected frown.

Nevermind, whatever was said, she wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that. It may be mean but she chuckled to herself. The lovely woman must have let down the other woman, and it was not gentle. The mystery woman went back to drinking some beverage, it looks like a martini from a distance. Emma shook her head, of course she was drinking something fancy. No way was she even going to try to approach her. You can't buy champagne on wine cooler budget and she didn't not have money like that.

But she still admired the gorgeous woman from a distance, not even going to bothering to get her a drink. She wanted to use her newly acquired card to buy one but didn't even feel worthy to be in the vicinity of the most beautiful woman in the world. A girl with a bright smile and long strawberry blonde hair approached Emma. "Hey good-looking. Want to go have a dance with me?" Her bright eyes looked at her in eagerness, waiting for an answer.

Emma inspected her, noticing how pretty she was, but she did not compare to what's sitting at the bar across from them. Emma couldn't believe that she has already been ruined for anyone else. She hasn't even spoken to the alarming regal woman at the bar. "No thank you, but thanks anyway," politely rejected the girl's offer. The blonde just shrugged and walked away, not taking much offense. Emma just wanted to stay in her spot and watch the lovely woman from a distance.

Shortly after that, she noticed a tall, butch looking woman approaching the object of her affection. She spoke to the woman and the brunette pointed to her drink and turned her head back to the dance floor. From Emma's perspective the spiky hair woman probably asked to buy a drink for dark-hair woman and kind of dismissed Spiky, the name she gave her, by walking away. In Emma's mind, she named the dark hair beauty Missus. Missus walked over seemingly to her side of the club, and was a few feet away. But Emma was in darker corner of the place, being partially hidden. What alarmed Emma was seeing Spiky having a pissed off look on her face, and was following Missus to the other end where Emma was located. Emma didn't like this situation at all but she hung back.

Spiky and Missus exchanged some words and Spiky proceeded to grip the beautiful woman's bicep roughly. Missus shot a glare so dark, it could have brought grown men to tears. That is when Emma decided to spring to action, stomping her way towards to the two.

She tapped a finger on Spiky and the brutish woman whipped her head towards her, still tightly gripping onto the smaller woman's arm. "I don't think the lady appreciates you touching her like that. How about you let her go?"

Regina's eyes flash towards to the blonde stranger. She looks quite young but has piercing green eyes that she believes has seen and experienced much in this world. Regina hated feeling like a damn damsel in distress but also felt thankful that someone was willing to stand up for her. Lord knows that she did not have anyone in life to even care enough about her to do so. Maybe her father, but he was too weak to do anything against her mother.

"What are you going to do about it, shrimp?" the taller woman growled and released Regina. Emma stepped right up into Spiky's face, challenging her.

"Do you want to see what I'm about to do?" Emma hated bullies and this dyke was definitely one who like to prey on others who she felt were weaker than her. She experienced this often in foster homes and learn pretty early how to fight back to protect herself. She was and still is skinny, but quickly learned how to defend herself. She was very scrappy.

Spiky eyes roamed Emma, sizing her up. She clearly saw danger in sharp green eyes. Spikey was more bark than bite. "You can have the bitch. She is not worth my time anyway," she stomped out of the dark area of the club. Emma eyed her, making sure she left them for good. Once the coast was clear, she turned her head back to the brunette. Regina straightened her blouse that was a little ruffled and stared at the blonde that came to her aid. She was quite pleasant to look it.

Emma finally had a close up of the woman that she has been oogling the whole time she arrived at Alley's. This woman was not just beautiful, she was a freaking goddess! Her features were dark and enchanting, she could get lost for all eternity in the pools of molten eyes staring back at her. Her mouth is gaping open at the picture of perfection.

Regina gave her a seductive smirk, amused at how smitten the blonde was with her. She decided to break the ice, trying to give the blonde time to collect herself.

"Well, you are one shining knight in armor. I guess a thank you is in order." The brunette had the sexiest raspiest voice on God's green earth. She can listen to it for the next millennia. Emma snapped out of her small little world where it was just her and this woman alone, together, with a million scenarios running through her head.

"Well…ummmm….yeah…about that. I just don't like bullies, ya know? And every queen needs a knight, I definitely think you are like some queen in your past life." Emma winced from her stupidity. She couldn't believe she sounded like a bumbling idiot in front of this woman. And that knight-queen line was like the cheese of all cheesy lines. She took a step back away from the woman, clearly embarrassed with her outburst.

Regina laughed lightly, very amused that this woman was actually quite right, unintentionally, in her assessment. And the blonde's embarrassment just tickled her fancy. She wanted to put her at ease and decided to tease her.

"You are the most ineloquent knight I have ever encountered." Emma immediately looked up from the floor and stared back at the beauty and relaxes. She was happy that she didn't get a quick dismissal from her. Well, if she is going to go for it, she might as well go all in and gathered her courage.

"I can't help if I get speechless or tongue-tied around the most beautiful woman in the world. Really, it is all your fault." Emma shot her a dorky smile. Regina genuinely smiled back at her. She was the most interesting person that she had encountered thus far. She felt a magnetic pull from the blonde and wanted to spend more time with her. She must really be something for Regina to feel like this woman is worthy of her time. "Charming, my dear. I am sorry for that, I will ensure to tone down my sexiness in the future. I would hate for you to have a heart attack," she retorted back playfully.

"Don't ever, ever do that. I'll just suffer if need be." Emma flashed her an even bigger grin. Regina put out her painted red-nail hand. "Name is Regina Mills." Emma stared at her hand and gently took it. She rolled the name back in forth in her ,mind. Regina Mills. Strong but lovely name. Is there nothing imperfect with this woman?

Emma stared directly into brown eyes that melted her heart away, and gave a chaste kiss on her hand that was as soft as the clouds,. "My name is Emma. Emma Swan. Glad to meet your acquaintance." Regina gasped at the gentleness that Emma displayed. Emma was awkward but surely, strong but delicate. Beautiful but also fierce if she had to be. Regina never had someone to treat her like she a piece of art since Daniel. Even if it is just this one time, she just wanted to give herself to this gorgeous woman before her. Regina reached out and caressed Emma's arm. For some odd reason, she felt safe with this stranger, this Emma.

She moved her head towards Emma's ear and whispered, "Come with me." Emma gulped audibly and just nods her head, she will never refuse Regina's requests. Their hands entangled and she followed her out of the club, envious glares shot her way on their exit. The woman she nicknamed Spikey being one of them. Eat dirt, scumbag, Emma thought. She felt like she was on cloud nine with Regina being even remotely interested in her. BEST…BIRTHDAY….EVER!

Chapter Text

Regina and Emma exited the club and waited for a cab. Or, it is just Emma following Regina around wherever she goes. Emma nervously tapped her right foot, hands fidgeted while Regina flagged down a taxi. "Sooooooo...where are we going?" Emma was twitching apprehensively while Regina looked so put together, a picture of calm and confidence. She flashed a dangerous but sultry smile. "We are going to my hotel." She figured to book one in advance because she wanted at least a weekend to enjoy the city. She looked up and down Emma, it was a very wise choice indeed.

Emma's heart skipped a beat. "I bet it is something swanky."

"That will be accurate." A blue taxi pulled up next to them at a curb away from the club. Emma beat Regina to the side of the door and promptly opened the door for her. She waved her arm towards to the back-seat, beckoning Regina to enter.

"Thy chariot awaits, M'lady." Regina loved Emma's sense of humour. Regina brushed past her, "Thank you, my knight." Emma swung her body into the car and sat at a distance away from Regina, wanting to give her space. The balding driver looked at them through his mirror gave them a lecherous grin. "Where are you beautiful gals going this lovingly evening?" he asked in a very thick Jersey accent.

"The Four Seasons, 57 E 57th street." Emma's eyes widened comically at her. "Geez, you weren't kidding." Regina looked over Emma. Despite her bravado, she seemed like a young deer caught in the headlights. Her hands delicately rubbed Emma's left knee, trying to calm her nerves. "Try to relax dear. I know it maybe outside your element. Just enjoy the ride." Regina was surprised how well she is navigating herself through the world. The curse truly provided the knowledge she needed to get around in this realm.

Emma got tongue-tied again. This mysterious wonderful specimen was at the complete opposite spectrum of Emma. She was used to stealing food from convenience stores and sneaking into movies to save money. She still couldn't comprehend what Regina saw in her. She doesn't know why that she was even allowed Emma in her presence. She doesn't know a lot of things, but it is best to just go with the flow and see where this goes.

Twenty minutes later they arrived at the hotel. Emma tried to pay for the cab but Regina stopped her to do it herself. If she had to take a guess, Emma is not exactly rolling in dough. But money was never a concern for her, she always preferred love over financial comfort and didn't find that an important quality in a partner.

Regina led them through gold tinted doors that the bellhop opened for them. He tipped his hat towards her, "Good evening Ma'am." Regina gave the bellhop a curt nod while passing him. Emma scrambled to catch up to Regina's fast pace march to her room. Regina looked back at Emma. "Do try to keep up."

"Yes, yes, no problem. I can do that," Emma stammered out. They walked through the luxurious lobby towards the elevators; Emma was astonished at the chandeliers, granite columns, the wealth that pored through this place. Emma was so feeling outside her element but couldn't help to steal glances of the brunette. Regina noticed Emma's eyes through her peripheral but kept her eyes forward. The elevator was silent but there was an air of thick sexual tension. They stopped on the 15th floor and Regina gently placed the palm of her hand on Emma's back, "Let's go, shall we?"

Lust pumped through Regina's veins. There was a pull towards the blonde that was unexplainable. Her heart skipped like a teenager on the first date. But she was far from that. She has seduced many men and women back in the Enchanted Forest. This was not her first go-around with a stranger. But why did this feel so different? She must have her now.

Emma gave a quick shake of her head at Regina's request. They entered into Regina's penthouse suite and Regina quickly placed her jacket on the coat stand as Emma followed her into the marble-laced room. "Wooowwwwwww." Regina chuckled at how at awe she was. She was drawn to the beauty of the blonde. So cute. But playtime is over, now the real game began.

She abruptly turned towards Emma and almost ran into her. She tugged at Emma's jacket and crashed her plump lips on thin pink ones. Emma was taken totally by surprise, not believing her luck. She wrapped her arms around her thin waist, letting Regina control and guide the kiss since she doesn't know what the hell she was doing. She only been to second base with this one chick in the bathroom of one of her numerous high schools she attended.

They continued to kiss while Regina backed them towards her plush leather couch. She pulled away from Emma and pushed her towards the coach and straddled her legs. Emma's pulse thumped so hard and quick, she was sure Regina could hear it. Regina clearly saw in Emma's eyes that she was arouse but apprehensive. She gently caressed Emma's cheeks while she was still in her lap. "Emma. Please be honest with me. Is this your first time with a woman?"

Emma blinked, she didn't want to lie to her but was a little ashamed at her lack of experience. She bent her head down from Regina's intense stare. "Yes…it is my first time, period." Regina smiled sweetly at her shyness. She placed her index finger under her chin and lift it to allow her to stare into pools of emeralds. "It is nothing to be a shame of. I'll be gentle." The dark part of herself thrilled in stealing her virginity. Not that she is cruel and uncaring, but is going to enjoy being the first to take the beautiful blond.

Regina lift herself out of Emma's lap and started to head to the bedroom with a short hallway. "Bed…now." She lift Emma sitting on the coach as she seductively swung her hips to entice the young blond. Emma hopped off the couch and followed Regina's every step, watching her curves calling out to her. She felt herself getting hard. Shit! She did not want to freak Regina out that she is different...down there.

By the time she comprehended her predicament, they have already entered Regina's expansive bedroom. She clicked on the radio and Sade filtered ever crevice of the area.

Regina twirled around and looked up Emma from head to toe, devouring her with her eyes. Emma was full blown turn on, but didn't want to ruin the night by Regina discovering her secret. She scratched her head. "Look. Regina, like I really really like you a lot. I can't believe you even want to be with some lowlife like me. But there is -" Regina quickly placed a perfectly manicured finger on Emma's lips. "Ssshhhhh…stop talking. More kissing is in order."

Regina pulled Emma's lips towards her. She nipped and licked her lower lips, silently requesting to enter. Emma was slow to understand what Regina was doing but finally yielded to her request. Regina massaged her tongue with her own. All the blood from Emma's head rushed straight to her crotch. She was feeling emboldened and guided Regina to her bed. She daintily laid her down and pushed her body on top of her.

Regina continued to kiss Emma with vigour and passion as Emma's fingers played in Regina's silky hair. Her panties were dampen by her arousal and she needed more of the blonde. She glided her hands on her stomach and got underneath Emma's leggings and skirt. She felt something hard and solid where she should have folds and moisture. Regina broke their kissing. "What is that?"

Emma froze in fear. Stupid, stupid, stupid! How could have let things get so far? She jumped off of Regina like she was a hot oven. She wanted to get out of dodge because she did not want to face the inevitable rejection that she was sure that it was coming her way.

Regina saw the fear in Emma's eyes, she knew the feeling of not feeling like you are wanted. She hastily grabbed Emma's arm, not allowing her to escape the king-sized bed with turquoise silk sheets. In an even tone that left no room for debate she ordered Emma. "Lay down."

As frightened as she was from this predicament, she slowly heeded to her command. Regina switched their positions. She straddled Emma's thighs and slowly pulled down Emma's pants. A very large member stood up for her. A very hard, long, and thick penis it was. She swallowed thickly, aroused by this change of events. She heard of stories in her past of people being born with the opposite sex's sexual parts. She has never encountered these people but wanted to delicately let Emma know that she is not going to go away, that she was not afraid of her or think she was disgusting.

"Well well well, what do we have here?" She gently tugged on Emma's penis, making her toes curl but confusion was etched on Emma's face.

"Are you not weirded out by this? I am a freak. Aren't going to kick me out?" She was out of sorts trying to figure out why she was not kicked her out of her bed in revulsion at this point.

"I must say, I am quite surprised by this development. I never met a woman with a…package. But, I'm not complaining." Regina moved her body up towards Emma's waist stared into Emma's bright green eyes while she took a firmer grip on the dick. She moved it up and down at an excruciatingly slow pace. "Do you want me to stop, Miss Swan?"

Emma's eyes bulged in shock and pleasure. Shock because instead of rejecting her, Regina was fully set on continuing this evening of indulgence. Her body screamed in ecstasy, she doesn't know how long she will last, and it is just Regina's hand. She gulped soundly. "It's my birthday today." Regina stilled her hand and lifted a manicured eyebrow up. "Looks like I owe a birthday girl a gift for being good, don't I?" Emma wasn't going to say no. When Regina lift off of Emma, she immediately missed Regina's warmth.

"To get your birthday gift requires you to take off your clothes." Emma took her shirt off and boots and pants in record time, all the while watching Regina slowly taking off her expensive garments. Emma stood in front of Regina, her large member at full attention, waiting for the next command, considering that she still didn't not know what she is doing. "Lay back down again, Miss Swan."

In haste, Emma plopped her body on the soft cushion of the bed. Regina strutted towards the bed and straddled Emma's thighs and grabbed her shaft again. She hummed in approval. "I don't know why I didn't feel you when we were on top of each other. I think I will like to name him." For some odd reason, she thought about the show "Sex and the City" which was set in NY. Carrie Bradshaw always returned to one man in the show. "How about, Mr. Big?"

Emma's ego and two heads swelled from the sensual raspy voice above her. "You can call him whatever you want."

"I'm glad I have your approval." Regina guided the thick penis to her entrance. She rubbed the tip against her wet core, coating it with her juices. Emma lift her waist in pleasure, and placed her hands on Regina's luscious hips. Regina pushed Emma's abdomen down, "Calm down. I got this. Just lay back and enjoy the ride."

Tired of the teasing, she lifted her hips and slowly guided Emma past her entrance, she came down gently on the thick shaft. Regina gasped, feeling herself taking two inches, her pussy slowly tried acclimate to Emma's thickness. "Ohhhhh," Emma groand in pleasure. Regina was tight and warm, she feels like she is connecting with Regina on some foreign plane of existence. Once Regina gets more accustom to the intrusion, she lowered herself even further, Emma going deeper in her core.

"How does that feel, Miss Swan?" Emma was just this close to coming. From Regina calling her Miss Swan or due to the incredible feeling being inside her, she didn't think she would last any longer. "Feels…like…heaven," she breathed out. Regina set a slow rhythm on top of while her placing her hands above Emma's head on the rails of the bed. Her muscles squeezed Emma further into her. Sade was still cloaking the sensuality of the bedroom.

"I gave you all the love I got
I gave you more than I could give
I gave you love
I gave you all that I have inside
And you took my love, you took my love"

Regina instructed Emma. "Move your hips in tandem with mine. Feel me, follow my lead."

Emma tried to follow Regina's lead, moving her hips in rhythm as Regina set her pace.

"I keep crying, I keep trying for you
There's nothing like you and I, baby"

She slowly thrust upwards, revelling in her tight channel, trying to hold off her climax with all her might, but Regina's movements and moans above her made it very hard. While listening to the lyrics in the background, she realized she wanted to give everything to Regina. Her body, her mind, dare she say, the little love she had to give. She knew she was damaged, maybe Regina will be done with her after this sweat-fill evening, but if Regina wanted to take everything from her, she was going to willingly give it.

Regina continued to rock back and forth on her shaft, enjoying the thickness pushing inside her, hitting all of her nerves. Emma's opened her eyes and Regina's caught a glimpse of white light swirling in Emma's eyes. 'What was that?' That looked awfully close to magic, but there is no magic in this realm. 'That's preposterous'. Regina shook out that thought and picked up her pace, hearing Emma's grunts getting louder and louder, the springs squeaked with their movements.

This was just supposed to be ordinary sex, but something was very different. She has taken many lovers to bed, but none have ever made her feel quite like this. She never had an opportunity to make love to Daniel, but this, in this moment, felt very close to love. Which is impossible. She didn't even know this young woman and did not believe in the nauseous concept of "love at first sight" or "first fuck."

Emma palmed Regina's breasts and pinched her nipples softly as Regina bounced up and down on Mr. Big, eyes rolled back in pleasure. Regina placed her hands on Emma's shoulders, trying to balance herself. "Regina." Emma licked her lips, breathing being shorten. "I'm so close." Regina rolled her hips while thrusting down on Emma, "don't come until I tell you to."

Emma's mind was being blown by Regina's movement on her dick. This woman was a sex goddess. Her eyes are squeezed in pleasure. "Regina…babe…I…" Emma hips thrust up in a quicker pace, she groaned releasing her load inside her. "Regina!" Crap, she is really feeling like an amateur now.

Regina stilled her movements, but still having Emma's shaft inside her. She knew that Emma wasn't going to last that long, but the night is still young.

Emma was breathing heavily, coming down from her high but was a little embarrassed how fast she came, her face a little red. "I'm sorry." Emma sounded so pitiful. To put her out of her misery, Regina smiled down at her, removed sweaty hair from Emma's face and smirked at her. She knew how good she is, and since Emma was so inexperienced, it came to no surprise to her that she had an orgasm so early.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk. I told you not to come until I told you to. Now it is time for your lesson. You have been a very bad, bad girl." She gulped audibly, wondering what type of punishment she was going to get. Emma's semi erect penis fell back on her thigh after Regina got off of her gracefully, and laid back on her back next to Emma.

"Now put your head between my legs," Regina ordered. With weakened limbs from her ecstasy, she jumped up and got on her knees on top of Regina, and spread her legs wide open, eager to please. She put her nose up against her engorged clit, inhaling the wonderful scent of the woman before her. So eager to please, she kissed her folds, teasing Regina. If this is her punishment for being bad, she doesn't want to be good.

"Hmm, so eager are we. My dear, you are down there to lick, not kiss. I want your tongue on the outside of me. Feel me respond to your touch." Emma looked up to Regina's eyes, laying the flat of her tongue against her moist clit, wanting to be a good student and please her teacher. She swiped it up and down. Regina pinched her nipples, raising up her hips to the movements of Emma's head, while Emma smoothly rub the inside of Regina's thighs.

Moans erupted from Regina, signalling to younger woman that she was on the right track. She decided to experiment. She stuck her tongue inside, moving it with vigour, enjoying the juices flowing into her mouth. "Oh! Baby. Right there." Regina thought to herself, she is quite a fast learner. Emma flicked her tongue against her bud causing Regina to climb in arousal. Emma is starting to get hard again from Regina's moans and heady scent.

Regina wanted to feel Emma inside her again. She grabbed a handful of Emma's head, stopping her ministrations, pulling her attention away from her core so she can stare straight into her green eyes. "I want you inside me. Now!"

"Your wish is my command." Emma saw the intensity in fierce brown eyes, and climbs quickly on top of Regina. She sat up between her, grabbing her hard dick again, concentrating hard to enter into Regina, hoping not to mess up and feel like an idiot. Man, this is harder than she thought.

She carefully guided her shaft into Regina, and slowly pushed herself inside her. Regina grabbed her hips, signalling to her to go deeper. Her pussy stretched to accommodate Emma's thick member. Emma thrusts deeper into her, the sensation quite exhilarating. Emma breasts are pressed against Regina's, thrusting slowly into Regina, kissing her softly with her hands in Regina's hair.

Regina pulled her mouth away from Emma, looking into her eyes. "I want you to fuck me harder."

Emma eyes widened and she proceeded to speed up her movements. Regina legs wrapped around tightly around Emma's hips. Skin slap against skin as shepounded into Regina, the bed making squeaking sounds as the head board thumps against the wall. Emma grunts and calls out Regina's name over and over.

Regina's pussy clenched tightly on Emma's shaft, climaxing as Emma shot another load into Regina. "Oh Emma!"

"Fuckkkkkkkkk," Emma screamed and she collapsed onto the brunette, breathing heavily from exertion. Regina pushed lightly against Emma to get off, and she rolled off to her side, snuggling her nose into Regina's neck. Regina swiped sweaty hair away from her face and kisses her thoroughly. Emma cheekily grinned at Regina, "So, how did I do?

Regina smiled at Emma who looks so cute in post-coital. "You did wonderfully. Happy birthday Emma." Emma kissed Regina passionately until they both fall asleep. Yep, it was the best birthday gift ever.

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The next day, morning spilled it rays through transparent windows and tapestry curtains, its glow shined on a tangle of limbs on the sexed sheets of the hotel room. Regina gazed at Emma's golden locks spread out on the lavender satin pillows, looking like an angel. A rush of emotions ran through her. A tumultuous range of emotions were going through her. She wanted this sense of longing and love for another person. But she doesn't deserve it. She has destroyed villages, killed without mercy all in the name for revenge for Daniel. Emma could not replace him but with her, she felt something that she never felt with him. It is frighteningly maddening and she did not know what to do.

Emma turned her head looking at her bed mate, seeing Regina's eyesight going towards the window. She has never felt as wanted as she has in Regina's arms, not even with Neal's friendship. Thoughts of a future with kids, a house, a dog or puppy infiltrated her brain. Maybe it is naïve, but yes, she does want a family, a place she can call her own and for some unthinkable reason, she believed that Regina was the key. She reached out a hand and smoothly touched Regina's upper arm.

"Hey." However, Regina flinched from the contact which left Emma confused. Regina has not felt this strongly for someone since Daniel and it didn't make sense. It was only one night but with Emma, she felt complete. It felt close to true lo-…no. It can't be. True love did not exist for her anymore, it died with Daniel and she did not want to betray that memory. She must get out of here, she cannot go through another heartbreak again.

She climbed out of the bed and rushed to put on her discarded garments, leaving Emma in a dazed and confused state. She leaned up in the bed with her elbows.

"I'm sorry if I startled you. Did I do something wrong?"

Yes, you did do something wrong. You made me feel for something lost to me. Regina has on all of her clothes and was starting to button her blouse. She felt guilty at Emma's wounded voice. "Whatever this is, it ends right now. I have to go."

Emma gulps her hurt. "So, this means I will never see you again?"

"Most likely dear, yes."

"I know this is crazy, but do you not feel anything for me, at all?" Regina turned to Emma, her body was stiff and rigid. She didn't want to not expose herself to the longing in Emma's blazing green eyes but her molten chocolate eyes betrayed her true emotions.

"No, I felt nothing. The room has been booked for the end of today. You can let yourself out. Goodbye Emma." With that admission, Emma's superpower pinged. Lie. But why did she lie about feelings for her? Was she not good enough? Yes, that has to be it. Why would a gorgeous put together woman will want a street rat like her? What can she offer to the brunette? She was thrown out like a piece of trash just as she experienced often in numerous foster homes. Before she can contemplate any further loathing her station in life, Regina stormed out of the hotel, out of her life forever.

Emma got dressed and left the hotel, not bothering to take a shower. She called Neal from a pay phone to pick her up and after a half an hour, Neal was there in front of the hotel to begin interrogating her.

"What the hell Em?! Did you rob somebody or something? I know you don't have the cash for such a fancy smancy place like the Four Seasons?"

Emma was elated that she had sex for the first time but was a little downtrodden after Regina left her, but she tried to cover it up with a forced smile. Emma proceeded to tell him about the club, seeing Regina and how she was about to confront a bum who couldn't say no, and the PG version of last night's events.

"Wow, you got your proverbial cherry popped. Congrats, sounds like one heck of a birthday. Was this Regina worth it?"

Green eyes sparkle with love, admiration, and a hint of pain. "Yes, she was but I will never see her again. I am ready to get out this city. What's next?"

"Tallahassee. I think we can settle down nicely down there, but first, I got a sweet pinch we can take to have cash to get settled down there. I stole some pretty expensive watches and hid them in a locker but I can't get them since they have my mug all around there, are you game?"

Chapter Text

Five Weeks Later in Storybrooke

Regina sat at her desk in her office, shuffling papers and answering numerous emails. "Imbeciles. All of them. Why did I decide to be stuck with a bunch of idiots I don't like?"

Her mood was quite sour. Her heart still ached for Emma, still wondered "what could have been." Also, she has been feeling under the weather as of late. Certain smells have been bothering her and she has been feeling quite nauseous. It is about lunch time and she was famished. She buzzed her secretary.

"Mrs. Thomas, please be aware that I am about to take lunch." She rearranged her paperwork and decided to take a walk to Granny's. As she exited the building, smells of gasoline hit her nostrils. It is very bothersome that certain scents that she never bothered her before were affecting her now. She hoped that she was not getting sick. Since the curse, she has never been ill. She hoped that this is not in relation to her out of town visit.

A solid lithe figure bumped into her on the side-walk.

"My apologies Madame Mayor. May I say, you are absolutely glowing."

"Thank you Mr. Gold. Now may you get out of my way so I can continue my day," she coolly replied.

Mr. Gold side stepped her and gestured his arm down the sidewalk and gave her an impish grin. "Of course, Maj-Madame Mayor. You have a great day."

Regina gave him a side eye and stomped her way to her destination. The least amount of interaction she has with Gold, the better. She believed that he did remember his Enchanted Forest identity but can't confirm it. But she has better things to focus on, and that is an adequate meal.

Mr. Gold watched Regina continuing her route. He smirked to himself. If he is correct with his assumption, it appeared that the mayor has something he needed. He had believed that he would have to procure a child for her which will be the catalyst for breaking the curse he created. But Regina seemed to have taken care of that small matter herself. He did not care who spawned the child, he is just happy that some of the details of the prophecy he could not figure out were working itself out. He is now a little step closer to his Bae.

Meanwhile, Regina entered the diner with authority and sat at her usual booth. The diner is a little crowded given the rush lunch hour, but no one dared to sit in her booth. She glared back at those that dared to stare at all, reminding them of their place which is beneath her. Ruby noticed Regina and immediately came over to the booth to attend to the Mayor's needs. She noticed something different about Regina but couldn't place what it is.

"Good afternoon Mayor Mills, can I get you your usual?" Regina knew the menu in and out but her usual grilled chicken salad is not pleasing to her at all. She can't believe what comes out of her mouth next.

"Can I get a cheeseburger with onions, tomato, mustard, a side of fries, and chocolate milkshake?"

Ruby's eyes bulged in surprise. In all the years she was worked at the diner which is…she did not remember how long, but she has never heard of Regina ordering such a clog artery type of meal.

"Oh…ok. One order of cheeseburger with onions, tomato, mustard, fries, and chocolate milkshake. Will that be all?"

Regina politely smiled and returned the menu back to her. "No Miss. Lucas. That will be all." Ruby took the menu and proceeded to put her order in. Regina secretly was fond of the werewolf. She was one of the few people who don't truly aggravate her, despite her skanky choice of clothing.

Mary Margaret entered the diner with a bright smile and strode towards the bar greeting Ruby. "Hey Ruby, can I get a hot cocoa with cinnamon and a BLT?"

Ruby returned a wide smile back to Mary Margaret. "Sure thing. Hey, do you notice anything different about Regina? She ordered like the greasiest thing ever, and you know our sharper than a needle Mayor does not do such common food."

MM tried to subtly peek a glance at the Mayor. "Hmm, I notice it as well. I can't believe that I am about to do this, but I will say hello to her."

Ruby was taken back by that. "Dragon lady may devour your soul, you know she does not particularly like you. I don't suggest doing that."

Mary Margaret was quite curious of the slight change with Regina. She straightened out her grandma looking cardigan. "Ruby, don't be dramatic. I'll just say hello." Ruby shot her 'yeah right' kind of look. "Just take my order, ok. I'll be fine."

Ruby shook her head, "Okay, that is your soul." She turned around to put in the order in the kitchen.

Snow, with more bravado then she actually had, walked over to Regina. She nervously put her hands behind her back, waiting for the mayor to notice her who was looking outside the window. The Mayor sensed a presence that was disturbing her peace. 'Oh great, the brat.'

"What do I owe for his unpleasant interaction?" Even through her frosty tone, Mary Margaret was determined to press ahead.

"How are you doing? I just noticed that you do seem like you are glowing. Are you using new make up?"

Regina does not understand why this kept happening. She was not doing anything different in her routine. She did not want to further entertain this annoyance, eating her lunch in peace should be too much to asked.

"Not that it is any of your concern but no, I'm not." Regina looked her up and down in distaste, the geriatric get up disturbed her sensibilities. "But you could use a few fashion lessons. If that is all, you can leave me be." She snapped her head back to the window, signalling that their conversation is over.

Mary Margaret was used to the harsh bite and insults of the Mayor. And not wanting to infuriate her any further, she gave her a goodbye and retreated back to the counter of the diner. "Well, you have a nice day yourself."

A few minutes passed and Regina received her order from Ruby. "Bon appetit". Regina smiled her thanks and immediately grabbed her burger and took a huge bite. Some of the diners were stealing glances towards their mayor, never having witnessed before the mayor eating so ungracefully.

Ruby was behind the counter with Granny, observing this absurd scene while crossing her arms.

"Wow, I never have seen the mayor eating like this. This is like the Twilight Zone."

"Hmm. I don't know what that is but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a bun in that oven." Ruby's jaws dropped wide open. "OMG! I wonder whose is it. It is probably Graham. He is hot and everybody knows that they're screwing." Ruby was the epicentre of gossip in the town and was always eager for anything juicy. The mayor possibly being knocked up will be the mother load of epic news.

Granny just shook her head at her young granddaughter. "None of my business. As long as she pays for her meal and not cause trouble, then she can screw any sheriff she wants. Now stop lolly gagging and get back to work!" Ruby closed her mouth and clucked her tongue, stomping around to take orders from other tables. Granny always tried to ruin her gossip fun.

Regina didn't even notice most of the annoying chatter around the diner, she was just set on devouring her meal. After a few more minutes, she dabbed her mouth after consuming all of her meal and signaled to Ruby the end of her meal. Ruby sauntered over with a huge grin on her face and gave Regina her check. "Here you go. Please take care."

Regina was slightly off put by the manner of the young waitress, but decided to ignore it and left Ruby a nice tip. "Thank you Miss. Lucas. Enjoy your day." Ruby secretly did think Regina is a cool person, even though she is a little scared of her.

After Ruby left her table, Regina slowly got out of the booth. When she almost got to the door, a wave of nausea overwhelmed and she sharply turned around and fled towards the bathroom of the diner in her high heels. People were shocked to see the mayor in such a state.

She opened the door and dropped with a thud on her knees, detesting that her slacks are touching the floor. She lifted up the seat and emptied the contents of her lunch. The taste of her acid made her gag and she threw up even more. She had her right hand pulling back her silky brown hair so the bile didn't not get caught in it.

Ruby saw Regina flee to the bathroom as the diner patrons were murmuring to themselves about what is going on with the mayor. Granny noticed the commotion in her restaurant and nodded her head towards the bathroom, signalling Ruby to go check on her. She placed a patron's meal on the table and gingerly walked over and knocked on the bathroom door. "Hmm, Mayor Mills, are you alright?"

Regina snapped. "Go away! I'm fine." But inside she was panicking. She did not understand why this is happening to her. Ruby tentatively backed away and responded. "Ok. If you do need anything, please let me know?" The citizens of Storybrooke looked at her expectedly but she just shrugged her shoulder with a non-answer.

"If the mayor does not want to be bothered, than let her be. Get back to your tables," Granny told Ruby while wiping her hands on her apron and headed back to the kitchen.

After Regina finished puking, she flushed the toilet and washed her hands. She straightened her clothes and coifs her hair, not wanting to look dishevelled. She marched out of the bathroom and felt the numerous stares on her. Her eyes threw daggers towards the residents, daring them to look back but everyone just snapped back to their meals. She strutted out of the diner and pulled out her cell phone.

"Mrs. Thomas. Please cancel all meetings I have and reschedule. I am going to take off for the rest of today." Before Mrs. Thomas can ask any more questions, she hung up the phone. She was going to pay a visit to Dr. Whale.

A few hours later

"Well Madame Mayor, it seems that you do not have the flu or pneumonia. I believe congratulations is in order. You're pregnant."

"What?!" Regina shouted in disbelief.

"It seems that you are at least four weeks along. I would want you to come next week so we can do daily check-ups throughout your pregnancy."

"This…this is impossible. You need to do another test. NOW!"

"Ma'am, my tests are quite conclusive. We took a blood and urine test. You are pregnant." Regina quickly gathered her purse and stormed out of his office. She had gone to her office to retrieve her Benz after the diner incident and immediately went to the hospital. She made sure that she was attended to quickly.

Her palms gripped the steering wheel tightly while on her way back to her mansion. This pregnancy…this is truly a miracle. She wasn't upset at Doctor's Whale's results, just perplexed. She was barren, she made sure of that.

Lady Regina, now Queen Regina, sat out in the gardens in her new home, King Leopold's castle, or rather, prison. Her heart was deeply broken from the murder of her beloved fiancé, Daniel. At the hands of her own mother no less. The bright colors of different flowers did not match her mood.

There was nothing but darkness and pain in her heart. She was truly alone in the world. All of her choices have been ripped from her, she was just a pawn in her mother's game, a nice object for the king, and a reluctant mother to the pesky brat, the damnable Snow White, who couldn't keep her mouth shut.

She just wanted to do something for just herself. She did not want to have any kids with Leopold. She dreaded the day where she has to perform her "wifely duties." They just got married two days ago and festivities were still under-way. She did not want a constant reminder of how she couldn't have Daniel. She contacted a midwife who specialized in many herbs, even those darker in uses. She would make sure she will never spawn any children of the king. Regina was alone in the gardens, and she pulled out a vial of black liquid. It is a potion, a curse really, that made whomever drinks it become barren. She fiddled with the piece of glass and opened it. This was a choice that she can finally make of her own. Cora wanted Regina to give Leopold a male heir so that it overrode Snow's claim to the throne.

Regina believed that Cora made a grave miscalculation. Leopold loved his brat that oh so reminds him of his previous late wife, Queen Eva. There is no way that any children from her was going to remove Snow's birthright. She swallowed the vile concoction, the contents burned her throat with a putrid iron taste. Once all of it is gone, after a few minutes she grabbed her stomach in pain. Her lower body felt like it is in shock. She dropped to her knees on the green grass of the garden and grimaced in pain. The spasms that were occurring felt like cramps during that time of the month, but nobody even noticed her, nobody cared. She was truly alone.

Regina slammed her car and quickly storms into her house. She sat down on her plush couch and crossed her arms around her stomach and rocked back and forth. A single tear rolled down her cheek, but it is out of happiness.

She stared down her stomach and lovingly rubbed her belly. But whose is it? She thought back to what Dr. Whale said earlier. If it she was only four to five weeks, there could have been only two people to father her child. Emma or Graham. But Regina had been sleeping with Graham for years. It is not like she had any choices, and he was easy on the eye, but never once have their rendezvous impregnated her. She hoped it is Emma's, she wanted it to be Emma's. Her mother would have a field day with that prospect. 'Hey mother, I'm knocked up by a woman, surprise'.

Regina smiled ruefully at that but forced the image from her head. Cora is dead and she didn't want to think about her, since now she too will be a mother. She vowed to be nothing like her. But either way, this is a gift, truly. She has always wanted to be a mother, just not a mother of the impenitent Snow White.

Now, there was the matter to find out who is the father of her child. There was nothing special having intercourse with Graham for all those years. But with Emma…it was truly magical. She had no doubt in her mind that Emma broke her self-induced curse. There was only one way to break a curse, it required the most powerful magic of all the realms.

She shook her head again, not liking the implications of her thoughts. Magic should not exist in this world. And Emma is not her true…Daniel was her true love. To think otherwise, of all the pain and wrath she had wrought in his name upon those in the Enchanted Forest did not sit well with her.

But finding the paternity of her daughter or son will have to wait. Even though she hoped it's Emma, she will never see Emma again so it is of no use to follow that train of thought. She was determined to do right by her child, even if she had no idea how to do that, she didn't have the best role models. Her father was loving but weak and Cora was another story entirely. But she will give him or her all the love and care in the world..

She continued to rub circles on her non-existent belly. "I can't wait to meet you. I will love you, always."

Emma sat in jail, contemplating the life she has led, the choices she made, the people that betrayed her. Neal is a fucking tool. How could he let her take the fall for his crime? She was left to rot, forgotten in her grimy cell. Regina made her feel so special and wanted, but kicked her out of her bed like a used dirty tissue paper. Emma felt worthless. After she did her stint in jail, she vowed to herself to not trust anyone. Love was for the naïve, and she needed to just live for herself.

Chapter Text

8 months later in Storybrooke

Regina felt like a whale. Her feet were swollen, her back hurt, and she has to wear non flattering maternity dresses. She lied on her chaise rubbing her belly and smiling lovingly at her baby boy. She found out the sex of the baby earlier in her pregnancy. Despite the mood swings and physical discomfort, she wouldn't trade it for the world.

She allowed Graham to help her throughout the pregnancy. As independent as she liked to be, it has been tough in the later months to drive to her appointments and do grocery shopping when she can no longer see her feet. Graham believed that he was the father since he knew that he is the only one to warm her bed at night, even if he got unceremoniously kicked immediately out of the house .

But Regina hated how robotic he was but she knew she was the cause of it since she is the one who took his heart because of his past deceit of passing off a deer's heart instead of Snow White's. She hoped to not have any deep connection with him and she did not want him to get attached to her baby. Everything he will do for her will be out of obligation. No matter, after her son's birth, she will have no doubt as to who was the father of her child.

She has conceded some of her mayoral duties to Sidney, as much as she disliked him, but he was loyal and familiar with her tasks. However, she still called him to check up on make sure he was on top of things. She was not a total invalid.

Sidney's longing stares and love sick puppy dog eyes were grating on her nerves for the last time. He was jealous that he was not the father of her child. Just as he will never have her in the old world, he will never have her in this one. But she will use his full devotion to her advantage, just like she did in the Enchanted Forest.

It was lunch time and she and the baby were starving. Making some food in her kitchen did not sound appealing and was is exhausting. A quick trip to Granny's will do. Her Benz was compact but she refused to have anyone to pick her up, so she decided to drive herself to the restaurant.

Twenty minutes later she arrived at Granny's and wobbled out of the vehicle. She entered the diner like she owned the place and walked to her booth and sat as daintily for a woman pregnant as she can. Throughout the pregnancy, citizens of Storybrooke witnessed the progression of Regina's pregnancy. Some even have been unfortunate to be on the bad end of a hormonal rage. But none seem as excited as the red streak haired waitress.

Ruby had a bright smile on her face when greeting the mayor. "Wow, it looks like you are about to pop. How far along are you now?"

Regina gave Ruby a small smile. "I will have my usual. And I have a couple of weeks before I am due."

The other brunette flashed Regina a wolfish grin. "Great. I can't wait until the bun comes out. I'll go and put your order in now."

Regina looked out of the window, enjoying peace and quiet before a shadow entered her presence.

"Madam Mayor, you look exuberant. Motherhood suits you. How far along are you?"

Regina scrunched her eyes in annoyance. Mr. Gold has been nosy, overbearing, and seemed far too invested in her pregnancy. The man checked up on her so often, he should know how far along she was. Everyone in town knew she was having a boy, the gossip mill in this town was ridiculous. She sharply turned her head towards him, her eyes were cold as ice picks.

"Not that it is any of your concern, but not too far along. What is it to you anyway?" she asked in suspicion. She didn't trust the imp as far as she can throw him.

Mr. Gold tapped his cane onto the vinyl floor of the diner. "I am just making sure our great mayor is in good health. It won't do for any trouble to befall on you. I am just being a concerned citizen."

"If that is all Mr. Gold, you have a nice day." Effectively ending the conversation there, Mr. Gold left the diner without ordering anything.

Regina received her order from Ruby and eats her meal. She thought back to the few sessions she had with Archie which revealed her deepest concerns.

10 months ago

Regina called Archie to her office, wanting some type of insight in her current state of distress without having to get an official appointment. It crushed her pride to even admit needing help from the bug.

Regina was signing paperwork, wearing a grey sweater when Archie entered her office.

"You…uhm. You wanted to see me?"

"Yes, I did."

"If this is about Pongo dog's license, I…I believe it is still up to date."

Exasperated, Regina drops her pen. "This has nothing to do with your dog."

"Madam Mayor, are you alright," he asked carefully.

"I'm alright."

"Excuse me for saying so, but you don't seem okay."

"I don't tolerate that sort of bluntness. I am the qu-mayor."

"I am a therapist, that is why you asked me here, isn't it? What is bothering you? What are you feeling?"

"Nothing. I am feeling nothing."

"If I had to guess, I would say, that you are a driven woman. And that can sometimes leave a hole."

"A what?!"

"A hole, an emptiness. There is more to life than work and maybe that is why you feel dissatisfied."

"I am not dissatisfied, I love my life" Regina vehemently argued. But the bug hit the target right in the bull's eye. What he was saying was true, she hated her life in this cursed town that she built. There was a loneliness that she can't escape.

"What is the point of life if you don't have someone to share it with?"

"There is that bluntness again." Regina dismissed him from her office, very bothered that what he was saying is truth. She wanted some companionship. That meeting is what prompted her to go outside of Storybrooke to New York in the first place. She wanted to feel something, anything. Finding Emma did that for her, if only temporary.

Regina smiled to herself while eating her meal. She felt her son swimming inside her, pressing on her side a little bit. Ruby came back over to the table to check up on Regina. "Is there anything else I can help you with?"

"No thank you. I am ready for my check." Ruby wrote out the check and Regina handed her the cash.

"If that is all, you have a great day. Hey, it looked like you are going to pop out at any moment. Are you and Graham excited?" She wanted to glean as much info about Regina's son parentage as she can.

Regina looked at Ruby in confusion, then realization formed on her face. The werewolf assumed that Graham was the father of her child. She didn't know that there were people in town who knew about her nightly activities with the Sheriff. She was going to nip that in the bud. She did not like the idea of Graham fathering her child, and she did not excuse people making assumptions about her life.

"I am going to make this clear, this is MY child and yes I AM excited. I don't tolerate rumour mills in this town, and you best to not make assumptions about my life. Is that clear?"

Ruby backed away from the table a little, seeing the fire in the mayor's eyes burning. "I-I am sorry. You enjoy your lunch." Ruby practically ran back behind the counter as Granny shook her head at her.

"I warned you not to get tangled in other people's business. It is not your concern and you don't know the full story with her. Now go back and take some more orders. I swear I have to treat you like a child."

Ruby pouted and moved to take more orders and clear dishes. She did not respond to Granny, but she felt that she was positive that it is Graham's and the mayor just wants to keep it hushed.

Regina slowly moved out of the booth since her body was very difficult to maneuver with a full term baby in her. When she stood up, she felt a monumental shift in her and she can't stop it. Fluids ran down her legs onto the floor. She was mortified that she peed on herself in the middle of the diner where everyone was watching her.

She then realized that it was not urine, but amniotic fluids. Her water broke! She couldn't believe it. Why do things keep happening in the diner? First, it was morning sickness and now this.

She screamed, "My water broke! Someone give me assistance!" she ordered. Ruby and other patrons in the crowded diner have their mouths open. There was frantic chatter in the diner, this was the most exciting thing to happen in the town. No one has seen the mayor panic before, but no one moved, they were shock in still like fashion. Granny shook her head at everyone, it seemed no one ever seen a woman go into labor before.

"Everyone move out of the way" Granny shouted. All the patrons scrambled to get out of her way.

"Ruby, get your car and help me escort our mayor to the hospital. This baby is coming out. Call the Sheriff and tell him to meet you at the hospital. And call Dr. Whale that the mayor's water broke so they can prepare for her arrival." Granny will help the mayor as much as she can, but the diner will not close for anyone.

Ruby was in shock but noded at her Granny's command. She dasheed out of the diner and pulled up in her 1975 red Camaro. Doc was the only other patron in the diner to wake out of his stupor and help Granny to help Regina into the Ruby's car.

Regina was breathing profusely and was beyond nervous as she sat in the hot pants wearing waitress's car who sped her way towards the hospital. Regina held on for dear life.

"I would like to get there in one piece, thank you!" Regina screamed at Ruby when she took a sharp right turn."

"Don't worry, I'll get you there in a jiffy." But Ruby was really scared, she never helped a pregnant lady before and she didn't want Regina to light her on fire because she couldn't get her to the hospital in time. She also didn't want to crush her baby, either.

Graham was there to greet them at the hospital, frantic and sweating bullets.

He looked at Ruby and asks her. "Is she alright?"

Regina snapped at him. "I will be fine if you quit yapping and help me out of here."

Graham and Ruby helped Regina out of the car as a team of nurses rushed out to attend to her. An older nurse had a wheel chair ready so that Regina so they can go to Dr. Whale to deliver the baby. They followed Regina and the nurses in the only hospital in Storybrooke.

The nurses prepared Regina for the long hours ahead for her labor. Graham and Ruby couldn't enter the room, so they waited awkwardly in the waiting room. Ruby looked at Graham who was expressionless with no emotion. He did not seem to care one way or another that Regina was in labor and about to have her baby, or his baby if she was correct. She decided to test the waters and try to pry information from him.

"So, how do you feel about all this? It's pretty exciting."

"I gather that it is." His response was flat, giving Ruby nothing to go on. If he was suppose to be a father, it would have made sense for him to be either enthusiastic or in freak out mode. She now thought her initial assumption was incorrect.

"Well, since she is being taken care of, I will just go now back to the diner. See you around."

"See you." Graham did not feel anything about this situation. He knew that he was not in love with the Mayor. They just had empty sex whenever Regina called him up. It felt more like he is doing it out of duty. When Regina told him that she was pregnant when visiting the Sheriff's office, he didn't know how to take it or what was expected from him. All he could feel was…nothing. Regina was a strong woman, she didn't need him and she didn't seem to expect anything from him anyway.

Meanwhile in Regina's room, nurses were frantically preparing for a natural birth. Luckily for Regina, they did not have to induce her or do a C-section. Regina did not like that Frankenstein was be looking up her vagina, he gave her the creeps but her options were limited. Why did she not bring more doctors into his world?

After 11 hours of labor of expletives that could be heard around the globe, Regina was given her little baby boy wrapped in a baby blue blanket, wailing his lungs out. She was very exhausted but extremely happy. She didn't want Graham in the room with her while giving birth to her beautiful boy, it just seemed wrong.

Dr. Whale looked at Regina with certificate in hand. "What will be his name?"

Regina looked down at her son, the answer coming immediately to her. "Henry. Henry Daniel Mills."

Dr. Whale scribbled the name on the piece of paper. "And who should I put down as the father?" He looked at her expectedly.

Regina gives him a pointed look. "None. He is my son."

"Yes. Of course. You will have to stay a couple of days to fully recover." Dr. Whale turned to leave but Regina stopped him. She has to be certain of one thing. "Take a blood sample of my Henry. I will need it for later."

Dr. Whale was curious why Regina issued that order. "I can do that, but may I ask why?"

"You will know when I tell it to you. Now do as I say and don't hurt him."

He gathered a needle and softly puncture Henry's little finger. Henry cried for a little bit and was soothed by Regina.

"You may leave now."

"He will have to be fed. If need be, there are alternatives to breast-," but Regina cut him off.

"That won't be necessary, I will feed him myself." Dr. Whale nodded and walked out of the room.

Regina lifted Henry head towards her bosom to get him to latch on and feed but he wasn't cooperating Insecurity creeped through her. She did know the first thing about being a mother, let alone how to breastfeed a child. Small tears fell down her face as she struggled with Henry to latch onto a nipple.

After a few minutes, he finally latched on. Tears of joy now fell. She smiled brightly because he was the most precious thing in her life. She patted the little bit of soft brown curls he had.

She began to tell him a story quietly. "Once upon a time, there was a queen, and she casted a glorious curse that gave her everything she wanted, or so she thought. She despaired when she learned that revenge was not enough. She was lonely. So she searched the land for someone to fulfil that void." She continued to smile down at him, tickling his little stomach. "And that someone gave me a little prince. And now, the queen and her little prince can live happily ever after."

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8 months later – Emma

Emma was finally free from her imprisonment. As she stepped to into the free world once more, she looked up as rays of sunshine beamed on her face. A new dawn, a new day encompassed her soul, she felt renewed and ready for a new beginning in her life.

She didn't totally waste all her time in jail. She managed to get her GED and worked out a little bit. She was still quite small but now had some muscles to her lithe frame. She decided to hitch a ride to anywhere, anywhere away from her haunted past. California seemed to be a great way to start on a new journey in her life. She thought about why she felt this way in the first place. Neal.

If she ever saw him in the streets, she was going to clock him a good one. She considered him like a brother; he was family to her when she had none. His betrayal hurt her deeply. She smiled softly thinking about Regina, her first love. She wished that something more could have happened. It seemed to stop before anything could begin. She felt a connection so deep towards the beautiful brunette, so deep that it scared her. But she couldn't cry over missed opportunities. She had to continue forward, she must move on.

She scrounged up some money to buy a Greyhound ticket to California. Emma managed to find odd jobs here and there, trying to earn an honest living. She was not a criminal that hasn't learned her lesson, she truly never wanted to go back to jail again.

A couple of years later she found a job at UPS as a package handler in El Paso, Texas. Not one of her most glamorous jobs, but she stayed in shape and works odd hours but it was honest work. There was nothing much she can do with a GED. There are some cool guys at her job. She wouldn't consider them friends, they are just acquaintances. There was this one middle aged guy with a buzz cut and navy tattoos who's name was Rob. He was talkative and somewhat annoying, but other than that, he was too bad.

They would go out to a country bar that was local after a hard day's work, drinking hard and bullshitting around. Emma found that her confidence has boosted as far as approaching women goes. But she was never searching for love, never that. She just found that she could sweet talk some women and take them home for no-strings sex. Sometimes she woke up and didn't even remember their names. For her, they would never live up to Regina. Her life had no direction and she lived recklessly, just going through life one day at a time. It was one day when she received a rude awakening.

It was lunch time in the sweaty, dusty UPS warehouse when Emma walked into the break room to get some water, Dasani preferably, when she overheard a conversation.

"Yo, you know that blonde chick with the wing tattoo on her back?" A skinny black guy with a goatee was asking a group of four guys huddled together near a small rectangle table. She thought his name was Ronny.

"Yeah Ron, I remember her. She has monster titties and she hangs around Sip N' Strokes often. I banged her. Let's just say, she gets around."

"Paul, you will screw anything that walks you nasty loft. Anyway, you guys better be careful. I heard she had the clap."

Many of the guys went "oh no" and were snickering, picking on Paul and clowning him that he should get tested or his dick will fall off. Emma was stunned, she almost spit out her water. She knew exactly the female they were talking about. Her name was Mandy or something. Emma did not wear protection too often and she has been through quite a few females in her short past of being sexually active. She didn't carry around condoms but she will wear one when the other party insisted. Inebriated people tend to not make the best decisions. She decided the next day to go take a STD test.

Luckily for her, the results came back negative but the experience spooked her. She knew that she needed to get her life together and find more steady work and to always, ALWAYS, have condoms or wear them before engaging in intercourse.

Sometime later when she was 27 years old, she somehow stumbled into bounty hunting work after helping a neighbour find his dog while living in a dingy apartment in Philly. He recommended her to a guy he knew who was into that type of work, saying how she was good at finding people. After a few months she found that she was actually very good at her job. She finally found something she can do exceptionally.

She decided to move to Boston to freelance when she discovered that she can make more money being her own boss. She only got paid when she got results. Emma found that sometimes going under-cover is needed, so she will trap her targets by going on fake dates. After a year she found herself in the most craziest situations ever. She sometimes would wear dresses and had help from a drag queen how to properly tuck in her penis. Emma lived a lonely existence though, she will still have her one-night stands (always using condoms), and just go back to her barely furnished apartment to repeat the same day. Tomorrow would her 28th birthday.

10 Years Later in Storybrooke

"Why don't you tell me the truth!? Who is my dad?" Henry screamed at Regina. Regina was beside herself with Henry's tantrums. He has been insisting on knowing who his father is as of late. She knew that he is not Graham's. She had a DNA test performed shortly after Henry was born. She decided to enlist Gold's help to send the birth certificate to Maine's DHS office so that Henry can have an official identity here in this world. It had the father as unknown. Surely, she couldn't put a female's name on the document…She did however keep a copy of the birth certificate in her bedroom, in a locked draw with Emma's name on it. In a small way, it left a small part of Emma with her, along with Henry being the physical proof of it. Sometimes the document will comfort her.

"Henry, for the last time, your father is long gone, never to be seen again."

"Why don't you tell me anything about him? I have a right to know you know," Henry pouted with his arms crossed, mimicking Regina's glare back to her.

"That is enough young man, now go to your room." Henry stomped up to the stairs in frustration. Regina turned towards her kitchen scrubbing hard at the dirty dishes in the sink, trying to blink away the tears that threaten to fall. Henry's outbursts have been troubling her. They never had fights like this. She continued to clean up the kitchen as Henry was upstairs, snooping in her bedroom.

Henry looked around the pristine bedroom, making sure his mother was nowhere in sight. Since receiving the "Once Upon A Time" book, he finally had clarity as to why Storybrooke was so strange. He now knew why nobody ages. It was because his mother was the Evil Queen who cast a curse that took all of the happy endings.

He was deeply disturbed that his Mom, who has been nothing but loving to him, even though was very strict at times, was this monster in another land. It destroyed his whole world and he has been lashing out ever since. If his mom was evil, will that make him evil, too? He wanted to know who his dad was. Every child has the right to know. He also must find a way to break this curse, and in his book, an Emma is the key. But somehow Emma is connected to him, he can feel it. He didn't know why, but he will keep searching to find out.

A week before, Henry discovered a set of skeleton keys that he figured will open a lot of things throughout the town. He took it in while being dismissed upstairs and now was determined to find anything that looked locked so he can open it to discover any of his mother's secrets. He found a drawer with a key hole in it in her bedroom. 'Bingo', he thought. He opened it out and saw certified looking documents and shuffled through them. He saw his birth certificate and looked at the father portion on it. It said "Emma Swan".

'No way,' he thought. So his father was supposed to be a savior? But Emma is a girl's name. How can a girl be a father? He was so confused and now had more questions than answers. He reorganized the papers in the drawer as he found them and hurried out of the room, also placing the skeleton keys where he found them as well. He softly closed the door and tiptoed quickly to his room. It was in the nick of time because his mother was just emerging on top of the stairs.

"Henry, did you brush your teeth?"

"I'll go do it now," and he hurried to the bathroom to get started. His heart was pounding so hard, he thought he was going to pass out from being caught in her room. Regina nodded her head towards his voice and retired to her room. She was happy that he didn't back talk and it took no convincing on her part to get him to take care of his dental needs.

After brushing and flossing his teeth his mother insisted on it, he jumped on his computer and looked up Emma Swans in the country. He used white pages and discovered less than a hundred names. Not a big list, he felt that he can handle it. They are all over the country but the few entries that captured his eye was 25-28 age group. He knew that his Emma should be 28 since that is the age she was supposed to be when would break the curse. There was one entry that pops out at him. It was the only one in the north-east area. BOSTON. Something in his gut told him that is where he needed to go.

He dug deeper into this Emma Swan in Boston and found some information about her. It seemed that she listed her services as a bounty hunter in the area and there was a personal phone number for her. Once he had a personal number, he was able to find her address. Now all he needed to do was to find a way to get there. Then, he had a perfect idea. He will execute tomorrow and go find Emma.

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Emma was in a tight reddish pink dress with high heels stumbling into her apartment. She just caught a perp who skipped out on a bail and decided to have a date while having a struggling wife and kid at home. Geez the guy was a sleaze-ball. She put up her purse and grabbed a cupcake with a lone candle. It was her birthday and she was spending it alone, again. She crossed her arms on her table and stares at it, wishing for at least today, to not be alone.

And low and behold, she heard knocking on her door. She opened the door and found no one, but her eyes darted down and she saw a brown head kid with a grin on his face. She looked around to see if the kid was mistaken and knocked on the wrong door.

"Uh…can I help you?

"Are you Emma Swan?"

"My name's Henry. I'm your son." Henry slipped under Emma's arm and walked into her apartment.

"Whoa, hey, kid! Kid! I don't have a son! Where are your parents?"

Henry's eyes narrowed at her. "So you are saying, that at least ten years ago, there is no way you could have a son somewhere out there?"

Emma thought back to her teenage years. She was very promiscuous and rarely used protection back in those days. SHIT! The kid had a point. It is entirely possible that this kid was hers. She began to panic.

"Give me a minute." She went into the bathroom to calm down, her mind was trying to form a list of possible baby mamas.

"Hey, do you have any juice? Never mind, found some." Emma finally decided to exit the bathroom after having a temporary state of insanity.

"You know, we should probably get going."

"Going where?"

"I want you to come home with me." Okay, this kid has lost his mind.

"Okay, kid, I'm calling the cops."

"And I'll tell them you kidnapped me." This kid was smart and conniving.

"And they'll believe you because I'm your father, mother, whatever you want to call me." This was truly crazy.

"Yep." She decided to call him on his bluff.

"You're not going to do that."

"Try me." He gave a deadpan look that he was serious. But it didn't fool her.

"You're pretty good, but here's the thing. There's not a lot I'm great at in life, but I have one skill. It's called a 'superpower.' I can tell when anyone is lying, and you, kid, are." She began to pick up the phone to dial 911. Henry panicked.

"Wait. Please don't call the cops. Please come home with me."

"Where's home?"

"Storybrooke, Maine."

"Storybrooke? Seriously?" It sounds like a hunky dory type of place.

"Mm-hmm."

"Alrighty, then. Let's get you back to Storybrooke." She couldn't believe that she was doing this but this young kid had to get home somehow and she didn't want a missing kid on her conscious.

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"I'm hungry. Can we stop somewhere?"

"This is not a road trip; we're not stopping for snacks.

"Why not?" Man he was annoying.

"Quit complaining, kid. Remember, I could've put your butt on a bus; I still could." She thought she was being very generous driving this kid home.

"You know, I have a name? It's Henry."

She eyes Henry's book. "What's that?"

"I'm not sure you're ready." She is confused.

"Ready for some fairy tales?"

"They're not fairy tales. They're true. Every story in this book actually happened."

"Of course they did."

"Use your superpower. See if I'm lying."

Emma looked at him for a moment. "Just because you believe something doesn't make it true."

"That's exactly what makes it true. You should know more than anyone."

"Why's that?"

"Because you're in this book." This kid was cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

"Oh, kid. You've got problems."

"Yup. And you're going to fix them." She didn't think that she can fix crazy.

They finally reach this Storybrooke town. Henry goes on about how his mom was evil because she lied to him all the time and some other whiny type of complaints. She pulled her bug in front of a swanky, expensive looking white house with a manicure lawn. This kid should not be complaining at all living in digs like these.

The doors open wide which revealed Regina and a bearded, handsome man. Regina, the gorgeous woman she didn't believe she would have ever see again rushed out to greet Henry. She was shocked into speechlessness. So this was Henry's mother? Life was truly full of surprises.

"Henry? Uh! Henry!" She hugged him fiercely. "Are you okay? Where have you been? What happened?"

"I found my real dad!" Henry wrestled out of her embrace and ran in the mansion, brushing pass the Sheriff.

It was when Regina lifted her head that she finally noticed Emma. She knew it was her Emma. She obviously aged a little bit. She no longer had black frame glasses and appeared to be a little bit stockier, even through the hideous red jacket she was wearing. Her heart thumped so hard she thought she would pass out. Emma was as beautiful as she ever was. She could only think of one thing to say.

"Emma?!"

Emma looked at her with a goofy shy smile. "Regina…Hi."

Chapter Text

Regina was in pure shock. But being the queen that she was, she quickly regained her composure. She knew that there was much they needed to discuss and she did not want to appear nervous with this unexpected visit.

"How about having a glass of the best apple cider you ever tasted?"

Well, Regina seemed to have recovered quickly. She showed emotion and in the next instance, she turned into the ice queen. Great. She would love to see the real Regina underneath the exterior she portrayed but she was still hurt by her actions a decade ago though. Emma never imagined that she would have this opportunity to see her first love again. She was not going to waste this. It felt like this will be a long night.

"Do you have anything stronger?"

Regina promptly led Emma into the mansion through expensive doors. Regina lived in a freaking miniature White House, this should not have surprised her at all. This scene was déjà vu to her, Regina again leading her into some type of luxurious room. However, this time around, she was not a shy teen. She was confident and headstrong and will not be intimidated by Regina and didn't want to let her guard down to be hurt again.

She lingered in the buffed hardwood floor of Regina's hallway as she prepared drinks for them. She wanted to jump into things immediately. Henry was a cute kid but she needed confirmation if he was truly hers and how the hell did he find her.

She hooked her thumbs in her skin tight blue jeans and dove into the pending conversation that she hoped that it would not turn into a confrontation.

"How did he find me?"

"I have no idea." Regina finished topping the glasses of alcohol and handed Emma a drink. Her hand brushed Emma's lightly, shivers ran through both of their spines as they stared deeply into each other's eyes.

Graham loudly made his presence known in a smooth Irish accent. "Madame Mayor, you can relax. Other than being a tired little boy, Henry's fine."

Emma was starting to get peeved by him. He didn't do anything wrong, he did ensure that her alleged son was safe in his bed, but his familiarity with Regina's home rubbed her the wrong way.

"Thank you Sheriff," Regina replied, giving him a tight smile. Regina missed Emma's pointed look at Graham, communicating that he needed to hurry up and leave them.

Graham can feel the tension in the atmosphere making the mansion feel smaller than it is. And this new stranger was not giving him the most welcoming vibe. He turned around and swiftly left the house.

Regina turned back to Emma. "Please follow me. I am sorry we are to meet again in these circumstances, I don't know what has got into him lately," she replied sadly as she guided her into her study. They both sat on her exquisite French décor couches.

Emma hated to hear the melancholy tone in her voice. "Hey, it happens. The kid is just going through a rough time."

Regina sensed no judgment from Emma and she didn't want Emma to think of her as a bad mother.

"You have to understand, ever since I became mayor, balancing things has been tricky. Being a single mother on top of that can be stretching but I push forward. I may be strict but I want him to excel at life. I am trying to help him as much as I can, that is why he is in therapy. That doesn't make me a bad mother, does it?"

Emma wished that she had parents that had been strict with her, at least she would have some type of stability in her life. This kid seemed to have it from Regina.

"No it doesn't." Emma took a couple more sips of her hard liquor. "I'm sure he is just saying that because of the fairy tale thing."

"What fairytale thing?"

She guessed that Regina didn't know what was going on with Henry. "Oh, you know, his book. How he thinks everyone's a cartoon character from it. Like his shrink is Jiminy Cricket."

What in the world?! Henry was frighteningly accurate about Archie being the Cricket back in the old land. How does he even know this information? And where is this book? But Emma can't know about these things so Regina shut down the panic that was rising in her.

"I'm sorry, I-really have no idea what you're talking about."

Henry was truly holding out on his mother. But she didn't think she should be further involved, especially when she didn't know if she is truly the father of Henry. Emma finished her drink, bracing herself for the crux of her being here.

"Regina, I don't know if I am needed any further but just I have to know… am I Henry's mother?"

Regina straightened her posture and looked at Emma without wavering, "Yes, you are." And she's happy about it, especially since it's not Graham. Despite the circumstances, she wanted a chance to learn about Emma. Regina had lost much in her life, she has made many wishes that were never granted. But Emma being here right now; on her couch, across from her, it felt like the universe was finally being kind to her, giving her a second chance at a love that she had squandered. She wanted to build a life with Emma and now that she was here, she will not to let this chance escape her, even through the mess that was going on with Henry.

Emma wanted to believe Regina, and her lie detector wasn't pinged, but trusting people was hard for her now, she is not a naïve teenager any-more. Partly thanks to Regina.

"I will still like a DNA test."

Regina was a little hurt that Emma doesn't believe her. They didn't know each other very well but she would like to think that Emma believed she had some integrity.

"So you don't believe me?"

Even though Regina was killing that grey dress and looked sexy and powerful, she didn't want to back down and be intimidated.

"Should I? I don't know who else you slept with and threw out after you were finished with them," Emma bitterly answered. It is somewhat petty, but she still suffered the sting of the morning after their love-making. She didn't believe it was just meaningless sex as Regina implied.

Regina was taken aback by Emma's harsh tone but she did deserve it. She didn't have to treat Emma so cruelly that day but she was scared. She couldn't face her emotions about that night.

Emma continued to let out her frustrations about that night ten years ago. "You know, you were my first and I was only eighteen Regina. I thought we could have built something together and you lied when you said that you felt nothing. So yes, I think I have every right to not jump over the hill and believe you about Henry."

She knew that she was opening some wounds, but she wanted Regina to hurt for hurting her, its immature but whatever, this was a long time coming and she never thought she would have this opportunity to face Regina, so she was milking this for all it was.

Regina was shocked, she didn't realize that Emma was so young. She was the same age when she lost her virginity. Though, Emma had a much better time than she did but she was not going to think about that now. Right now, Emma was standing up against her, and the challenge was thrilling her but it also hurt her that Emma was clearly hurt by her actions. She placed her hands on her knees as she crossed her legs.

"I didn't know that you were eighteen but you clearly enjoyed yourself. Two, I am insulted that you think I am that promiscuous. I don't let just anyone in my bed. As hurt as I am by your accusations, I understand your point of view. We can have the test done tomorrow."

Emma knew that there was much more that needed to be discussed, but it has been a long night and she was tired and needs to sleep. She got up from the couch and looked at Regina.

"Tomorrow, we'll meet up tomorrow at your place so we can figure this out. Is there like a motel I can stay at?"

"There is a bed and breakfast in town. It is not too far from here." Regina wouldn't mind Emma staying here in the numerous guest rooms that were never used. But she understood that Emma needed some space. Much had been slung at her today.

"I'll go now. Thanks for the drinks." She wanted to at least have manners.

Before she left, Regina rose up and gently grabbed Emma's elbow. "Thank you, for bringing Henry to me. Even if you don't believe that he is yours, it is honourable to go out of your way to return a child safely to his parents."

Emma stared into Regina's eyes. She never noticed before that they have a golden, caramel glint to them. They just met again in a decade and already she was falling in deep for her. Despite her trepidation at the prospect that she is a parent, she did want it to be true, she did want to be Henry's father/mother, whatever she was to him. She did not know why she was having these parental feelings now, but meeting Henry and seeing Regina again, it was making her to change perspectives a great number of things in life. She knew she needed to forgive Regina at some point because, now that she was here, she wanted to be part of Regina's life, in whatever manner that will look. But those conversations are for another day.

"It was the right thing to do. I'll see you tomorrow."

Emma turned to leave and noticed Henry watching her from an upstairs window.

Henry eavesdropped on their conversation for the most part. He was a little saddened that Emma didn't seem to thrilled or even believe his mom that she fathered him. He was still confused about a woman being his dad but he will get some answers from both his mom and Emma soon. Henry was relieved that his mother was at least telling the truth about one thing, Emma was his father. Now it is time for her to believe that fact and also about this town being cursed.

He processed the conversation they had while driving through downtown Storybrooke. He told her about the town being frozen in time and how his mom was the Evil Queen that cast this curse and that is why no one remembered their old identities. He will get her to believe, he would whatever it took.

Emma departed from the mansion and headed back to her beloved bug. It was raining hard and she could barely see where she was going. It wasn't until she saw the "Welcome to Storybrooke" sign that she realized how off base she was going in route to the Bed and Breakfast place that Regina did give her directions to. "Gosh I am a freaking idiot. Who gets lost in a small town like this? Fucking-a man."

The rain was pouring down even harder when she glanced to her side and spied Henry's book on the seat next to her.

"Sneaky bastard." Kid definitely knew what he was doing. She suddenly looked up and saw a wolf standing in the road. She gasped and the car spun out of control, crashing into the "Welcome to Storybrooke" sign. Emma's head hit the steering wheel and she fell unconscious. In the middle of the road, the wolf howled.

Emma found herself lying on a cot in a jail cell when she opened her eyes. Leroy was in the cell next to her, softly whistling "Whistle While You Work," and Marco stood outside, repairing a cabinet.

The rough looking fellow looked at Emma. "What are you looking at sister?"

The older gentleman, Marco, reprimanded Leroy. "Hey, Leroy—manners! We have a guest! So you are eh, Henry's mother. How lovely for him to have you in his life."

Emma thought to herself, "how in the hell does he even know I am, or might be Henry's mother? I just got into town." Ah right, Henry and she encountered Archie when they first entered the town. He introduced himself as Henry's therapist when he asked who Emma was to Henry when Henry blurted that she was his dad. News in this town spread faster than a wildfire in a California forest. Small town, Emma thought as she shook her head.

"Actually, there is an APB on whether I am his mother or not." Emma was secretly relieved that people in this town did not seem to be freaked out that a 'woman' can father a child.

Leroy noticed Emma's hesitance with claiming parentage of the little brat. "Tkh. Don't blame you. They're all brats; who needs 'em."

Marco smiled sadly, "Well, I'd give anything for one. My wife and I, we tried for many years, but, uh... it was not meant to be."

"Well cry me a river."

Sheriff Graham entered the police station, unlocking Leroy's cell. "Leroy, I'm going to let you out; you need to behave. Put on a smile, and stay out of trouble." Leroy gave him a sarcastic smile and left the cell.

This guy was a douche-bag. She didn't do anything wrong. She crashed into a sign and if Graham was the one who found her, he should have taken her to hospital, not to freaking jail. Dick-wad.

Emma lifted her hands in frustration. "Seriously."

"Regina's drinks; a little stronger than we thought."

"I wasn't drunk; there was a wolf, standing in the middle of the road."

"A wolf...right."

Regina's voice penetrated the jail cell. "Graham? Henry ran away again, we have to-" she stopped mid-sentence as she barged into the room and saw Emma behind bars. Why is Emma in this jail cell? She should have been at Granny's.

She walked quickly to the cell and reached out for Emma's hand. She hoped Emma can help her find Henry. "Do you know where he is?"

OMG! Emma couldn't believe that Henry ran off again. He probably got upset at their conversation last night. The kid really needed a talking too. Was Regina doing something to the kid to make him run away? She didn't want to judge her, and she hated seeing the fear in her eyes.

"Unfortunately I don't know where he is, considering where I've been at all night," she gestured around her cot. "I haven't seen him since I left your house."

"Yeah, well, he wasn't in his room this morning."

"Did you try his friends?"

"He doesn't really have any. Kind of a loner."

Damn, that stung Emma. It seemed that Henry was truly hers. It saddened her that he appeared to be a lonely kid, she hoped she didn't pass that on to him. She racked her brain on ways to find him.

"Every kid has friends. Did you check his computer? If he was close to someone he'd be emailing them."

Graham was useless, Emma offered good solutions as to where Henry maybe located while Graham just stood there looking like a stump. Regina lifted an eyebrow.

"And you know this how?"

Emma gave her a cocky smile, she desired to ease Regina's worry and have her be confident that she can find their-her son. She still wanted confirmation of that by the way.

"Finding people's what I do. Here's an idea; how 'bout you guys let me out, and I'll help you find him."

Regina turned around to Graham and barked at him to release Emma. She still didn't know why she was behind bars in the first place, but she will deal with Graham's incompetence later. Right now, they needed to find their son.

Emma was buzzing inside. Her heart leaped at the hopeful gaze in Regina's eyes towards her when she was released by Graham. It boosted her confidence that Regina seemed to believe that she can actually help her find Henry.

They went back to the mansion and congregated in an upstairs bedroom as Emma and Graham pored over a computer screen as Regina watched on. Her arms were crossed as she anxiously waited for some results.

"Smart kid. Cleared his inbox. I'm smart too, I have a little hard disk recovery utility I like to use." The more she was thinking about it, she truly believed that this was her kid.

"I'm a bit more old-fashioned, in my techniques. Pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, that sort of thing."

"You're on salary; I get paid for delivery. Pounding pavement is not a luxury that I get. Ah, there's a receipt for a website, —it's expensive. He has a credit card?"

"Ok", Regina thought. Emma can be a little bit of a dim. She gave her a deadpan look.

"He's ten."

Emma was not perturbed by Regina's glare. "Well, he used one. Let's pull up a transaction record. Mary Margaret Blanchard, who's Mary Margaret Blanchard?"

Regina internally fumed. That woman was a thorn in her side, and she planned to go over there and pluck it out.

"Henry's teacher." She swiftly left the room with Emma aimlessly following her.

Mary Margaret was giving the children some speech about birds, loving them, or some other crap that had nothing to do with the curriculum. She released the children to recess when Regina stormed the classroom. She wasted no time with pleasantries.

"Where is my son?"

Mary Margaret had a perplexed expression. "Henry…I assume he is home with you."

"You think I'd be here if he was? Did you give him your credit card so he can find her?" She gestured towards Emma who was hanging back from them.

"I'm sorry, who are you?"

"I'm—I'm his-"

Regina interrupts her. "That is Henry's other mother." She gave Emma a challenging look and turned back to Mary Margaret, daring her to say something about Emma being a woman.

Mary Margaret was dumbfounded by that admission and this situation.

Emma could tell that the lady knew nothing about Henry's whereabouts.

"You don't know anything about this, do you?"

Mary Margaret walked to her purse to dug for her credit card, now noticing that it is missing. "No, unfortunately not. I shouldn't have ever gave him that book."

This piqued Regina's interest and she was livid that she knew nothing about this book that Emma and Mary Margaret have be clued in.

"What in the hell is this book I keep hearing about?"

"Just some old stories I gave him. As you well know, Henry is a special boy: so smart, so creative, and as you might be aware, lonely. He needed it."

Regina hated her condescending, judgemental tone. What right did she have to judge her? She knew nothing about raising children.

"This is a waste of time." She walked out in a huff, knocking over a stack of books on the way.

Emma helped Mary Margaret to pick them up. She got a weird vibe from Mary Margaret, like she was somehow connected to her but she shook it off.

Emma smiled internally. Regina could be very bitchy when she wanted to be and this younger teacher teed her off. She still thought that the brunette was beautiful and attractive. She didn't mind a little feistiness in her women. But she still felt bad about Mary Margaret's books knocked down onto the floor.

"Sorry about that."

"No, it's-it's okay, I fear this is partially my fault."

"How's a book supposed to help?"

"What do you think stories are for? These stories? The classics? There's a reason we all know them. They're a way for us to deal with our world. A world that doesn't always make sense. See, Henry hasn't had the easiest life."

Emma racked her brain about how Henry grew up. She knew that Regina loves her son and tried her best but she could imagine how challenging it will be to have a high power career and having to raise a child all by herself.

They left the classroom and walked out into the hallway.

"Yeah, she's kind of a hard-ass." But she honestly did not feel that his life is that bad. Shoot, he had an awesome house to live in, was well clothed, is fed, and during the short time she spent with Regina, she could clearly see that he was loved by her. That was way more than what a lot of people can say when growing up. She wished she was as lucky.

"No, it's more than her. He's like any child that doesn't know his father. He wrestles with that most basic question they all inevitably face: why would my father not be in my life? Am I not good enough?" She suddenly realized what she said. "I am so sorry. I'm so sorry, I don't know your circumstances. I didn't mean in any way to judge you..."

This lady definitely had diarrhea in the mouth, but she did not feel like she intended any harm towards her.

"It's okay."

"Look, I gave the book to him because I wanted Henry to have the most important thing anyone can have; hope. Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing."

"You know where he is, don't you."

"You might want to check his castle."

Henry was sitting on his wooden playground castle while Emma walked up behind him with his storybook.

"You left this in my car."

"I was hoping that when I brought you back, things would change here. That the curse will weaken. But it seems that you don't want to be here, and you don't want to be my dad. How is that even possible anyway, you are a girl?"

Emma scratched her head, feeling so out of her element. She had no idea what to say to the kid. "I am not breaking any curses any-time soon. And who says that I didn't want to be your dad?"

"I heard you and mom talking, and I know you want to take a DNA test so it sounds like you didn't want to be a dad."

Emma knew he had eavesdropped on their conversation and can could how he took what Regina and Emma were talking as being negative in tone. At least on her end.

"I just want to be sure but that does not mean I don't want to be. Kid, I don't know the first thing about being a parent but," she rubbed his hair, "I wouldn't mind being one to you." She honestly meant it. Henry was growing on her.

Henry gave her a cheeky smile, "I know I'm awesome."

Emma shook her head with a toothy smile, "Yeah, yeah. Whatever."

"Now that is out of the way, there are more important things to worry about. You're here because it's your destiny. You're going to bring back the happy endings."

Emma was getting very frustrated with the fairy-tales and the kid had a hero worship for her that was so misplaced. She was no one to look up to. "Can you cut it with the book crap?"

"You don't have to be hostile. I know you like me, I can tell. You're just—pushing me away because you are scared. You didn't know about me and that is not your fault."

She smiled at him, for a little kid, he seemed to be wise in his own right.

"Besides, Snow White gave you away because she was scared and wanted to give you your best chance."

"Listen to me, kid. I am not in any book. I'm a real person. And I'm no savior. You were right about one thing, though. I want you to have your best chance, but it's not with me. C'mon, let's go."

"Please don't take me back there! She lied to me all the time." She lied to him about the town and lied that he didn't have a father.

"I have to get you back to your mom."

"You don't know what it's like with her. My life sucks!"

Okay, he seriously needed a reality check. "Oh, you want to know what sucking is? Being left abandoned on the side of a free-way; my parents didn't even bother to drop me off at a hospital!"

She began to break down. "I ended up in a foster system and I had a family until I was three but then they had their own kid so they sent me back..." She stopped to collect herself. "Look. Your mom is trying her best. I know it's hard. And I know sometimes you think she does not love you but she does. And at least she wants you. You have to stop this. Don't you love your mother?"

Henry did love his mom, but sometimes her denial hurt him. "Of course I do. She's my mom. But-" Emma interrupted him.

"Then kid, you need to stop lashing out. It is not cool."

Henry nodded his head, conceding to this small fight but he wanted to have the final point. "Your parents didn't leave you on the side of the free-way; that's just where you came through!"

"What?"

"The wardrobe. When you went through the wardrobe you appeared on the side of the street. Your parents were trying to save you from the curse."

That was the most ridiculous thing she has ever heard, and considering what Henry has already told her, that is a lot. "Sure they were. C'mon, Henry." He took her hand and they walked back to the mansion.

Regina opened the front door to find Emma escorting Henry home. Henry tried to run past Regina without acknowledging her but Emma stopped him. "Hey kid! That's rude. What do you say to your mother?"

Henry was thoroughly reprimanded. He looked at him mom, "Sorry I ran off." He turned and briskly ran to his room before Regina can say anything.

She was surprised at how Emma had Henry to apologize to her. It appeared that she was stepping into a parental role unknowingly. But they needed to have a serious talk to see where Emma's head was at and where do they go from here.

She smiled at Emma who returned a bright one herself. "Follow me to the study, I do believe you remember where that is at."

"Oh yeah I do."

They entered the study and Regina fixed Emma a glass of apple cider. It was reminiscent of their first time meeting.

Regina sat down with a drink of her own as Emma sipped hers, staring longingly at her.

"Thank you for bringing Henry to me."

"No problem." Silence permeated around them, they were suddenly nervous around each other. Regina wanted to break the ice.

"He seemed to take quite a shine to you."

"Of course he does, he is my son." Emma said that with certainty. She believed now that Regina was telling the truth. Besides, she noticed some features she shared with Henry. Also they have the same temperament; it is not a far fetch idea that she was the father.

Regina gave her an 'oh really' look. "Well, just yesterday you wanted to take a DNA test to prove so."

Emma realized that she was in denial and in a way, she wanted to childishly fight with Regina in a small way.

"I still want to take one but…I - I believe you." Emma stood up from her side of the couch and sat next to a startled Regina. She grabbed her hands in hers kissed it lovely. She stared deep into darkened brown eyes.

"I want this. I want you and Henry. I want to be part of your lives. I am sorry I was a little hostile to you earlier, but I was hurt. Do you forgive me?" Emma knows that she has done a 180 on this whole situation. But she saw a windows of happiness opening and she wants to jump at the first opportunity into it.

Warmth filtered throughout her body and heart. Emma's presence overwhelmed her and she was touched by Emma's apology. But she wanted to make sure that Emma is genuine about being in their lives.

"In the last decade, I've changed every diaper, soothed every fever, endured every tantrum. I have experienced the pains of raising Henry by myself. If you want this, if you want us, you have to be 100% fully committed to this family even when it is hard. Will you still want this, want us?" It maybe crazy for Regina to do this for Emma who, for all she knows, is a stranger. But she felt for her strongly for her despite their short time together. She is willing to see this through.

Emma bored passionate determination back at Regina.

"I never been so sure of in my life." Regina believed Emma. She has grown beautifully in ten years. She was more confident in herself, and had that swagger that drew her from the beginning. She was the one who needed to apologize for hurting Emma. Regina pressed her head forward and gave Emma a chaste kiss on her lips.

"I believe you. And it should be me that should be sorry for treating you so badly that morning after. I'm so sorry Emma. I have a lot of hurt in my past, and I was scared that I was going to be hurt again. Please forgive me."

Emma's heart melted at Regina's confession and tugged the brunette towards her to give her a deeper kiss. She felt that there was a lot she needed to learn about Regina's past, but she was willing to wait.

"I do. But I have a question. If you knew since the beginning that I was Henry's father, why did you never search for me?"

Regina missed her lips but focuses on Emma's valid question. "I honestly didn't think I will ever see you again. If I had, would you have come back with me to raise Henry?"

Emma thought about Regina's question and how she was in her twenties. She had no direction in her life and was in no shape to take care of a child, she barely could took care of herself.

"Regina, in all honesty, I have some demons in my past. I would have been shit of a parent and no good for you or Henry. But, I have grown up a lot throughout that time and I am here now. And I want to be here for you and Henry."

Regina smiled brightly at Emma. "I think that is an adequate response." She pressed her plump lips against Emma's thin ones, she wanted her kiss to show that she desired Emma in her life.

Emma reluctantly pulled away. "So…umm. Does this mean that we are officially in a relationship?"

"Yes. I do believe so dear."

"So Graham is no longer in the picture?" Regina can sense the jealousy in her voice and wondered why Emma had that impression. She was sure she never gave any vibes to suggest that they were in a relationship. She can hardly call their trysts as commitment to each other.

"Graham means nothing to me and we are not in a relationship. Right now I'm just focused on you and Henry."

"Glad to hear it. Speaking of Henry, I think the poor kid is still little confused about me being his

'dad'. We would need to sit down and talk to him about that."

"I agree with you. We shall do that."

For Emma, it seemed that her life was starting to have more meaning. She was just full of joy to have a new beginning with Regina. And now she has a sweet, kind, smart, a little crazy kid. Even if things are a little messy, she was thankful for Henry for disrupting her life.

She laughed, "You know it seems kind of crazy. The day before yesterday was my birthday. And—when I blew out the candle on this cupcake I bought myself, I actually made a wish, that I didn't have to be alone on my birthday. And then Henry showed up…"

"And he has brought you here, inadvertently, back to me again." Regina's eyes sparkled with mirth.

"It was your birthday and I haven't given you your birthday gift." Regina voice dripped with seduction. She teasingly got a hand underneath Emma's shirt. As much as she wanted to continues things, Regina gave the best birthday gifts, it was way too quick to start anything physical in their barely announced relationship.

"Regina, as much as I want to take you on this very couch, we can't. I want an actual relationship with you. I want to wine and dine you, and take you on dates. You are a lady and I want to treat you as such. Can we agree to take it slow and not have sex? I want to do things right this time."

Emma was truly a gentlewoman, a knight in shining armor and she has never felt this wanted since Daniel. As much as she desired to jump her bones, she knew that Emma's suggestion was the must prudent and sensible thing to do.

"Yes, I would like that, Emma." She gave her a soft kiss.

"Well, I think it will be good for me to go back to that bed & breakfast tonight."

Regina thought that was wise as well. If Emma stayed here, she would not be able to keep her hands off her. She straightened her dress as both stood up.

"I'll meet you here tomorrow in the morning so we can take that test," Emma asks shyly.

"I'll make room in my schedule dear. Be on time at 10'oclock," Regina ordered.

Emma kind of liked her authoritative ways. They walked towards the front door as Emma grabbed Regina's small waist, her body flushed against hers and gave her a deep farewell kiss. "I'll be there Madame Mayor." Emma teasingly called Regina, giving her a goofy expression.

Regina kissed Emma back with her hands on Emma's neck. "You make sure of that Miss. Swan."

"I like that but I prefer, Emma."

"Okay Emma, get there safe, don't get lost, and try not to run into anymore signs." Regina finally got that story from Graham. She was upset that Graham arrested Emma instead of taking her to a doctor to make sure she was alright. She gave him a verbal beat down.

"Ha ha, very funny Regina." Emma turned around and Regina quickly smacked Emma's ass and gave her a wink.

Laughter ripped through Emma as she walked out of the door. Regina was going to be the death of her.

Regina closed the door smiling. She was happy with this new development with Emma. She felt like her happy ending was close. But her mood became sour when she thought about Henry's interactions with her. It upset her that her baby boy was so cold towards her. She was determined to find out what this book is about.

Regina found the book labelled "Once Upon a Time" and took it from him without him noticing and exit the bedroom. She will read what was going on in this book.

Meanwhile

Emma followed directions to the tee and entered "Granny's Bed & Breakfast" in high spirits. Her life was the up and up. She had super smoking hot woman that wanted her and she has a lovable son. She saw a young woman arguing with an older grey haired one.

"You're out all night, and now you're going out again."

"I should've moved to Boston!"

"I'm sorry that my heart attack interfered with your plans to sleep your way down the Eastern Seaboard!"

Dang, what did she run into? "'Scuse me? I'd-like a room?"

"Really?" Emma nodded at the older woman. Granny fetched a ledger, not believing that they are getting a customer in she did not remember how long…

"Would you like a forest view or a square view? Normally there's an upgrade fee for the square, but as the rent is due, I'll wave it."

Emma had no clue what the difference between the two. "Square is fine."

"Now. What's the name?"

"Swan. Emma Swan."

Mr. Gold suddenly appeared behind Emma. "Emma…What a lovely name."

This guy was seriously giving her the creeps. She immediately did not trust him.

"Thanks."

Granny removed a roll of cash from a drawer and handed it to Mr. Gold. "It's all here."

Mr. Gold accepted it without counting. "Yes, yes, of course it is, dear. Thank you." He turned towards Emma.

"Enjoy your stay, Emma," and he exit the building. Looks like things were finally going to be changing in Storybrooke.

Nope, she did not trust him one bit, Emma thought. "Who's that?"

Ruby responded while watching Gold through the curtains. "Mr. Gold. He owns this place."

"The inn?"

Granny answered Emma's question. "No. The town. So! How long will you be with us?"

Emma thought about how much she had in savings. She knew she couldn't stay there forever and if she wanted be in Regina's and Henry's life, she needed to start planning long term. Like finding a job, a place to stay…

"A week. Just a week."

"Great." Granny handed Emma an old-fashioned key. "Welcome to Storybrooke."

Henry stared out his window at the clock tower. The clock turns to 8:16. Henry grinned.

Chapter Text

Regina Mills flipped through Henry's book that she found under his bed. She paused on a page that depict the Evil Queen at Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding, with Prince Charming's sword in mid-flight towards her. She was shocked that they seem so realistic and accurate with that scene.

When she turned the page, Regina found that the last several pages have been ripped from the book. This was such an incomplete picture of her past life. She doesn't want Henry to think that is all she was in her past. She decided to confront him and enters Henry's room as he is getting ready for school.

"The missing pages, where are they?"

"It's an old book, stuff's missing. What do you care?"

"I care because you think I'm some evil queen. And that hurts me, Henry. I'm your mother." She knew that she has indeed been the evil queen, committing horrible crimes and atrocities. With Emma back in her life, she wants to do better, be better for her and Henry. And now, she wants to be better for herself. She touched his face.

He moved away from her lingering hand. "If you are my mother, why don't you just tell me the truth? I know about the curse, I know about everything. Why don't you just admit it?"

His anger cut her deeply but she does have to inwardly look at this situation. Henry is right about her casting a curse, and that fairytales are real. She knows she has caused him great harm, having him go to Archie for therapy, making him think that he is crazy. Oh my goodness, she thought. How would Emma fit into this? Emma is from a land where there is no magic, she will not believe Henry but she also doesn't want to cause Henry more turmoil. She can't believe she is about to do this.

She lift his chin towards her. "Henry, I love you but you are wrong, I am not the evil queen."

Henry was about to immediately contest it when she lift up her hand to stop him.

"I…I was the evil queen."

Henry's mouth dropped dramatically. Did he just hear what he just heard? Did his mom finally admit her fairytale identity? He was so lost.

"So…" he slowly began, "so you admit it then? You admit everything?"

Regina frowned and rubbed his arms. "With Emma here, things are going to get complicated but I will discuss this after you come home from school. Can you do that and be a good boy?"

Henry vigorously shook his head in agreement. "I…I can do that." He begins to leave his room for school when he turned around and gave his mom a tight hug. In a thick voice nearly with tears, he thanked her. "Thank you for being truthful with me. I know I have been bad lately but I do love you."

Regina gave him a small smile and rubbed his head before kissing him on the forehead. "I love you too Henry, more than you know. We will discuss this later. Now off to school you go."

Henry shot here a bright smile which brightened her soul. "Bye mom."

The clock tower chimed which stunned her as she turned her head towards the sound. She never heard that clock chime in all 28 years she has been here. It must be significant…right? Henry decided to leave from school from there, fully understanding what the clock tower signaled.

Regina plans to go to work later on in the afternoon so that she and Emma can take care of the paternity test. She knows that she is will be in a pickle with revealing to Henry about her past life but she wants to enjoy the time she has with Emma. They agree to meet up at the mansion at 10 but she has a chang of plan.

She dressed in a flattering, flowing dress and took a basket of apples with her. She knocked on the door of Emma's room at Granny's. A surprised Emma in tight red boxes with an impressive bulge greeted her.

Emma has a smirk on her face as she noticed Regina's eyes flick down to her crotch and back to her face.

"Hey babe. You caught me by surprise. I thought we were supposed to meet at your place at 10?"

Regina gave Emma a smirk of her own and composed herself. "Did you know the Honeycrisp tree is the most vigorous and hardy of all apple trees? It can survive temperatures as low as forty below and keep growing. It can weather any storm. I have one that I've tended to since I was a little girl. And to this day, I have yet to taste anything more delicious than the fruit it offers." She extended an apple to Emma.

Awwww, Regina has a thing for apples, cute. She would like a taste of Regina's fruit. Emma curiously took the apple from Regina and opened the door wider so she can come in. Regina walked in, putting the basket of apples on the table, and subtly glanced around the room. Emma was a bit on the messy side but that can be forgiven.

Emma closed the door behind Regina, looking over the beautiful woman.

"Thanks for the apples." She lustily looked her over. "But you didn't answer my question."

Regina lasciviously looked up and down Emma's body, admiring her tone figure. "Can I not just stop by and see my lovely girlfriend?"

Emma grabbed Regina by her hips and pulled her towards her, giving her a long kiss, nipping Regina's lower lips. She felt herself getting hard and knew she had to stop because she doesn't want to tempt herself any further. She was more than willing to throw Regina into the bed and ravish her.

"You can visit any time. Well, since you here, just wait while I shower and change so we can get that test done."

Regina was a little disappointed that they couldn't continue further but she did agree to take it slow.

"Alright then, go hurry up."

"Ohhh, bossy." Emma gave her another kiss before going into the bathroom to shower. Shortly she is dressed and they find themselves in Dr. Whale's office. Regina made sure that he was available for their appointment.

He gave them an inquisitive look as he drew blood from Emma, and Regina's glare silently threaten him to not question her. But he was intrigued by the newcomer in town, he wondered why he was drawing blood. He will probably be doing a paternity test, Emma looked relatively healthy so he knew that he was not looking for diseases.

It mystified and thrilled him to discover if Emma, a woman, has impregnated Regina. He is the only one in town he knew definitely that Graham is not the father, despite popular belief. It's fascinating, indeed.

"I will have the tests results done by tomorrow. I will call you with the results, Madame Mayor."

"You better. Let's go Miss. Swan." She exit the room with Emma following her outside. It seemed to be reoccurring theme with Regina stomping out of a room and she just helplessly following her. At least she does it in style.

"I'm Miss. Swan now. So is that what you are calling me in public?"

Regina heard the teasing in Emma's voice but she can read between the lines. She turned around while they are outside, addressing the white elephant between them.

"I am not ashamed of you Emma, if that is what you are thinking. I just don't want our business out in the open for the whole world to see. I am a private person." Regina tentatively touched Emma's hands while looking at her.

Emma exhaled a breath that she didn't know she was holding. Her fear was assuaged. "I am glad to hear that I'm not your dirty secret."

"Well, I like to do some dirty things to you but you are definitely not a secret."

Emma burst out laughing and Regina followed her. Regina's voice is like honey and she can't get enough of the woman.

"I guess it is time for you to get to work. See ya soon?" Emma gave her a shy look.

"Of course, dear. We will see each other again."

They departed ways and Regina returned to her office to sign off on some paperwork. As Regina sat in her office, Sidney rambunctiously entered her work space.

"You're late."

"Madame Mayor, I have some news that will be critically important to you."

Sidney has been secretly tailing Emma and Regina. He had spied seeing Emma at Regina's house and Regina visiting Emma at Granny's. He was terribly jealous. He knew about Regina's liaisons with Graham. He brushed that off because he knew there was nothing deep with that relationship.

But Emma's presence is the most intruding. Regina's gave her looks and affection that he could only crave. He blindly does everything Regina wanted, just hoping that Regina returned his feelings. Emma threatened that from happening. So he decided to get his contacts and dug in her past, finding some information that will have Regina thinking twice with being with Emma. He hands her file and stood with his hands behind his back, waiting for her response as she read over the documents.

It is about Emma. How she never stayed in one place too long. That worried her. But then she remembered their conversation, how Emma was determined to stay here in Storybrooke for her and Henry and she believed her. She calmed her nerves as she read on.

One piece of information did alarm her. She saw a picture of Emma in jail, it appeared that she has been arrested for stealing jewelry and spent quite some time in the pen. Her first concern was Henry, and she cannot have a bad influence on him. She needed to protect him at all cost. She cared for Emma, so she will confront Emma and give her a chance to explain herself.

But she knew that Sidney's ploy is to do a hatchet job on Emma. She knew that he is jealous and she did not appreciate Sidney's conduct and ulterior motives in providing her this information. She was annoyed with his yearning looks. He as obsessive as he was in the Enchanted Forest. And for him to have a newspaper about this, blasting Emma's business across town - unacceptable.

"Don't think I don't know what you are doing Sidney." Regina predatorily stood in front of his face. "Don't you even try to mess with Emma in any form or fashion or I will destroy you, if that is the last thing I do."

Sydney shrunk in her presence, but that line triggered a memory of her dressed in black. There seem to be a wedding going on and Mary Margaret had long hair. But Regina's fury interrupted that flashback.

"You have found nothing of value to me. Which means you have no value, Sidney. Do you know what I do with things that hold no value to me? I throw them away."

Sydney backed away from her. "I'm sorry. It won't happen again." He ran out of her office with a tail between his legs. He was spook by her and the memory.

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Emma sat at a counter in Granny's Diner reading a newspaper. She was trying to look up available jobs but the pickings were quite slim. She also needed to find a place to stay.

Ruby placed a hot mug of hot chocolate, with cinnamon, in front of her.

"Thank you but I didn't order that."

"I know. You have an admirer."

The only person she wanted to admire her was Henry and a beautiful goddess in heels that happened to be the mayor. Emma turned around, seeing Sheriff Graham seated in a booth. She put down her paper and walked over to him. She did not want any of his shit.

"Ah, so you are still here."

"Observant. Important for a cop."

"That's good news for our tourist business, bad for our local signage." Emma gave him a look.

"It's-it's a joke... because you ran over our sign..."

"Look, the cocoa was a nice gesture, and I am impressed that you guessed that I like cinnamon in my chocolate, 'cause most people don't, but I am not here to forgive you for being a dick and locking me up, so, thank you, but no thank you." She sat the mug on the table.

Graham sheepishly scratched his beard. "About that. I am sorry. Regina ripped me a new one for that. Usually she is not keen on strangers. I thought she will get mad at you for leaving so I did just did what I had to do. And I didn't send," he pointed to her mug on his table, "that to you."

Henry decided to speak up. "I did. I like cinnamon, too." He got up and walked over to her. Yep, that was totally her kid. But what the hell?! It is the middle of the day. He shouldn't be in the diner.

"Don't you have school?"

"Duh, I'm ten. Walk me." She just shook her head, he was such a smart ass.

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"So, what's the deal with you and your mom?"

"It's not about us, it's about her curse." Henry still doesn't know what his mom will confess to him, or whether she would want to break the curse or not. He has to have a contingency plan in place. The operation must continue.

"We have to break it. Luckily, I have a plan. Step one: identification. I call it, Operation Cobra."

"Cobra? That has nothing to do with fairytales."

"Exactly, it's a codename. It'll throw Mom off the trail."

Emma decided to play along, and see what he was talking about. "So, everyone here is fairytale character, they just don't know it."

"That's the cure. Time's been frozen…Until you got here." Emma began to take a bite of the apple she's carrying that Regina gave her.

"Hey! Where'd you get that?"

"Your mom."

"Don't eat that!" He took it from her and threw it onto the sidewalk.

"Hey man, not cool. You shouldn't waste food. Why did you do that?"

Henry gave her a stern look, "you are not ready yet."

Emma gave him a frown. "Okay... Um, uh, alright. What about their pasts?

"They don't know. It's a haze to them. Ask anyone anything and you'll see."

"So... for decades, people have been walking around, in a haze, not aging, with screwed up memories, stuck in a cursed town that kept them oblivious."

"I knew you'd get it! That's why we need you, you're the only one who can stop Mom's Curse."

"Because I'm the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming?"

"Yes! And right now, we have the advantage. My mom doesn't know that." He unzipped his backpack.

"I took out the end." He took out some pages from the Once Upon a Time book and handed them to Emma. "This is the part with you in it."

Emma looked at a page containing an illustration of Prince Charming placing baby Emma in the wardrobe, the name "Emma" clearly visibly on the baby blanket.

"See? Your mom is Snow White!"

Yeah right, she thinks. Some things are not adding up as to how he was still able to find her.

"Kid…how have you been able to find me? I am assuming your mom never mention me, right?"

"Right." Henry's face blushed a little bit as he continued.

"I wanted to know who my dad is and she said that he was long gone. I went snooping in her bedroom and found a copy of my birth certificate with 'Emma Swan' written on it. And yeah, I am still confused by that."

That doesn't surprise her in the least bit.

"Since you were born when mom cast the curse and was fated to return here to break the curse when you turn 28 years old, I went online and cross referenced all the Emma Swans in the country between that age group. I figured the one in Boston was the right choice, so I stole Mary Margaret's credit card and got on a Greyhound bus to find you. And now you are here."

He gave her a charming smile. Damn, the kid is good but the stunt he pulled was very dangerous. It had to be something as close to fate for him to pick her from the other results he found in the database. She stopped them from walking and looked straight at him.

"Look, what you pulled was not safe and very dangerous, you could have been seriously injured and ran into some type of maniac. You gave your mom a fright, I could have been some type of monster. Promise me you will never pull anything like that again."

Henry looked down, clearly chastised. "I promise."

"Besides. I still don't believe this story about the curse."

"I know the hero never believes at first, if they did, it wouldn't be a very good story. If you need proof, take them, read them. But whatever you do, don't let her see these pages." He doesn't know how his mom will feel discovering that Emma is the savior. He wanted to feel out their relationship first.

"They're dangerous. If she finds out who you are... then it could be bad." They reached his school and Emma stopped walking as Henry continued on.

"I gotta go, but I'll find you later and we can get started. I knew you'd believe me!"

"I never said I did!"

"Why else would you be here?" He ran off towards the school.

Mary Margaret approached Emma. "It's good to see his smile back."

"I didn't do anything."

"You stayed. So…does the Mayor know you're still here?"

Emma is a little puzzled by her question, like people are assuming that Regina wouldn't appreciate her presence here in town. Graham assumed the same as well, it's puzzling. However, she smiled, thinking about their sexual teasing in their burgeoning new relationship. "Oh, she knows."

As enjoyable as Regina was towards her, others seem to be frighten by her and she has seen her frostiness towards some people in town. Even some of her interactions with women in Alley's Corner reminded her how intimidating she can be.

"What is her deal? Don't get me wrong, I like Regina, like a lot but she's not a great people person, how did she get elected?"

Mary Margaret tilted head, trying to read Emma. It seemed that she is quite fond of Regina, she wondered if they are in a relationship now that Emma is back in the picture with her Henry, their son. But she answered Emma's question anyway.

"She's been Mayor as long as I can remember. No one's ever been brave enough to run against her. She inspires quite a bit of…well, fear. I'm afraid I only made that worse by giving Henry that book and now he thinks she's the Evil Queen."

"Who does he think you are?"

Mary Margaret scoffed, "It's silly…"

Emma laughed"I just got five minutes of silly. Lay it on me."

"Snow White." Emma looked slightly stunned. If that was case, that means that Henry really believed that this woman is her mother. This is CRAZY. The school bell rung in the distance.

"Who does he think you are?"

She decided to lie, not wanting to give any credence to Henry's story. "I'm not in the book… Can I ask you a favor? Regina mentioned the kid's in therapy; do you know where I can find the doctor?"

She wanted to help Regina as much as she can. Henry clearly does need it.

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Emma knocked on Dr. Hopper's door and entered his office, she found him reading.

"Hey."

"Emma Swan." He stood, picking up a copy of the newspaper. "I was just, uh, reading about you. Let me guess, you're here for help with a little post-traumatic stress?" He chuckled nervously setting the paper down. Some of the stuff published was inflammatory towards her character. "That diagnosis was free, by the way."

What the hell is he talking about? She grabbed the newspaper and read it. It was like a biography about her life and there was a picture of her in jail. SHIT! Regina doesn't deserve to find out about her seedy younger life like this. Whoever published this will be pummeled in the face. But she has to file this for a later time, she will deal with it later. Right now she is here about her son.

"No, I'm here about Henry."

"I'm sorry, I-I I really shouldn't..."

"I know, I'm sorry, I just... just tell me something. This fairytale obsession, what is causing it? I mean, he thinks everyone is a character in his book. That's...crazy."

"I-I hope you don't talk that way in front of him. The word 'crazy' is um…quite damaging. These stories- they're his language. He has no idea how to express complex emotions so he's translating as best he can, this is how he communicates. He's using this book to help deal with his problems."

"But he got the book a month ago. Has he been seeing you longer than that?"

"Um-Yes, he has."

Damnit! She fills guilty now. She has missed so much of his life and she hasn't been here to help Regina out. She planned to step up to the plate, Regina shouldn't have to go through this alone anymore.

"So Regina has been handling this on her own. His temperament?

"Uh-his mother is a... very complicated woman, and uh- over the years, her attempts to try and bring Henry closer have only backfired."

He moved to a file cabinet, opened it and removed a file. "Why don't you take a look at the file. Um... see what I mean."

"Why are you doing this?"

"Well, he talks about you a lot. You're…very important to him."

Henry seemed to shower her with unconditional love when she just met him but gave his mother shit who has raised him for the last 10 years by herself. They definitely need to do that sit down soon about his ungratefulness.

"Thank you."

"Just uh... see that I get it back, okay?" He opened the door and Emma moved to exit. "Miss Swan. Just for the sake of the boy, be careful how you handle his... belief system. To destroy his imagination would be…would be devastating."

Emma departed and Archie closed the door. She needed to meet with Regina quickly. She pulled out her cell phone and called Regina.

"Hey…"she started hesitantly. The call was thick with tension.

"Hey yourself."

"Look, we need to talk, where can I meet you?" Just then her secretary entered her office, knocking first of course, and handed her a file. She silently thanked her as she ripped the envelope. It is the DNA results.

"Let's have dinner tonight, is 7:00pm good for you?" It was looking like they have a few more topics to discuss.

Emma smiled, it seemed that Regina was not too mad at her, considering she is positive that Regina and the whole town have read the newspaper at this point.

"I would love dinner with you. See ya at 7:00."

Emma hummed to herself, despite her nervousness, it sounds like a date to her.

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Henry got home at 3:45. Regina is already there, prepping the kitchen to make dinner and also prepping for the upcoming conversation she is going to have with her son. She has never been this nervous before.

Henry put his book bag away and joined Regina in the kitchen. He sat on the stool and straightens his back with his hands clasped. He was a picture of professionalism and looked regal. Regina stared at him, he does look like her little prince.

"So….." he was eager to hear what him mom has to say.

"So…" she began cautiously. "The curse is real."

"I knew it," Henry exclaimed loudly.

Regina held out her hand, wanting to halt his excitement. "I was the evil queen, but the book is inaccurate. Does it even tell you why the Evil Queen did what she did?" She stared at him expectedly.

Henry racked his brain for the answer. He has read that book backwards and forwards and couldn't answer her. He decided on the Disney answer. "Because…you believe that Snow White was prettier than you." Henry doesn't even believe what he said and Regina was affronted.

"Henry…really? I know you are smarter than that. Do you think me so vain?"

He shook his head strongly. He does not believe that for a second. He proudly can admit that his mother is beautiful and prettier than Snow, no offense. And it would seem beneath her to do something drastic like casting a curse for something so…trivial.

"No I don't believe that at all. Will you tell me?" he asked timidly. Regina inhaled and exhaled deeply. Not many people knew her story, but the one person who does deserve the truth was her son.

She told him about a stable boy she loved but was forbidden to see. She explained to him how she saved a young girl from a rabid horse and how that changed her life forever. The girl couldn't keep her secret and her mother found out and killed him in front of her. She then was forced to marry King Leopold, Snow's father.

Henry thought to himself, his mom still doesn't know that Emma is the daughter of Snow and Charming, which is just weird if you think any further about how she had to marry his great grandfather, eww.

His mom continued with her story about how angry she was and met with Rumpelstiltskin to learn dark magic. Her heart blackened and she became lonely, desperate, and well…evil. She didn't sugarcoat anything.

Henry's emotions were in a whirlwind. He hated the things that she has done but was so sad and mad at the life his mom had. It wasn't fair. He now hated himself at how he treated her. He slammed into her body into a crushing hug with tears streaming down his face.

"I am so…so sorry. I didn't know. I didn't know. I have been horrible to you. I was so angry at you for lying." He looked up at her, seeing tears in her eyes, her eyes are red as his. It was a relief to get that story out to him. "Can you forgive me?"

"Henry. Don't apologize. I know I haven't been the greatest mother." She rubs his hair affectionately. "I don't know how to love very well. But I will learn how to, for you and Emma."

At the mention of Emma, his head snapped. "Speaking of Emma, are you going to tell her? If so, she wouldn't believe it. She is stubborn."

Regina laughed sadly to softly. "That she is."

Then Henry remembered a very important fact. In the book there is supposed to be a battle and Emma has to break her curse. He does not want his parents at odds with one another. He decided to let her have knowledge of the last pages of the book, about Emma's true identity.

"Mom. What I got to tell you is top secret? Can you handle it?"

Regina looked at her son in amusement. "Henry, I just told you I am, was the Evil Queen. I think I can handle anything."

"Before I tell you something, I must ask, do you hate Emma?"

Regina looked at Henry strangely. "I don't hate Emma at all. I don't know where you got that from. I like her very much," Regina finished with a starry look on her face which Henry doesn't miss.

"So how much do you like her? Do you like like her?"

Regina crossed her arms with an amused smile. "I like like her, yes. So where are you going with this?"

If his mom liked Emma, then she wouldn't be too upset at her that she is the savior and wouldn't hurt her. He already noticed during their limited interactions that him mother doesn't treat Emma the same as others. He decided it is alright to divulge Emma's identity.

"You remember the pages you were looking for that were missing?" Regina remembered the cheeky response he had to her inquiry about those missing items.

"Yes. I remember…"

"Well, it was about Emma. Emma is the savior destined to break her curse and she is the daughter of Snow and Prince Charming. But please…please don't hate her."

Emma…her Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. WHAT?! She is the one destined to break her curse? Emma already broke her personal curse, and that is why she has her Henry, he's a miracle. Her heart broke as realization hit her, she is the reason that Emma doesn't know her parents. Why oh why she has to be related to the idiots? She will not hate Emma, even though this complicated things with the curse, but she will not actively stop the Emma's impending destiny to break the curse. She cared for her, deeply.

Regina gave him a peculiar look. "Why do you think that, Henry? I don't hate her. I'm quite fond of her."

Henry looked back at her in skepticism. "I saw you and her in the halfway when she first came to the house. It look like you two were arguing. I wasn't sure if you were going to be nice to her. But if now you said that you like like her, are you guys going to date? "

"Henry, it is normal for adults have disagreements. Emma and I are on good terms." She beamed at him. "And we are dating, in fact, she is coming over the dinner tonight."

Henry was ecstatic and pumped his fist. "Yes! Can I help?"

Regina looked at the time, she didn't notice how much time has passed when she was telling Henry about her past. It is 5:30 and there was not enough time for her to make lasagna as she planned.

"How about you help me make lasagna?"

"I would love to help." They work in sync in the kitchen having pleasant conversation and laugh together. Regina's soul is warm by this, she hasn't have great moments with Henry like this is a long time. She is thankful. Henry really liked how at ease they are with each other, it was like old times.

They were done with the prep in 30 minutes and the lasagna will be in the oven for 45 minutes. In the meantime, Regina had Henry to set the table while she goes to change from her work clothes. She decided to wear a nice purple dress with a respectable plunge line. 6:50 rolled around and there was a ring from the doorbell.

On the other end, Emma was nervous to meet Regina because of the impending things they have to talk about. But at the same time, she is excited to spend the evening with her two favorite people in the world. She figured to bring some red wine, she guess that is the proper thing to do.

Regina greeted Emma at the door, Emma's mouth dropped as she devoured Regina's figure. Me like, Emma thinks. Damnit! She felt underdres. She just has some slacks with a white blouse. "Damn, woman, you are a knockout!"

Regina laughed and gave Emma a kiss on the cheek, ushering her into the home. "You look lovely too, dear. And thank you for the wine. Henry is at the table in the dining room waiting for us."

They entered the dining room and Henry noticed Emma. "Hey! I'm happy to see you. Now let's eat."

Regina and Emma looked at each other and laugh.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm happy to see you to. What do we have here?" Emma sat next the Regina.

"I help Mom make lasagna and spinach salad with bread sticks." Emma smirked at Regina, giving her a sly grin.

"Man, that even a regular meal you have to make fancy. Thanks you guys."

Regina lifted up a glass of Cabaret Sauvignon. "You're welcome, dear."

Emma dug into the pasta and shoved it into her mouth. Henry eats like Emma she noticed, it's amusing. Emma moaned in appreciation.

"This is good. Thank you again."

"You're welcome," Henry replied.

Emma's moan sent a pool of heat to Regina's core. She would love to hear that in a different context. But she needed to calm down, Henry is right there.

Henry regaled them with stories about school and what he was learning. They all around have great conversations. When everyone finished, Emma decided to put up the plates and clean up.

"Henry, go wash up and brush your teeth and put your pajamas on."

"Okay." Henry gave Regina and Emma a hug before leaving. Regina and Emma made eye contact with each other.

"Thank you for cleaning up. It's appreciated. Once you done, join me in my study."

The study was becoming the hot spot now. Emma finished putting the dishes and grabbed the files she left in the hallway before she went into the dining room for dinner.

Emma entered the room and saw Regina sitting with her own file. There was apprehensive in the air.

Regina decided to break the ice with on a lighter note.

"Come sit next to me." Emma sat gently next Regina who smelt like apples and spices. She felt heat emanating from her.

Regina opened the folder and handed Emma the file as they both read it. Emma looked up and kissed Regina softly.

"I knew it. I'm so happy right now, you have no idea."

"Told you so. We have to talk to Henry at some point about us." Of course Regina had to get in a smart comment but Emma became somber.

"Regina, I know you probably read the newsp-," and Regina cut her off.

"I read the newspaper and I found out who released. He has been thoroughly reprimanded. You know I care about you but I need to hear your story from you."

Emma doesn't feel like Regina was judging her, so she told her about her friendship with Neal, her petty crimes, and Neal's ultimate betrayal.

Regina decided there that if she was to ever meet Neal, there will be smoke in the city.

"Emma, I don't think any less about you. As I said earlier, we will definitely talk to Henry so he doesn't get hurt." Emma nodded her head in agreement.

"About Henry…and don't get mad at me but I went to Dr. Hopper's office to get Henry's files."

"You what?!" Regina backed away from Emma, she was a little hurt that Emma went behind her back.

Emma threw her hands up in surrender. "Please don't jump to conclusions. I'm only trying to help. Henry kept going on and on about fairytales and I got concerned. I want to do all I can to help you in this."

She grabbed Regina's soft, manicured hands in hers, wanting to convey to her how committed she is to them. "Archie told him about the troubles you had with him before the book came into his life. I'm…I'm so sorry you had to raise him on your own. I am here now, you don't have to be alone. Please don't be mad at me."

Regina is initially upset, but she internally calmed herself down. Emma had good intentions and her presence has helped Henry and her.

"I am not mad, but I think we should cancel his appointments. He can still see Archie of course, he is like a big friend to him." Regina knew that it will be wrong for Henry to keep going to Archie for his beliefs in fairytales since they are true. She just didn't want Emma to know that the curse was real.

Emma was shocked to say the least. "Are you…sure? It does seem cra-"

"Please, don't say Henry is crazy. We mustn't make him feel like that."

Emma was taken aback but she didn't want to overstep her role. "Okay, okay. I am here to support you and if you think that is best, I'll go along with it."

Regina mentally calmed down. Emma not believing is going to be tricky business, but she will navigate this as she goes.

Emma continued, "Regina, as for Henry, I think we really need to be firm with him."

"I am firm with him..." she trailed off.

"What I mean is, there has to be consequences. He can't be pulling stunts like he has been doing. If you need me to be the bad guy in this then let me. And no, I am not talking about spanking him. I don't believe in that."

Emma got a solemn look on her face. Regina sensed that Emma has experienced dark moments in her childhood when it came to discipline. She remembered the physical, mental, and magical punishments she has endured under Cora's heavy hand. Maybe that is something that they have in common and maybe they will talk about that in the future, but they still have to get to know one another. She doesn't want to physically harm Henry either and was happy that Emma is not implying to do that for his actions as of late.

"I think, together, we can come up with a way to handle Henry's…adventurous side."

"If that is what you want to call it. You should call him down, we got to talk to him."

Regina called Henry to her study and he ran down the stairs, happy to be up past his bedtime.

"Henry, I told you no running in the house."

"I'm sorry." Henry sat across from them, eagerly wanting to know why they called him down. He looked at Emma sitting next to him mom holding hands. It looked like they are dating, and he is thrilled to have both parents in his life.

Regina began, "Henry, we called you down here because we have news for you." She held the document in her hand for emphasis, "we had a DNA test and Emma is your mother. So now there is no doubt."

"I knew it!" And he crashed himself into Emma's embrace and hugged his mom as well. After his outburst, he sat back on the other couch with a slightly confused look.

"I knew Emma was my other mother but she listed on my birth certificate as father so...on't get mad at me but…Emma is a girl. How can girls be a 'dad'? Is she my mom as well?"

Regina and Emma look at each other. They knew this moment was coming. Emma decided to take point on this.

"Well, you know how boys and girls have different parts, right?" Eww. He knew what Emma is alluding to.

"Yes, I know."

"I have the same…part, as you do Henry. And that is how I am your dad, in a sense."

"How are babies made?" Emma's mouth dropped wide open and she sharply turned her neck towards Regina.

In a harsh whisper she asked, "Why doesn't he know about the birds and the bees? I mean, the kid went on the internet to find me so he should know about those type of things."

"He is my baby boy. I didn't want him to know about that now," Regina softly hissed back.

"You guys, you know I can hear your, right?"

Emma smacked her hand on her forehead, she just became a parent overnight, she is just not equipped to handle telling her son about sex.

Regina is panicking as well and she is definitely was not ready to have this conversation either.

"Henry, honey, lets save that discussion for another time."

Henry was upset that they are holding out on him, but he will wait to get answers to his questions.

"So if Emma is my father, should I call you dad, or mom? I am so confused."

Regina tightens her grip on Emma's hand and nudges her to answer.

"Ehh, you can call me Emma. I don't want to get stuck on labels. Calling me dad may confuse people from the outside. Or mom. Ahh…or Ma for short. Whatever you are comfortable with."

Regina tightened her hands around Emma's, to her, it felt like a family unit she never had before coming together. Emma turned her head towards Regina, feeling the same way. But she clears her throat.

"Now that we establish me being a parent, Henry, I have to say, some of the antics you pulled are not okay. You can't be yelling at your mom or run away. That is disrespectful and now I am in your life, I will not allow that to continue. Is that clear?" Emma's voice was very stern and scolding. She refused to raise a rich brat. It does not sit well with her. To her, Henry has a good life, lives in a mansion, and despite Regina being somewhat strict, that should not allow him to act out. Not on her watch.

Henry felt very guilty again and even though he has already apologized to his mom, his self-loathing resurfaced and he started to snuffle. Regina's heart broke at seeing her baby boy in pain. She tried to go over to Henry to sit next to him, but Emma stopped her. Regina snapped her neck to Emma in question.

Emma shook her head, "Regina, you can't keep coddling him. He has to understand that what he does hurts people and to console him just makes it seem like it is not a big deal but it is."

"Emma, but…"

"No buts Regina." Emma turned back to look at Henry whose eyes were red.

"Do you think I am being mean, Henry?"

He shook his head in negative. "No. I already apologized to Mom today, and I do feel bad and I don't want you to be mad at me anymore." He joined them on the couch and they all do a group hug.

Regina looked at Emma in awe, she is already fixing things, she is truly the savior. She mouthed, "thank you." Emma returned a goofy smile back at her.

"Okay, things are getting too mushy. How about you go to sleep."

Henry nodded his heads and returned to his bedroom, everyone mentally was exhausted at this point.

Emma stood and pulled Regina up with her, laying a soft kiss onto her. "Looks like I need to go as well."

Regina's emotions were raw, and the desire to keep Emma here with their family overwhelmed her, she wanted her to stay. The brunette laid a sultry kiss and nibbled on the blonde's ear, "you don't have to leave you know."

Emma was aroused and held onto Regina's small waist. She kissed and replied, "Mayor Mills, as much as I like too, you know I have to leave."

Regina pouted, "If you must, but I will see you tomorrow, right?"

Emma nodded her head, "Right." She gave Regina a small smooch and left to return to her car. Her money was dangerously low and she doesn't want to touch her savings just yet. That is why she is not staying at Granny's anymore, it has been over a week. She got in her car and drove off and parked at a secluded spot in the downtown area. She took a flashlight out and looked at a newspaper.

Now, that she has a son and a woman, she needed to step her game up and find a permanent job and place, and she has too much pride to let Regina know her situation any though she doesn't think Regina will mind. Emma is just not a person to ask for help and she knows how to grind.

All of a sudden, Mary Margaret appears at her door. "Are you okay?"

She turns off her flashlight. SHIT! This is embarrassing to be caught in this predicament.

"You sleeping here."

"Til I find a place. How come this place has no vacancies?"

"Must be a curse."

"Why are you out so late?"

Mary Margaret talked to her about her disaster of a date and offered Emma a spare room. She declined saying that she does better on her own. For some odd reason, even though Emma is a stranger, she felt safe with her enough to offer her a place. She left Emma to her car.

Emma crashed her head against her headrest, sleeping throughout the night, getting ready for the next day.

Chapter Text

Emma wakes up in the Bug with a crook in her neck the next morning. She hisses at the pain after she cracks it, rubbing it to soothe the ache. "Damn, not cool. I have to find a place and job quick." But first, she needs some serious breakfast, her stomach is growling and she can't do anything on an empty diet.

She enters Granny's diner and makes her way to the booth. Ruby is wearing tight, red, short shorts with a blouse that shows her midriff. How she is bubbling so early in the morning, she has no idea. Ruby approaches her with a bright smile.

"Hey baby daddy? What can I get for you?"

Emma chuckles, "Hey Ruby, can I get two eggs medium with bacon, toast, and some hot cocoa with cinnamon? And what's up with the label and why does everybody know that?"

Ruby writes the order on the notepad. "I got your order. And you know, I just said that because you are Henry's father. We were wondering for a long time. This town needed a little excitement and it was a mystery. And I am not the only town's gossip." Emma thinks it has to be Dr. Whale. Small town.

Leroy sits next to Emma, looking grumpy as ever, and has on navy blue pants with a dirty shirt. He looks hung over and his eyes are bloodshot. He gruffly orders some coffee, black.

"Yeah, everyone knows that you spawn the brat. I still don't get how you knocked up the mayor. She's out of your league."

Emma gives Leroy a pointed glare. "Hey, don't call my kid a brat. Yeah, he kind of is a brat but I love the little guy. Two, I can't argue with you on that second point." She thought the same thing when she first met her.

Ruby flicks a hand rag at Leroy for his rudeness. "Ignore him, he is just being an ass like always."

Emma laughs and takes another bite of her meal, not being too offended, she has thick skin. "While you guys are so busy in my business, can you tell me any places that are hiring? I was looking in the newspaper for a couple of days and can't find anything."

Ruby thinks after making Leroy's coffee and setting it in front of him steaming. "I don't know. I'm so sorry. And the diner isn't hiring."

Leroy's takes his coffee and pours an insane amount of sugar. He blows it a couple times and sips it, no doubt burning his tongue in the process. "I don't know who is hiring either, sister. Damn, you are jobless. That sucks for you. Luckily the mayor doesn't need financial help from your broke ass."

Ruby just shakes her head and moves away from them to take more orders from the morning patrons.

Leroy is such a jerk but oddly enough, she likes his bluntness. It just seems like he adds flavor to the town. "Wow, thanks for kicking a woman while she is down. If you hear anything, please let me know."

Leroy grunts. "Blondie, I don't like a lot of people but I like you. Something tells me that you are going to be fine. How about you ask the mayor? You seem to be in good with her."

Emma gives him a half smile. No way is she going to appear weak asking Regina for help. "Nah, I don't want to do that. I'll keep looking." She finishes her breakfast and shells out some money, including a tip for Ruby. "See you around, Leroy."

"See you, blondie."

Emma shakes her head and leaves the diner. She is determined to find some type of work. She is not a bum and she needs to stay active. There is not a lot going on in town. She went up to see the mechanic, Michael, but he didn't have work.
Next, she went to Marco, even though she doesn't know anything about woodwork. He said that he doesn't need help since he doesn't get much business. Emma rolled through town and spotted the pawn shop. She recalled Ruby and Granny mentioning that Mr. Gold owned it, shivers ran through her. Hell no, she is not working for that creep.

She tried applying with the one bank in town and the pet shop but no luck. She even went to Game of Thorns where a middle aged, pot belly guy said that he wasn't hiring. Emma was beyond frustrated, she is not exactly broke. She actually has a fat savings account thanks to her being frugal and not really purchasing many personal items. She doesn't spend a lot of money and has no credit card debt. Emma doesn't want to dip into that, she just wants to use it for emergencies.

It is near lunchtime for the kids at Storybrooke's Elementary school, and she wants to stop by and take Mary Margaret up on her offer. If she can't find a readily available job, she might as well accept an offer of a place to live since those options are just as sparse as well.

She parks her car in the small parking lot and walks to Mary Margaret's classroom. She remembers the location from the instance of Regina barging in to get information about Henry's whereabouts. Emma nervously enters Mary Margaret's classroom where she is shuffling through some paperwork, probably grading them.

As she told her before, she hates to rely on other people but her choices are slim. She clears her throat to get her attention, her hands stuffed in her tight jeans. Mary Margaret snaps her head towards the sound, smiling to see Emma at her door.

"Hey, how are you?"

Emma walks further into the classroom, dragging her feet and scratching her head.

"Hey…I'm good. I ah…I changed my mind. I think I want to take you up on that offer. If you don't mind, that is," she quickly pours out. This is not a position she often finds herself.

Mary Margaret smiles back at Emma. "I really don't mind at all. You can move in today if you want. We can talk about rent some other time. I am glad to help."

Emma is amazed at her generosity and doesn't want to intrude on the mild-mannered teacher.

"So…it does not bother you that I have a…." she stops and looks at her crotch and looks back at the teacher. She is reluctant to say anything lewd, she just seems so…innocent, even as an adult.

The brunette follows Emma's eyesight down at her lower body and catches up quickly to what Emma is referencing. "Oh…I don't mind at all."

Emma quickly holds up hands up in surrender, "I would never, ever try anything. AT ALL." For Emma, thinking about Mary Margaret in a sexual way seems so, so, fundamentally wrong. The thought never crossed her mind.

"Besides, I am in a relationship." If the woman is going to be her room-mate, she might as well let that cat out of the bag. That doesn't mean she will share everything with her.

The brunette knows that Emma is very sincere. "I know. For some reason, I trust you. I am guessing that this relationship is with the mayor," she gives a knowing look.

Emma shrugs her shoulders, "Yes, it is." She thinks about how hostile Regina is towards the teacher. "I hope that doesn't cause any problems. It seems the two of you don't have the best relationship."

Mary Margaret organizes some pens and pencils in her drawer as Emma was talking. "That won't cause issues at all. Besides, I am happy to see Henry's parents together. He is a special boy and he has been happier as of late."

Emma smiles at that declaration. "I'm guessing he is at recess. Can I see the little guy?"

"Yes, you can. The playground is right out there once you exit this door, take a right, then another left and it is right there. And you can pick up your keys and load your stuff in whenever you are ready. Here is my number." She writes it down on a piece of paper and hands it to her. Emma takes it and stuffs it in her pocket.

Emma almost wants to hug her, but she doesn't do well with those types of gestures. "Thank you so much. Mar. I gratefully appreciate it. Is it all right if I call you that? Mary Margaret can be a handful to say."

Mary Margaret giggles. "I understand and I don't mind that at all. See you later."

Emma nods her head towards her and leaves the classroom to find her son. She is eager to tell him that she has a place now; she wouldn't want to have her son meet her at some motel.

She enters the playground with its swings, sandboxes, and merry go around. She sees Henry running around with a happy aura around him. He seems so carefree. It warms her heart to know that he seems to have a happy childhood. She doesn't want to interrupt him but he catches her in the distance. She waves her arm to get his attention and he runs towards her in excitement.

"Hey Emma! What are you doing here? I am glad to see you though."

She rubs his hair, still getting used to giving affection to him.

"I just came to see my favorite son in the world."

Henry laughs at her, "I am your only son, silly." But he then gives her a suspicious glance. "Unless I am not."

Emma waves her hands in negative and laughs. "Trust me kid, I have no other surprise children around the country. Believe me. Besides, I came here to let you know I got a place. So if your mom allows, I can have you over sometime. I'll have to talk to her about it."

Henry's grin lights up. "That's awesome! Where are you staying?"

Emma doesn't even know where she lives but at least she has Mar's number, it couldn't be too hard to find in this town.

"I'm staying with Mary Margaret. I hope you don't mind."

Henry's heart pounds, he is beyond excited. Emma is already connecting with her mother.

He ecstatically exclaims, "This is like destiny happening right now. Don't you see, you are already getting close to your mother without knowing it. She just wouldn't trust a stranger. You two are connected."

Emma rolls her eyes, here he goes with the fairytale nonsense. "Henry, Mary Margaret is not my mother, she is just very nice and trusting human being."

"But people just don't let people in their homes without knowing them."

Emma throws him an "oh really" look, considering how he barged into her apartment in Boston.

"People have strangers as room-mates all the time Henry. Beside, she was looking for a room-mate and I was looking for a place to stay. I wouldn't call that destiny, just good timing."

Henry shakes his head at her continual disbelief. He sees that Operation Cobra needs to still be commenced and he needs to find ways to get her to believe.

"I am going back to play. Are you going to pick me up from school?" He wants to go and play but still see Emma later on.

"Sure kid, I'll leave to go back to your mom and see you later."

"Bye," he runs back into the playground.

"Bye," she yells back at his retreating form. She decides to take a stop by Regina's office to give her the news and see how she was doing. She also remembers her jobless state and Leroy's words hit her, maybe she needs to swallow her pride again and ask for help. If anyone can help her, it is Regina.

Emma walks up to Regina's secretary, Ms. Thomas, and asked to be buzzed in.

"Do you have an appointment?"

"No, do I need to have one?"

"She won't see you without one."

Emma is getting impatient, she just wants to see her girlfriend. "Can you just tell her Emma wants to see her?"

Ms. Thomas quirks her eyebrow. She knows who Emma is. She pushes her finger on the phone, "Mayor Mills, the father of your son is here. Let her in?" A quick response is given. Without a second glance to Emma, she says, "you can go in."

"Really, that is who I am known as. Gee, thanks."

Emma walks in shaking her head. Regina looks at her in amusement. Ms. Thomas is one of the only people to commit such an infraction and get away with it. She was a healer in the old world and was always one of the few people who were kind to her as a young queen. In Storybrooke she does her job well and efficiently.

Regina meets Emma at the door and pulls her in, giving her a small kiss. "Don't mind Ms. Thomas. How are you? I miss you."

Emma pulls her in, smelling her scent and her stomach flutters. "I miss you too. I have great news for you."

Regina pulls Emma's arm to have her sit in her guest chair as she settles back behind her desk on a plush, well made office chair.

"I found a place. I'm homeless no longer." She shoots her a silly smirk. Regina laughs at her.

"That is good to know, dear. And where are you staying?"

"Don't get mad, I'm staying with Mary Margaret." Regina lifts up both eyebrows in surprise. Yes, she detests the woman, but she is Emma's mother, even if she doesn't know. She will not stop her lover from staying with the woman. And it could be worse; Emma could have shacked with some hussy she wouldn't approve of.

Regina schools her expression and reaches across her desk to hold onto Emma's hand. "Of course not, I'm not mad. Ms. Blanchard and I may not be friends, but I think you staying there is appropriate."

Imagining what Regina may think about her staying with another woman, she rushes to further ease Regina into the idea. "And I am not AT ALL interested in her in the least bit. That would just be wrong."

Regina clucks her tongue. Emma has no idea how disturbing that would be for her to be interested in that woman. It seems that Snow's presence is touching her daughter on some level. Emma is truly breaking the curse slowly. "Trust me when I say, I have no qualms about you being room-mates with her. I'm not jealous in the least bit."

Emma's cheeks were puffed before she exhales loudly, glad that a seeming disaster has been stopped. She takes her hands and rubs them together. She hates that she has to ask Regina for help in the job search. She doesn't want her to think less of her, like she is scum. She did have work in Boston.

"Regina, look, you know I want to stay here in this town with you and Henry, right?"

Regina looks at Emma cautiously, trying to not jump to conclusions as to what Emma's question can imply.

"Yes…"

"Well, in order to stay I have a place to live, but I also need a job. I looked everywhere, and I do mean everywhere, and nothing is available. It is hard for me to ask this, but do you know of any openings?"

Regina visibly relaxes, her fears have been subdued of Emma possibly leaving. Emma is a strong, prideful woman and for her to ask this of her, she doesn't want to stomp on Emma's ego or make her feel small.

"I am sorry for that Emma. I know I can find something for you." She thinks about Emma's skill set, how she was able to find Henry so easily.

"What did you do back in Boston?"

Emma is glad that Regina does not look at her like she is a loser. She is not judgemental in the least bit.

"I was a bounty hunter."

Regina taps a pen on her chin, "That is why you was able to find our son. It seems that you are in very good shape." She flicks her eyes over Emma's body, admiring her physic.

Emma kind of flexes in her seat, smirking at Regina cockily.

"How about law enforcement? You can be a deputy; lord knows that Graham can be incompetent. Does that seem like something you are interested in?"

Being deputy doesn't seem to be a bad gig at all. It doesn't seem like much happens in the town anyway, why not?

"Yeah. I can do it. When can I start?"

"I can send the paperwork to Graham today if you like."

Emma smacks her forward in the head, that means the douche-bag will be her boss. But then again, that will also make Regina her boss. This is turning to be an interesting development.

"So, this is not nepotism, is it?"

Regina scoffs at her and waves her hand. "This is my town and I can hire whoever I damn please. It is not like you don't have the skill set for it anyway. I'll call Graham to let him know so he can go through the paperwork with you."

Emma looks at Regina, seeing a woman large and in charge, she admires her attitude. It still didn't answer her question. It does have a tinge of nepotism in it. She softly exhales, "thank you."

Seeing as how Graham is going to be Emma's boss, she still hasn't fully admitted to her about her trysts with the bearded man. She had immediately stopped when Emma came into town. If she is not going to tell Emma about the curse, the least she can do is to tell her about her liaisons with Emma's new co-worker.

Regina clears her throat, ready for her admission. "Emma. I want to be completely honest with you," she hesitantly begins.

That perks up Emma's interest immediately. Regina clasps her hands in her lap and looks straight into Emma's emerald eyes.

"I had…relations with Graham. In the past. But it meant nothing."

"What!?" Emma stands up abruptly from her chair, which was knocked over behind her.

Not only will Graham be her boss, now she has to find out that they used to fuck. It infuriates her.

"You told me that there was NOTHING between you two when we first met. Did you lie to me?!" Emma's voice rises.

"Quiet down, Emma. And I didn't lie to you. I told you that he means nothing to me and I meant it." She tries to reach out to Emma but she wasn't having it. She marches back and forth, panting heavily with her arms crossed. She is trying to calm down.

"Did Henry know? Is that why he was familiar with your home? Has he been tucking my son in at night?"

"Henry didn't know and I never introduced him as my boyfriend. We were not in a relationship. Please Emma, you have to understand that he means nothing to me. He never stayed over. I would never have allowed that."

Emma stops her pacing and looks at Regina's pleading look. She looks so vulnerable and she was internally thankful that Regina genuinely seems that she did not care for Graham significantly.

"I am sorry for getting upset. I had no right to question whoever you've been with the past 9-10 years." Emma sits back in the seat and wipes her hands on her jeans.

"I am sorry, Regina, I truly am."

Regina looks at Emma's puppy dog eyes. She hates how soft she becomes when she is around Emma, but she can't stay mad at all for long. She walks around the desk, her heels click on the marble flooring. She lifts her leg around Emma's thighs and straddles her. Her tight skirt moves above her hips to make room. She runs her hands through Emma's princess curls, massaging her head and kisses her. Emma's hands glide at her waist, greedily accepting her lips, glad that Regina doesn't seem mad at her.

"Emma, Graham could never compare. You are bigger and better than he will ever be." There. That should effectively shut down any jealousy that Emma may harbour.

Emma's ego soars as Regina straddles her, and arousal flows through her, her hard on making her tight jeans uncomfortable for her. She vows that one day, she will take Regina right here in the office.

Emma nips her lips, laughing that Regina is using her wiles to convey that she is forgiven. "Stroking my ego as acceptance of my apology. I can get used to that Madame Mayor."

Regina gives her another kiss and delicately gets out of Emma's lap. She straightens her skirt and teases back. "There will be more where that comes from, Deputy Swan."

Emma stupidly grins, "Deputy Swan, that sounds alright to me. Before I do something I regret, I should be going." Emma stands up with Regina and holds her close. She is impressed with herself at how much self-control she is exhibiting.

Another idea comes to mind. She will have to pick up a few things from her old apartment and get out of the lease in her apartment. Maybe a trip to Boston with Regina and Henry will be great bonding time. She decides to spill her developing plans to the hot mayor.

"I have to go get some stuff from my old apartment in Boston. When I came to bring Henry back to Storybrooke, I didn't bring much with me. If you don't mind, how about you and Henry come with me this weekend?"

Regina thinks over Emma's proposition. She hasn't been outside of Storybrooke since her night with Emma in New York. And Henry gets to go to a city with proper supervision. He will be thrilled. This will give them some family time outside this town.

"That sounds like a wonderful idea. We should go by and pick up Henry together at school to give him the news. Now, I'll call Graham so we can begin your in-processing at the police station. Get going."

Emma smiles at Regina, she definitely knows how to take charge. "That is a great idea." She hugs Regina and kisses her on the cheek. "I'll see you later."

"See you soon, dear," Regina purrs, watching Emma exit the office. She is going to be the death of her.

Emma enters the small police station, and was immediately greeted by Graham.

"Congratulations Emma! Welcome on board. Regina already called me that you have been hired. Looks like I don't have to arrest you any-more."

Emma just rolls her eyes. "Looks like it. How about we just begin the paperwork?"

Graham leads them to the desk at the front of the station. He pulls out a thick stack of paperwork and flops it out in front of Emma.

"Gosh. You don't have to be hostile. We are going to be working together, and technically I'll be your boss. It wouldn't hurt to be nice."

Emma crosses her arms, maybe she doesn't have to be such a bitch to the guy but she will lay down some rules and regulations in regards to Regina.

"I will respect your authority. But I want to make things clear, Regina told me about you guy's…past and I want to make it known none of that will be continuing."

Graham's grey eyes move over Emma's stance. She looks territorial but she has nothing to worry about with Regina and him. Their time together was like business transactions, methodical and emotionless.

"Look, Emma, whatever Regina and I had was not love in the least bit. I would rather have the least interactions as possible with her in all honesty. I would not come between her and your relationship. Can we at least be civil to each other?"

Emma looks at Graham and sees that he is sincere. There is nothing to be concerned with, she just needed to make sure the he understands that Regina is all hers.

"Civil. I can do that. And I am sorry for the way I came off. I can be professional. Let's begin. There is a ton of paperwork here. Geez."

Graham laughs at the horrid expression that Emma has after eyeing the paperwork before them.

"It is a lot. At least you will have dental. You might as well get used to it. Not much happens in the town, except when you showed up and started ruining town property. Thanks for bringing excitement to the town."

Emma groans at the memory and laughs with him. She'd rather forget that unfortunate incident. "Can we not talk about that anymore? I promise to not destroy any more town property."

"Alrighty then."

They go over what she needs to sign, some of the police procedures, and showed her a brown uniform that they will have to wear which she declined and said that she is not going to wear, she looks better in her leather jackets.

He goes towards a closet and pulls out a badge.

"Well, since you aren't going to wear the uniform, at least take the badge. This will make you officially part of the community."

Emma clips the badge to her belt and smiles to herself. Henry will be proud of her, she might as well wear it for the rest of the day. Lights flicker on and off but it wasn't enough to draw either officers' attention.

Emma decided that Graham may not be as bad as she thought. He was easy going and didn't take himself too seriously. She can tolerate him.

"Thanks Sheriff."

Just then Sidney walks into the police station, not seeming thrilled to be there. But he has orders. Regina requested Sidney to go apologize to Emma and write a new piece on the new deputy, a more positive portrayal of her.

He stands stiffly with his hands clasped in front of him at a distance as Graham and Emma look at the newcomer.

"Who's he?"

"He is Sidney Glass. He is the editor of the Daily Mirror, our local newspaper."

Dots connect for Emma. Her eyebrows scrunch in anger. He is the bastard that exposed her past in the paper for the entire world to see, he is going to get a foot in his ass. Emma takes a step to march over there but Graham grabs her arm and whispers to her.

"I know you are angry about that newsletter but I rather not have to arrest you for police brutality on the first day. I'll handle it."

Emma crosses her arms across her chest and shoots daggers at the darker man.

"Hello Sidney. Why are you here at the police station?"

Sidney bristles under the intense glare from Emma but pushes forward. He hates what he has to do for this blonde bitch and steps further into the building.

"I came here to offer my apologies and congratulations to the new deputy. Welcome to Storybrooke. I am to write a piece on you…on the mayor's orders."

Emma knows that his congratulation is insincere. "I would rather you not write anything about me, really. Is there anything else you need, Glass?"

"No, nothing at all. I just wanted to introduce myself. You have a great day Sheriff, deputy," his voice drips in venom with her title. He stalks out of the office, determined to destroy Emma who is taking his love away from him.

Graham and Emma look at each other after he left. "I don't like or trust him. I get weird vibes from him."

Graham scratches his beard, "He acts as Regina's guard dog. I wouldn't trust him either."

Emma looks at the clock on the wall and sees that it is time for Henry to be dismissed from school. She is to meet up with Regina so they can tell him about going to Boston for the weekend.

Regina waits outside of Henry's school in her sky-high stilettos and tight skirt with a silk blouse. She hopes Emma didn't injure Sidney, she gave him some choice words about his behavior and knows he will be kept on a leash. She can't wait to meet Emma so they can give Henry the news of their upcoming trip.

The curse is always niggling in the back of her mind. Reminding her that it will soon break, and where will that put her with Emma? Should she tell Emma beforehand? Give her bits and pieces of fairy-tales being real? She needs to find a best course of action. Before Regina contemplates anything any further, someone pushed themselves behind her, startling her out of her thoughts.

"You look sexy," Emma murmurs behind her eyes as she sneakily snuck behind Regina in the small lobby of the elementary school.

Regina gives her a small peck on the lips. "Tell me something I don't already know." She glances down at Emma's waist, seeing the deputy badge on her belt.

"I gather Graham has begun to get you up to speed on the job."

Emma looks at her and grins. "He did. And Sidney also paid me a visit."

"Don't mind him darling, I took care of him already."

"I was ready to punch his face in, but Graham stopped me." She is not going to mention that she talked things out with Graham about their relationship. It will appear like she can't take it that their previous conversation wasn't enough to hold off Emma's suspicions.

"Good thing he did. I will hate to have to suspend you on the first day."

"Never that, you will probably thank me for putting him out of his misery."

Regina hums her approval, but Sidney still has his uses.

Emma rubs her hands together, "So, where's the little man?"

The school bell rings and kids fly out of the hallways, spilling into the bright sunlight with jubilee that school has ended. Henry sees his parents ahead, his eyes wide in surprise. He quickly jogs over to them and hugs them.

"Hi Mom. Hi Emma." He notices a shiny badge on his Emma's belt. He points to it. "What is that?" His attention to detail is impeccable for a kid his age.

Emma looks at Regina and gives her a bright smile, Regina returns it. Emma looks back at Henry and ruffles his hair and takes his hand to walk to the Regina's car. They drove in separate vehicles. She just wants to spend a little time with them before she starts packing her things.

"I am Storybrooke's new deputy, kid." Henry takes Regina's other hand as they continue walking as a unit.

"That is so cool. That means you get a cop car. Can I ride in it?"

Henry is getting too far ahead of himself, Regina thinks. "Henry, calm down, Emma just started today." She flicks her head towards Emma in warning. "And I don't want your mother to think she can just joyride as she pleases."

Emma giggles and throws Regina a goofy smirk. "You are just ruining all the fun."

"Yeah mom, you seriously are."

"Someone has to be concerned about your safety. Anyway, you have to be good. This weekend, we are going with Emma to Boston."

Henry stops mid-step, his eyes comically huge as his mouth drops. He squeals, "Really!? Yes! I want to go to the zoo, eat junk food, this is going to be awesome."

Emma calms Henry down as he is jumping while walking on the side-walk. "Calm down kid. I got some things planned for you and your mom, but you do need to always be on your best behaviour. Is that understood?"

Regina welcomes Emma's sternness and looks at her lover in appreciation. They are almost to Regina's car.

"Crystal."

"Good." Regina unlocks the door of her 1982 560 SL Mercedes Benz. Henry opens the right side passenger door and hops in, ready to go home. He is drumming with anticipation of this upcoming weekend.

Emma hurries over to the driver's side of the vehicle and opens the car door, gesturing Regina to get in, "Here you are, my queen." Regina nods her head in approval. She gracefully gets into the drivers seat.

"Thank you my knight." Emma leans in the drawn down window and softly kisses Regina.

Henry looks at them in disgust. "Ew kissing." Emma winks at Henry.

"That is how you treat a lady." Regina playfully rolls her eyes.

"Take care, deputy. You can take Henry to school tomorrow."

"Drive safe mayor. And see you later kid."

"See you!" Regina puts the car in reverse and drives away back to their home.

Henry does not miss the banter between his parents and the title that Emma bestowed on his mom.

"Wow mom. Really? Ma called you her queen, how ironic is that?" Of course her son will pick up on that.

"Very but that is a term of endearment, not that Emma believes that I am truly a queen. And when have you started to call Emma 'Ma'?"

Henry shrugs his shoulders. "I dunno. Sometimes I will say it or Emma, whenever it strikes me."

They arrive at the mansion and Henry hurries to his room to get his book. Regina barely had time to take her shoes off and get situated at home before Henry bombards her with questions.

"Since Emma is staying with Mary Margaret, she has to get to know her dad as well. So…where is Prince Charming?"

Regina knew Henry would still be keen on the curse situation.

"He is in a coma, in the ICU patient room." Henry remembers hanging decorations in the town's hospital with Mary Margaret for a class project. They stumbled upon a man, a John Doe as his grandmother described, that had a chin scar and no one claimed him or knows who he is. Now the picture he saw in his storybook clicks with what his mom said and what he saw.

"Then we have to wake him up. He has to be with Snow and mom you have to help."

Regina shakes her head, "I don't think I can wake him up. The man is in a coma."

"Then we have to get Mary Margaret to do it some how. Like True Love's kiss or something."

"True love's kiss is not going to help Henry. He is not cursed, he is in a coma," she mournfully sighed.

"But there's got to be a way," Henry whined. Regina hates seeing her son sad.

"I wish there was a way, I have no magic to revive him."

Henry hugs Regina, "That's ok mom." A light bulb lights up in his head. He will have to get Emma involved in his plan. He thinks it's genius and it may work. He will have to do it next week. He is just too excited for this weekend and needs to stay focused on that. It is only so much he can handle.

Meanwhile

Emma drove the bug back to Mary Margaret's apartment...well, its her now too. She grabs two medium boxes and knocks on the door while trying to balance them in their grip.

Mary Margaret opens the door, having arrived there an hour earlier while Regina and Emma were conversing with Henry.

Seeing the blonde trying to juggle the boxes, Mary Margaret jumps up to help.

"Oh my. Let me help you with that." She grabs the top box and was surprise to not find it too heavy.

"Thanks Mar." They settle the boxes in the living room. Emma looks around the apartment, being that it is the first time she is in here. The whole layout is open with brick walls. It is not like Regina's mansion but it has a homey feel to it. She can't complain about it. Mary Margaret looks at her in anticipation, figuring that there was more stuff to get.

"Is that it?"

"Yep, I am not a sentimental person. It makes it easier to move. When I dropped Henry here, I didn't think I was staying here permanently."

Mary Margaret looks at Emma sadly, wondering what some of her back history was like.

"So, do you have any family back in Boston?"

"No just me. I was an orphan." Emma is surprised that she is divulging this type of information but Mar, she is…just different. Like, she is a trustworthy person. Emma internally laughs at herself; Henry would say it is because she is her mom.

"I am so sorry Emma. How about you put your clothes away while I make us some dinner."

"Thank you." Emma takes the boxes that Mar indicted were hers. It's small, has a rustic, country feel but its shelter. She comes back down the stairs and sees the pixie-haired woman at work.

"Do you need any help?"

"Not really but thank you."

"What's your story?"

"Noting much to tell. I am an only child, my parents died when I was young. I wish I had children, but, it wasn't meant to be." Emma can sense a deep sadness in Mar.

"Mar, I think you would have been a great mother." The brunette looks back at Emma with a big smile.

"Thanks Emma, that is nice of you to say."

Emma shrugs her shoulders, "I don't say what I don't mean. Oh by the way, I'm taking Regina and Henry to Boston this weekend. I still have a few things to get and have to tie things up with my landlord. And I thought it will be nice to take them out of town." Emma's eyes are full of warmth and contentment when talking about Regina and her son. Mary Margaret is happy for her.

"That sounds like a dandy idea. I am sure Henry is thrilled."

"Oh yeah, the kid just started to spout off ideas. I just hope what I have planned will be something that Regina will enjoy."

"Regina is a…difficult woman but I am sure whatever you have planned, she will like."

Emma laughs, knowing the two don't get along but enjoys how tactful Mar can be.

"You don't think it is too soon to, you know, do the family thing like going on a field trip?"

"I don't think it is too soon at all. Just go and have fun with your family."

"Thanks for the encouragement." Conversation between the two flows naturally as they talk about past experiences and eat dinner together. Emma can get used to this friendship.

Chapter Text

It's Friday 3:15pm, and there is nothing for Graham or Emma to do. They are sitting in a stale police station, battling hard in paper toss, throwing wads of paper in the trash can. This has become a very competitive sport between these two, neither wanting to lose.

From one corner of the station, Emma props her right hand and lobs the paper over to the other side. It makes a perfect oval arch; both gasp in anticipation.

THUNK!

"Yes!" she jumps up and raises her fists in victory. "In your face, sucker," she waves her hands in Graham's face as he rolls his eyes in annoyance.

"You got me there, I'll give you that. You are still shit in darts."

"Whatever," Emma laughs in sweet, sweet victory. "I'll beat you one of these days. I told you about going to Boston, I'm going to head out early and pack a little bit of stuff and pick up Regina and Henry. Can you handle things while I'm gone?"

Graham looks at Emma in indignation. "Yeah, I definitely need back up when Pongo gets loose again. Just go and have fun."

Emma punches his biceps lightly, "Ha ha, funny. Anyway, take care. If you be good, I might even get you a souvenir." Emma grabs her leather jacket and jets out of the station, eager to get her weekend started. If they leave within an hour and, it should be around 8, it should allow them to pack their stuff and at least go out to a late dinner.

Emma arrives at the apartment and hastily packs a few outfits for the trip. Regina should have picked up Henry and be in the process of packing their toiletries and clothes for this short weekend. When she rolls the Bug in Regina's driveway, she is pumped up with excitement for their upcoming trip.

Emma knocks on the door and waits for someone to open. She hears click clack of heels and knows that her lady love is about to open the door. Regina opens the door slowly to let Emma in, "Hello, dear." She gives her a swift kiss which Emma returns and enters into the foyer of the mansion.

"I have to go upstairs and finishing packing, Henry will be down shortly."

Speak of the devil, Henry bounds down the stairs with a small traveler's suitcase that had the design of Thor.

"Hey Emma! I'm ready to go. But we have to wait for Mom, she takes forever."

Regina playfully glares at her son. "Preparation takes time." She glances back at Emma, "I'll go back upstairs to finish packing. I'll be back shortly."

Emma nods in her direction and smiles. She can't wait to get going. She rubs her hand in his hair, ruffling it up and picks up the suitcase and swings it over her back.

"Let's go to the car and put this in the trunk." The car is not big but it can at least hold some luggage. She opened the trunk and allowed Henry to help her with it, just so he can feel that he accomplished something.

Regina comes down the stairs with two large Gucci matching suitcases with a Gucci purse. Emma looks at her baffled. They are only going to go to Boston for two days. All of that luggage is not necessary. She runs to her to assist her.

"Um, babe, all of this is not necessary. You will be fine with one bag. And I love you in your heels, but I hope you have some flats or casual shoes because we are going to be doing a lot of walking," Regina looks back at her with a pointed glare.

"I am not a piglet from a movie and a lady cannot go without certain materials. Yes, I do own some flats."

"Good, but you don't have to bring your whole house with you. We will just be gone for a couple of days. Please work with me here," Emma pathetically begs. Regina can't help but give in to her puppy dog eyes.

"I will reduce my belongings but that is all. Please go check on Henry, it looks like he is going to have an aneurysm," she says as she sees him looking at them in the driveway. She leaves to go back into the house and only carries essentials with her.

Emma looks back and sees Henry getting into the car and buckling his seat belt, bouncing with excitement. She walks over to the car to check on him.

"Hey, buddy. How are you?"

He saw his Mom come out with her luggage but retreated back to the mansion.

"Why is Mom going back to the house? What's taking her so long? I'm ready to go," he pouts.

"She had to go and repack. I told her that she had too much."

Henry crosses his arms in annoyance; his mom can take so long to get ready.

"Women," he mumbles.

Emma did hear him and laughed. "Don't let her hear you say that."

Regina is a little mad at her lose of baggage but she figures that she can be reasonable. She makes her way to Emma and Henry and sees them near the yellow bug. This won't do.

"I was under the impression that we will be taking my car."

Emma promptly takes her suitcase from Regina's hand and packs it in the back.

"Nope, we are going in Old Glory."

Regina crosses her arm, almost identical to Henry's expression earlier.

"Miss. Swan. You must clearly have lost your mind if you think I will be getting in your death trap. I may have repacked my luggage at your behest but I will not be getting in that monstrosity."

Emma looked at her a little hurt but barrels on. "Well, since I planned the trip and know my way around the city, I thought it was befitting to just drive my car."

"That yellow heap of junk is not safe for my son. We are going in the Mercedes." She really likes Emma but she has her dignity to look after.

"First of all, it is OUR son and remember, I drove him all the way from Boston to Storybrooke with no incidents, so it is safe for all I am concerned."

"No," Regina defiantly responded back. They haven't even left and Regina's bitchy side is coming out and Emma is getting frustrated. But dammit Regina is sexy even when she is pouting like a five year old.

Emma places her arms around Regina's waist and pulls her rigid, stiff body next to her. "Listen woman, I ain't too proud to beg so I am asking, pleading with you, to join me and our son in Old Glory so that I can show you the best time ever in Boston," she softly whispers the last part. "And the bug is not that bad of a ride."

Regina quirks her eyebrow, she should make a joke about calling it Old Misery because it looks like it was on the last leg. But she holds her tongue and haughtily pushes away from Emma, straightening her dress.

"Since you asked so nicely, I will accommodate your request. But don't disappoint me."

"I wouldn't dream of it," Emma beamed. Regina cannot believe that she acquiesced to Emma's plea. She never had someone to challenge her, who would have dared to challenge the queen? It is odd but thrilling to having an equal.

"What's taking you so long?! Let's go."

"Our son is running out of patience, let's get on with it."

Emma grabs Regina's hand and leads her to the passenger side of the beetle. She opens the door and Regina softly settles in. At least the car is clean, she thinks.

Emma runs over to the driver's side and clicks the seatbelt, happy to tame the demanding woman.

"Alright folks, Boston, here we come."

Regina enjoyed the four hour drive to Boston. She listened to Emma and Henry playing silly car games like, I Spy and License Plate. She realized that Henry developed his singing talents, or lack thereof, from Emma because belching out the song "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" was atrocious. She reminds herself to not waste money getting Henry singing lessons.

But she wasn't going to destroy their mood while singing together. It was endearing, feelings of actually being part of a family overwhelms her. She never felt this type of togetherness with any of her family. The only time she spent time together with her father and mother was at the dinner table, full of awkwardness and hesitance to display any bad etiquette that her mother would drill into her.

Emma maneuvers around the thick Boston traffic, no doubt heading to the hotel that she booked for their trip. Cursing the traffic but Regina scolds her about language. Boston bustles with street lights, pedestrians crowding the streets walking fast to wherever their destinations end. Henry is in awe with the city and the tall skyscrapers. When he went to retrieve Emma, he didn't take the opportunity to truly enjoy the city. He had a singular focus, and that was to bring his other parent back to Storybrooke.

But now is not the time for mission. He can now explore and enjoy the city with the two people he loved in the world. Regina is also in amazed at the city. She decides that it is feels much like New York, even though it is not as diverse. She is ready to not focus on curses breaking or being an evil queen, she can just enjoy being the girlfriend of Emma, and a mother to her beautiful son.

Emma is driving through a very historic part of Boston.

"If you guys are wondering, that is where we are staying," she points to a very tall, stately looking building with a clock tower at the very tip.

"Whoa, that is so cool," Henry responded. Regina was also very impressed; this looks like a very nice hotel. But she will hold any comments until they actually get inside the building. Emma drives into a parking lot designated for valet parking.

"Okay folks, here we are." She gets out of the car and opens the door for Regina. As Regina exits, Emma gives her a small kiss on the cheek. Henry hops out with quickness and opens the trunk, ready to unload their luggage. Emma runs over and takes over the large suitcases, holding both in her hand.

Emma guides her family towards the resort's entrance, opening the wooden doors with gold handles. What greets them has Regina and Henry with their mouths gaping. The Marriot's lobby is the epitome of elegance. In the middle of the lobby was an elaborate circle of stone with patterns. The rotunda and ground floor had a blue design circling the circle that was cut to show the lower levels. The walls were off white stones that resembled Greek columns. The atmosphere had a feeling of a nice museum.

"My gosh, Emma, this is absolutely gorgeous. How could you even afford this?" Emma fumbles with the two suitcases behind her, being a little insulted by Regina's question.

"Hey, I'm not exactly broke, and let's just say I know a guy. I'm glad it meets your standards, now let's go to our room to get settled in. It is on the twentieth floor."

"Wow, I didn't know it had that many floors, this is amazing," Henry squeals.

"What until you see our room," Emma looks at Henry. Emma makes her way to the front desk with Henry and Regina in tow holding hands, looking over the beautiful architecture of the lobby and making comments to each other.

As Emma approaches the front desk, a uniformed gentleman in burgundy and gold buttons greets her and smiles. "Welcome to the Marriot Custom House Resort, how may I help you?"

"I have a room reserved under Emma Swan." She already booked the room on the internet and they have her card on file. The receptionist, George as it appears on his name tag, taps away on the computer and finds her name. He hands her the keys, "Your room is 222 on the twentieth floor. Please enjoy our amenities and stay here."

Emma grabs the keys and thanks him, grabbing the suitcases and heads for the elevators.

Regina and Henry follow and they talk amongst each other, enjoying the company as the elevator stops on the twentieth floor. They exit and Emma spies the signs that show where the rooms are located. 222 is on the right. They head there and Emma uses the old fashioned key to open the doors where Regina and Henry are greeted again by the luxury of the hotel.

The living room has a presidential feel with blue carpet with intricate patterns. The suite was spacious and was comfortable as they slowly made their way into the room. The kitchenette area had white cabinets and a dining room that was very homely.

Regina has to admit that Emma had impeccable taste.

Emma leads Regina to the master bedroom to put their luggage up in chestnut drawers.

"Here is the master bedroom. I really hope you like it," Emma said nervously. She was really worried that she would disappoint Regina but for Regina, the exact opposite was true.

Regina grabs Emma and kisses her deeply. "I love it. No one has done anything like this for me. Thank you," she whispers.

Emma returns the kiss, "let me show you the rest of the room." Emma shows her the bathroom that had the same décor as the kitchen. She told her that the master bedroom had a king sized bed and in the guest room, there was a queen sized one.

"Wow, come check this out, I can see like the whole city of Boston from here!" Henry has done his own investigation of the room and ran to the windows which displays a beautiful view of the city. Regina and Emma joined him, enjoying the view as well. The people looked like ants from where they are at.

Emma points out different attractions when Emma's stomach growled.

Regina looks at Emma. "As beautiful as this room is, I hear that you are hungry and I am famished as well."

Henry groans, "I am starving! Can we go eat now?" he whines. During their trip, they made no stops to eat. Emma's tank was full and Regina and Emma agreed that it was best to head straight there so they don't arrive in Boston too late. They agreed to do dinner in the city.

"I agree. I already have a place we can grab and get a bite to eat." They put up their clothing and toiletries and then shower to change clothes and head out of the hotel.

The little unit found themselves in front of the State Street Grill diner.

Regina gives Emma a sarcastic look. "Really dear, the first place you take us is to a diner."

"This place is great and trust me, there is a lot of variety here and it will be quick. Their sandwiches are amazing. Don't be a sour puss."

Henry's mouth waters from the smells that hits them as they enter the bustling eatery.

"I am so ready to eat." Henry grabs both of their hands and leads them to the waitress at the front.

"How many?" Emma signaled three and the young brunette waitress lead them to a booth. Emma gestured for Henry to get inside as Regina sits next to him. Emma takes the opposite side of the table, wanting to see her family in front of her.

"This looks a lot different from Granny's."

"Yeah kid, we are a world away from Storybrooke. Get whatever you want, my treat of course."

Regina quickly instructs Henry, "But that does not mean you will order junk."

They looked through their menus. Emma settles on getting the grilled chicken Philadelphia. Henry wants the chicken Portobello. He is going to get a sandwich just like her. Even though Regina is starving as well she wants to at least be healthy. She chooses the Mango salad that has grilled salmon on atop baby arugula loaded with mango, radicchio (whatever that is), garlic croutons, roasted walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette.

"Well that doesn't surprise me, you should live a little," Emma says, trying to pick on Regina.

"You should try and add greens to your diet and set an example of good nutrition for our son."

"My order does have veggies like peppers and onions. They just are paired with delicious beef."

They go back and forth as Emma and Henry convinced Regina to have mozzarella sticks for appetizers since they are starving. They give their orders and wait for their food.

They talk amongst themselves, Emma gives them stories about her time as a bail bonds person in Boston, and some of the close calls she had.

"That sounds entirely dangerous Miss. Swan. I am glad that you have a much safer profession."

"I think it is pretty cool. You got to show me some moves."

"Henry, you will not over my dead body, learn how to karate chop someone in the throat."

"What if I got to defend myself, or protect you? It is my job to make sure nothing happens to you." As great as a thought that her son wants to protect her, she does not want him to get injured and they talk back and forth.

As they eat their food Emma observes them. She has never had a family dinner like this. She was given scraps at numerous foster homes. She was never made part of the family by eating at the dinner table. Being here with Regina and Henry, she feels home just like how they had a couple of family dinners in her mansion. She never wants this feeling to stop.

Emma paid for their meal as they finished it.

"Let's walk around for a bit." She guides them to the Boston Harbour where there are yachts on deck. Even though it is close to eleven o'clock the city is still thrumming with activity. Emma walks in the middle holding Regina and Henry's hand. They walk off their delicious meals as they fawn over the harbour and the whole scenery of the area.

Regina's brown orbs look at Emma with fondness as green eyes sparkle as she talks about the city and answering Henry's never ending questions. They all become tired, it has been a long day so they return back to the hotel. Emma promised more sight seeing of the area.

In the resort, Emma guides Henry to the guest room where it was decided that she will sleep there as well. They take turns to shower since there was one bathroom. Henry goes first and after he finishes, he puts on his pajamas. He drops to sleep immediately once his body hits the sheets. Emma and Regina stand next to them.

"You can go ahead, once you're done, I'll follow."

Regina puts her hands on Emma's chest and kisses her softly. "Thank you so much. Henry and I had a wonderful time. This was much more than I expected."

Emma grabs her hands and kisses them, then Regina's plump lips.

"My pleasure, and there is more to come. Now take a nice hot shower so I can go roll around in the hay."

Regina pushes Emma lightly away, not liking how Emma messed up their little romantic moment.

"You have an interesting choice of words." She leaves Emma to take a shower, enjoying the steaming hot water that flows on her. She loves shower heads that have pressure to it that makes it seem like a massage. She exits the bathroom in a towel. Emma is still oddly in the guest room with Henry. She lotions her skin as she hears the shower turned on, Emma taking her turn in the bathroom.

When Regina finishes her prep for sleep in grey silk matching pajamas, Emma enters the master bedroom to kiss Regina goodnight and turns to leave. Regina is confused, she thought Emma will sleep with her. Well, not sleep sleep with her but still. She grabbed Emma's wrist to keep her from leaving.

"You are not staying here?" Regina hates how clingy she sounds but it hurt her to think that Emma didn't seem interested to stay here with her.

Emma looks at Regina's hurt expression and speedily explains herself. "It is not like I don't want to sleep with you. God…that is further from the truth. If I do sleep here with you, I don't know if I will be able to keep my hands to myself. I am really trying to not rush things."

Regina considers Emma's answers. She hasn't pushed herself on her, and has remained a gentlewoman, keeping her promise that she wants to slowly build their relationship. But heck, she doesn't want to sleep alone tonight and would love to feel Emma's next to her.

Her heart beats fast at how quickly her feelings are developing with Emma. She wants the blonde, gorgeous woman to be near her all the time. Her emotions frighten her but she calms down, wanting to not scare herself any further. As alone as she has been for years, she cannot deny that she wants companionship. She wants someone to sleep with and wake up to say a simple good morning. She has denied it so long that she doesn't want to do it any further.

"I don't think it will be inappropriate. We already share a son together. I think we can behave ourselves and not act like horny teenagers. Just stay," Regina's milk chocolate eyes melt at Emma's resolve.

Emma begs to differ that she isn't horny, nor that does she act like a teenager, but she can behave herself.

"I would love to." Emma climbs under the plush white duvet, the mattress soft but firm which conforms to her body. Regina moves over onto to her side, silently communicating to Emma to spoon her. Emma scoots her body behind Regina, taking the hint. She throws her right arm over Regina, pulling her closer to her front.

Just to be on the safe side, Emma grabs one of the puffed six pillows at the head of the bed, and puts it in front of her crotch and re-positions herself behind Regina. Like she thought to herself before, Emma doesn't trust herself and doesn't want to be poking Regina from behind.

Regina can feel Emma's movements behind her, smirking to herself when she feels a pillow behind her. Emma is being honorable as always. Emma climbs over and gives a small kiss on Regina's right cheek.

"Good night, beautiful." Regina becomes comfortable and as Emma encircles her and just melts into her embrace.

"Good night, dear." They fall asleep together with Emma's warm breath behind Regina's neck.

Regina wakes in Emma's arms as the sun spills through windows, reminiscing of their night of passionate love making ten years ago. But instead of waking up and running away from Emma because of overload of emotions throwing her off-kilter, she places a kiss on Emma's thin lips, waking her up.

"Good morning, Emma." Emma's eyes flutter open as she meets soft brown eyes.

"Good morning to you to. I can wake up to this everyday." Both of them smile at each other, both of their hearts beat hard at this momentous interaction. They both know beyond a doubt that there will be more mornings waking up together. Emma also thinks about their morning together all the years ago. But this time around has better results.

Henry wake ups and takes a shower without being ordered to. He wants to get the day started already. Then Regina and Emma takes turns in the shower. Emma so wants to join Regina but that will be pushing their limits too far.

They have breakfast at the same diner since it is so close by and they proceed to walk to their destination. Emma tells Regina and Henry that sometimes it is faster to take the subway or to walk than take the car around. Henry has a huge grin on his face. He feels rejuvenated and eager to see more what Boston offers.

"Where are we going next?"

Emma looks at Henry as she softly caresses Regina's hand, who throws her a questioning glance as well.

"We're heading to my old apartment. I got some loose ends to tie up."

"I am looking forward to the apartment that our son found you from," Regina gives Henry a chiding look in the side mirror.

Henry has the decency to feel a little ashamed at running away to find his mother and his cheeks turned red.

Emma notices the elevated tension as they are walking on the busy side-walk and decides to cut it off.

"At least I got a hottie out of that ordeal." Regina chuckles and hits Emma's right arm softly, knowing that Emma was trying to dispel the uncomfortable air between them. She didn't mean to make Henry feel bad.

"I'm happy at the turnout as well, no matter the fright I had." Regina smiles back at Henry who is immediately relieved as he laughs with his parents.

As they stroll through the city, Emma points out even more places that she has visited and stories behind them. They take the subway to get their her former neighborhood.

They entered her apartment and filter into the modern place. Regina is shocked at what she sees. She didn't expect Emma's apartment to be so clean and the décor so nicely put together. She has to stop underestimating her woman.

"Not quite what I imagined," as Henry takes a seat on the coach, looking up curiously.

Emma has a small box and goes through the apartment to packs things in there.

"What did you expect?"

Regina's shrugs her shoulders while looking around.

"I don't know. A mess for one thing."

"I am not a messy person. I know how to keep a clean place."

"Your room in Granny's says otherwise."

"You just caught me at a bad time," she argued back.

There was a knock at the door and Emma passes Regina in the kitchen to open it. A shorter greying haired woman with a bob enters the apartment.

"I haven't seen you in a while Swan. How have you been?" Mrs. Pitowski was a kind older woman with a clipped Ukrainian accent and never gave Emma issues. Maybe because she always paid her rent on time and never brought up any complaints.

"I have been doing good." Mrs. Pitowski sees a beautiful brunette and another brunet boy coming into the kitchen.

"And who is this?"

Emma gestured towards Regina and Henry as she introduces them.

"This is my girlfriend, Regina and our son, Henry. Regina, Henry, this is my landlord Mrs. Pitowski."

The older landlord smiles brightly with missing teeth towards them. She wonders who gave birth to the boy but keeps her questions to herself. Regina decides that the woman is harmless.

"What a lovely family you have. I never saw you bring anyone to the apartment."

"I am putting in my notice, I am moving to Maine." She pulls out her wallet giving her a check with the rest of the rent for this month and the next. Pitowski's eyes soften as she takes it from her grasp.

"You will be missed. You take care," she nods towards them and exits the apartment.

"She's nice," Henry determined.

"Yeah, she is one of the best landlords I have. I had some shitty ones before."

"Emma!" Regina disparages her. "Watch your language."

"Sorry." Emma knows she has a potty mouth and since she has a kid, she has to learn how to use a filter.

Henry shrugs, "I heard worse language since being here." It is a big city and with it comes big city attitudes and language that is not PG.

"With that in mind, you best to not repeat such things. I raised you better than that."

Henry rolled his eyes, "Yes, Mom." Emma's goes back in the back and tapes the small box that she gathered.

"This is just it." Regina looks at her, in shock. "That is all you taking?" Emma looks at her confused.

"I don't have much stuff and the place came already furnished. Plus, it is not like I have the space to get any more stuff. I don't have a lot of belongings."

Regina nods at Emma in understanding. It seems that the blonde has lived a nomadic life requiring very little personal belongings. She hopes that is changing with Emma staying in Maine.

They get back on the subway with Henry twirling himself around a pole as Emma and Regina keep a close eye on him. All sorts of people ride the subway, and you can't be too careful. They exit and walk around until they see an expansive looking park.

"And we have arrived at Boston's Public Garden. It is America's first public garden." Emma sounds like a chirpy tour guide, which she would proudly claim. She loves showing Regina and Henry around. She gets the feeling that they don't get out of the Storybrooke that much.

They get out of the car and get onto the pathway that many couples and families travel on.

The sight is breath-taking as Regina takes in the beautiful scenery of multi color trees, manicured perfect lawns, and geese traveling around like they owned the place. The area is spacious and the aura is peaceful.

Emma looks at Regina and Henry who are amazed. Henry gets very excited when he sees a guy selling a kite. He pulls on Emma's arm, "Can I get one? Can I, can I please?"

Regina and Emma chuckle at Henry's exuberant pleading.

"Yes, you can have one." They go up and Emma's gives the guy a little cash. The older fellow thanks her and smiles at Henry as he gives him a kite. Henry then runs out into an open field as he tries to get the kite into the air. The weather is breezy but not too violent, making it perfect conditions for kite flying.

Regina yells back at Henry, "Don't get too far, mister." Henry glances back and answers, "I won't."

Emma grabs Regina's hand, blinking her eyes at her lovingly. They walk in sync together in silence. Emma realizes that she doesn't know Regina very well and figures that a walk around the park in peace is a great way to start.

"What's your favorite color?" Regina is enjoying the warm air on her bronzed skin, loving the cool weather and beautiful flowers that surrounds her while keeping one eye on Henry.

"Why do you ask that?"

"I don't know you that well and I think it is just naturally to ask questions like that in a relationship."

Regina's soul lifts, no one has expressed such simple interest in her likes since Daniel.

"Black."

"That doesn't surprise me at all. You scream to me as liking black kind of woman, and it suits you."

"Sue me, I can't help I look good in it. Well…I look good in anything I wear."

"You are the most modest person I have ever met."

"I can't help that I am amazing."

"There you go, telling the truth again." Emma flashes her a goofy grin, loving the banter between the two. They go back and forth, just asking simple things such as favorite food, personalities, and interests.

Emma was surprised to learn that Regina liked horses. She can imagine the brunette on top of one, riding into the sunset like a boss.

"I never have been on a horse. Have you taken Henry?"

Regina turns her head away in sadness. "No. I haven't ridden in quite some time."

It hurts Emma to see such melancholy in her eyes. "Do you mind telling me why?"

Regina stiffens, not ready to talk about how her mother killed her fiancé in the stables in the Enchanted Forest.

"I rather not," she answered thinly. Emma flinched at her tone, understanding that it is a back-story full of pain. She hopes that Regina one day will entrust in her to tell that story.

"Okay then, I respect that."

Regina tries to deflect the conversation from her.

"Tell me something about your past. Like how you grew up."

"I grew up in multiple foster homes, I was never one of the lucky ones to get adopted. Well, I was adopted at three, that is how I got my last name, but they got a new kid so you know how that goes…" Emma's voice fades off.

Regina tightens her grip in Emma's. She also has a painful past. But the difference is that Regina is partially responsible for her fate. She is determined to make up for it, in whatever ways she can.

Emma sees Henry getting close to a pond while flying is multi-colored kite. "Be careful," she cups her mouth and shouts at him. The wind is dwindling down so the kite falters at a quick speed. Henry gathers it, and runs back to them.

"That was fun while it lasted. What's next?" His parents look lovey dovey while walking together, he noticed them while he was playing with his kite.

"Let's continue walking, I think you guys are going to enjoy what I planned next."

They continue to walk down the beautiful path of the Garden when off to a distance, they see larger than life swans. As they get closer, they see that the large swans are actual boats. They see numerous people in line.

"We are about to get on those?" Henry looks up at Emma curiously.

"Yes, indeed." Regina has her arms hooked in Emma's as they wait in line. The wait wasn't long as Emma pays the small fare and helps Regina and Henry into the boat.

Henry excitedly looks around at the geese flowing next to them in a pond.

"How ironic we are riding on a Swan boat? Clever of you." Regina is sitting next to Emma as Henry is sitting on the opposite end.

Emma leans and whispers into Regina's ear, wanting to tease the brunette.

"I have a big swan that you can ride." Regina opens her eyes wide and smacks Emma on her arm.

"Emma!" she scolds. Henry is right across from them. Emma did whisper and Henry probably wouldn't catch the innuendo, but that doesn't mean they should talk like that in front of him. Regina runs her hands through her soft black hair and turns away from Emma's impish laughter.

Regina doesn't want Emma to get one over her. She decides to challenge Emma back and turn back around and seductively husks low in Emma's ear.

"I thought we decided to call him Mr. Big." Emma lifts her eyebrows at Regina and her arousal spikes as Regina laughs at her ridiculous grin.

"Well played woman, well played." They laugh between themselves. Henry crosses his arms, mad that they were leaving him out of the conversation.

"What are you guys laughing at? It is rude to whisper you know," he reprimands his parents. They snapped their focus back to their son, having the decency to blush.

Regina grabs Emma's hand, "That is correct and we are sorry. How are you enjoying the park so far?"

Henry grins and talks about how awesome Boston is and how he wants a Swan boat back home. The trip is over almost as soon as it began. Emma leads them to get some ice cream at a stationary ice cream cart that is right around the corner they left the Swan boat.

Henry pumps his fist in the air.

"Can I get three scoops of chocolate ice cream?"

"Henry, you may have two, I don't want you rotting your teeth out."

"Come on, Regina, lighten up."

Regina scoffs at Emma, "You try dealing with a screaming child as he gets his tooth pulled out. I am being generous, he usually gets just one."

Emma holds her hands up in surrender. "Whatever you say boss. What are you getting?"

"I'll take a sherbet popsicle, thank you."

Emma orders an ice cream cone with two scoops of chocolate ice cream, a sherbet popsicle, and a cup of butter pecan ice cream for herself.

The ice cream man nods his head and hands the treats to his customers, Emma pays and thanks him. They walk slowly down another path in the garden where they see a huge statute of George Washington. Henry is greedily eating his ice cream as Emma and Regina sneak glances to each other.

Emma is enjoying how the brunette is sensual licking her popsicle. She thinks she is doing it on purpose. Regina catches Emma staring at her. She decides to look directly at Emma as she puts the whole eight inch dessert in her mouth, the whole treat disappearing in her mouth and reappearing as she slowly takes it out, her lips making a perfect oval. She has skills.

Emma's mouth drops open and eyes darken with desire. Regina's pride inflates at the affect she can have on the blonde. Emma stuffs her small spoon in her cup which frees her right hand and pulls Regina into a deep kiss. Regina returns it in vigor, dissolving into a world that just has her and Emma. Some people stopped and gaped at the beautiful couple. An older couple holding hands just glanced at them and kept walking.

It took Henry a couple of moments to notice that he was no longer walking and that his parents were no longer with him. He turns around and sees Emma and Regina lip-locked. He stomps a few feet towards them.

"Mom's, you are embarrassing me." It is not like he isn't happy to see them get along, but he doesn't need to see them making out, in public, for crying out loud.

Both of them jump out of their embrace and straightens their clothes, cheeks red as the apples in Regina's apple tree.

Emma is the first one to speak while trying to nonchalantly return back to her melting ice cream.

"That's what parents are for," she mumbles back. Regina is embarrassed as well, she has never participated in PDA before. But when Emma grabbed her for a kiss, she couldn't fight against her soft lips and the seemingly romantic afternoon they were having. She was caught up in the moment. She pays close attention to finishing her popsicle and says nothing.

"I swear I can't turn my back on you guys for a second," Henry shakes his head at them.

Regina and Emma feel like they are teenagers who were caught making out by their parents since Henry was scolding them for their behavior. But he is doing it in playful jest. For the rest of the day, Emma takes them to the New England aquarium, the Museum of Fine Arts which Regina complimented Emma on that was very educational and thoughtful for Henry to visit. They also did the famous Freedom Trail.

Emma pats her back on giving them a well rounded tour of Boston. The day winds down and they go to a restaurant in the Quincy Market. Regina notices that Henry scarfs down his food as quick as Emma, now understanding where he got that from.

They visited Nine West at Regina's insistence, saying that a lady can never have too many shoes and comes out with a couple of boxes. The little famil also went into Newbury Comics. Henry cons Emma to buy some more books for him that his mom hasn't gotten for him yet.

Regina shakes her head at his antics. Emma couldn't refuse Henry, he is a spoiled brat, she thinks. They visited some other specialty shops, but she is happy to see her woman and son with huge smiles as they exit the market to head back to the hotel, mother and son holding hands as Emma is carrying their purchases.

They retire to the hotel and showered for bed.

Emma kisses Regina tonight and tells her that she is sleeping with Henry. With all of the sexual teasing they did earlier, she doesn't think she would have the resolve to keep her hands off of Regina which the brunette wholeheartedly agreed.

But for some odd reason, both her and Henry had some energy left and somehow fell into a playful pillow fight. Regina heard the ruckus in the room and clicks on the lights.

"What on Earth is going on here?" she quizzes as she stands with her hands on her hips, looking authoritative even in silk pajamas.

Emma and Henry look back with identical looks at getting caught.

"Mom, join us. This is so much fun."

"Yeah mom, come join us," Emma repeats in a childish tone. Regina shakes her head and makes to begin to get out of the bedroom. Emma quickly grabs Regina's waist as she hoists her up as Regina squeals in surprise, and drops her in the bed. It amazed her how light Regina is, and she is not too big herself.

Henry playfully hits his mother as Emma jumps in the bed and joins the fight.

Regina is secretly enjoying the seemingly slumber party. Not to be out done, she quickly grabs a plush pillow and hits Emma in the face which shocked Emma. Regina takes the opening and as Emma fall onto the bed and straddles Emma's thighs. Regina laughs evilly as Emma is laughing trying to fiend off her soft attacks.

Regina gives Henry a conspiratorial glance, mother and son in sync as they simultaneously attack Emma with pillows. All of them laugh hysterically. Emma is on the losing battle of the Mills vs. Swan. She throws her hands up, giving in to the small battle.

"This is not fair, I give…I give up. Mercy, please."

"I'll grant you mercy," Henry royally smug in his response. Regina is impressed. It sounded like a legitimate prince back in their own land.

"Okay, Henry, I think we tortured your mother enough." Regina looks down and gives Emma a peck on the cheek.

"That is what you get for throwing me in the bed."

"It wasn't like you didn't like it."

Henry gets uncomfortable again. "I think this is inappropriate." Emma grabs Henry and tickles him into a fit as Regina joins her.

"Mercy, mercy," Henry screams in laughter as he cannot take any-more.

They both stopped and Regina gives Henry a kiss on the forehead.

"With that, I will retire to bed. Get some sleep my prince." Henry beams at her, fully understanding that he is indeed a real prince.

"Goodnight, mom." Regina gets off the bed to exit the bed as Emma pouts.

"What about me? I don't get a good night kiss?"

Regina looks back on Emma's puppy dog eyes that she loves to pull out like it is a weapon. She couldn't resist and kisses Emma squarely on the mouth.

"Goodnight, dear," and leaves the room, shutting off the light. Henry makes gagging noise as Emma quiets him to go to sleep with a huge smile on her face.

They fall asleep to begin the next day.

Sunday rolls around and Emma cannot wait to get the day going. Regina has short khakis with a spaghetti tank top and flats. It is Emma approved. She notices that Regina is actually an inch or two shorter. With Regina's towering high heels, she usually is a little taller than the blonde.

They go into the Quincy Market to a café that Regina said that she wanted to try. As they eat and chat, Emma couldn't help but ogle her long, smooth, luscious legs.

"So what's next for Boston?" It seems to be Henry's favorite question at this point.

"I'm going to give you guys the quintessential American experience. We are going to a Boston Red Sox game!"

"That is awesome!" Regina has a bored expression as she continues to eat her spinach omelet which Emma doesn't miss.

"You don't seem too excited." Regina gives her a tight smile.

"It is not really a game I am interested in but I wouldn't mind to experience it with you and Henry."

"It starts in two hours so we can make our way over there."

Emma shows Regina and Henry a merchandise store in the crowded, noisy stadium. She buys herself and Henry matching Red Sox hats with the matching jerseys.

"I am not wearing that," Regina protests when Emma holds up a pink jersey for her to wear.

"Come on Regina, we all have to match. We have ours."

Regina shoots her an Evil Queen glance to shut that look down. Emma wisely backs away and doesn't push any further.

"Okay, how about we go and get our seats." The stadium is jammed pack since the Red Sox are facing the New York Yankees. One of the best rivalries in baseball. There are conversations carrying on everywhere, the place is a buzz with excitement. Emma has her arm around Regina's waist as her other arm is around Henry's shoulder.

She is beyond grateful to spend time with them like this. Regina is rigid and aloof when they sit in their seats that is right behind the batter's cage.

"You know, baseball games are a little better when you are a little tipsy. I will get us something to drink. Do you want anything kid?"

"Yeah, can I get a hot dog?"

"Kid, you just ate a couple of hours ago."

"Don't ask me what I want if you are going to question me."

"Don't sass me, geez, you are like your mom."

"He just gets his intelligence from me." Emma does but doesn't like when the Mills gang up on her. But she will get them what they want.

With a couple of wines in Regina and Henry stuffing his face with some roasted peanuts and his hot dog, the Swan-Mills clap when there is a hit from the Red Sox. Join in the wave. Emma caught a pop out and gave to Henry which he was stoked about.

During the game, the kiss cam goes around the stadium around couples. Regina is oblivious but Emma catches when they land on her, Regina, and Henry. She grabs Regina and gives her a quick kiss which the stadium goes crazy for. Regina realizes that she is on camera and flips her hair and gives a bright smile. Diva to the core. Henry says ewww but they continue to enjoy the afternoon.

Once they leave the baseball game, they go back to the hotel to actually enjoy some of the amenities. Henry does cannon balls in the pool as Emma joins him. She has a swimmer's bra as she wears baggy men shorts for obvious reasons. Emma is lusting over Regina's barely there red bathing suit.

Regina is enjoying the hot tub and as much fun as Emma is having with splashing water at Henry and playing tag, she wants to have some quality time with the beautiful brunette.

Emma gets out of the pool and walks over to Regina. Regina takes in the lean abs of Emma. She hasn't truly been able to observe Emma's body lately but she is very fit. Her biceps are defined and she just wants to rub her hands over her stomach. She is a little jealous that Emma's boobs are bigger than hers, but that just means there is more there to love.

"So what are you doing over here all your lonesome," Emma asks as she lowers herself into the warm tub.

"Relaxing since we have done so much walking this past few days."

"How evil of me."

"Indeed." Emma gets closer to Regina, she is happy that there is no one else. She swims predatorily into Regina's personal space.

"How about we… you know?"

"We what, dear?" she coyfully replied.

"It is better if I show you." Emma kisses Regina gingerly, while pushing her body flush against her. Regina deepens the kiss while putting her arms around Emma's shoulder, loving the taste of the blonde. She feels a hardness on her stomach. Emma returns the intense and grinds Mr. Big against Regina, so wanting to take it further.

"Mom! Emma! I'm drowning!" They snap from each other and quickly get out of the tub and jog 10 feet to the common pool but they found Henry snickering.

"Henry! Why would you say something like that?" Regina yells.

"Yeah, kid not cool."

"This is the second time that you guys forgot me when you guys were smooching. Something could have happened. I am just trying to make sure you guys are responsible."

Emma shakes head, "smart-ass." But he is right, they should be paying more attention to the kid. She has a lot to learn.

"I'm sorry Henry. How about we join you?" Regina eagerly gets in the pool to accommodate her son.

Emma mutters, "cock-block" softly but joins them as well. They play Marco Polo and of course the Mills have to gang up on Emma again. They enjoy the rest of the late afternoon and wash up and get packed.

Chapter Text

A week has passed and Henry sits in Mary Margaret's class, daydreaming about the fun he had while in Boston with his parents. He never has enjoyed such a family outing like that since it is always he and his mother. And she has never taken him out of Storybrooke before that trip.

He turns his head back to the pixie-hair's lessons; he would love to fully be with all of his family, including his grandparents.

Since he is back in the small town, he refocuses on Operation Cobra. His mother said that true love's kiss wouldn't work since John Doe, AKA, Prince Charming, AKA, his grandfather is not cursed. There has to be another way. He thinks he finally found a solution…

"So you want me to convince Mary Margaret to read a story in that book of yours to a John Doe in the hospital because he is Prince Charming?"

Henry nods his head, "Yes. She needs to read to him their story so he can remember."

Emma thinks it is cruel to tell someone that their soul mate is in a coma, unrealistic hope is a far worse fate then not getting a happy ending. Emma was hoping that having a trip out of town will give Henry reprieve from his insistence on the curse in Storybrooke.

Maybe she should consult with Regina to have Henry to continue his therapy sessions with Dr. Hopper. He is still insisting on the curse being real. She thinks she has a way to show him that he is wrong instead of telling him.

"So you want me to read to a coma patient because Henry believes that he is Prince Charming and I'm Snow White?" Mary Margaret is very skeptical with Emma's proposal.

"He has a very active imagination, which was the point. I can't talk him out of his beliefs, so we need to show him. Play along, do what he says and then maybe, just maybe—"

"He'll see that fairy tales are just that—that there's no such thing as love at first sight or first kiss. He'll see reality," Mar finishes with more clarity.

"It is rather genius."

"We can meet up here at Granny's tomorrow to give a full report."

"That sounds like a plan. By the way, how was Boston? We never got the chance to sit down so you can tell me about your time there."

Emma's eye light up with mirth. "It was amazing. We had a nice resort and I guided them to nice tourist parts. Henry is a little cheeky fellow. Regina was a little difficult at first but she loosened up throughout the trip. I just love seeing that part of her, it doesn't seem that she gets to express that softer side of hers."

Mar nods in agreement. Regina is very cold and frigid with other people in the town. However, being around Henry and Emma just brings out the lightness in her. They are the only ones to bring out that side of her. And she is happy to see an unguarded Emma talking openly about her family.

"Regina is definitely different around you. I think anyone with eyes can see that. I suppose I'll get ready for my date. I guess I'll have to do all the talking."

"See you later."

Emma decided to visit Regina at her office about her plan to have Mary Margaret to read to the John Doe with the scar on his chin at the hospital.

"What made you come up with that idea?"

"Henry suggested it actually. And since we," it was just Regina in all honesty, "discontinued Henry's therapy sessions, I figure this was the best route to take to get Henry to realize that there is no such things as fairy-tales."

Regina stands up from her desk and looks out of the window, her back facing Emma. She was in bliss spending time with Emma and Henry. They were all in their own little bubble away from curses and past identities.

But now, she is back again in the reality of Storybrooke, the town she has built herself. Emma still does not believe. Can she honestly say that she wants Emma to know? That is something she will have to struggle with. Emma is unknowingly reuniting her parents back together, unfortunately one is in the coma and it is tragic and all her fault. But she can't undo what has been done.

And it does hurt that Henry decides to go behind her back and enlist Emma in trying to get Charming to wake up. She guesses that she shouldn't be bitter. It is not like she had any alternative ways to wake him up.

She will not allow herself to put a damper on Emma's plans with Mary Margaret. She does not want to bear the burden of Emma never meeting her father. Her arms are crossed as her hands clasped at her elbows of her high-powered navy blue business suit.

"That son of ours. He is always up to something. I think it is a brilliant idea, Emma."

Emma smiles back at Regina, glad to have her approval. However, she is still insecure in how she handles Henry and his disillusions. And she doesn't want to overstep boundaries.

Emma steps into Regina's personal space and gives her a tentative kiss. "I will let you know how everything goes. I'll see you sometime this week?" Emma asks slowly. It seems to be an unspoken agreement for Emma to come over and have dinner at Mifflin Street at least once a week. There is still flirtation in the relationship but they haven't gone any further than that. Emma does not know how long her resolve can last in the presence of the gorgeous brunette.

Regina gets a feeling that Emma still values some space and wants their relationship to build slowly. It also feels like, as eager as Emma is to want to stay in Storybrooke, she still has some hesitance to fully trust Regina.

"We would love to have you, dear. Let's do dinner tonight." Regina returns the kiss and her eyes linger as Emma leaves her office. Even though this Charming business is messy she has a fleeting thought of how much she would like to do a certain blonde.

"See you tonight," Emma yells back towards her while exiting the room.

Regina settles back at her office and picks up her phone.

"Dr. Whale, this is the mayor. I would like for you to report to me any changes with the John Doe I found."

Later on in the day, Regina greets Henry when he enters the mansion after coming home from school.

"Emma told me how you managed to get her to convince Mary Margaret to read to Charming at the hospital." She is a little hurt that Henry enlisted Emma for help. But she did tell her son that she didn't know how to wake his grandfather up.

Henry inwardly berates himself, hoping that his mom is not mad at him. "I'm sorry. Don't be mad at me. But I think this will truly work. I want to know all of my family."

Regina walks over and rubs his back, trying to calm down his momentary panic.

"Henry, I am not upset. But I will need for you to understand, that this plan may not work. I don't want you to get disappointed."

"It will work! You have to believe. In the book, they always seem to find each other. And plus, it will be great for Emma to meet her father."

Rounds of guilt roll through Regina. She remembers laughing at Snow as a dying Charming, who was injured by her guards, lied in Snow's arms. She crackled with victory as the curse surrounded them. She is at fault for Charming's predicament.

Mary Margaret finds herself at the hospital very late in the evening, recounting the unconventional story of Snow White and Prince Charming to the handsome coma patient. She does not suspect anything to happen. This is just a way to help her room-mate to deal with her son's fascination with everyone being a fairytale character.

All of a sudden, John Doe reaches out and grabs her hand and she looks at him, but he is not awake. She runs to tell Dr. Whale who treats her like an idiot when he suggested that she just imagined things and was dozing off while she was reading him a story.

"I didn't imagine anything."

"Miss Blanchard, I can only tell you what I see, which is nothing. Sometimes there are minor fluctuations in readings. Perhaps you heard the machine register something and misunderstood? Look, why don't you go home, get some rest. If anything changes, I'll call you, okay?"

Mary Margaret leaves the hospital, figuring that she will tell Emma tomorrow since she is probably asleep and they usually miss each other in the morning due to their schedules.

Dr. Whale picks up a phone to make a call. "It's Dr. Whale. You told me to call you if there was ever a change in a John Doe. Something's happened."

Regina has finished cleaning her kitchen after a dinner with Henry and her favorite blonde. Conversation flowed around the dinner table, but there was no talk of the coma patient. Emma has already left and is probably asleep. Henry is upstairs snoozing. She wonders what changes happened with Charming now that she received this phone call.

"What happened?"

"One of our volunteers said he grabbed her. And there was a slight fluctuation in brain activity."

Regina gasps, "Mary Margaret."

Dr. Whale scrunches his eyes in confusion, "How do you know she was the volunteer at the hospital?"

Regina is affronted, how dare he question her. "That is none of your concern. Thank you for the update doctor," she bites back and she promptly ends the call. It wasn't much to go by, but she feels that tomorrow is going to be interesting.

Emma and Henry are at Granny's waiting for the arrival of Mary Margaret. He should be at school, Emma feels guilty that lately his attendance has not been perfect. She skipped out in school a lot as well, like mother like son, maybe?

Mary Margaret enters the diner. "She's here," Henry announces excitedly.

"Hey, don't get your hopes up." She really doesn't want his heart to be broken over this but the truth is going to hurt.

Mar sits down with gusto and spouts out, "he woke up."

"What?!" Emma can't believe this. This has go to be coincidental. You got to be kidding me, she thinks.

Henry pumps his fist, it has lately become his ultimate gesture of victor. "I knew it!"

Emma wants more clarity with this revelation. "What did the doctor say?"

"That I imagined it, but I'm not crazy. I know it happened." She was fully awake and knows what she saw and felt, she knows she is not crazy.

"We have to go back. You have to read to him again."

"Let's go."

Everything is happening too fast. And she kept her belief that Mar is really not wanting to push this any further. Crap, this idea was to shut this fantasy world of Henry, not substantiate it.

"Wait, what?"

"If I got through to him, if we made a connection…"

Emma cannot believe what Mar is trying to accomplish or believes about Henry's theory.

"You don't believe…"

"That he's Prince Charming? Of course not. Somehow, some way, I touched him."

Emma released air that she didn't know she was holding. Henry was watching their exchange but his patience is wearing thin when Emma's work phone rang. She pushed the green button, "Deputy Swan speaking."

"Swan, thank God you answered. Come to the hospital quick, we have a situation and I'll tell you when you get here." Graham was out of breath and seemed overwhelmed.

"On my way," and she ends the call.

"Let's go," it seems there is something happening at the hospital.

Regina was in her office when she received a frantic call from Graham that they had a situation at the hospital. The John Doe was missing. She got into her Mercedes and immediately rushed to the small hospital as Graham and Dr. Whale briefed her about the missing person.

She runs her hand through her hair, trying to maintain composure as much as she can. They need to find him, ASAP. She does not want anything to happen to Emma's father and she cannot stand to witness Henry being disappointed with her, even though in this case, it is not her fault. Emma needs to be here and that is why she snapped at Graham to stop prancing around like a chicken with its head chopped off and to call Emma.

Some few minutes later was when Henry, Mary Margaret, and Emma enter the hospital. Graham saw them at the entrance and jumps in their way from entering the room the John Doe was in.

"Emma, I am so glad to see you here. But Henry should stay back."

Before Emma can question Graham why she received a phone call, Mary Margaret beats her to it while trying to look around his body. "What's going on? Is it John Doe? Is he okay?"

"He's missing?"

Emma goes into officer mode. "What happened to John Doe? Did someone take him?"

Graham shakes his head, "We don't know yet. His IV's were ripped out but there's no sign for sure there's a struggle."

That is when Regina notices the four outside of the room and approaches them.

"Why is Henry here and not in school?" Regina directs the question to Emma.

Emma shrugs her shoulders, she doesn't have a valid reason other than she wanted to meet up with the kid to discuss Mary Margaret's finding with the coma patient. She won't be winning any mother awards.

"We can talk about that later, why are you here?"

Regina crosses her arms, "I was his emergency contact plus, I have a duty to know when someone in my town goes missing."

"You know him," Mary Margaret jumps in to ask.

"I found him. On the side of the road years ago with no ID. I brought him here."

Something is not adding up for Emma. She looks at Regina in suspicion.

"I told you about a coma patient yesterday, why did you fail to tell me that you found one sometime ago?"

Regina bristles at Emma's accusatory stare. She didn't think to tell Emma about Charming if he wasn't going to wake up in the first place. She already felt guilty that Emma's father was lying there in the hospital not too far from her. Again, she needs to stop underestimating Emma's presence in Storybrooke.

"I don't appreciate that tone Miss. Swan. You could have been talking about another coma patient at the hospital." Regina knows that she is deflecting but she does not want to have this conversation where others can hear.

Emma was annoyed and frustrated that Regina didn't mention that detail of the John Doe she found. She is starting to feel that Regina was holding back information, and she does not feel like that is conducive to a healthy relationship, with the little bit she knows about having a healthy one.

And again, Regina continues with formalities of names. Emma crosses her arms. "I would have appreciated if you told me this earlier, Madame Mayor.

Graham and Mary Margaret glance at each other. They both feel the mounting tension between the mayor and the deputy. They have never seen anyone outright challenge Regina before.

"Mayor Mills saved his life," Dr. Whale breaks the awkward atmosphere in the room.

"Is he going to be okay?" Mary Margaret asks in concern.

"Okay? The man's been on feeding tubes for years on constant supervision. He needs to get back here right away or, quite honestly, "okay" might be a pipe dream."

Emma knows that she and Regina have some things to talk about later.

"Well then, let's quit yapping and start looking," Emma takes charge. Regina nods in Emma's direction and grabs Henry to take him back to the mansion. He will be scolded later and she knows that she also has to contend with Emma's mood later.

"I'll take Henry back home. I expect any updates you have," she directed her statement to Emma and Graham.

Emma nods at Regina and motions to Graham and Mary Margaret. "Let's get a move on."

Regina is back at the mansion with Henry, livid that Henry was skipping school. They enter the house and Regina immediately drills him.

"Henry, you told me that you were at Whack-A-Mole but you lied to me. Why were you not there?"

"I am so sorry. But I was talking to Emma and Mary Margaret about waking Prince Charming up and I came up with a plan. I didn't say anything to you because I didn't think you would approve."

"I need to be included in your little operations that you hatch up for your safety."

Henry eyes widened in surprise.

"You know about Operation Cobra."

Regina rolls her eyes. "Yes, I know about your Operation Cobra with Emma to make sure you don't do anything stupid. I need you go to go bed. Emma and Graham are more than capable at finding the John Doe."

"But I want to help, I can help. I am the one to even suggest Mary Margaret to read to Charming and that is how he woke up."

Regina lifts Henry's chin to her, staring intently in his eyes. "Do you believe that Emma is the Savior?"

"Of course."

"Then believe that she will find your grandfather. Now go upstairs and go to bed."

Henry hangs his head in defeat. He knows that he cannot convince his mom to allow him to go to the woods to help everyone with the search. He solemnly moves up stairs as Regina follows to make sure he goes to bed.

She goes to her room, fidgeting her hands together in deep thought about her and Emma's confrontation. Regina knows that there will be more discussion about John Doe, ie, Prince Charming. She sighs deeply, waiting for Emma's return. She goes down to the study to have a small glass of cider to calm her nerves.

Meanwhile, Henry goes to his room and lies down. He intentionally stayed in bed until he knows his mom was out of the hallway so he can sneak out. Henry goes back into his room and stuff his pillows under his blankets to look like he is in the bed. Then, he softly closes the door and down the stairs quietly exits the door.

He knows that he may get in trouble for this if his mom finds out, but that is a price he is willing to pay.

Emma, Graham, and Mary Margaret are in the woods searching for the John Doe. For Graham, the expansive woods, with the smell of pine, the crunch of tree barks under his boots, it feels like home. It feels like where he belongs, it feels so familiar.

Emma is behind Graham, following his lead when she tripped on a hidden log buried deep in the dirt. She crashes into Graham, grabbing his shoulders to not break her fall. He does not falter to the ground, he instinctively dug his feet in the ground when he felt impact. When Emma grabbed his shoulders, an assault of images of him in medieval garb in the woods similar to the woods in Storybrooke flashed before him.

"Shit Graham. Sorry about that." Graham's eyes are glossy, it seems like he is in another world.

"Dude, are you alright?" Emma really has an air of being a friend of Graham instead of being his subordinate. They have grown closer these last past few weeks.

At the sound of Emma's voice, he shakes his head to clear the confusing images in his head.

"I am fine. I am glad that I broke your fall." Graham looks at the ground, noticing that there are no more traces of John Doe.

Emma notices his expression, "What is it?"

"The trail runs out here."

Emma doesn't want to doubt Graham, he seems like the guy that goes camping all the time shooting deer or something.

"You sure? Because I thought tracking was one of your skills."

Graham scratches his beard, contemplating what the next step to take is.

"Just give me a second. This is my world."

Mary Margaret is happy to see that Emma's little trip on the log did not cause her any harm. She noticed the Emma's cheeks were tinged a little pink, no doubt from embarrassment of almost falling down flat on her face.

"Sure. Just, people I find usually run to places like Vegas. Not a lot hit the woods."

They continue to follow Graham in the woods. Mary Margaret finds an opening to find out more information about her room-mate.

"Before you were a deputy, you were doing bounty hunting. That's an interesting job – finding people. How'd you fall into it?"

"Looking for people is just what I've done. As long as I can remember." Emma has always had an internal need to find her birth parents. For a while, she had no more clues to go on so she just stopped hoping.

"What made you start? Your parents? Henry told me that you were… in the foster care system. Did you ever find them?"

Emma smirks but there was nothing to laugh at considering that Henry believes that the woman right next to her, who is almost the same age as her, is her birth mother, THE Snow White.

"Depends who you ask." They all hear a crack behind them and they immediately snapped their attention to the sound.

Mary Margaret looked at the young brunet in shock. "Henry!"

Henry walked between them with nonchalance. "Did you find him yet?"

"What the hell?!" Emma is upset that Henry is still running off doing what he wants to do. This is going to give her a headache.

"And to answer your question, no, not yet. You shouldn't be here."

"I can help. I know where he's going."

"And where's that?"

Henry turns his head and looks at Mary Margaret. "He's looking for you."

Graham is so confused. Why would the John Doe look for Mary Margaret? He knows that she does not know the man. Is this related to his fairy-tale obsession? Henry told him that he believes that Mary Margaret is Snow White and he is the Huntsman.

Emma internally groans and rolls her eyes at Henry's typical answer.

Henry told the three other adults that they should go to the Toll Bridge. Since they had no more trail to follow, it wouldn't hurt to follow Henry's suggestion. Graham led them through the darkening forest in the dry air as the wind blows wistfully when he picked up John Doe's footsteps.

Graham stopped which caused the others to stop with their own movement. Mary Margaret looks around them, "Where is he? Can you see him?"

"The trail dies at the water line." Emma, Henry, Mary Margaret, and Graham spot the John Doe lying down in the water.

Mary Margaret does not understand the intense concern she has for the man. But she knows that she will do all she can to save him.

"Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!"

Graham pulls out his radio that was attached to his waist. "I need an ambulance! At the old Toll Bridge, as soon as possible."

Emma, Graham and Mary Margaret drag John Doe to the shore as gently as they could.

"No, no, no, no, no! No, no, no! I found you!"

Emma doesn't understand why her room-mate is in such distress. She rubs Mar's back to get her to calm down.

"It's going to be okay."

"Help's coming," Graham says to reassure Mary Margaret's concern. Henry is also worried about the condition of his grandfather.

"Is he going to be alright?"

Emma pulls Henry behind her to not see a near dying man lying on the ground.

"Henry, don't look. Okay? Don't look."

Mary Margaret drops down to her knees at the side of the John Doe.

"Come back to us. Come back to me." She starts CPR. When she puts her mouth on his, he starts breathing again and coughs up water.

"You saved me," the John Doe wakes up with blue eyes that are dazed. Mary Margaret was immediately smitten.

"She did it. She did it! She woke him up." Henry is so excited that his plan actually worked. Now Snow White is reunited with Prince Charming. It seems the happy endings are coming in together.

Mary Margaret asks him for his name.

"I don't know."

Damn it, now they are dealing with an amnesic John Doe. Not good. Emma pulls out her phone to call Regina.

"Hello," a groggy but silky voice answered. It is later in the night so it is no surprise that she was either asleep or half way there.

Even though she is still a little upset at Regina, she is happy to hear her voice. "Hey Regina. We found the John Doe. He is alive and we are taking him to the hospital."

Regina sighed in relief. She holds no love for the man he was very loyal to Snow White and wanted to have her head in the old world. However, she wouldn't want any harm to come to him now, for Emma and Henry's sake.

"That is good to hear." Emma has a feeling that she doesn't realize that Henry was not at home.

"Guess who else is with me right now?" Regina eyes narrow.

"Who is with you?"

"Check Henry's bedroom."

Regina hurriedly got out of her study and rushed to Henry's bedroom. She sees a big lump in the smaller bed. She lifts the blankets off and saw that only pillows were there. She covered the phone and cursed.

"I will see you two at the hospital," and she abruptly ended the call.

Emma shakes her head and looks down at Henry. He knows that Emma called his mom. She gives him a pointed look. "Buddy. You are in trouble and I am not going down with you on this."

Henry looks up at Emma and gulped.

Emma, Graham, Henry, and Mary Margaret return to the hospital. John Doe was already since the ambulance dropped him off. Dr. Whale and the nurses have him hooked up to IV's to give him fluids.

Regina finally arrives and Henry visibly jumped as she enters the hallway outside the ICU room. He moved behind Emma to avoid his mother's wrath. Emma chuckled and pushed him away from her back and moved him forward.

She whispers to Henry, "You got to own up to your actions. Now stand straight." Henry wanted to appear strong so he makes his body ram tight and stiff to appear for the onslaught.

Regina's heels click on the tiled floors and she crosses her arms looking down at Henry, fuming.

"And here I am, thinking that my son is resting in his bed as I ordered him." Henry drops his head in shame, mumbling, "but I helped them find him in the woods."

"I don't care if you found buried treasure in the woods chasing leprechauns, I strictly told you to go to bed and not go in the woods."

"I'm sorry." Emma feels maybe halfway bad for the kid. Regina does have quite a temper. Henry's sad eyes turn to her, silently seeking for help. She just shakes her head.

"Can't help with this one buddy. You are on your own." Regina looks at her in agreement and turns back to their son.

"We'll talk about your insubordination later. Do you know what insubordination means?"

Henry shakes his head in the negative. "It means you're grounded."

Regina calms down as she looks at Emma. As much as she chided Henry, she knows that she also has to explain some of her actions as well.

Emma looks back in understanding. "The John Doe is healing in the room right now..." Emma looks back at Mary Margaret, who is still a little shaken up.

"Do we even have a name for him?"

"David Nolan," Regina answered.

Emma looks at her, "How did you find out?"

"I have my resources." Regina is being cryptic and Emma is not liking it. She stares back at Regina, biting her tongue.

"David," Mary Margaret sounds the name in her head. She can now rest, knowing his name makes the handsome patient more real. She is oblivious to the tension mounting between the other two women.

"I'll take my leave," and Mary Margaret exits the hospital.

Graham sensed tension between Emma and Regina and decided to disperse as well. He walks up to them.

"Hello Madame Mayor. I will write up the report and have it to you tomorrow." Regina curtly nods to Graham.

"Thank you Sheriff." Graham claps Emma on the back of her shoulder, probably in a supportive gesture.

"See you tomorrow Emma."

Emma smiles tightly back at Graham, "See you tomorrow."

Henry is upstairs in his room as Emma and Regina are in the hallway. Emma hooks her thumbs in her pockets, the soles of her feet was bruised after trampling through the forest, and she is tired but needs to get this conversation out of the way but is nervous.

"To go from having nothing to do and finding ourselves chasing a John Doe in the woods is insane.

"I imagine it is. I am happy to see that he is safe and recovering.

"So why didn't you tell me about the John Doe you found when I told you of Henry's plan?"

Regina crosses her arms, feeling very defensive. "I didn't think it was important to mention it. I found him quite some time ago." She can't believe that she is actually trying to explain herself. She hasn't had to do that since her mother was alive, and it is making her feel small.

Emma scrunches her eyes in curiosity. She just feels that Regina knows more than what she is letting on, and she has no idea why she is doing that.

"Something tells me that you are hiding things." Emma rubs her eyes in frustration and tiredness. Regina can be so difficult sometimes.

"I didn't lie, it was just an omission."

Emma gives her an "oh really" look. "It just feels like you don't trust me. And, I'm not the best at relationships, but in order for them to work, I think we have to learn how to trust one another."

Regina rubs her arms, self-loathing steams through her pores. How could she be honest in this relationship? It is no way that Emma, being as rational as she is, will believe anything about fairy-tales being true.

"I don't know how to love very well. I am very complicated, and I do have skeletons in my closet. Can you actually be in a relationship with a person like that? Can I actually be good enough for you? Maybe I am the Evil Queen."

Emma is shocked by Regina's turmoil. She has never seen Regina in such a vulnerable state. As difficult as Regina can be, she will not give up on her. Emma walks softly towards Regina, rubbing her hands on Regina's expensive business jacket. Sad brown orbs look back at green ones. And what is up with the fairytale reference. She is just going to brush that comment under the rug.

"I have baggage too. You cared for me even though I think I'm a freak. I'm not going to push you if you don't want me to. I just want you to trust me, at least one day, to truly show me who you are."

"It is not that I don't trust you, I don't trust myself to not hurt you."

"But that is my choice to make. Don't take that away from me."

"Why are you so damn charming?"

Emma gives her a small smile. "Got a woman to impress."

Regina decides there and now, she wants to give herself to Emma. They were taking it slow but Regina wants to show Emma how much she appreciates her. And what Regina wants, she gets.

"Dinner, Saturday night. Get Mary Margaret to babysit."

Emma stammered at Regina's demand. "Yes…yes…Okay." Regina eyes are possessive as she looks over Emma. They kissed and departed.

Chapter Text

"Paperwork. I really, really hate paperwork." Emma drops her head on the desk as Graham chuckles at her misery. They have to fill out the police report with the details of finding David Nolan, their identified former John Doe that Regina mysteriously was aware of. That is fishy as all get out.

"The mayor is quite particular about her paperwork. What she wants, she gets." Hopes she wants to get some of me at the end of the week, she thinks.

But Emma just grumbles in annoyance. "When I was a bounty hunter, I just bag the perp and get paid, simple and plain. I kind of miss that."

"It is really not too bad. Chasing David over the woods is actually the most we have done in a while, as far as I can remember. The bigger the job is will require more details to report then just locking up Leroy for drunken behavior."

"Yeah yeah yeah, Mr. Logic." The earlier conversation with Regina has her suspicious of what Regina actually gets her hands in.

Graham smiles back at Emma. Even if they started off on rough patches, he grew fond of the blonde.

"How about we celebrate being productive officers saving a life by going to the Rabbit's Hole later on tonight?"

Emma heard Ruby mention it quite a few times at the diner and she can't believe she never really spent much time at Storybrooke's only bar. Graham and she have gotten closer over the past month she has been in the town. She is confident that there is nothing she needs to worry about in regards to the relationship or lack thereof between Graham and Regina.

She never has made connections with people before in her nomadic lifestyle before. But Storybrooke seems so much different from all of the locales she has lived in. Something just feels right being here.

"I would love to come. Ruby mentioned it to me on many occasions. I'll mention it to her as well. Can Mary Margaret come as too?" Mar doesn't seem the wild type, but it will be nice to hang out with her room-mate in a different setting.

"It is no problem with me. See you later tonight."

"See you. I am going to step out and get some lunch at Granny's."

Emma is sitting down reading a newspaper as Ruby brings her a cup of hot chocolate, just like the way she likes, whipped cream and cinnamon.

"Hey, Graham and I are hitting up the Rabbit's Hole tonight, are you game?"

Ruby beams up at her. The deputy is the most interesting person to past by here and she seems like a genuinely nice and cool person to hang out with.

"I will love to come. What time are you going?"

Emma just shrugs. "I guess around ten."

Ruby smiles back at her, "Then I'll see you at 10," and proceeds to take other patron orders.

Emma turns back to her newspaper, just reading some comics to pass some time. She takes leisurely lunches, it's not like much is going on around the town.

She hears a chair scrape on the floor and looks up and sees her beautiful girlfriend. Regina has on a tight pencil black skirt with a grey overcoat and a burgundy silk blouse and kind of reddish lipstick that fits her oh so well. In one word, delicious.

"Hello Deputy, I see you are enjoying your lunch on the taxpayer's dime."

Emma gives her a small smirk. "Hey, I have a right to a nice lunch."

"And you think a cup of hot chocolate will be efficient? That diet of yours is piss poor," Regina sassed back.

"That is why I have a beautiful girlfriend that can cook, duh."

Gosh, she is insufferably adorable. She blushes lightly.

"You must be lucky then."

"Exceedingly so. How is our son that can't seem to stay out of trouble doing?"

"He is doing fine considering that I took away all of his comics and he is not allowed to watch any TV for a week."

"He is getting off light, he could have been hurt. It is lucky that he was able to find us in the woods so I could look after him."

"He is headstrong, that is for sure."

Emma nods her head in agreement. Regina likes that the tension seemed to have lessened after their confrontation yesterday.

"It is pretty weird that he did know where to find the guy, from that book of his. Strange, isn't it?"

Regina raises her eyebrows. She couldn't tell whether Emma actually is believing in the curse or not. "Very. I have to be going, duty calls." Ruby hands her order at perfect timing. She really doesn't want to get into any speculation about the curse at the moment. "See you tonight?"

Emma gives her a tight smile, "I am actually going out tonight. But I will definitely see you this weekend like you promised."

Tonight? Where is Emma going? Regina feels a rush of insecurity flow through her. She has been keeping secrets, justifiably or not, but she wonders why Emma didn't tell her about whatever she is going to be doing tonight.

Regina stiffens and asks, "Where are you going?"

Emma looks back at her trying to figure out Regina's tone. It wasn't necessarily distrustful, but it did have a sense of possessiveness.

"Out."

"Out where?" Why is Emma being so evasive?

"To the Rabbit Hole."

"I guess I'm not going to get any further details then." She can tell that Emma was being coy with her.

"Not fun is it, having the person to not give you the full details?" Emma winced at herself. She knew that she was being petty with Regina and the 'finding a John Doe and not telling her' incident.

Regina visibly was stung by Emma's retort. She schools her hurt and proceeds to get up.

"If you don't want to tell me, that is okay. Enjoy your cocoa."

Emma immediately puts her hand at Regina's wrist to stop her from leaving the small table she is vacating.

"Regina, wait. I'm sorry for that. Don't go." Regina was a little hurt but Emma was right in her response, she knows she is keeping many things away from her, and it is taking a toll. She decides to sit back in her chair but looks away from the blonde. She rubs her thumb on the slender olive wrist to sooth the brunette.

"I am just going with Graham, Ruby, and maybe Mary Margaret to have a few drinks later on tonight. That's all. Nothing to worry about. I know I was being childish but, for this relationship to work, we need trust on both ends."

Regina was not looking directly at Emma, but at her lap. She gathers her courage and looks back at Emma.

"Emma, I trust you, I didn't think you were going to gallop around the town with some husky. As I said yesterday, we will have our date this Saturday to look forward to and talk."

"I will be a fool to 'gallop around town with some husky' when I have you. Just bare with me. I am new to this relationship type of stuff, I'm not used to people asking about my whereabouts. Growing up, nobody really cared to ask."

Emma winced again, she didn't mean to reveal that painful part of her past. But if she was asking for Regina to be more open, then she needs to do the same.

Regina saw the pain of loneliness in Emma's green eyes and leaped to comfort her.

"Well now you have a hot brunette girlfriend and a son who would like to know how you are doing."

They both laughed, happy to have the awkward moment dispelled.

"I'm looking forward to this weekend."

"Same here, dear. But I was not kidding when I said I have a meeting to attend."

Emma reluctantly let go of Regina's wrist that she was softly rubbing, wanting to be close to the woman.

"If you must."

"I must." Regina elegantly gets up to leave the table.

"Hey, don't I get a kiss or something? It's kind of rude to leave your girlfriend hanging like this."

Regina rolls her eyes playfully and leans over the small table and gives Emma a small kiss.

"Happy?"

"Much," she smiles like a dork. Regina shakes her head and saunters out of the diner like a boss. If anybody saw the mayor lip locking with the deputy, they didn't comment on it.

Emma goes back to her newspaper, and reads a little more but decides to leave. She stands up abruptly and knocks her cup of now lukewarm hot cocoa on her white tank.

"Crap, I'm such a klutz." Ruby saw Emma's chocolate stain shirt and hurries over with a towel to clean up the mess.

"Eesh."

Emma groans, "Do you have a laundry room I could use?"

"Yes." And directed its location.

She walks in the back to the laundry room where a young blonde is working. Emma pulls off her shirt and throws it in the washer in frustration. A men's button up was on the clothesline and she just takes it. They probably wouldn't need it anyway.

"No no no no no."

It seems the young girl is having a worse day then she did.

"You okay?"

She holds up some sheets. "The sheets, they're uh... pink."

"You try bleach?"

The young blonde levels down the sheet which reveals that she is pregnant to answer Emma's question.

"Last night I felt contractions, and the doctor said that the baby could come any day now."

"So... that's great." This is a little awkward.

"It's just that, um, when the... when the baby comes... no one thinks I can do this. No one thinks I can do anything. Maybe they're right."

People are just horrible freaking human beings. "Screw them."

"What?"

"Everyone loves to tell you what you can and can't do especially with a kid, but ultimately whatever you're considering doing... or giving up... the choice is yours."

"It's not exactly what you might think it is."

"It never is. People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, 'No, this is who I am.' You want people to look at you differently? Make them. You want to change things you are going to have to go out there and change them yourself because there are no Fairy Godmothers in this world."

Ashley is digesting everything the older blonde is telling her.

"Thank you so much for your advice, ma'am. What's your name?"

With a newly buttoned up t-shirt, Emma holds out a hand to shake the smaller woman's one.

"Swan. Emma Swan. What's yours?"

"Ashley Boyd. And, oh my gosh. You are the new deputy and Henry's…other mother. You are quite the talk in town."

Emma softly chuckles, "Why am I not surprised. I have to go; you take care of yourself, okay Ashley?"

Ashley nods her head in higher spirits than when Emma first came in.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Regina is home cooking supper for her and Henry.

"You know I don't enjoy punishing you, right?"

Henry is scribbling on paper, completing his homework for today.

"I know."

"Your safety is very important to me, even if you did manage to help to find David."

"Is he alright?"

"Dr. Whale has reported to me that he is recovering. I will meet with him to give him an identity. Since I didn't plan on him ever to wake up during the curse, I haven't really given him an alternative identity."

"So, what will you do?"

Regina cleans her hands and joins him at the elevated island.

"I think I will have him to work at the animal shelter."

Henry scrunches his eyebrows in curiosity.

"Why?"

"Well, your grandfather was not truly a prince. He was a shepherd before he met Snow. Since his dominate personality will emerge the closer the curse is broken, he will gravitate to what is familiar."

"Mom, thank you again for telling me about the curse. I'll try not to do any more stupid things."

"My heart will be heaps better knowing that you won't put yourself in dangerous predicaments."

"When will you tell Ma about the curse? Coming from me, I think she thinks I am being silly. It has to come from you and she is the key to break it."

Regina stiffened, she knows that it will have to come out sooner than later. She doesn't want to chance Emma's reaction of the curse breaking without Regina telling her about the quirky town beforehand.

"I will tell her soon, I promise."

"So, if she is supposed to break the curse, and True Love's kiss will break it are you two…."

Regina's looked at him in understanding at what Henry was trying to get at.

"Henry, what your mother and I have, it's special but it is still in development. I am not going to sell you a grand romance, and maybe we are and maybe we aren't going to work out. Let's just see where things go. By the way, you will be with Mary Margaret this Saturday."

"Why?"

"You ask a lot of questions, sweetheart."

"Don't know until I ask." Henry smiles at his mother.

Regina leans over and kisses him on the forehead.

"Finish your homework, dear," and walks back to attend back to her cooking.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Emma, Ruby, and Mary Margaret knocked back shots of Jose Cuervo Tequila while at the wooden bar. For a weekday night, it is really crowded with dim lighting, wooden tables and chairs all around. It is a nicely put together establishment, considering it is Storybrooke.

Ruby hisses, "Damn! That hit the spot. Another round over here," she gestures to the bartender.

"I can't believe you slept with Dr. Whale, Mary Margaret. I mean, desperate time leads to desperate measures, but he is creepy."

Emma almost chocked from laughing. Mary Margaret looks at Ruby in horror. "Oh my gosh Ruby! I can't believe you won't let me live that down." She looks towards her blonde room-mate for help.

Emma holds up her hands in defeat. "I can't help you there, Mar."

"Well, I can't say that I can really harp on you. It is not like Storybrooke is bustling with bachelors."

"There is always Leroy." Mar swats at Emma's arms.

"No…just no." She scrunches her nose in disgust.

The bartender gives them more rounds as they continue chatting. Graham smoothly enters the bar to join the three other women.

"How are you doing ladies?" Ruby has always had a thing for Graham. Now that he is no longer Regina's pet so to speak… doors are open to…explore.

She whispers softly to Mary Margaret. "I wouldn't mind doing him."

The pixie-haired woman gasps and slaps Ruby lightly on her arm. "Calm yourself."

Emma just shakes her head at the two and greets Graham. "We are doing just fine. Just wondering when you were going to show up."

"Hey, I have the night shift so I was trying to do some actual work. Now, I'm on a little break."

"Well sheriff, let's get you a drink to celebrate some fine police work."

Emma turns around to get the bartender again but Graham stopped her.

"I'm on patrol. I can't drink on the job."

"Dude, you need to loosen up," Ruby teases him.

Emma chuckles at her boss, "Just have one with us. It is not a celebration unless alcohol is involved. It is not like we are trying to get you drunk."

Mary Margaret tsks at Emma and Ruby.

"Our Sheriff is just trying to be responsible." He is still reeling from visions of Mary Margaret with long hair. But he dismisses it and smiles back at her in gratitude.

"Thank you Mary Margaret for being sensible", he softly glares at Emma. The blonde just snorted.

"You and Ms. Responsible over there are just killing the vibe right now."

Mar just rolls her eyes. Graham gets a Dr. Pepper and they raise their cans and glasses and clinked them together.

"I think it was crazy how you guys found that guy. Maybe Henry is on to something…" Ruby trails off.

Emma just vigorously shakes her head. "No, we are not going into that again. Geez, I just want this curse fascination to stop."

"You must admit, I did managed to wake up the man," Mary Margaret playfully elaborates.

Ruby finishes another shot. "Yo, who did Henry say you were?"

"He said that I'm Snow White." Ruby looks at her funny, sizing her up, and then nods her head.

"I can kind of see that. You got that kind of innocent vibe about you. Even if you sleep with questionable people."

Graham covers his mouth with his hand, trying to hold his laugh.

Mary Margaret face blushes a deep red.

"Well, who did he say you were?"

"Oh, I'm Little Red Riding Hood."

"Yeah…I just don't see it."

"Ah, rude."

Graham volunteers who Henry said he was in the book, raising her hand. "I'm the Huntsman."

Emma groans loudly, "Can you guys not talk about how my son has figured out your fairytale identities in this long lost alternative world? I just can't."

She raises her hand for the bartender to get her another beer, preferably a Heineken.

"He just has a very active imagination. He is special boy."

Emma shakes her head. "When you say special, it just sounds like you are saying like mentally challenged type of special."

Mary Margaret gasps in offense. "I would never. He is a very bright boy."

Graham looks at Emma after he realized what she ordered.

"Do you think that you should be drinking beer after you had some liquor?"

Ruby intervenes. "No Graham, you got it backwards. It's 'beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer and you're in the clear'. Emma will be fine."

"I wonder how you figured that out?."

Ruby places her arm around Mary Margaret's shoulder. "It is because I have much, much experience in the world of partying like it is 1999."

Everyone laughed and continued to enjoy the night's festivities which included Ruby not being subtle in flirting with Graham and Emma and Mar looking at each other in playful annoyance.

At this point Ruby is really inebriated and is feeling more bold in her conversations.

"So Emma…I was just wondering…have you ever been with a guy before?"

The blonde scrunches in disfavor. "Nope, not once."

"So…like since you have, you know what, are you like gay or does the fact you are like women make you straight?"

Mary Margaret slapped Ruby on the arm, "Ouch." This time it is a little bit hard. "That is a highly inappropriate question Ruby."

Emma really wasn't offended by the question. She is very comfortable in their presence.

"I don't mind at all. You know, I don't believe in labels. I am just attracted to women, whatever that makes me, it is what it is."

"And love is love, whatever forms that comes in," Mary Margaret chimes in.

Graham pats Emma's on her shoulder. "And we like you however you are. You are part of Storybrooke now, you are one of us."

Emma's heart is exploding. She has never felt such overwhelming sense of acceptance. They have not made her feel like she was a freak, they accepted her as their own. Emma never really had friends that she can confide in or care to keep. She has beautiful girlfriend, a smart son, and now friends she can call her own. Her eyes start to water but she sniffs it in.

Mary Margaret can sense the emotions rolling through the blonde, understanding that Emma didn't have many friends growing up and feeling like an outsider because of her predicament. She soothes Emma by rubbing circles in her back.

"Thank you guys so much. You don't know how much this means to me."

Ruby's calls for rounds, really wanting to celebrate this moment with Emma, her new friend. She knows how it feels to be judged by others. And she wants Emma to know that she is cared for.

Everyone, even Graham joins in having a shot, raises their glasses and clinking them together.

"This goes to friends, Storybrooke and the weird shit that happens here," Ruby yells.

"Here here," Graham shouts. And they downed their drinks.

"Well, ladies, it is about time I actually do my job. You have a great night. And try not to drive."

Ruby sticks out her tongue. "Yes officer. But I doubt I will get arrested since the deputy is hanging out with us." Ruby nudges Emma in the stomach.

"Graham, we will be fine," Emma assured the Sheriff.

"Good." He said his goodbyes and leaves the establishment. Emma, Mary Margaret, and Ruby continue their evening, knowing that they may pay the price tomorrow.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rumple grimaces in pain after the mace attack from Ashley. Back in the Enchanted Forest, he has made many deals in regards to babies to ensure that his curse is completed thoroughly. Cinderella and her prince one of the True Love couples he tried to swindle their true love baby away from.

But, he was cheated out of the deal, and still is salty about those change of events. Yes, he does not need Cinderella's child any more. He was able to successfully procure a child of true love from Snow and Charming, Emma is proof of it and he is already seeing the curse slowly weakening. But…he is still a man of principle. And his principle is that no one breaks a deal with him, and he will get what is owed to him. It is time to size her up and properly meet the blonde deputy.

Emma and Mary Margaret are in their apartment early morning, still recuperating from their night out. Mar is preparing some delicious hangover food; scrambled eggs with sausages pancakes, and cut up fruit.

Emma devours her plate like there is no tomorrow. Mar chuckles in amusement.

"That poor plate didn't have a chance."

"Not at all. Thanks. This is like a godsend." Mar smiles back her "your welcome" and more gracefully tackles her breakfast. A few minutes later passed; there was a knock at the door. Mary Margaret gets up from the table to answer it, opening the door.

"Ms. Blanchard, is Ms. Swan here?" Emma gets up from the table after hearing her name and approaches the doorway.

"Hi, my name is Mr. Gold, we met briefly on your arrival."

"I remember." She can't forget the creepy vibes she got from him.

"Good, I have a proposition for you, Ms. Swan. I need your help. I'm looking for someone."

"Okay, how may I help you?" She offers to help even though it seems weird for him to not call the sheriff's office.

Mary Margaret decides to make herself scarce from the pending conversation. Maybe she should just wait until she is fully recuperated.

"You know what? I am going to jump in the bath," and she walks away.

"I have a photo." He hands her a picture of Ashley. "Her name is Ashley Boyd and she's taken something quite valuable of mine."

This is the young blonde that she met in the laundry room. That perked her up somewhat.

"So do you want to file a police report? If that is the case, I can meet you at the poli-"

Mr. Gold lifts a hand to stop her. "She's a confused young woman. She's pregnant, alone, and scared. I don't want to ruin this young girl's life, but I just want my property returned."

"And what is it?"

"Well one of the advantages this not being official police work, is discretion. Let's just say it's a precious object and leave it at that."

This is sounds like all shades of grey but she really doesn't want to have to arrest Ashley. So she'll go along with this. She crosses her arms, meaning business.

"When did you see her last?"

"Last night. That's how I got this." He shows the gash on his forehead. "It's so unlike her. She was quite wound up, rambling on and on about changing her life. I have no idea what got into her. Ms. Swan, please just help me find her. My only other choice is to report her, and I don't think anyone wants to see that baby born in jail, now do they?"

Emma is now filling a little bit guilty. It seems Ashley took her advice to a whole different type of level. And since Ashley did hit Mr. Gold, this will definitely classify as an assault. She decides to keep this on the down low, and not tell Graham about this.

"No, of course not."

"So you'll help me then?"

"I will help her." Making that distinction quite clear.

"Grand." Bleeding hearts can be so easy to deal with and manipulate. The door opens and Henry enters.

"Hey Emma, I was thinking we..."

Mr. Gold greets the young boy. "Hey Henry, how are you?"

"Okay," he cautiously answers.

"Good. Give my regards to your mother, and um... good luck Ms. Swan."

Henry knows that Mr. Gold is Rumplestiltskin since he inquired his identity from his mother. She told him that he is very dangerous and to stay away from him. That is one order he can easily follow.

"Henry, what are you doing here?"

"We got a day off from school but mom is gone till 5:00 doing mayoral stuff. I thought we could hang out."

That is why Mary Margaret didn't mind getting slightly hammered on a weekday.

"Aw, kid I wish I could, but there's something I got do."

Emma and her son are walking down the street together.

"Please let me help."

"No, no it could be dangerous. And didn't your mother just punish you for doing dangerous things?"

"Yes but I am not running in the woods. I'm with you. And the pregnant maid is dangerous?"

"She assaulted Mr. Gold."

"Cool."

"This isn't a game. She's desperate."

"How do you know?"

"Because I know."

"Well, then let's find her."

"Oh no, no, no, no there is no "let's". You cannot come with me."

"Then I'll look for her myself. And we both don't want that to happen." Her kid is too darn smart for his own good. And manipulative.

"Then I'll find you and I'll bring you back."

"Then you wouldn't be helping the maid."

"I am just trying to be responsible here." She is so new to this parenting thing.

"And I'm just trying to spend time with you. All things considering since you haven't been in my life for the last ten years." He gets in Emma's car.

Whoa. Low blow, that was just low. "Oh, that is really not fair." Emma proceeds to get into the car as well.

"So the maid, what's her story?"

Emma and Henry are questioning Ruby about Ashley's disappearance outside Granny's Bed and Breakfast. When Emma started to question Ruby about Ashley's family, she mentioned that she had a step-mom and two step-sisters.

Of course his son had insinuated that Ashley is actually Cinderella but she shut that down quickly. Emma had to convince Ruby to reveal what she knows about Ashley's whereabouts. She said to try Ashley's ex, Sean.

Henry stayed in the car when she went up to the Herman's residence to interrogate the son. Sean's father was a real asshole but she tried to get Sean to assist with Ashley's and his child. Emma got game changing information when his father told her that Ashley signed her rights away from the child. She will get answers from Mr. Gold.

This is getting much more complicated then she thought. And she is chugging her son along the way. She needs to call Regina to let her know about Henry's whereabouts.

"Hello, Mayor Mills speaking."

"You don't have to be so formal with me babe."

Regina hates that she has so much work to do but she wants to clear all of her tasks for the upcoming weekend. Even though, she rather spend today with Henry and Emma.

"Don't infantilize me. This is a pleasant distraction but I would need to know if there was a point to the call."

"Geez woman, right down to business. I am just running some errands and just wanted to let you know that Henry is safe and sound with me."

"He is taking his punishment with no complaints. I see nothing with that. Thank you for letting me know. I have to go now." Regina intentionally drops her voice two octaves lower. "See you this Saturday."

Emma feels her arousal creeping up but she quickly squashes it. This is bad timing for that. Henry is in the car.

"Looking forward to it."

"Me too. So we have this weekend, but you should come over tonight for dinner. Lamb will be on the menu."

Oh fancy. She likes the sound of that. "I'll be there." Emma ends the call, shaking her head. She is definitely looking forward to Regina but she has business that needs to be handled at the present moment.

They pull up in front of Granny's diner.

"You can't make her double-cross Gold. No one's ever broken a deal with him." He is pleading with his dad. He doesn't want Emma to get hurt by Gold.

Emma is defiant and not scared to go against the pawnbroker.

"Happy to be the first. If Ashley wants to have this baby, she should have it. Anyone who wants to be a mother should damn well be allowed to be one."

But first, she needs to get answers from Ruby. They go back and forth about why Ruby didn't tell Emma about her selling the baby to Gold. Ruby apologizes for the misdirection, saying that she didn't trust the blonde because she thought her position as deputy would put her at cross-hairs with following the letter of the law. Emma explained to her that this case is off the books so there will be no legal entanglements to deal with.

Ruby tells her that Ashley went to Boston so she pathetically begged Henry to stay put and asked Ruby to watch over him.

Emma is driving her car to Boston, under the impression that she is by herself.

Henry all of a sudden sits up in the back seat. "What did she tell you?"

"Henry! What the hell? I am going to Boston, you can't come with me." The kid scared the crap out of her.

"You can't go to Boston, she can't leave! Bad things happen to anyone that does."

"Nonsense, we left for Boston just fine a week ago."

"Well, that is because we aren't part of the curse."

"I don't have time to argue with you over the curse. I've got to get you home."

"We have to stop her before she gets hurt. We're wasting time. If you drop me off, you'll never catch up to her."

"Henry..."

"And then Mr. Gold will call Graham, and he'll have her sent to jail."

Dammit, the kid does make a point. Graham is much of a stickler for rules.

"Buckle up. Ashley, what did you get yourself into?"

Ahead on the road she was traveling, there was Ruby's car broken down just before the Storybrooke border. Emma pulls up beside it.

"I told you. It's her car."

"Ashley?" She arrives at the car, but finds it empty. This does not look good at all.

"Aaah!" Ashley is sitting in a patch of grass a few feet near the car. "My baby. It's coming."

Shit! She didn't think this was going to turn out like this. But she is determined to help Ashley.

Emma pumped up Ashley with positivity that she can endure the pregnancy and motherhood. Ashley wanted her to drive to Boston to deliver the baby but she convinced her that Storybrooke makes more sense.

She drove to Storybrooke General Hospital and Ashley pushed out a six-pound baby. Mr. Gold enters the waiting room that Henry and she occupied.

"What lovely news. Excellent work, Ms. Swan. Thank you for bringing me my merchandise."

What the fuck? She didn't know kids were accessories to be bought. For now, she is ignoring him to get a chance to see Ashley.

Mr. Gold is getting free coffee from the coffee machine when Emma decides to approach him.

"Well, well. Must be my lucky day. Care for a cup, Ms. Swan?"

"A baby? That's your merchandise?" You sick fuck, she thinks. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Well, because at the time you didn't need to know."

"Really, or you thought I wouldn't take the job?"

"On the contrary, I thought it would be more effective if you found out yourself. After seeing Ashley's hard life, I thought it would make sense... to you. I mean if anyone could understand the reasons behind giving up a baby, I assumed it would be you."

"You're not getting that kid."

"Actually, we have an agreement. And my agreements are always honored. If not, I'm going to have to involve the police, and that baby is going to end up in the system, and that would be a pity. You didn't enjoy your time in the system, did you Emma?"

That is a low blow. He must have known about her past through the sordid news article that Sydney wrote.

"That's not going to happen." The savior has gumption.

"I like your confidence. It is charming, but all I have to do is press charges. She did, after all, break into my shop. And you would have to follow the law, since you are now an upstanding member of our police force."

"Let me guess, to steal a contract."

Gold decides to play coy. "Who knows what she was after?"

"You know, no jury in the world will put a woman in jail whose only reason for breaking and entering was to keep her child. I'm willing to roll the dice that contract doesn't stand up. Are you? Not to mention what might come out about you in the process. Somehow I suspect there is more to you than a simple pawnbroker. You really want to start that fight?" She is really getting riled up.

"I like you, Ms. Swan. You're not afraid of me, and that's either cocky or presumptuous. Either way I'd rather have you on my side."

It seems like she is making progress in this negotiation. "So she can keep the baby?"

"Not just yet. There's still the matter of my agreement with Ms. Boyd."

"Tear it up." Seems simple enough to her.

"That's not what I do. You see, contracts, deals, well they're the very foundation of all civilized existence, so I put it to you now. If you want Ashley to have that baby, are you willing to make a deal with me?"

"What do you want?"

"Oh I don't know just yet. You'll owe me a favor."

Emma sizes Mr. Gold up. She hopes this doesn't bite her in the ass. "Deal."

A favor from the Savior. He just loves it when things go his way.

"The deal is struck. Have a good day, Miss. Swan."

Emma retrieves Henry so they can visit Ashley and see if she is okay and to see the baby. Emma stares at Ashley longingly. Wishing that she had a chance to hold Henry like that.

They said their goodbyes and turn to the mansion.

Henry and Emma enter the house, Henry goes up to his room to get settled in. What greets her in the foyer is Regina in tight black dress with a gold belt. Why is she looking so good?

"Uhmm, are you meeting somebody I don't know about?"

Regina raises her eyebrow but is sporting a very light blush.

"Yes, I was expecting a deputy to join in a delicious dinner I prepared."

"I wonder where she is at?" Emma silliness is increasing.

She wraps her arms around Regina's waist and pulls her flush into her body. She deeply kisses Regina. It took the brunette by surprise and she slowly reciprocates the passionate embrace. Emma lightly pushes her tongue against Regina's lip and massages it against her tongue. Regina tightens her arms around Emma's shoulders, rubbing her front against Emma's hardening crouch.

After a few minutes when they ran out of air, Emma slowly backs away.

"I really needed that. It has been a long week."

"I can imagine."

Henry, Emma, and Regina sit down and eat dinner. As Henry goes to the bathroom to wash up, Emma asks Regina a question that has been lingering on her mind.

"What do you know about Mr. Gold?"

Regina becomes slightly alarmed. "Why do you want to know? He is not someone to be trifled with. I rather you have no dealings with him whatsoever."

Emma can clearly see that Regina is not the man's biggest fan.

"I'll keep that in mind. But it seems that I may have to deal with him in the future."

Regina snaps up from loading dishes in the dishwasher at Emma's response.

"And why is that?"

"Long story short, he came to me to help him get some merchandise. It turns out this merchandise is a child that was signed over by this young girl that works in the laundry room Ashley. To keep the baby, I made a deal with him. Now I owe him a favor. I just wanted to know what I was getting into and now I know."

Regina is internally hyperventilating. What is Rumple's aim in seeking out Emma's help? He could have got Graham to do his dirty work. This sounds like a classic Rumple move to make deals with him. And now Emma owes him a favor? This is not good.

"Stay away from him. He is a bastard." Regina is fuming and Emma senses that her girlfriend is blowing a gasket.

"Calm down, I can handle myself. Please, stop worrying. I don't want to see you like this."

She slowly rubs Regina's exposed arms, which is soft like velvet on her fingertips. Emma's cool hands soothes Regina's flustered body. She is determined to find out if Gold knows his cursed identity or not. She is not trying to get played and get blind sided by a manipulative move. A confrontation is in order.

"I'm calm. But please be careful around that man. He is not to be trusted."

Emma kisses her. "I'm going to get going. Good night sweet cheeks."

Regina wrinkles her nose. "That is a horrible term of endearment. I won't allow it."

"Whatever honey-buns."

Regina slaps her biceps playfully. "Just get out."

Emma laughs because that command lacked any sense of neither authority nor hostility. She knows that Regina was more amused than upset.

She kisses and leaves the mansion. She can't wait to get the weekend started.

Chapter Text

Regina enters the old dusty pawnshop by aggressively opening and closing the door. The bell chimes violently as small objects clutter from the impact. She is all business and Mr. Gold will give her the answers she wants. She wanted to get this confrontation out of the way before her date with Emma.

Rumple is behind his desk, annoyed that that his "CLOSED" sign is being ignored. Regina has always had a flair for dramatic entrances. He is cleaning his counter, head looking down while addressing her.

"A knock would have been appreciated Madame Mayor. What can I help you with on this lovely early morning in which my shop is not open?"

Regina stomps up to the counter, her inner rage being caged in.

"You can help me by answering why you went to Emma about this Ashley situation? You could have reported it to Graham."

"My personal affairs are of no concern to you."

"It is my concern when you involve Emma."

"Wow, aren't we touchy dearie. It seems that Emma has…done a spell on you."

Regina growls, "You listen here you bastard. Stay away from Emma."

"She owes me a favor, a deal is a deal. And deals are always met when struck with me."

He is sounding just like Rumplestiltskin.

"What is your name?"

"Mr. Gold, why are you asking such silly question?"

Regina stalkingly leans up against the counter, face inches from his.

"Is it?"

Mr. Gold scoffs in annoyance.

"I don't have time playing 21 questions so if you excuse me, exit my shop… please," he hisses.

Regina eyes widened, her body is forced to obey his command at please. She turns around and struts out of the shop. She hates that he has that power over her, but she confronted Gold as she wanted to, but she has a date with a blonde that she has been thinking about all week, and the limp bastard is not going to spoil her day.

Regina is outside Mary Margaret and Emma's apartment to drop off Henry. Henry looks at her with reverence.

"It is going to be okay mom. Please tell Ma. You can do it. I believe in you."

Regina looks down at Henry with a small smile, her heart leaps at how much her son believes in her. To do the right thing and come clean to Emma about everything. She is petrified with the outcome. She doesn't know if she can do it. To lose Emma will be like losing a piece of herself.

But she is going to press on with their date.

"Thank you so much Henry. I love you."

Henry hugs his mother, "I love you too."

Mary Margaret opens the door in a perky tone, greeting mother and son with a big smile.

"Hello Madame Mayor. Henry. Please come in."

Henry bounds his way through the door as Regina hesitantly walks in, the bile of annoyance threatening to rise but she suppresses it.

"There is no need for formalities, you can call me Regina." The older brunette knows that she has to tolerate Mary Margaret's presence. There is still so much animosity swirling within her, but this is Emma's mother, whether she likes it or not.

"Emma is still getting dressed. I'm excited to have you Henry. I have an eventful time planned for us."

Henry nods his head. "Cool." Emma bounces out of the room into the opening living room, kitchen room floor in her signature tight blue jeans, white tank, and red pleather jacket. Her mouth drops. Regina is looking scrumptious in a royal blue dress that his hugging every curve of the beautiful woman.

Mary Margaret just shakes her head at her room-mate. She is glad to help Emma by having Henry over with her for the day. It doesn't take too much of a leap to know what plans they have for their date. That is not something she wants to ponder on.

Henry is just smiling, liking how his parents are together but is a little apprehensive about his mom's confession.

Regina smirks arrogantly, loving how tongue tied Emma is. "Close your mouth before a whole beehive can swarm their way in."

"What can I say, you make me speechless." Mary Margaret rolls her eyes at the cheese that is coming out of the blonde. She grabs Emma's back and pushes her towards Regina.

"And on that note, I will see you two later. Don't worry. I'll take good care of Henry."

Regina shoots back at Mary Margaret a stone-cold stare. "Of that, I am aware." In all honesty, Regina feels comfortable leaving Henry with the shorter brunette. Even though cursed, she has always had a familial closeness with Henry.

For instance, one time Regina was so distraught with Henry's incessant crying, she gave Henry to Mary Margaret to get his bottle and his crying immediately stopped. She was hurt that she felt like an inadequate mother but now she understands that Henry was being comforted by his grandmother.

Emma hugs Henry, her little man. "You will behave, is that understood?"

"Totally." Emma looks back at Regina intently, "I feel so under-dressed."

Regina laughs softly, "With me, you probably will always be under-dressed."

Emma nods in agreement. "You are probably right. Shall we begin," she gestures to the door and opens it.

"Let's." Regina and Emma say their final goodbyes to Henry and get into the Benz to their destination.

Emma had no idea where Regina was taking them. So to find herself in the backyard of 108 Mifflin was a surprise. She has never been on a proper date, and she doesn't want to look like an idiot.

Regina was very nervous as well. She has never been truly courted or been on a modern type of date in this world. If she is going to bare herself to Emma, she wanted to do it in her own comfort zone, a place that meant so much to her. But she hopes that Emma finds it agreeable.

Right under the apple tree, Emma found an elaborate spread underneath. A very thick checkered blanket laid on the ground with a huge weaved basket that Emma can't wait to dig in.

"I hope it is to your liking. I know it is not grand, but I was just hoping for a private engagement."

Emma can sense the nervousness pouring through Regina. "I love it and I wouldn't have it any other way."

They sit down on the plush blanket. Emma is amazed at how comfortable it feels. She takes off the jacket, her biceps twitching with movement that makes Regina's mouth dry. The blonde has a very nice form.

"You know, this is my first real date. It seems that I'm always having firsts with you," shyly commented Emma, cheeks having a little pink blush.

Regina discarded her high heels and lies down both knees facing the same direction, it is as comfortable as she can get in her attire. Maybe she should have rethought her outfit for this occasion.

"And there will be plenty more to come."

"If I didn't know any better Madame Mayor, I would think you are trying to seduce me. And I like it."

"When it comes to seduction, I don't have to try."

"Someone is mighty cocky."

"I call it confidence."

"Of course you would."

The banter flows naturally for them, and it eases the nerves on being on their very first date together. They ate their pastrami sandwiches and pasta salad, which was accompanied with apple strudels as a dessert and sangria drinks, engaging in small talk. Sunlight pours over them with a crisp afternoon breeze.

"I know this is not what you were probably expecting, but I wanted to show you something that means much to me."

Emma finishes her strudel, wiping little crumbs off her chin. This is what she has been waiting for a long time. She wanted to get to know Regina, truly see who she is.

"This is amazing Regina. I'm feeling bedazzled, this has been a beautiful place for our date." They laugh together. But seeing Emma making earnest eye contact with her to tell her why this particular place is special, she continues.

"This apple tree is from my youth. I tended to it since I was a little girl. It was a gift from my father, his name was Henry."

"So that is why you named our son that. I always kind of thought it was old-fashioned. It seems that you are very close to your father," Emma responds, trying to lead Regina into telling her more about her background.

Regina smiles sadly, "Yes, I loved my father very much. He is one of the few good things I had in my life." It still sickens her to take her father's heart to cast the curse. That is still a low point in her humanity.

Emma still mourns not knowing her parents, but she encourages Regina to continue.

"I didn't grow up with a happy childhood. My mother…she was a cruel woman." Regina shuts her eyes to stop the stinging in them, not wanting to have tears to fall.

Emma senses Regina's distress, and sits right next to her, abandoning her sandwich to hold her hands and rubbing circles on them. Emma can read between the lines that Regina probably experienced some type of abuse from her mother, whether it is physically or emotional, she wasn't sure. She can feel that this is hard to reveal for the very private woman.

"I had a fiancé, his name was Daniel. We were to elope together, to escape my mother's strong hand, but I was betrayed by a girl that I had saved from a horse incident."

She didn't know that Regina was once engaged. Regina is such a beautiful woman, she shouldn't be surprised that someone wanted to take her for his wife.

"Daniel was taken from me. My mother had him killed."

Emma was shocked stupid. Regina's bluntness startled the blonde. What a horrible event to experience. Regina's own mother murdered her fiancé, that is evil and she wonders if the woman is in jail.

"No one should have gone through with what you went through. Your mother should be put in a jail, no offense."

Regina is now openly crying and Emma pulls her into her chest, trying to soothe the ache out of her heart.

"Shit Regina. I'm so insensitive. Please forgive me."

Regina slows her sobs, wiping tears from her.

"You didn't say anything wrong. Besides, she is dead now." One of the greatest decisions in her life was pushing her mother through a full length mirror that Rumple provided.

"It's okay. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere. I am so sorry that your mother did that to you, her own daughter. That's just sick."

Regina sucks in Emma's warmth, her father was the only one to comfort her, even if he was too weak of a man to stop it.

"After Daniel's death, a piece of me died with him. Darkness surrounded me, I became a bad person. I did things. Very bad things. I'm afraid that if you find out all of the things I have done, you wouldn't love me. You are too good for me, and I don't want to hurt you." This was probably very heavy things to mention on this date but she is trying to open herself to Emma.

What darkness is Regina alluding to? Would she really want to know?

"Regina, look, the world is not just black and white. There are many shades of grey and I am not a good person. I have done things that I'm not proud of either. But nothing, nothing will make me think of you less. I'm here for you, I'll always will be."

Regina shakes her head vigorously in denial. Her brown eyes red, orbs melting like molten chocolate back at Emma.

"You can't promise me that. As much as I want you, I don't think we can be together. I'm no good for you."

What the hell?! They are on their first date and it sounds like Regina already wants to break up. Yes, she can see that Regina's has some very dark secrets, but she knows that she has a capacity to love. Someone who can love a child as much as she loves Henry cannot be wholly debased.

"I can and I will. I'm a fighter. All my life, I had to fight. I had to fight against foster kids who thought they were better than me. I had to fight to stay alive after some of the beatings my foster parents thought were corrective punishments that landed me in the hospital. I had to fight for my self-esteem, when people said that I was a freak, an abomination in society."

"Now I meet you, someone who made me feel like I was worth something. Someone that made me feel like I actually matter in this world. And you gave me the gift of Henry. Don't you see, I had nothing to live for, and now, I have a purpose. I have people that care for me. You and Henry, you are my world. Storybrooke is now somewhere I can call home when I never had one before. The strangest people that I now count me as their own. You don't get to take that away from me. Whatever pasts we have, we will get through it, the drama and the secrets, together we can prevail. I want this, I want us. I thought you wanted the same."

Another cry escapes from Regina. She didn't mean to push Emma away, she just didn't want her to get hurt. But Emma and Henry are her second chances. It shall not escape her, not when Emma made her feelings for her so clear.

"Emma, I come with very heavy baggage. I don't know how to love very well, but I will fight with all of my soul to love you and our family. There will be times when I will fail you. So…all I ask is that you love me when I deserve it the least, as that is when I need it most. Can you do that?"

Regina doesn't understand that as much as Emma made an impact in her life, Regina did the same in hers. She softly caresses tear-streaked cheeks and stares intently in brown orbs.

"I can do that and so much more. Our relationship is unconventional, but I love you and whatever life throws at us, we will fight it together. We may be weak on our own, but together, together we are strong. I love you Regina, I am yours to have."

Regina's heart bursts of elation. She feels more comfortable to tell Emma about the curse, but right now is not the time. Right now, it is a time for them to come together as one.

They slowly kiss, lips touching each other softly. Regina's hands are on Emma's shoulder blades as Emma encircles her arms around the brunette's waist, pulling her fully to her front. Regina's hands crept up and buried themselves in corn silk hair, massaging her scalp. She loves Emma's hair to be a little straighter than her usual princess curls. The kiss deepens as Regina eases her tongue in Emma's mouth, their tongues sliding against each other.

Their kissing intensifies; their body' temperature is rising despite the cool breeze. They break apart to catch their breath.

Regina looks up and down at Emma, her eyes are hungry, ready to be sated. "I need you, now." Emma can't believe that this is happening. Her heart is beating rapidly. They may be going fast, but their relationship is not of an ordinary variety. Her cock is straining in her pants at the wanton seduction in her woman's voice.

Emma stands up to hurriedly clear their lunch from the blanket. Their need for each other is so strong, Emma knows that she can't make it back inside the house. The brunette grabs Emma and pulls her down in a bruising kiss.

The blonde pulls back, tugging the zipper down on her dress. Regina's eyebrows lift in anticipation.

"So we are doing this out here?"

"Don't get shy now, you said now so we are doing this, now." Emma's voice is laced with arousal which shot a pool of desire in Regina's core. With Regina's zipper all the way down her back, Emma slowly tugs the dress down to her feet, admiring the sun-kissed skin underneath.

Regina's is wearing red-laced matching silk thong and strapless bra which makes Emma's mouth water.

"Damn," is the only thing she can mutter. Regina feels powerful under the lustful haze in the beautiful blonde's green eyes. She steps up and pulls Emma's thin bottom lip as she slowly unbuckles her tight jeans. Once she unzips it, she moves back and tugs down the impossible jeans, Emma's hardness now jutting out in loose boxers. The taller woman takes off her tank and bra. Regina goes to do the same but Emma stops her. She presses her front against Regina's, her hard on pressing into the shorter woman's belly.

"Let me take care of that for you." They reattached their lips together in a hungry kiss. Emma expertly takes off the bra from its hooks, no longer a fumbling teenager. Brown nipples point back at her. She couldn't help but to pull those in her mouth, sucking on them which made Regina release sharp moans of pleasure.

Emma moves back and pulls down Regina's thong, seeing moisture glistening in between her thighs. Regina pulls down Emma's boxers, fully releasing her erection. Veins are pronounced throughout her hard shaft, pointing directly at her. Emma's curves are strong but feminine. The juxtaposition of the woman being all woman except the dick twitching under her gaze is erotically stimulating.

Emma gives Regina a cocky grin. "Are you just going to sit there and not do anything?"

Emma is too full of herself but she loves it. She knows a way to shut her up. Regina takes two fingers and slides them against her clit, collecting her juices. She chuckles and enters Emma's personal space, pressing them into Emma's mouth. Emma moans and sucks on her fingers, the sweet taste of Regina making her need more.

Emma lays the brunette down on the nice soft blanket, following her as she goes down. Regina is challenging her to see how she responds. Emma runs her hands from Regina's perky breasts to her stomach, her skin soft and smooth, admiring all of her. The blonde grabs Regina's ankles and spread her wide open, her pussy fully in view. Licking her lips at the beautiful display before her.

"You shouldn't tease me like that."

"Dear, you sure do too much talking. I prefer your mouth to be doing something else."

Emma laughs at her. "My pleasure." Emma lies down belly first, and grabs Regina's hips and pushes her clit fully into her mouth. Emma licks Regina bottom up, gathering the brunette's sweetness in her mouth.

Regina gasps in pleasure, she pinches her nipples for more stimulation. Emma's teases the tip of her tongue around her clit, working up her beautiful girlfriend. Then, she spreads her lips and dives it right into her core.

"Emma!" she screamed. Regina tugs Emma's head harder into her pussy, demanding her to keep ravishing her. The blonde continues to devour her, the musky scent making her heady. Regina's thighs are quivering under Emma's ministrations. Her thighs tighten around Emma's head, where the only thing she can hear is faint moans. She can feel Regina's pending climax. She takes her tongue out and latches it around her nub, the bundle of nerves going into overload.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes," Regina yells as her body shakes from her orgasm, juices spilling into Emma's mouth. The blonde can spend the rest of her life making Regina chant like that. She is amazed at the amount of restraint she displayed because her dick being painfully hard.

Emma's climbs up between her thighs and kisses the panting brunette. She wipes the sweat off of her Regina's head, kissing Regina who is tasting herself from the blonde's lips.

"I hope you are ready for me," Emma whispered in Regina's right ear. Before Regina's sex-addled mind could catch what Emma was saying, Emma pushes her thick shaft inside Regina with a quick push.

"Fuck!" escapes Regina's lips. Regina is so warm and wet, she can stay inside her for days. Emma is kissing her neck and leans towards her ear again.

"That is what I'm planning to do, babe."

Emma's dick moves inside her slowly, stretching Regina's tight pussy. The thrusts are languidly slow. Emma's initial push inside her was a little painful, but the longer Mr. Big was inside her, the more her walls conform more comfortably to her size.

Regina's hips move in tandem with Emma's rhythm. Her legs are wrapped around the blonde's waist as Emma's makes circles during her thrusts that hits her G-Spot. Regina is moaning, appreciating how experienced Emma is this time around. Her juices are pooling down on the blanket as Emma's continues to thrust inside her, pushing herself fully inside her as she kisses her. Regina's eyes roll back in her head in pleasure.

Breast upon breast press into each other. Soft whimpers and moans escape from their lips as they continue their love making. Emma pulls her chest off of Regina's and places her hands on opposite sides of Regina's head. They both look intently as each other as Emma's pushes most of her weight into the blonde with her hips. She is pumping Regina with fuller movements.

"Ohh baby, right there. Oh, oh, don't stop." Emma continues to push in and out of her woman, her body perspiring with exertion. The sound of their skin slapping each other is like music to her ears. Regina is clawing her back, no doubt leaving scratch marks but the pleasure she is getting is outweighing the pain.

"Faster, Emma, faster." As much as she wants to obey her every command, she still keeps her slow rhythm. She knows if she goes faster, she is going to bust one and she wants to prolong their lovemaking longer. She pulls out and gets on her knees between Regina's legs.

Regina's eyes open wide incredulity. "Emma, I don't know what you are doing, but if you don't get back inside of me this instance, so help me-" Emma pushes her finger against Regina's lips to shut her up.

"Be patient. I got this." Emma pulls Regina's hips closer to her body and places both of Regina's legs on top of her shoulders. She pushes Mr. Big back inside velvety walls and leans down on Regina's chest as they are breast to breast again. Regina released a strangled cry as this position makes it feel like Emma is pushing her stomach because she is in so deep. Emma's arms are inside of Regina's hands are atop of Emma's breast, kneading her nipples. Emma's legs are levering her thrusts inside the brunette, making her go deeper and harder inside her.

Emma spills out a litany of curses as Regina's walls contract around her dick. She is pushing inside Regina vigorously, feeling her impending orgasm. With Emma's quickened thrusts, Regina climaxed again as Emma is still pounding into her. Emma kisses her as she pumps even faster, her balls smacking against Regina with her full thrusts, juices making squishing sounds as the blonde's dick goes in and out.

Emma grunts into Regina's hair as she starts coming, her load gushing inside of Regina, which triggered a third orgasm. Regina's body is quaking dramatically underneath Emma's weight as she keeps stroking her.

"Fuck baby, your pussy is so good." Regina is very sensitive after her multiple orgasms so she pushes her hands against Emma's stomach to still her movements.

"Stop, I can't take any more," Regina breathes out. But Emma continues a few more thrusts, making sure all of her seed is gone and collapses on top of Regina. The brunette nudges Emma to get off of her gently, her weight being too much to hold. Emma flops down on her back right next to Regina. Both of them are panting, their chests heaving to gather their wits and control their breathing, bodies are heated and sweaty.

Regina's forearm is covering her forehead, trying to gather strength back into her body.

"Emma darling, you were amazing. Just wow." With all of her past lovers, she can honestly say that Emma is the best she ever had.

Emma turns her body on its sides towards Regina, propping her elbow so her head can rest on her fist. She rubs Regina's stomach, "what can I say, I have skills. I didn't hurt you, did I?"

Regina shakes her head in the negative. "No, even though I will be sore for some time. I'm happy no apples fell on top of us as you were fucking me."

They both laugh softly together. "I'm happy to finally taste the fruit that you offered."

Regina laughs again, "I was offering you my honey-crisp apples, not THAT."

"Hey, I can read between the lines. Don't try to destroy my high. Your forbidden fruit was mine for the taking."

Emma then looks around, noticing again how they just had sex in the openness of their yard.

"Nobody can see us in your backyard, right?"

"Don't worry, this is a very private area. I must say this is my first time being taken outside in the elements like this."

Emma leans down and kisses Regina, "With you Regina, I'm always having my firsts. I think I said that before," she released a small chuckle.

Regina's breathing is now under control and she takes in the love in Emma's deep green eyes. She reaches out and rubs Emma's cheek.

"And there will be more to come." They lean into each other again and kiss again.

"As much as I enjoyed taking you right here on the blanket, how about we take this show inside?" Regina nods and they gather their clothes and blanket and put the food in the basket to take it back inside.

A few moments later after they placed their picnic material in the house, Emma picks Regina up bridal style and carries her to her bedroom.

"Baby, you got to direct me."

"Left and it is at the end of the hallway." Regina reaches out to open the door and Emma enters, careful not to bash Regina's limbs on any walls.

After their emotional confessions in their date, all they wanted to do was to physically connect. After their backyard activities, they both still hungered for each other's touch. Emma is impressed with Regina's bedroom, even if it is a little muted from Regina's usual taste.

She lays her out gently on the king-sized bed. The sheets cooling their heated bodies. Emma lies on top of Regina, kissing her deeply, making their arousal increase. With surprising strength, Regina flips so that she is on top of Emma, nipping her lips as she is stroking Mr. Big.

Emma has never seen a more beautiful sight. She does not mind having more rounds with the woman she has committed herself too.

Regina guides the shaft to her entrance.

"Ohhhh," escapes her lips. Emma's constant comfort and assurance means so much to her. She is going to rock Emma's world. Telling her about the curse can wait.

In the distance, the mines collapsed. And in the shadows behind the high hedges of the mansion's yard was a set of jealous eyes, that watched the two women enter the house.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Mary Margaret and Henry are walking in the park, talking about David and the progress he is making. He is finally out of the hospital and his mom placed him in a small spare apartment. Even though it may pain her to help the Charming's, she knows in the long run it is beneficial. Snide insults still roll their way. That is a relationship that will take time to repair as Henry is well aware of.

But he can see his grandmother having a faraway look as she talks about him. Henry guesses that true love still exists between them even in a cursed state. He could do without her fawning over her Prince Charming, he is just a kid. He receives a welcome distraction when Archie comes along with Pongo.

"Hello Mary Margaret, Henry. How are you today?"

"Hey Archie, we are just fine. We are just taking an afternoon stroll."

"Hello Dr. Hopper, can I play with Pongo?"

Archie looks down at Henry, he is so happy that he seems so much happier lately. Having Emma in his life has been a positive impact. And he can even see changes in the mayor. He was quite shocked that she wanted to discontinue Henry's sessions when she was so adamant to start them in the first place. He wonders what had changed her mind.

Henry ran off and played fetch with Pongo in the open field as the adults continued to converse. He grabs a stick and throws it a few feet away when Pongo runs and pounces on it, and gives it back to Henry. The back and forth continues until one time, the two now pretty far from Archie and Mary Margaret. One time, Pongo stops and lifts his head and sniffs the air. He turns and runs towards some undetermined area, frustrating Henry as he has to chase him.

They ran across an area that his mother forbade him from entering. It is the entrance to the mines. Henry figures that there are some secrets buried deep but he was not about to go there. His parents have gotten on him enough to not run around and get in trouble. He is finally going to listen but Pongo has no such limits to venture out.

"Pongo, don't go there! Come back," Henry yells at Pongo, slapping his thigh to signal the Dalmatian to come back to him. But the dog's curiosity has him sniffing the entrance when suddenly the mines collapsed, hurtling the dog down the tunnels. Henry is shocked, he wants to go help but his parents will kill him if he falls into the hole because he wants to act as a hero.

The little boy carries his legs as quickly as he can to warn the therapist and Mary Margaret.

"Archie! Mary Margaret! Hurry! Pongo is stuck in the mines. You have to help him."

Archie and Mary Margaret gasps.

"Oh no, we have to see if he is alright." They follow Henry's lead as he led them towards the mines, witnessing the damage of the collapsed mines.

"We have to call the Mayor. This is a huge hazard." Archie pulls out his phone and begins to dial Regina's number but Mary Margaret stops him.

She can only imagine what the mayor and her room-mate are getting up to, and she doesn't want the gentle man to be chewed out for interrupting them.

"Archie, let's call Graham first. He can patrol the area. If the mayor needs to get involved, he can call her."

The wiry-red head man nods in agreement. He phones Graham, telling him how Pongo was around the mines when it collapsed and he is now trapped.

Twenty minutes later, Graham pulls up in the cop's car to inspect the damage in the area. Some other residents are starting to arrive at the area, hearing the loud BOOM! in down town Storybrooke. They are starting to ask questions he couldn't answer, the crowd is starting to thicken up. Damn! People are nosey. He can see that this is a bigger job than he can handle. He will have to let the mayor and Emma know what is going on.

They are working on the fifth or sixth orgasm, both don't remember, losing count. Regina experienced more since women have an amazing ability to have multiples at one time. Regina is riding Emma like a bull, the bed straining from the movements. Emma is holding onto Regina's hips like her life depends on it. The brunette's rocking movements is squeezing her dick in the most enticing way. She palms Regina's left breast, kneading the harden nipple.

"Ride that dick baby. I'm about to cum." Regina bites her lower lip. Mr. Big is hitting her walls as she bounces up and down. Right when they were about to cum, Regina's cell starts ringing. The brunette looks over at her phone, debating whether she should take the call or not which slows down her movements.

Emma's stares back at Regina wide eyed. "Don't do it, we are almost there woman."

"But what if it is important business in regards to the town?" She usually does not shirk her mayoral duties, but she is having an important meeting she is attending right now.

"It can wait." Emma sits up while still buried deep inside her, face to face with the dark beauty. She moves her hips up, trying to convey for them to keep going. Regina gets lost in the sensation, rocking with Emma's upwards thrusts.

However, the phone keeps incessantly ringing.

"What if something happened to Henry?" Emma stops and looks at Regina's worried eyes, she too now contemplating if anything happened to their son. She would never forgive herself if Henry is in trouble and she couldn't help him because she was trying to bust a nut.

Emma nods and signals for Regina to answer her phone. "You're right. We have to see what the call is about."

Regina stops and slowly moves up, leaving Emma's dick standing at attention. The blonde whimpers from the lost warmth of Regina, but she listens closely to Regina's phone call.

"Graham, this better be important." Regina becomes quiet as Graham is, as Emma is imaging, informing her about whatever is going on.

The brunette's eyes widened.

"Henry is with you? Is he alright? Okay, we'll be down. Do your job and keep the residents calm." Regina clicks the phone off. Emma looks at her in expectation.

"What's going on?"

"Emma, something happened with the mines. Henry was the one who seen it and now there is a crowd there, the idiots. It is like they have nothing else to do."

"Oh my god! Is Henry alright?"

"He is but we must get going. The town is panicking and Pongo is trapped in there."

Regina quickly puts on a long brown turtle neck and slacks. Emma was having some difficulty putting on her jeans.

Regina puts her hands on her hips in annoyance.

"Must you take so long Miss. Swan."

Emma huffs in frustration at her woman's lack of patience.

"Don't Miss. Swan me after I was just giving you some good loving. And besides, we were in the middle of said good loving and I'm still 'up'. Mr. Big does not go down that easily."

Her erection is semi hard so she was having a tough time stuffing him in her tight jeans. Man, she is going to have a serious case of blue balls.

"How insensitive of me," she mocks. Regina can be a bitch when she wants to be, she still loves her though.

"Why are you so mean to me?" Emma pouts. Regina steps up to her and stuffs Mr. Big in her pants, helping her lover out.

"Don't get mad at me, you agreed to this," she kissed Emma lightly, "now let's getting going." She looks Emma up and down, whispering into Emma's ear, "I'll take care of you later."

Emma immediately perks up. "I'm better now. The mines, here we come."

Regina and Emma run together towards Henry, gathering the boy in their arms to hug him. Regina swipes the bangs from his forehead, falling back in place again.

"Are you alright?"

"I am fine mom. I didn't run off to the mines to explore, I swear. Pongo and I were playing fetch in the fields and he ran towards it for some reason," Henry stammered to make sure he didn't get in trouble. He wants to ward off any accusations that he ran off again. He may have pulled some stunts before, but he is not responsible for this one.

Emma narrows her eyebrows questioningly and turns towards a red faced Mary Margaret and a guilt-struck Archie.

"Why nobody noticed when Henry and Pongo left? Weren't you supposed to watch him?"

Mary Margaret looks down, feeling ashamed that Henry could have been hurt for her negligence.

"Emma, I apologize. Henry was in my eye sight when Archie and I were catching up and we just…"

Regina got tired of the idiot's excuses and focuses all her anger at her.

"You were left with one task and one task only, to watch Henry and you failed at that. You are incompetent."

Something in Mary Margaret snapped.

"You are the one to talk considering Henry ran all the way to Boston to find Emma," Mary Margaret eyes widened in shock at what came out of her mouth. She places a hand over her mouth.

"I apologize, I don't know what came over me."

Regina's face is fuming at the shorter woman's accusation.

"How dare you?!"

Emma gets between them both, sensing the danger arising between her girlfriend and room-mate. She does not want any of this drama right now. Why does it seem that she will have to do this often in the future?

Emma holds up her hands, "I need everyone to calm down. Henry is fine so there is no need for arguments or accusations," she looks pointedly at Regina and Mar. Regina had the decency to look apologetic.

Archie being the voice of calm in any storm jumps in.

"Madame Mayor, Deputy, please don't be mad at Miss Blanchard. This falls on me since if Pongo never ran out, none of this will be happening."

"None needed Dr. Hopper."

Regina regains her composure, noticing the residents of Storybrooke trying to get glimpses of the conversations that they were having. Graham is away from them but could hear everything. He doesn't understand how Emma can be calm to the ferocious mayor. God bless her.

Regina barked orders for Graham and Emma to secure the area with yellow tape to ward off trespassers from entering the dangerous area. Finally taking control of the situation and trying to set the town at ease. Emma being the brave idiot goes into the mines to get Pongo much to Regina's displeasure. She didn't want her girlfriend to get hurt. But, she emerged out of there safely with the Dalmatian intact.

The residents that were there applauded their new deputy for her courage. Archie thanked her over and over again, promising to keep a closer eye on Pongo. Mary Margaret hugged her, telling her that she is happy nothing happened to her down there and called her a "hero." She thinks her son is over exaggerating, it was nothing much to it. The Mayor thanked her and promised a nice reward for her efforts. Now that is something she is looking forward to. They still had unfinished business.

Graham and Emma cleared the area, Regina ordering all of the residents to return back to their homes. Regina and Emma walk back to Regina's car since Emma's does not have hers with Henry between them, looking like Storybrooke cutest family.

However, one resident is seething with jealousy and loathing. He doesn't care for the young blonde. She is taking everything away from him and he can't allow that to continue.

Chapter Text

Day after

"I am falling in deep. Real deep."

Mary Margaret turns her head towards Emma to give her undivided attention while washing the dishes.

"What do you mean?"

"I love her. I really love her and I told her that. I never told a woman I love her. It scares me, it is like, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. That she will wake up one day and she realize that she can do so much better than me."

"Emma, you are crazy to think that is what she thinks about you. In all the years I have known Regina, she never has been as happy as she has been with you, besides Henry. You mean so much to her, so I wouldn't be worried about that aspect of your relationship."

"Everybody can see the yearning looks you give her. It is so sugary sickly sweet," Ruby throws in. They are all at Mary Margaret and Emma's apartment having a little girl's time before Ruby heads back to the diner.

"I don't yearn."

"Keep telling yourself that. Okay, we hear all about the lovey dovey stuff. I want to know how the sex was. I bet our mayor is quite the fire cracker."

Mary Margaret gasps in shock at her friend's lack of discretion.

"Ruby, you just…you can't just ask people such personal information."

"Don't be such a prude. I bet Emma is banging our illustrious mayor to no end. Ain't that right, Emma?"

Emma just shakes her head at Ruby. At this point, she is not surprised at Ruby's forwardness.

She blushes deeply. "I like to keep that between Regina and I."

The taller brunette's eyes widened and she smiles in triumph.

"Pay up Blanchard. I won the bet." Mary Margaret closes her eyes in embarrassment as Emma looks at them in confusion. Mar walks to her bedroom to retrieve twenty dollars from her purse and joins them again to hand it to Ruby.

"Excuse me but what is going on?"

Ruby's counts the bills and responds without looking at Emma.

"We had a bet whether you and Regina were going to smash on the first date. You confirmed it when I teased you about it. Thanks by the way. Drinks on me when go out again."

"Wow, really guys…really?" She looks between a red-face teacher and a beaming waitress.

"Yes really. Look, I got to go. Chow."

Emma looks at the clock on the wall and sees that she needs to leave as well. "I need to be going too, day patrol."

Mary Margaret waves to Emma and Ruby. "Okay, I will see you later."

Emma is in the police station doing what she does best in the continual downtime that she has. Shooting paper balls in the waste basket. She thinks of their love making on the first date. Regina is a very skilled lover. When they have sex, it is like, nothing can pop them out of their bubble.

SHIT! Why Emma has not thought about this is beyond her comprehensive. They haven't been using protection at all. Emma starts to panic, is she ready for another child? Would Regina want more? Isn't too early to bring another child in the mix? They are not even living together. How will this affect Henry? She fumbles for her phone, hurriedly calling Regina's cell instead of her office phone.

"Hello dear," Regina answers in a deep husky voice. Emma gulps to tamper down her arousal.

"Hey beautiful. Do you have some time this lunch? I…we have something to talk about."

"Oh…is everything alright?" She does not like hearing the tremors in Emma's voice, it means she is nervous and Regina has no idea why. Things have been going so well lately if the pleasant soreness between her legs is any indication.

"Yeah, yeah. Everything is fine. It is just, this is a conversation that I will like to have face to face." That does not sound like a small little chat at all.

"Come in at 1. See you then. I love you."

"I love you too, Regina." She hangs up the phone and drops her head on the desk. She hopes that Regina does not take their impending conversation too bad.

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Regina straightens her posture, staring directly at Emma which makes Emma cower just a little bit as Emma enters her office. She leans down and kisses her softly.

"Relax, it is not that bad." Regina is apprehensive and wants to get down to it.

"Begin."

"Yesterday was amazing, wasn't it?"

Regina eyes become hooded as she looks down Emma's tone-figure.

"Indeed." She drawled.

Emma scratches her head, feet tapping softly trying to calm herself. Regina is getting tired of her girlfriend's fidgeting.

"Can you just spit it out?"

Impatient much, Emma thinks.

"Well, yesterday we had sex."

Regina folds her arms, "If I do recall, I was there. Is there a point to this?"

Emma just rolls her eyes at her apparent bitchiness and continues.

"And sex brings babies."

"I'm happy to hear that you do understand basic biology." Such a smart ass, too.

"And so we didn't wear protection…"

Regina eyes widen, understanding where Emma was trying to get to.

"So…you wouldn't want more children?" she asked timidly.

Emma thought about holding Ashley's baby, secretly wishing that she gets another chance to hold a baby and raise it since she didn't have that with Henry. "I would love to have more. But it quite early in our relationship to be thinking about that."

Regina folds her arms. "So what is your suggestion?"

"Maybe we should use protection." Regina never used condoms before, such sexual protection methods didn't exist in the Enchanted Forest. And she would prefer to feel of all Emma anyway.

"I don't think that will be necessary."

Not many woman will turn down someone to wear a rubber. This is quite different.

"Why not?"

"Because I am barren. For me to even had Henry is a miracle." That is just one of the things she has yet confessed to Emma. She doesn't think she will actually believe that Regina cursed herself to not have kids and somehow Emma broke it.

"Wow, I didn't know that." To have Henry in her life is just extra special now.

"So you have nothing to worry about."

If Emma was to be honest, she doesn't mind not wearing protection with Regina. It is just so much better to go raw with her.

"Okay, that went some much smoother than I thought," she puts her thumbs in her pockets, looking sheepish.

Regina gets up from her desk and saunters over seductively towards the blonde. Emma recognized the predatory steps Regina is taking towards her. Regina looks up and down, drinking in her form. The smell of apples and sensuality overwhelms Emma. The brunette looks down at Emma's waist, fiddling with her belt.

"It seems all this talk of sex and it consequences have riled me up. What do you suppose we do about this?" Regina's chocolate eyes bore into green emeralds. Emma has always wanted to take Regina in her office. Her arousal is soaring, dick twitching in her pants.

"Do we have time?"

Regina looks at the clock in her office and completely unbuckles Emma's tight jeans, stroking her hardening dick.

"We'll make time." Emma crashes her lips against Regina's and bumps Regina behind against her sturdy oak desk. The blonde pulls her jeans all the way down to her ankles which makes her dick jut out. She is thankful that Regina is wearing a skirt. Emma grabs handfuls of Regina's ass and lifts her up on the desk.

Regina is thrilled at Emma's quiet strength and at the forbidden dance they are about to take part in her office. Emma rips off Regina's thong and slides two fingers around her clit.

"Damn, you are so wet for me," she responds as she kisses Regina.

The brunette pulls back, "this is my first time doing this in my office."

Emma smirks, "I am happy to be your first in something. Now less talk, more play."

Regina gasps at the intrusion. Emma moans softly and pushes even more inside her, holding her hips so she doesn't fall off of the table.

She swallows both their moans in a hard kiss.

"We have to be quiet." Emma's begins quick but short but hard thrusts, the desk rocking with their ministrations. Regina's tampers down her groans by clamping her mouth on Emma's neck. Her woman is hitting her walls in all the right ways. This is straight passion and the worry of the future can go to hell. All that matters is what is happening right here, her pussy contracting from Emma's relentless pounding, juices flowing down her thighs.

Emma is twisting her hips in a way that she is rubbing against Regina's g-spot to make sure their lovemaking goes quicker. All of her sensation is lost except her second head that is inside the delicious brunette. She moans Regina's name over and over softly.

After a few minutes of pounding into Regina she swallows her grunts as her load shoots inside of her while Regina is still rocking her hips into Emma's. Regina's orgasm follows shortly after as she stifles her scream, moaning Emma's name quietly.

Their hearts are pounding as they hold onto each other as they come down from their high.

Regina kisses thin lips as Emma chuckles into them.

"That has got to be like the best quickie in my life."

"Any time with me is always a pleasure."

Emma shakes her head with a big grin. "No, not really."

"You oaf," Regina playfully chides and pushes Emma away from her. Emma slowly pulls out her softening dick, still having cum dripping from her tip.

"Do you have tissue or something that I can clean with?"

Regina looks down at her desk and gets some Kleenex tissue for Emma.

"Try not to make a mess on my floor." Emma softly grabs them and starts cleaning herself.

"It is your fault."

Regina chuckles while shaking her head, grabbing some tissues as well to wipe the fluids and juices between her thighs.

"Why does it seem to be always my fault?"

Emma has her boxers and jeans fully up, zipped, and buckled.

"It just is." Emma observes Regina straightening her business sharp blouse, skirt, and reapplying her make-up and fluffing her hair. She is glad to have a lady in the streets but a freak in the sheets.

Regina notices Emma looking at her with adoration. Her heart warms knowing that for Emma to want more kids, that means she is in this relationship for the long haul. She is happy about that.

"You see something you like dear?"

"Yeah, I am just worshiping a goddess right now." Regina's cheeks tinged pink, nobody has made her feel like Emma has. Even if Emma can be possessive, she does not feel like an object. Emma's affections are of the adoring type, not of ownership.

They kiss softly after they fully dress.

"Gosh, I hope we weren't too loud."

"If anybody did hear they know to hold their tongues around me." Emma backs away a little, she knows that Regina's stare can bring anybody down.

"Okay, no worries then. I'll see you later…"

"Of course, dear." They peck each other's lips again and Emma turns to leave right after Regina's smacks her on the butt.

Emma turns back before exiting the door and throws Regina a wink. "Bye sexy."

Regina winks back and blows a kiss to Emma. Yep, she is going to be the death of her.

1Hour later

The mayor has now straighten up her disheveled, unkempt appearance after having an afternoon delight with her girlfriend. She is now precision sharp with no one none the wiser with what just went down in her office. She made sure that her office was dispelled of any smells of sex.

"My oh my, once a person gets in relationship with a blonde deputy, it seems that all friends go by the wayside. Or maybe just one friend, you know, being you and all."

Regina looks up in surprise to see Kathryn, Princess Abigail back in the old world. She gives her a soft hug, still not use to having that type of affection with people. Her mother made sure that she was isolated since friendships were deemed weaknesses.

Kathryn was one of the few people she can stomach in this town, and she can honestly say that she is friendly to her. Though, Regina considers herself a crappy friend, she never had much practice with those types of relationships in her past.

"It takes two you know. You were busy working on getting your law degree. It is so nice to see you, truly."

"I will give you that. Henry, how is the little guy?"

Regina smiled, "He is doing fine. We are doing great actually. Our relationship is improving. I even took him out of therapy." Given that the relationship souring is due to her keeping secrets, she is glad that she came clean because now her relationship with her son is as strong as ever.

They did have a disagreement after she told Henry that she didn't tell Emma fully about the curse. She explained to him that it will be more prudent to ease Emma into the knowledge of the curse, just not smack her over the head with it. Henry does not hate her at least, so he agreed to not talk to Emma much about it any more. They have to trust for Emma to believe at some point.

"I am glad to hear it. But as cute as the little guy is, let's get into the nitty gritty. Emma. Spill," the blonde commanded with her looking eagerly for information. Kathryn heard through the grapevine about Emma's…peculiarity.

"She is the...sire of my child, you must have already known that Henry was the one to find her and bring her to Storybrooke. The rest is history."

Kathryn quirks an eyebrow that rival Regina's.

"How big?" Regina shakes her head like she is confused.

"Excuse me?"

"What is she packing?" she asks like it is asking about how she wants her toast.

"That is not something that should be discussed in an office."

Kathryn snorts. But Regina has always been somewhat of a braggart and can't help but to show who is hers.

"9," she mumbles which the blonde barely catches.

"Excuse me."

"You heard me." Kathryn laughs.

"Well, I guess why everyone can see how good of a mood you are in."

Regina smirks with pride. "Indeed."

"So how did you guys even meet?"

"Outside of Storybrooke."

Kathryn rolls her eyes. "I can guess that but where."

"A club."

The blonde sits back in her chair, contemplating whether she should be further asking more questions and risk the mayor's wrath.

"I am guessing that this had to be a gay club."

Regina stiffens, if Kathryn is a bigot, she will cut her down immediately.

"And is that a problem?" she asks tightly.

The other woman giggles. "Not at all. I never pegged you for going both ways. You were always uptight. Who would have known that our strict mayor had such a kinkier side and swing both ways? You chose well. Didn't know you had a thing for blondes."

Regina rolls her eyes, secretly relieved that all Kathryn was just teasing.

"I don't have a preference. Is there anything else you want to interrogate me about?"

She shakes her head. "Nope, really just wanted to see how you are doing."

She reaches across the desk, clasping her hand over Regina.

"I hope it doesn't take months for us to reconnect again. You take care of yourself." She knows that Regina doesn't take affection well from others except her son and now the new deputy in town.

"Goodbye Kathryn," and she leaves the office leaving Regina to do actual work.

Few weeks later

David Nolan sits at a booth in Granny's Diner, having two fried eggs, over easy, with bacon, and oatmeal. He blows on the oats, cooling the steam of blueberries, savoring every bit of the food like it is his last.

Dr. Whale finally released him some time ago, stating that his physical therapy is sufficient, and his concession has wavered. The best news he gave was that little by little, his memory will return to him. It scares him that he doesn't know who he is. He doesn't know where he went to school, who his parents are, what is his favorite food.

His brain is full of cobwebs that are slowly dissipating, there is still a little confusion, but there is only one thing that makes sense. A pixie-hair school teacher that had visited him every day when he was recovering from the trauma of his long induced coma.

Mary Margaret is like an anchor that steadies him against strong ocean currents. It is like she is a missing piece to his life, which is crazy considering he doesn't even know the woman.

The bell to the door of the diner chimes, signalling another patron entering its premises. Speak of the devil, it is Mary Margaret. It 7:15 am on the dot. She smiles shyly at David but passes through to put in an order with Ruby. Ruby looks at her in surprise that she came to the bar stool and not sit with the new Mr. Handsome in town.

"I love you to bits and pieces but why are you not sitting there with hotness?"

Mary Margaret turns her head discretely to sneak another look at David.

"I talked to him while in the hospital, everything just came easy. But now that he is out, it's like, this is real. And I'm not sure what his feelings are towards me. It is a little awkward now."

Ruby rolls her eyes at the shorter woman's lack of assertion.

"It's obvious to everyone that you are pining over him and he seems to be digging you too. Take a leap of faith and just go over there."

Mary Margaret shakes her head.

"No, I'll just take it slow. Besides, he is the one that is supposed to make the first move."

Ruby rolls her eyes again, she swears that her eyes may get stuck up there one of these days.

"This is the 21st century and women don't have to watch for their Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet and ride on a horse to some sunset. If you want him, go get him. Shoot, when I see something I want, I get it." Ruby's mind wonders on the talks that she has been having lately with the Sheriff.

"I'm here to pick up some coffee so I can take it to work. I don't have time to chitchat."

Ruby childishly sticks her tongue out.

"Excuses, excuses. I see no problems with you going over there now. You're single, he's single, get not single together."

"Ruby, stop that yapping and take some more orders!"

Granny is all the way in the kitchen so she doesn't understand how she can know what she is doing. It is like she has super hearing and eyes in the back of her head.

Mary Margaret gets her order of coffee and nods towards David, telling him to have a good day. David smiles back, his eyes following the brunette as she exits the diner. Ruby is wiping down the counter as she observes the yearning looks of the husky man. They just need to get it over with already.

The little unit of the Mayor, the Deputy, and their son enter the diner and sit at Regina's usual booth. Regina gets in first and Emma's scoots next to her, draping an arm behind Regina's back with a stupid grin on her face. Henry sits across from her, excited to see his mom to be in love he can tell, she has loosened up quite a bit, more carefree.

David spots them and heads towards their table, nervous and sticking his hands in his pockets.

"Good morning Madame Mayor, Emma, Henry. I hope I'm not interrupting."

Regina was about to say he was but Emma beats her to the punch.

"No not at all. How can I help you David?"

"I just want to thank you for finding me," and he looks towards Regina, "and giving me a job and a place to live. I am forever grateful."

Regina shoots him a polite smile, not minding this side of Charming. He is less annoying. "Your welcome Mr. Nolan. I'm just doing my civic duty, taking care of a citizen."

David smiles his gratitude and looks at Emma, "Can you tell Mary Margaret I said hello?"

"Yeah, sure thing."

"Okay, enjoy your breakfast." Mary Margaret and David acting as shy teenagers is nauseating.

"He seems to have it bad for Mary Margaret, right?"

Henry is shoveling scrambled eggs into his mouth. "Yeah, it almost seems like fate," he glances knowingly at his mother.

Regina throws him a small glare which Emma doesn't notice because she is rolling her eyes at Henry's subtle hint at David and Mar being famous fairytale characters that are married.

"Anyway, we should like all go to the park or something. Do something as a family, you know?"

Regina rubs Emma's inner thigh, "Indeed, that sounds like a swell idea."

Henry shrugs his shoulders, "sounds good to me."

They finished their breakfast, paid the bill, and Emma gets up from the booth. She holds her hand out for Regina to assist her with getting up which made Regina to send her a dazzling smile.

Emma winks at Henry, "That is how you treat a lady."

A week later

Emma is in the police station filling out reports since Regina has been hounding to complete since that is what she is required as part of her duty as a police officer. She thinks about the numerous times of love making after their initial date. They developed a rhythm of life together as a new couple.

Emma will come over to the mansion to have dinner with Henry and her and they will go it do family type of things in the limited activities that Storybrooke can provide. Regina was in the middle of planning to build a new playground so Henry and other kids can have a safer place to play.

In comes an unexpected visitor.

"Hello, Deputy Swan. I hope I'm not interrupting anything."

Emma immediately looks up, not minding to be interrupting from doing mind numbing pencil pushing.

"Hey David, how can I help you? Is there anything going on at the animal shelter?"

David entered further into the police station shyly. He puts his hands up in protest.

"No, nothing like that. I just had a question."

Emma's initial excitement in something actually happening in the quiet town died down.

"Okay. Shoot."

"You are Mary Margaret's roommate, right?"

"Yes," she nods slowly. She knows that he already knows this.

"Well, I like her. It is just…I suck at this dating thing and I don't know how to approach her. Since you are her roommate, I thought you might have some pointers."

It seems that he is a timid guy that has no game whatsoever. Emma had to hear Mary Margaret to go on and on and on about David and how lovely he is. As much as Ruby picked on her yearning for someone, she has nothing on the looks shared between David and Mar.

"Just start small. Order her some hot chocolate with cinnamon at Granny's. There is no need for grand gestures. Put yourself out there, be a gentleman and ask questions to get to know her."

It seems a no-brainer to her. Mary Margaret is not high-maintenance and she loves romance novels so she couldn't imagine it being too hard for David to woo her.

"Thank you Deputy. For this and for saving my life."

"Just Emma. And it's no biggie, David. Just doing my job."

"Thank you again." He turns around to leave, but for some odd reason, she wouldn't mind hanging out with the shy brooding fellow. Henry will chalk it up to him being her father but that is bs.

"Hey, if you ever want to hang out, show you around the town, let me know. I'm quite new to the town myself, even if there isn't much to see. Don't take this the wrong way, but it doesn't seem that you get out much."

David was surprised at Emma's offer. She is a kind-hearted person and he wouldn't mind getting to know her as a friend. "I would love that Emma. See you around."

Graham is sipping Maker's Mark, trying to dull his senses which have been scrambled since running into Emma when they were searching through the forest to find David. He cannot seem to shake the images of seeing a one red eye wolf, and a long-haired Mary Margaret.

It does not seem to be an illusion. It feels like a long lost memory. Almost like a past life or something. He must find some answers.

Graham enters Mary Margaret's classroom that was emptied except her. The brunette is marking some papers when she lifts her head at the Sheriff's presence.

"Hey Graham. Is there something I can help you with?" She takes in the disheveled continence of the handsome man. His eyes are blood shot red and also looks bewildered. She is quite concerned about him.

"Mary Margaret. How long have we known each other?"

She scrunched her face in concentration. "For as long as I remember."

"Yes but for how long?"

"I'm not sure."

"Don't you find it odd?"

"I guess. But sometimes things get hazy." Mary Margaret looks at him in a more concentrated glare. "Are you alright? You seem out of it."

Graham shakes his head, he knows that he cannot get the answers he needs.

"I will be fine. Thank you for allowing me to take up your time."

Mary Margaret places her hand on Graham's shoulder. "It is no problem at all. We are friends, so if you need anything, please let me know." She is going to call Ruby and Emma to watch out for Graham, to make sure he is alright. She doesn't know what is troubling her friend but she will make sure to do everything she can to try to help him.

"Thank you Mary Margaret." He turns to exit the classroom. He has one destination in mind, the only person he believes that he can get answers to his questions.

Graham rings the doorbell of Regina's mansion. Henry opens the door and greets him.

"Hey Sheriff. My mom is not home."

"Actually, I am here to see you. I was hoping you can help me."

"How can I help?"

"You told me that I am the Huntsman in that book you have."

Henry nods his head slowly, "Yes."

"I would like to learn more about that story."

"Why are you interested in that story?" Henry was quite intrigued.

"I think I am seeing weird things, like in a flash?"

"When did your flashes begin?" Henry is all too excited that someone else is finally starting to remember their fairytale identity.

"When I bumped into your mom while we were out in the woods."

"What did you see?"

"I saw a long-haired Mary Margaret. And now I have been seeing a wolf lately." Bingo!

"In the story, Mary Margaret is Snow White and you are the Huntsman. You were ordered by the Evil Queen to take her heart and bring it to her. However, you saved Snow White's life by giving the Evil Queen a fake heart to spare Snow's life. The wolf was your friend." Henry is really trying to disassociate the Evil Queen from his mom. It hurts to know that his mom caused so much harm to others.

"So you really think that I could be another person?"

"Makes totally sense. You were raised by wolves. That's why you keep seeing one. It's your friend, your guide. It's trying to help you."

"I'm remembering this because of Emma? H-How is that possible?"

"Well, you two do have a special connection. She owes you her life because you saved Snow White."

"W-what happened after I spared Snow White?"

"The Queen took your heart. She ripped it out. It's kind of her thing. She never wanted you to feel ever again."

"Let me see the book." Henry hands him the book and he turns to a page with the Evil Queen in front of her vault. "What's that? I saw that too. The wolf was howling at it."

"That's her vault. That's where she put your heart."

"Isn't the Evil Queen your mom?"

"She is but I don't like calling her that. I believe she has changed."

"Do you think she will help me get my heart? The wolf already knows it is in the vault and I know your mother visits that cemetery quite often." He is getting desperate, his life seems hallow and he can't truly feel anything.

Henry contemplates whether it will be a good idea for Graham to ask his mom directly for his heart or not. After all, she is the one who ripped it out. But his mother seems so happy now with Emma.

She helped Prince Charming who was her sworn enemy. Graham and Emma are now good friends and hang out a lot. He couldn't imagine his mother harming someone that matters to Emma. But he is going to err on the side of caution.

"I know that she has done a very bad thing to you, but I can tell you see has changed. So if you get your heart, please don't hurt her. I love her. Promise me."

Graham looks back at Henry with sincerity.

"When I get my heart, I promise I won't harm your mother."

Henry stares back deeply at Graham. In the book, he knows that he is an honorable man and will keep his word. Besides, he and Emma are close, he wouldn't think that he will hurt someone his dad loved.

"Let's shake on it." Henry puts out his small hand and Graham's big calloused hand shook it to seal the deal.

"Hold on, Emma can help you. Wait here so that I can have her to meet you."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Graham did seem a bit off lately but Emma had no idea what is going on but she is going to find out. Graham freaked out Mary Margaret and now Henry called her and told her that he came to him about his past identity of the Huntsman and that he needs her help. The guy is clearly off his rockers and needs some dose of reality and her son is still up to shenanigans. Why oh why? Things have been so normal lately. She feels a headache coming on.

She sees Graham waiting outside the mansion. Regina is still at the office working late, and she is not about to tell her anything about what is going on here. She doesn't want her to worry more than necessary.

"Hey! I hear that you're having a rough day."

"Who says?"

"Pretty much everyone. Maybe you need to go home and get some rest."

"I'll be fine once I find my heart and Henry said that you can help."

"No, Graham. You're not fine. You just went to see a 10-year-old for help."

"He seems to be the only one making sense."

"Whatever my son told you, it's bull crap. He is a child and there are no such thing about fairy-tales. The curse does not exist so what is this really about?"

"It's my heart, Emma. I need to find it."

"Okay. So how are you going to do that?"

"I just need to follow the wolf."

"What? What wolf?" She is not drunk enough to deal with this insane foolishness.

"From my dreams. He going to help me find my heart." Things just get crazier and crazier.

"I'm sorry. I...thought we were talking in a metaphor here. You really think that you don't have a heart?" Foolishness, all of this is foolishness.

"It's the only thing that makes any sense. It's the only thing that explains why I don't feel anything."

"Listen to me, Graham. You have a heart. I can prove it." She places her hand on his chest to feel a beat.

"See, it's beating. It's real." She grabs his hand and places it on his chest. "Feel that? That is your heart." Friends don't let friends become crazies. She hopes she is getting to him.

"No. It's the curse." Okay, that didn't help any.

"You can't really believe that's true." She stops mid-sentence. Fuck me, she thinks.

"What?" He looks behind him and there's the wolf. He looks back at Emma and then goes after it. Emma follows. She can't believe the fuckery that is happening in this town.

They followed the wolf, the most insane thing she has done in her life, and arrive at the cemetery and saw a door to a crypt. The door was locked so she busted it in. Graham scoured for is heart, frantic from the prospect in discovering his heart.

"It has to be here somewhere. Maybe there is a hidden door or something."

Emma looks around and sees absolutely nothing.

"Graham, you got to calm down, there is nothing in here."

"It's got to be here," he mournfully sighs.

Emma is out of her wits how to help him. She just does what first came to mind and gave him a tight hug.

"Dude, it will be alright." She breaks it off and pats him on the back, having enough of the bro love. Affection with others outside of Henry and Regina is still coming slowly to her.

"Let's get you home."

"What the hell is going on here?" Shit!

Regina's voice calls to Emma and Graham. Emma was confused why Regina was out here in the middle of the night in the first place.

"What are you doing here?" Emma asks in a high voice.

Regina's voice softens, "Bringing flowers to my father's gave, like I do every Wednesday."

Emma's facial expression and voice softens and she closes space between her and her girlfriend, softly rubbing her arm. "I never knew that. You never told me."

Regina frowns sadly, "it is a more private affair that I partake. I never even have taken Henry here."

But there are more important things to find out.

"Really? Why? What were you all looking for?"

Emma holds her hands in surrender. "Nothing. It was- uh, nothing. It was nothing."

The blonde looks back at Graham to get him to agree.

"Emma, I think you should go."

She looked back at Graham in shock. "Dude, you are not well and I need to take you home."

She really doesn't want the mayor to know about Graham's mental state. Regina may deem him unfit for duty and she rather likes working with Graham now. Emma can honestly say that he is a friend, and it pains her to see him in such disarray.

Graham is staring hard at Regina. Regina can sense a peek into the Huntsman, the real personality of the man.

"I have to speak with the mayor."

Emma looks at him bug-eyed and started to protest but Regina puts a hand on her biceps to stop her.

"It's alright Emma. Please, leave us, I'll be fine."

Emma looks back at Regina in surprise and whispers in her ear.

"I don't think Graham is well. Please, let me take him home."

Regina pulls Emma into her, kissing her deeply. It is one of the few things that she knows to do to get Emma to comply with her requests.

"Henry is at home sleeping. Go back to your apartment and get rest. I can take care of this matter myself."

Emma looks at a stoic Graham and back at Regina.

"Are you sure?"

"Very."

Emma looks back at Graham. "Are you sure you don't want to go home?"

Graham gives her a curt nod. "I'll be fine Emma."

Emma leaves the crypt but gives them one last glance.

Regina turns her full attention to Graham, who is staring intently at her. She clasps her hands in front of her.

"I believe there is a matter you wanted to speak to me about."

"My heart, you have it. I want it back."

Regina visibly bounced back. How did he know about his heart? She decides to tread carefully.

"I'm afraid I don't know what you are talking about."

"Cut the bullshit Regina. I believe Henry. I believe that the curse is real. My past memories have popped up about Mary Margaret with long dark hair. You son told me my story. A wolf has guided me here. I feel so empty. If you don't want to help me, at least do this for your son that believes that you have changed. Please give me my heart." He is pathetically pleading at this point.

Regina's heart is jumping rapidly. It seems that Graham is developing his old memories and now realizes he doesn't have his heart. There are two things that Regina can do. She can keep denying his claims and destroy his heart to keep him from fully discovering the curse. Or, she can give him what he wants.

What a conundrum she is in. But one point stuck out, it seems that Graham sought out her son's assistance in finding out about his story. It makes her soul become more alive to know that her son no longer sees her as a blood thirsty Evil Queen. In all the realms, he truly believes in her. She cannot let him down. Even if this is a risk on her life, she will help Graham.

"Okay."

Regina moves towards the sarcophagus and proceeds to move the lid.

Graham sucks in his breath, "I knew it was hidden somewhere."

"How clever of you," she quipped. Once the lid is fully off, Regina proceeds to go down the stairs in black darkness.

"Follow me."

Graham is a little frightened to be honest. These types of things happen in scary movies. But Regina is going to lead him to his heart to be whole again. He will brave anything to get to feel again.

They cross into a more lit room that looked like a wall of golden drawers. He can hear something thumping in the walls. It is steady and like light drums with a slow pattern.

"Don't be alarmed, those are just the other hearts I have taken," she said darkly, sensing Graham's apprehension from being in her own personal lair.

Graham's skin crawled with goose bumps. He can see a glimpse of this so called Evil Queen.

Regina searches for the box that had Graham's, and pulls it out, grabbing a pulsing magical heart. She turns around holding the organ in her hand. Graham is taken by seeing his own human heart in another's hand.

Regina walks up to him, "this may hurt a little bit. Are you ready?"

Graham timidly nods. Regina plunges her hand into his chest, making Graham gasp in pain. She knows that she didn't do it gently but she didn't care. He did betrayed her, once upon a time.

Graham falls down unto one knee on the concrete floor, placing his hand on his chest that the mayor has plunged in. All his memories painfully passes by him. He now remembers everything.

Regina steps back, preparing for whatever will come her way. She has no idea what the Huntsman's reaction to be, but she imagines that it is not going to be pleasant. But if this is the last thing she does in her life, she can die knowing that she didn't fail her son.

Archie would have been proud to know her personal progress.

Graham, or the Huntsman is still on the ground, but as he looks up and sees the Evil Queen, he lunges for her. He grabs her neck and pushes her against the stone wall of her crypt, choking her.

He stares darkly into brown eyes that he has feared some time ago.

"Your majesty. It seems you are at a disadvantage without my heart. How does it feel to be as helpless as I felt?"

Regina gasps for breath, refusing to bait him any further. "Huntsman. If you plan to take my life, just do it quickly."

All of his memories pass by of Regina reaching into his chest after failing to give her Snow's heart. He remembers the servitude he endured, the faint humiliation at her hands. The Evil Queen was an evil bitch who destroyed many lives.

But he also remembers the softened expressions she shares with her son. He knows how devoted she is towards her son. Can someone be truly, unequivocally be evil when she loves her son as she does? He doesn't know. And Emma cares much for the alluring brunette.

"As much as I would enjoy that, I promised your son that I wouldn't harm you. I am a man of my word." Graham releases his grip and steps back from the mayor. Regina coughs to regain the air that she was stolen from her.

So Henry had him to promise to not hurt her if she gave him his heart. If it was even possible, her heart swelled with more love for her son. But still had to snark at his comment

"If you were a man of your word, I would have Snow's heart from all of those years ago. And I don't think your promise to Henry included choking me."

Graham crosses his arms and scoffs at her. "If I kill Snow then that would mean you wouldn't be bedding her daughter. With the second point, that is just a very small pay back which is quite small for the things you've done to me."

Regina sucks her teeth, he is right on those two accounts. But Graham continues, "Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, correct?"

Regina rolls her eyes, not appreciating the smugness to his tone.

"Yes," she shortly replied as she was straightening her trench coat after its struggle with the wall.

"So she is the savior. Emma…she is an amazing person. She is a good friend. I didn't harm you also for her sake because, for some odd reason, she is actually in love with you."

Regina just glares back at the Huntsman, still reeling from his choke-hold.

Graham looks her up and down but it is not in a sexual manner.

"You know, Emma deserves better than you."

Regina laughs with no mirth. Emma is such a good soul that even she doesn't believe that Emma could still love Regina with all of her pain and darkness.

"Alas Huntsman, finally there is something we can agree on." Regina's self-deprecation actually surprised him. He would have never thought that she would have ever admitted her faults. Maybe old dogs do learn new tricks.

"You need to tell her about the curse and break it. It must be done."

Regina rolls her eyes in irritation. "And you think getting her to believe in it is going to be that easy?"

Graham thinks back a half an hour ago of how Emma kept going on that it was ridiculous and the concept of the curse is. No, Emma will not be a person to be easily convinced.

"Again, that is something we can agree on." They stand across from each other, deep in their own thoughts that are steeped in silence in the enclosed area.

"So you won't try to kill me?"

"No Regina, I made a promise. But there is one thing I will do." He takes the sheriffs badge from the waistband of his jeans and throws it at her feet. "I will no longer be your bitch."

He does not want to subjugate himself to Regina's qualms any longer. That has been done for over 30 years and he wants no longer a part in it. Regina bends down and picks it up, wiping the dirt away.

"And you need to confess to Emma that you are the Evil Queen. Because if you don't, I will, and some details of that will not be pretty. I am going to live in the cabin out in the woods because I really need time to myself. Tell Emma and Henry I said goodbye for now. My return back in town cannot be determined just yet."

Graham walks off and up the stairs to exit the crypt, leaving Regina in that ultimatum. He is free, finally free and it feels glorious.

Regina is left in her mausoleum. She does a good deed and still gets screwed in the end. But she refuses for Graham to say anything about the curse before she did. It will just hurt Emma to hold that type of information anymore. She already saw a flash of hurt when she revealed that she visits her father's grave.

Now is the time for action.

A/N: Just for clarification, Kathryn is not married to David in this fic because Regina never thought David would ever wake up. Hence, not assigning him to the role to being married to her. Again, thank you for the love. Let me know what you guys think so far.

Chapter Text

Regina wakes up in her plush king sized bed with a small headache and too many things running through her head. Her life almost flashed in her mind as the Huntsman grabbed her neck to exact his revenge. She knew she wasn't a match for his strength and he had the advantage, given her lack of magic. But because of a promise made with Henry, he didn't go through with it.

If she is to be honest, she is proud of herself to even give him back his heart when he requested it. She didn't want the exposure of the curse to be prematurely released with Graham's discovery of his fairytale knowledge. She can feel the darkness pulling her into crushing his heart into ashes to stop that chain of events.

The curse. That is her dilemma. Would Emma hate her for the role she has played in her life? Can she truly love someone who has done insurmountable damage to thousands of people's lives, especially since it has been mainly against her parents? Can she blame Emma for leaving? No, she supposes. She never felt that she deserved her love in the first place. At this point, she can no longer hide it. Maybe the truth being told will win out in the end. Confirming to Henry that the curse is real has improved their relationship.

But can she take that risk? It was easier to confirm that information for Henry because he has already believed. Emma doesn't believe in magic and is a tougher sell. That she will have to muse later on.

Since Graham has quit, there will need to be a new sheriff. The obvious choice will be Emma. She will get showered and dressed, and afterwards, go to Granny's to buy some bear claws that Emma loves to devour. She hopes this news of Graham will go over well.

Regina walks into the police office looking sharp in her power blue navy pant-suit without a strand of hair misplaced and lips that are scarlet red. Even in the morning, she can spy a pile of paperwork being neglected.

"I see our taxpayers' dollars hard at work."

Emma whips her head to take in Regina. It is not fair for someone to look that good in the morning.

"Good morning." Emma gasps when she smells delicious treats that are in a bag that Regina was holding. "Is that for me?"

Regina stands a few inches from Emma's desk and places the donuts in front of her.

"Bear claws. I believe they are your favorite heart-clogging snack, no?"

Emma grabs the bag and pulls one out, taking a huge bite with flaky crumbs falling from her mouth.

She moans, "These are gooooodddd." But then she looks at Regina in suspicion.

"You never brought me these before because of so call health reasons, why are you here?" Hearing herself say that, Emma was quick to clarify, "not that I don't want you here and I can't stop you anyway since you are the mayor. It just seems odd. And what is up with Graham after you talked to him?" Emma had a long night and decided that she was going to check up on him later on today to see if he was alright.

Regina digs her heels into the floor before her, bracing herself for the inevitable questions that the blonde may spout out.

"Graham will no longer be the Sheriff of Storybrooke. He has quit and turned in his badge. Therefore, we need a new Sheriff and you are the obvious choice."

Emma eyes flair up in surprise as she puts down her bear claw.

"He quit? Is he alright? I know he was talking craziness last night but that is quit a sudden decision. Did he truly quit or did you fire him?" She didn't expect this at all.

Regina bristles at the accusation and her lack of faith in her.

"Do you think I am so dishonest to lie to you?"

Emma gets out of her chair and stands in front in Regina, trying to convey that she doesn't mean any harm by that question. She knows that she sounded quite insensitive.

"I'm not trying to accuse you of anything. Graham was saying some very strange things that can land him in the loony bin. I thought maybe you said he quit to cover up that you had to fire him because he was not doing well in the head."

Regina feels less hostile now that she thought Emma threw her way settle down, seeing as how Emma gave her the benefit of the doubt.

"I'm sorry for my abruptness but Graham is just fine and no, I didn't fire him. He just needed time to himself and willingly quit and I agreed."

Emma runs her hand through silky yellow hair, "The dude was off his rockers so I can believe that he wants to take some time off. But to leave indefinitely? That is a big step. I will call him to see how he is doing."

Regina eyes widened in panic and she grabs Emma's hand which was reaching towards her cell phone back on her desk.

"That wouldn't be necessary, he is fine as he told me himself."

Emma looks back at Regina affronted.

"Trust me. The guy was talking about how he didn't have his heart and was trying to find it in that crypt of yours. He is not alright and I wouldn't feel right not checking on him. I understand needing space but I just want to make sure he is alright at least once."

Emma sees something in Regina's eyes that she never truly seen before. It was pools of dark depth that she is not understanding.

"That wouldn't be necessary right now. Besides, we have town business to attend to. I have to get Sidney to release an article announcing your new promotion. Plus, I have to get you up to speed about some of the expectations for the position and redo some paperwork to reflect your new position."

Emma narrows her eyes in suspicion. It really seems that Regina is trying to deflect her from calling Graham.

"I understand all that but something is off with you. What is going on? What went down between you to? He was not in the right state of mind?"

Regina lets go of the blonde's hand, straightening her jacket needlessly and stiffening her posture to appear in control. But inside she was breaking"

"Nothing. He told me his concerns and how he wanted to take some time off and I agreed," she stated flatly.

Emma can tell something was off with Regina and she is not telling the whole truth.

Emma crosses her arms, standing her ground. "So that is all he said? He didn't mention anything about a missing heart? Because I can't imagine that just flying over your head that an employee talking about how his literal heart is missing and he needs to find it. That didn't struck you as odd at all?"

Regina is quickly formulating a response.

"He was just saying things, so it just seems logically for him to take some time to find himself." How true that statement is.

Emma steps up closer to Regina. "Is that all?"

"Yes!" Regina's voice shrills higher. She cannot believe that her composure is being compromised and Emma can sense Regina's walls crumbling.

"You're lying. Tell me what else happened because the way you are acting leads me to believe that there was more than went on then a friendly one day notice." Regina turns her back and rubs her arms, trying to compose herself. She is visibly shaking and it shoots Emma's nerves up. She is hitting the nail right on the head.

"I thought we were supposed to be honest with each other. Something obviously happened so trust in me, trust in the bond between us. Whatever it is, we can deal with it."

Regina is fidgeting with her hand but she managed to stop her body from visibly shaking. She is not trying to have a time of confrontations and confessions right now. She is visibly trembling when she turns back to Emma.

"Trust in me that what I am telling you is the truth." She knows that there is more to that encounter but Emma is not ready for that. It is just a little white lie. "There is no need to call him at the present moment and there are other more important things to attend to. What would you like for dinner?"

The way Regina switched topics put Emma in a whiplash.

"Ah, anything you want to prepare, I'm not picky." Growing up, she didn't have a choice in what to eat so she has learned that beggars can't be choosers.

Emma takes her hand and kisses it. "I love you too and I'll wait for you." She kisses Emma and Emma greedily deepens it. Regina breaks it and turns to leave the station, leaving Emma in a daze from this interesting morning. For Regina, this is just her buying her time to formulate what she is to do next.

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Sidney's sits in his apartment, the curtains pulled together, plants wither from neglect. There is no natural light flooding his home, there is nothing but stark darkness and quiet. Regina should be his. He has an innate affection for the brunette, and he will do anything to have her as his. He is still receiving flashes of…something. It felt like past life or some forgotten memory. The haziness just confuses him but there is only one thing he knows for sure, he is in love with Regina Mills and will do anything for her.

Emma...that is the one person standing in his way. It eats at him how she is now the town's appointed hero. Regina orders him to write about with her feats such as her rescuing Pongo from the mines. He has heard of Emma helping random citizens in town like reuniting two kids with their father who turned out to be the local mechanic.

Now he has to be forced of the indignity to write a glowing article about the blonde becoming Storybrooke's new Sheriff after Graham's sudden resignation.

His stomach churns in disgust as he recalls watching Emma taking Regina in her backyard. He was passing by the mayor's mansion as he often does to feel close to her. He stopped near the high fence which blocked the backyard because he heard strange noises emitting from it. That is when he witnessed the their actions which broke his heart. That should have been him to enjoy Regina. That should have been his name that escaped her lips. It seems that Regina has a thing for so-called heroes.

He runs through a number of scenarios, he thinks he has a way to make Regina to think about him in as different than some common underling…

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David has taken Emma up on her advice, and just invited Mary Margaret to have morning coffees with him in the early mornings. The brunette readily accepted his offer and they have been chatting, getting to know each other ever since.

Their morning chats morphed into walks around the park and even dinners in which Mary Margaret chided both him and Emma's manners in how they eat. But they are taking their relationship very slow, they haven't even kissed at this point. He is very shy and still not seem to confident in what he does or how he does it. What he feels for Mary Margaret, it is real, it is light, it is the moon. He just feels that with her, the ruby lips and cherub face, the eyes that can light the whole world, he feels one with her.

For Mary Margaret, she couldn't get enough of the blue eyed man with a heart of gold. She has been chattering Ruby and Emma's ears off at how much she adores the man. He finally took the step to ask her out, which she was beginning to think wouldn't happen with the timid man. But whatever has gotten into him to finally have the guts to ask her out, she is happy for it. She hopes that their relationship progresses more than just hand holding.

She has a feeling that day will come soon.

Regina opens violently closes the door of Archie's office. The red-haired man jumped, pushing his glasses back on his face as Pongo runs towards the immaculate mayor, waiting to receive attention. Regina bends slightly to scratch under Pongo's ears while proceeding to sit on the couch. She and Pongo have an affectionate relationship, she is a huge animal lover.

"I'm hope I am not interrupting anything, doctor." Really she couldn't care less and Archie knew that as well.

Archie settled down back behind his desk. "It is no problem at all Madame Mayor. How can I be of assistance. Is it about Henry?"

Regina scoffs at him, "Don't be presumptuous." She shakes her head but continues on.

"I have a dilemma." Archie nods waiting for Regina to continue but silence filters throughout the office. Pongo jumps onto Regina's lap and she pets his fur, trying to calm her nerves as well.

She really needs guidance as to how to deliver to Emma how the curse is real.

"Regina…" he cautiously calls out, trying to get Regina out of the daze she is under.

"I have been given an ultimatum. But this ultimatum requires telling a secret that can destroy everything I love," she reluctantly admitted.

"Is it that destructive, in what sense?"

"This secret involves someone I love very much, and I don't think telling them will help our relationship."

He knows exactly who she is talking about, but he is not going to force her to say Emma's name.

He stares intently at her. "It is a beautiful thing to be in love. But why are you afraid? If you love someone, you shouldn't keep anything from them, even if it has the potential to harm them."

Regina sucks her teeth in aggravation. "It won't harm them in the physical sense. It involves how it will portray me."

"So this is really about you?"

Regina is growing tired with his shrinking babble.

"You are trying to make me out as being selfish. Even if I tell her the secret, she probably won't believe it. You are seriously no help right now."

Archie is used to Regina's shortness but her being this irate is new to him. Whatever is bothering her has to be pretty huge. And he ignores the little slip that Regina said "she" to indicate who she is concerned about.

"I'm not implying you are being selfish but you have to consider the other person's perspective. Would you want them to find out whatever this secret is by someone else? Secrets have the nasty habit of coming out, one way or another."

"But what if she doesn't love me after it?" She replies mournfully.

"If the love is real, then it will persevere." That sounds so cliché and naïve.

"That sounds all honky dory but I need real help and this is not working."

Archie sighs, he knows how difficult Regina can be.

"If you love the person then you should always be honest with them, even if it is at the detriment to you. That is real love.

Regina sits quietly and mulls over the therapist's advice. She knows what she has with Emma is real but can truth of the curse break it? She will have strength to tell Emma about this town, the curse and how Regina has played in it and how it affected Emma. But it will not be today.

She promptly leaves the office leaving a confused doctor.

The town was abuzz with the news of Graham's resignation. Many were congratulating Emma on the new sheriff position so she didn't have an uninterrupted lunch. People were also curious as to what happened with Graham.

Ruby sets Emma's favorite drink in front of her and sit on the other side of the table.

"That's on the house Sheriff. Congratulations," she smiles a big toothy grin.

Emma smiled and picked up her drink to take a tentative sip. It is not that she is not excited to be promoted, but the circumstances does not ease her nerves. She is worried about Graham.

"Thanks Rubes."

"Not that I don't think you can do a good job of policing and stuff, but…" she leans in to whisper conspiratorially, "what happened with Graham? It is like he disappeared off the face of the earth. I tried calling him but he is not answering."

Ruby looks solemn, "I'm worried about him."

Emma sits her drink down and grabs Ruby's hand. "All I know is that he resigned. In all honesty, he was not well when I last saw him."

The brunette's eyes widened, wanting more details. "Tell me."

"He was talking about looking for his heart, I mean, the guy even roped Henry to help him. Don't worry, I'll get to the bottom of it."

Ruby shakes her head, she loves juicy gossip but is now even more worried about the bearded former sheriff. Her concern for him even goes behind the friendly territory.

"Please do. Other people are talking as well." She gets up and attends to the kitchen and more worries.

Emma is thinking about her conversation with Regina and grows more suspicious about whatever happened between her and Graham. She was going to uncover something and Regina insisting to not talk to Graham is just driving her up the wall figuring out what is going on.

Rumple was in the diner as he overheard Emma talking about Graham saying that he was missing his heart. He doesn't dine in the restaurant, he just does pick up. A man got to eat some how. The scrawny man has ears everywhere and it seems that their very own mayor was the last one to see him.

If he could surmise a guess, it seems that Graham has confronted Regina about his heart. Oh delicious that piece of information is. The curse is slowly ending, and he is almost at the finish line. It's time to pay her a visit.

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"What a lovely day it is Madame Mayor. It is unfortunate that we are losing such a valuable member of our community. I guess he didn't have the heart to continue his job."

Regina scrunches her face at what she assumes is a pun from Gold. She suspects that he knows who he is and is toying with her. But right now the limp bastard is the least of her concerns.

"What is it that you want Gold?" She is very annoyed. The mayor's office has been hounded by numerous people calling to know what happened with Graham. People are truly a nuisance. She will just need to hold a press conference or town meeting to just address the town in an orderly fashion.

"I am just trying to keep a pulse on the happenings of our dear lovely town. As I told you before, I am just a concern citizen. Emma will be a great choice for the new position. It seems that we will be in good hands."

"Agreed but if you have nothing else to blabber about, leave my premises."

"Have a good day, Madam Mayor."

Regina waves her hand in dismissal. This is starting to be a very trying day. As Mr. Gold limps his way out of the office. All she wants to do is go home and talk to her son since he was hounding her about Graham as well as everyone else since that is all that everyone is talking about.

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"Mom, did you give him his heart? He said that he wouldn't hurt you. Is everything alright?"

Regina flattens Henry's cowlick that never seems to go down.

"I did. And thank you Henry."

Henry knew what his mother was implying so he smiled back at her.

"I am so proud of you mom. Does Ma know now, about the curse? Have you told her?"

"When has she became Ma now?" Henry just shrugged his shoulders.

"No, Henry, this is very complicated and that will have to wait."

"But things are changing, she has to know."

"I know Henry, but you are not to concern yourself with that. You are to stay out of trouble and go to school. I don't want you meddling any more in this curse ordeal."

"But-" Regina held up her hand to prevent any other protests from him.

"That is final. Now do your homework and prepare for supper."

Emma arrived later at the Mifflin mansion to do their daily dinners. Most of the chatter came from their son. Regina felt Emma being distant and she didn't directly talk with her, but mainly focused on Henry. She didn't like this feeling of their connection being severed. They will get to the bottom of this later after Henry goes up to bed.

Regina and Emma stand up to clear the dishes from the table and clean them enough up to put in the dishwasher. They worked silently together, the tension mounting between them.

After they are finished, Emma stuffs her hands in her pockets, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet while looking down at the pristine floor. Regina has her hands tangled in front of her, apprehensive at the nervous jumping from Emma.

"Emma, something is clearly bothering you. What is it?"

Emma hates how she is feeling that Regina is holding something major back from her.

"So you have nothing else you want to say about your encounter with Graham?"

Regina looks directly at her, "No." She doesn't want to get any further into this and it broke her to lie to her. She never had a conscious to be deceitful to people. It was a much needed trait when dealing with political treachery as a royal. But now with Henry and Emma, her conscious is being seared. It amazes her how in sync the blonde is with her. Emma's instincts are very alert to even pick up that there was anything more to what Regina has said. She guesses that Emma really knows her more than she liked to admit.

Emma looks back at Regina, she knows when she is being lied to and it hurts that the woman she confessed to love is lying right in her face.

"Then I guess there is nothing else to talk about. Goodnight, Regina." And she begins to take her leave out of the house with a downtrodden continence.

Regina's softly pulls Emma's arm back into her, their noses an inch between each other.

"Don't leave. Not like this." She softly caresses Emma's cheeks as she stares back into forest-green eyes. "You know I love you, right?" She needs Emma to know that her love is true, she cannot allow Emma to walk out of her life, even if she was just returning back to her apartment.

Emma swallowed, tampering down her ill-thoughts of Regina not trusting her.

"You know I know." Regina is feeling terrible to withhold the truth about herself but she doesn't believe that Emma can handle it. She wants to reaffirm their connection.

She presses her lips against Emma's. She pulls back and whispers, "Stay."

Emma had all the intention to just leave the house, she got time to spend with Henry which was nice, but this evening confirmed her suspicions that Regina was not going to elaborate any further about her evening with the former sheriff. But Regina's husky voice just reels her back in.

She loves the brunette, she really does, but this moment right now doesn't feel right, it feels like Regina is trying to make up for something. She doesn't want to give in to this but her body betrays her, yearning for her touch. She moans into the moistened lips as Regina pulls back, ordering a command. Her eyes darkened with lust and want.

"Bed. Now."

Regina bends down on her plush bed, her backside facing Emma. She wiggles her ass as a tempting offering. She turns her head, pursing her lips in a kiss.

"Take me." Her mother has taught her how to use her sexuality to get what she wants. She is putting that in good use. If she could get Emma to take her mind off from confronting Graham, maybe it will give her more time to figure out when she will talk to Emma.

Emma is so painfully hard that she doesn't have to be told twice. She unzips her jeans and pulls out her erect dick. She guides Mr. Big into Regina's tight channel and pushes herself all the way in in one full thrust. Regina gasps and Emma moans. Gosh she loves being inside her woman.

She places her hands on both sides of her hips. Her knees are up against the backside of the brunette's thighs, pressing herself into Regina like they are one. She slowly moves back and forth, reveling in Regina's moans underneath her.

Regina's pussy is tightening around her dick with her movements.

"Harder baby."

Emma thrusts with vigor into Regina's behind. The sound of skin slapping becoming more in sync.

Emma stops her movement earning her a growl from Regina so she pushes herself back against Emma, the shaft moving in and out of her.

Emma continues, her ass wiggling oh so lovely. She pounds her faster but finds her movements erratic since the bed does not give her steady ground. She pulls out and drags Regina's smaller body to the edge of the bed.

Then she steadies her dick back at Regina's entrance and pumps herself in and pounds her in more concise, faster thrusts. Regina stuffs her mouth her sheets to prevent herself from screaming in pleasure.

The sounds of their sex is louder as Emma grunts and mutters. "Fuck, shit. Oh my…" and she swallows her words as Regina's walls start constrict around her as she thrashes away.

Regina buries her head in her pillows as her lover pounds into her. The huge dick splitting, her thrusts scrapping her g-spot now giving her multiple orgasms.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes," she repeats as Emma quickens her movements. With one final push, Emma releases her seed into her woman, energy being drained as Regina shouts her climax. Emma's body folds over Regina's back in exhaustion as they both breathed hard. She recovers and pulls out slowly as Regina relaxes her sore body down on her bed, looking back eagerly at Emma.

Emma stuffs herself back in jeans, she knows what this evening was. This was a sorry fuck. This was, 'I am sorry for keeping things from you, here is some great sex to take your mind off of it.' She leans on the bed and kisses Regina softly.

"I got to go back to my apartment. I'll see you some other time."

Regina looks back at her in hurt. Somehow, she feels dirty during this ordeal, and a little guilty if she is too be honest.

"That's it? You are not going to stay?"

Emma looks away, there is one request that Regina made to her and she is going to break it tonight.

"I am going to see you tomorrow, there are things that I have to catch up on and I rather be at the loft to do them."

The brunette knows that she is being evasive; she does not like how things are between them.

"Okay dear. I love you."

"Love you too," and with that Emma gets out of the mansion, outside in the crisp quiet night of Storybrooke. Her palms sweaty as she dials a number. It rings a couple of times and the call was picked up at the fourth ring.

"Hello. Graham, where are you?"

Chapter Text

It seems like Graham is doing fine at the moment. He said that he is staying in some isolated cabin that she'd never heard about in the woods. At least she knows that he is alive at this point. Since her girlfriend wasn't so forthcoming about Graham's talk with her in the crypt, she decided to take matters in her hands and find out more. She has to know that Graham is in a sound mind.

She got in her bug and followed his directions, she is definitely not a nature-lover. The scenery of the forest in Storybrooke just reminds her of scary woods and dumb blondes in movies that trip over logs while escaping some mad man that walks but still catches up with his prey. It would be more funny if it wasn't a fact that she is blonde and did trip over a twig when trying to find David. She just shakes her head as she continues to maneuver on a dirt road that she never noticed before.

Some feet later she spots a cabin with a single light in and parks her bug. Here goes nothing.

Graham opens the door to let Emma in his humble abode. She sees that he doesn't have that crazy look in his eye any more and seems to be well-adjusted than from their previous encounter.

She smiles and gives him a little hug. "Dude, we were all worried about you. I'm glad you didn't disappear on us."

Graham returns her hug and pulls back, stepping away to allow her in the small cabin with limited amenities.

"It's me in the flesh. I am alive and well, and never been better. Go on and sit."

Emma enters the wooded home and looks around, spotting a deer's head over a chimney. There is limited furnishings. She saw a sink in a small kitchen so she hoped there was at least running water. She sits down on an older, cracked leather couch, quietly observing Graham's aura.

"How did you even get this cabin? Is this like your second home or something?"

"Actually, Regina gave me some information about this cabin and I procured it. I really needed a reprieve from Storybrooke. The woods have always seemed to call out to me."

"I have a feeling that this definitely suits you more, that's for sure."

"How correct you are. Do you want something to drink? The choices aren't many, I got water and some Jack." Emma thinks about her earlier activities, she is quite thirsty and needed nourishment but prefers to have this conversation sober.

"Water will be fine." Graham went into the kitchen and grabbed a glass out of the cabinet, filled it with ice and some filtered water in the fridge. He can feel Emma's eyes on him as he gets her drink and hands over the cup to her, slowly sitting down as he looks at her.

Graham leans back in the recliner opposite from Emma, who is just a few feet away from him.

"Something tells me that this is not just a social call."

Emma takes a huge gulp, sating her thirst as she filters through her head with what questions she should ask him. She sits with her legs wide open as she leans off the couch looking at him.

"Regina told me that you resigned. Are you okay? You weren't doing so hot some time ago, talking about missing hearts and such. Are you still looking?"

Graham laughs as he scratches his beard, if only Emma knew. He throws his hands up in surrender. There is something quite different about Graham, but she can't pinpoint it.

"Nope, I'm just fine, I am no longer looking for my heart." It is because Regina put it back in my chest, he muses.

Emma lets out a breath she didn't realize that she was holding. "Phew. Okay, I'm happy to hear that. You had me worried there for a sec, I thought you were going crazy."

Graham just smirks, "I was never crazy but that is neither here nor there. That couldn't be the sole reason you are here. Spill."

Emma runs her hand from her forehead to the back of her head to push through her head.

"I tried to get Regina to tell me the circumstances of you resigning and she just seem reluctant to go into any details. If it wasn't a big deal, she should have been able to tell me about it, right? So…I decided to come here and talk to you instead."

Bingo. Emma didn't mention anything remotely related to the curse, so Regina didn't reveal that reality to her blonde lover. He did give Regina a fair warning to tell Emma before he does. The turnaround was very quick after she gave him his heart back, but that is not his problem.

"You know, I am disappointed in Regina. I did warn her to confess to you, because if she didn't, I would. So obviously that didn't happened since you are right in front of me right now."

Emma eyes widened and her body snaps from its lethargy from sexual evening activities. He has her full attention, her body a prick of alertness.

"What does she need to confess?" She is dreading whatever may come to light tonight.

"Regina has many, many secrets. Many dark secrets. Do you not get that sense from her?" He decides that he is going to lay things delicately for Emma.

Emma believes that everyone has a little darkness to them, the world and its people are not just lumped into light and dark, good and evil. Everyone is capable of both. But she doesn't think that Regina is capable of whatever Graham is trying to allude. And she is getting defensive.

"Regina can be demanding and bitchy sometimes. Maybe abusing her political power is the only thing I can think of being some dark secret she has. What are you trying to say?"

"What I'm saying is that Regina has committed things that you can't even imagine. She is not who she portrays herself to be. That woman has wrought destruction on countless others. The problem is, you don't even know who she is."

Storybrooke doesn't even seem that big to even warrant those type of numbers he is talking about. People may cower in fear from her but that stems from her somewhat frosty persona. But one thing that Graham is right about, she doesn't know much about Regina's past. Emma is getting heated and something leaps in her to protect Regina's honor.

"Be careful about what you say, that is my woman you are talking about. And what do you supposedly know that I don't?"

Graham can talk about her murders, her constant manipulation, and a host of other things, but he decides to ease her into acknowledging that something in Storybrooke is off.

"There are many things but I won't get into that now. Don't you think things are somewhat odd in this town?"

Emma relaxed from wanting to throttle Graham for talking bad about her brunette. She raises her eyebrow, trying to figure out his angle.

"Yeah, I find it odd that everything seems to be stuck in the 80s but I chopped that out to Storybrooke wanting to have that old charm feeling."

Okay, Graham thinks. That is a start. "And have you noticed that no one can seem to remember how long they have known each other?"

Emma thinks hard but can't pinpoint anything concrete. "I don't know about that Graham. You are starting to sound like Henry." She shakes her head, she thought Graham was getting better.

"The name's Huntsman." Emma's face blanched at Graham legitimately referring to himself as a fictional character.

"Are you fucking kidding me? You really believe what my son has told you about?"

Graham can feel that Emma is breaking and he needs to say what he needs to say without her bolting out of here.

"The curse is real Emma. You have to believe and break it. You are an intuitive person, you know things are not all the way right here."

Emma stands up pacing, "This is bullshit Graham. I knew it was too good to be true that you weren't losing your marbles."

Graham stands up as well. "Just hear me out. For instance, how old is Regina?"

Emma stops her pacing and snaps her neck towards Graham. "What the hell does that have to do with anything?"

"Well, it will show you that people don't age. Does she not look exactly the same like she was when you first met which was ten years ago I believe, right?"

Emma already has noticed that when she first saw her again when she returned Henry to her. When she mentioned it to the brunette, Regina gave a good enough reason to her so she didn't think about it any further.

"Regina says that she juice-cleanse. Sounds good enough to me. That doesn't mean that she is forever immortal." Emma shrugs her shoulders. "She could just have good genes too."

Gosh Emma is very stubborn. This won't be easy but he may have one ace that can finally convince Emma. "I know this may sound crazy since you did not grow up in our world but…"

"Your world! Don't you hear yourself?" Emma stopped Graham mid-sentence.

"No matter what you believe, this curse is real, nobody can leave this town as you saw with Ashley and her car crash. Nobody can remember actual dates and how long we have known each other. You have to believe it to free us Emma. You are the Savior."

Emma rubs her face with two hands, massaging her temples from an oncoming headache.

"Graham, I…I just can't right now with you. You are saying that Regina is the Evil Queen and that David and Mary-Margaret are my parents who also happen to be Snow White and Prince Charming that sent me here in this world to escape some curse. This is insane and you are a fool to think that I actually am going to entertain this mess you are sprouting. I'm leaving. I care for you, so I'm not going to report you. And if you do come into town and I will have you committed to the ward just for your own safety."

She honestly doesn't feel that Graham would cause any harm to anybody, but she doesn't want him in the general populace and have him going around telling people that some wicked witch cursed people. She may not report him, but somebody else will and she will hate for him to be in a strait jacket if he is not hurting anyone.

Graham is hurt that his friend doesn't believe him, but it was a long shot if anything. "Maybe words won't convince, but actual evidence will. Ask Regina about her vault."

Emma hears him but ignores him as she exits his cabin, Graham's craziness still swimming in her head. She just wants to go home and crash. She has her answer, Graham is certifiable nuts but she will keep that to herself.

Emma wakes up in her loft with the smell of bacon in the kitchen. Her mind still is processing her confrontation with Graham. He truly believes in the story book that is in Henry's possession. It is one thing for a child to believe in such fictional stories, it is another thing, a disturbing thing, when adults are believing the same thing.

She takes her shower, brushes her teeth, and brushes her hair and joins Mary Margaret in the kitchen.

Mar turns her head and observes her blonde room-mate. "It looks like you had quite some night. You have bags under your eyes."

Emma noticed the same in her bathroom when she was grooming herself. "Yeah, it's no biggie though. Whatever you are cooking smells delicious."

Mar beams back at her, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Whether conscious or not, Emma looks carefully at Mar. The brunette and her do share the same chin structure, and both have green eyes. Mar does have a motherly aura that she wished that she grew up in.

However, Emma quickly shakes herself from those thoughts. She is not going to believe Mary Margaret Blanchard is mother-freaking Snow White and happens to be her mother. Heck, she is older than her. She has been so involved in her own mini-drama, that she hasn't had time to spend with her roommate and she does want to catch up.

As Mar sets the food down on her table, Emma decides to see what she has been up too as she stabs her fork in a pile of scrambled eggs.

"So how is life treating you?" Mar settles down at the table and smiles brightly at Emma.

"Life is just grand. Just to let you know, David finally asked me out and we have been dating. He is just so wonderful, kind, and I just never met anyone like him. He is a blessing."

Emma smiles, she is happy that David followed her advice and is finally courting the brunette. She truly approves of this relationship after spending time with David individually when he needed help with the shelter. He is truly a great guy, if somewhat a little tamed to her.

"That is great, I'm really am happy for you."

"So…what has been going on with you and Regina? Don't think I don't know that you sometimes don't come back home at night." Emma flashes a red face while Mar is chuckling at her. Sometimes Emma doesn't feel like driving back at the loft after some great rounds of love-making with her lover. And Henry is now not asking a whole bunch of questions after he sees her early morning in the mansion.

But Emma also remembered last night when after they had sex. And it was just that, empty sex that she now feels horrible about. She didn't give herself fully when she thought that Regina was intentionally holding information from her. When she asked Regina what else was talked about between her and Graham, she said that he wanted to quit and keep to himself. However, when Regina said that she didn't want Emma to talk to him without letting Regina know is when she became suspicious. She is quite relieved to know that when she talked to Graham, he was still saying stuff about curses, heart, and fairy-tales. Not that she was happy about that, it is just that she really thought that Regina was alluding to other things that were big secrets with Graham.

Talking to Graham calmed her in thinking that there were other conspiracies that the mayor was hiding. She feels bad and needs to make it up to her somehow. The blonde does feel like a dick.

"Things are good, no they are great. Regina is an amazing woman that I would have never believed that she would be with someone like me."

"Don't sell yourself short, you are a loving, kind, and strong person. She would be a fool to not want to be with you. But she isn't, that is why you guys are joined at the hip together." Emma sticks her tongue out at her.

"Whatever. You are one to talk. Ruby told me how you and David are inseparable and how you are constantly fawning over him with bright doe eyes," Emma teases her back.

"Can you blame me, he's hot." Emma laughs, that is the most teen-aged thing that has ever came out of the brunette.

"You know, you spend a lot of time over there on Mifflin street. Not that I am trying to kick you out or anything, but have you considered moving there?"

"Gosh, you want me to U-Haul already? Our relationship is still pretty young."

"But if your love is real, it shouldn't matter. You and Regina already share a son together. I think it is just a natural progression in your relationship."

Emma thinks about it, they haven't discussed living arrangements just yet, but it wouldn't be bad if she does move in. But, there are a couple of things stopping her. One, is that it will be Emma moving into Regina's house. She owns it, not Emma. So if something bad happens in their relationship, Regina can just easily kick her out or lord over her with that fact when it comes to arguments.

Emma has pride and she doesn't want to feel like an abandoned orphan again, getting kicked out of homes because she is not good enough. Not that she believes that Regina will ever do something like that, but it is one of the insecurities that Emma feels being in a relationship with someone who is financially better off than she is.

Two, she is not even sure if that is what Regina wants as well. It will be better for her to have her own apartment, her own space.

"We may talk about that later." One thing that stuck out from Graham was that she honestly didn't know how old Regina is. It is just a mundane but basic thing that one should know about their partner. Especially when you knocked them up.

"Thanks for the breakfast, Mar. I'm about to go to the police station. Call me if you need anything."

"Will do."

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Regina is walking towards her office, opting out of driving. The open fresh air has always cleared her mind and she needs it. She feels disconnected from Emma, like the blonde was pulling away from her. When they slept together, Regina was hoping that she conveyed asking for forgiveness, even if Emma didn't know what she was trying to absolve herself of.

That night was all carnal, lustful bodies trying to connect with one another. Her heart feels heavy, she doesn't know if she can continue this burden any longer. It is time to woman up and tell Emma the truth. For far too long, she has not had to bear the brunt of consequences from her many transgressions. One which hurts her the most is that Emma has had such a hard life because Snow and Charming were forced to send their daughter through the wardrobe to escape her curse.

All she could think about is her revenge against Snow, everything and everyone else were just collateral damage. For her to become a better woman for Henry and Emma, she knows what she needs to do. She told Henry how she returned the Huntsman's heart to him. She told the young boy that the Huntsman did keep his promise to not harm her. She really doesn't see him choking her as a break of the promise, she would have been surprised if the Huntsman didn't retaliate in some type of way.

She kissed Henry and hugged him, telling him how special he was, how much she feels loved when Henry was determined to not have his mother hurt in the process. He is such a clever boy.

It warms her soul that their relationship has been improving. Her thoughts were interrupted when she received a phone ring.

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Jefferson makes his way into the town of Storybrooke for the first time in 28 years. His madness festered in the reality that he knows exactly who he is. He spitefully hates the label "Mad Hatter".

Anyone would lose his mind too if you got captured by the merciless Queen of Hearts, stuck in Wonderland, and forced to find a portal back home.

Now, it seems that the Queen of Hearts daughter has trapped him in a different form. Stuck in a land of no magic, forced to witness his daughter being family with some no name couple he has never met. It hurts more than anything to know that his precious, innocent, daughter wouldn't even recognize him if she sees him. That is why he watches from afar, just wanting to see a glimpse of a child that he foolishly left to do one more job to increase their riches.

The never-ever changing time of Storybrooke has ceased, time has finally now begun to tick away, the savior is here. He has seen news clippings of the blonde stranger. The brunet knows that the curse is coming to an end, he will have his revenge on Regina one way or another.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The brunette buried her worries in her paperwork and schedules she had to make when her secretary informed her that Emma is right outside and wants to meet her. She rolls her eyes at her girlfriend's inability to ever schedule a meeting.

"Let her in." Emma enters her office with a beaming smile. Regina heart leaps, she would never be tired of that smile.

"You know, I do take appointments. You should try that and schedule one."

Emma huffs at her. "Nope, I got perks, considering I am dating the mayor and everything."

Emma leans down and kisses her softly. It seems that the blonde is in much a better mood, but Regina still wants to be cautious.

"How are you doing?"

"Much better now that I see you." Emma decided to come see Regina. She did feel a little bit guilty going behind Regina's back to talk to Graham when Regina asked her not to. And she didn't necessarily find anything immediately incriminating. Graham alluded to dark secrets but she would hope that Regina would trust her to tell her those sorts of things. Graham did mention something about some vault that she has…

Regina gulps, swallowing her anxiety. Right now Emma seems happy with her, does she want to have that discontinued? No, but she has to be a better woman. And the conversation she would like to have it , she would rather have it somewhere not at the mansion. She wouldn't want Henry to overhear anything that may transpire.

"Can you meet me here later on tonight?" She doesn't want to alarm Emma so she kept her tone neutral and flat but Emma still had an eyebrow raised. It looks like some of Regina's facial expressions is rubbing off on the blonde.

"Is everything alright? I know we were distant for a moment but I am really not mad about the Graham thing. I mean, I don't know what this is about so maybe I shouldn't assume."

Regina takes Emma's hand in both her own, lightly kissing it while looking in Emma's forest green, emotional eyes.

"I need to confess some things, things that are not highly favorable towards me. I hope your love for me can overcome the outcome of that conversation. But we will have it here, later on tonight since this is one of the days I stay late."

Emma lets out a surprised breath that she didn't realize that she was holding. This is not what she had in mind when she came to the office. This sounds like exactly what Graham was alluding too when she visited him last night. If Regina had to confess something, Emma might as well do the same.

"Okay. That is sounding very heavy. I guess if you want to get something off your chest, I might as well do the same. Don't get mad, but I did go see Graham recently."

Regina widens her eyes in shock. "You did what?! After I asked you not to!"

Emma shrinks back from the bite in Regina's tone, holding her palms up.

"Look, I am sorry but I was curious and he is my friend. I had to know that he was alright for myself. I didn't mean to hurt you in anyway."

Regina was about to hyperventilate but she calmed herself when she realized, if Graham told Emma anything about her past, Emma wouldn't have been as honky dory as she was when she bounced into her office. But she did narrow her eyes in suspicion.

"What did he say to you?"

Emma doesn't want her head to be chewed off and felt more relaxed that Regina's volume in her voice dropped considerably with that question.

"Well, he said that he stopped looking for his heart and said that the curse was real, which is outrageous. But he did keep saying that you had many dark secrets. And that I didn't know you at all. That actually makes more logical sense. Not that I am accusing you of anything."

She continues to rack up her brain about what else he said. "Oh, he also mentioned something about a vault you have. Is this what you want to confess to me?" Emma asked the last question slowly, not wanting to seem judgemental.

So Graham hasn't totally rat her out, just alluded to Emma that she has many secrets. She can work with that, and she is thankful that she can tell Emma herself, instead of another party doing so.

Regina and Emma sat in her office, the atmosphere thick with apprehension and the unknown. Instead of waiting for tonight...there is no time like the present.

"I don't know how to say this but to just tell you. Do you remember Henry's story book, about the fairy-tales?"

Emma's arms are crossed as she stares back at Regina intently. "Yes..." she answered hesitantly.

"It's true…all of it. Even though I must say it is quit bias in gaps of back story information."

Emma's eyes bugged out, her heart races; she really can't believe what is spewing out of that pretty mouth of of her woman.

"You're shitting me right? So are you seriously saying that you are the actual Evil Queen that cast a curse and that David and Mary Margaret are my parents? And that everyone here are fairytale characters?"

Regina is breathing heavily but her semblance of control is not as out of whack as Emma's. The blonde started to pace back and forth, if it was possible, she could run the floors down with her movements. She attempted to reach out to Emma to grab her arm but Emma harshly smacked her hand away.

"Don't….just don't. This is insane." Emma starts to back away from Regina. The brunette is intelligent, of sound mind. There is no way she can be crazy. "Nope. Not doing this. I don't believe you." She shakes her head vigorously to shake away those thoughts.

Regina steps slowly into her presence. "This is hard for me…please. I know this is hard for you to believe but everything our son has said...It's true. But that doesn't change how much I love you. This is why I had to tell you the truth. I had to tell you who I really am…or was."

Emma feels like her sanity is slipping into some foreign abyss, where it is logical for there to be a such thing as witches and magic. Is something so wrong with Emma that Regina has to come up with fantastical nonsense to kick her out of her life? She doubts it but she cannot take the alternative that what Regina is saying is the truth.

"Why are you saying this? Do you not want me in your life?"

Regina was taken aback from that type of question but she recovers and shakes her head in the negative. "I don't want you to think that at all. I want to completely give myself to you and in order to do that I have to tell you the truth. I know it is hard to believe but it's true." Since Emma is more practical in nature, she would be convinced by evidence. "I can prove it to you."

"You mean like show me magic."

"In a sense, yes."

Emma thinks back to Graham telling her that she should ask Regina about her vault.

"So, do you have a vault or something? Graham mentioned it to me when I met up with him."

Regina was about to say something when there was a large thump on the second floor of the mayoral office. Both snapped their heads towards the door.

"What the-" Emma was about to respond when Regina hushed her. There should be no one there in the office with them at this time of the night. And now they put a damper on her confession. She still would like to know Emma's response to this whole thing with the curse, even if the end result will crush her.

"Let's go see what this disturbance is." Emma follows Regina's quick lead out of the large office, even if her mind is still reeling from Regina basically saying that she is the freaking Evil Queen.

"Hold on, I'm coming." Regina stomps her way to the door and with no hesitation, she opens the door to rip the intruder a new one. However, what greets her is a mass explosion that throws both of them to the ground, with Regina twisting her ankle. Their lungs full of blistering heat and smoke. Wood and paint crackle from the flames. For the first time in a long time, Regina fears for her life.

Emma is shocked from the most expectant blast, even with a thousand things running through her mind, fear for her lover's safety beats all else. She has never seen Regina so helpless. Her brown eyes burning with fear.

"Help me." That is all that Emma needed to get butt kicked into gear. She reaches out her arm and hoists Regina's small body into her arms. Her lover looks back at her with relief as Regina follows Emma's lead while leaping out of the town hall. What greets them is flashing lights from cameras and there are many people there.

Emma winces from the intrusive of the blinding light."What the hell?" At this point, Regina was also distorted from the mysterious blast.

There is a small team of three that arrived with an ambulance ten minutes later after some random person made a 911 call for the ambulance. The response time was ridiculous. But her first concern was to get medical attention for the self-professed Evil Queen of her girlfriend. She would have thought even more at the fact that Sidney seemed to be looking at her intently.

All around them is unintelligibly chatter of small town folks with nothing better to do.

"Are you alright?" a medium-built woman with a bun came to the couple as they tried to check them for injuries.

Regina is grimacing in pain as Emma answered for them. "I think I am fine but I think Regina hurt her ankle."

The brunette and her other partners swarm over the mayor to study what type of injuries Regina has endured.

"Thank you Sheriff, we can take her from here. You should also come with us too, we would still like to check on your vitals as well."

"I'm fine, just take care of the mayor." She is tired and aching from half carrying Regina but her first concern is for Regina.

Regina is finally released from Emma's grasp as the two orderlies take hold of Regina's hands.

"Let me down gently," Regina barks at them. Her ankle is searing with pain, her mind busy with how Emma is handling her revelation and why the hell there was an explosion!? She looks back at Emma in worry as Emma stares back at her, almost in sync with her line of thinking.

"You get to the hospital. I will go to Henry and explain what happened here. And I will also investigate how the hell did this explosion happen."

"Thank you Sheriff." Regina liked to have at least a semblance of professionalism in front of her citizens in such a vulnerable state. They both stare back at each other like they are in a world all to their own. Silently communicating their inner thoughts.

Where do I stand with Emma? Does she believe me? Will she still love me? Or does she just think I am crazy

I love her but with everything going on, I just don't know what to think. The curse is real?! First Graham, then Henry, then Regina, who is supposedly the architect of the whole thing. Is everyone just crazy or is there just a remote possibility that they are telling the truth?

So many tumultuous emotions, so much that was left unsaid, so many questions left unanswered.

Sidney was fuming at his utter failure. It took him no time at all to find out how make home-made explosives online. The internet is a beautiful thing. He concocted a plan to become Regina's hero. To have her swept off her feet. He knows her work day schedule to a tee. She always stayed much later at the office to finish up signing off contracts.

What he miscalculated was Emma being there at the office as well. He never has seen her so late in the mayor's work place before. He was so startled at the multiple voices he heard, that he tripped in the renovating room he rigged to explode. He trips and falls right on his head and was dazed for a few seconds. After realizing his clumsiness and stupidity, he hurriedly gets up and runs outside of the town hall.

And here he is, wanting to hit the random guy he hired to take the victorious pictures of him taking Regina away from the fire. Instead , the blonde sheriff once again is saving the day. His jealousy pierced at her as Emma looked at Sidney for a few moments before returning her attention to Regina and the paramedics. Regina should be his. Maybe it is time to up the ante and find a better way to make her his…

Chapter Text

Emma sits in the dimly lit favorite bar, well, the only bar in Storybrooke. The Rabbit Hole. Hmf, even that sounds like something from Alice in Wonderland. The town's name is Storybrooke, reminds her of Henry's storybook. There are many coincidences that do seem to make it plausible that maybe, just maybe, what Henry, Graham, and now her estranged girlfriend said is true. That the curse is real.

Well, the only reason Regina is estranged is because Emma has been avoiding her and Henry. Not the most mature way to handle being told that fairytale curses are real, but what else should be expected of her? She thinks it is a logical response to this ridiculous position that she is in. Her first reaction was to bolt out of the quiet town but she knew that it was not an option for her. Storybrooke is her home now.

She did check in the hospital with a nurse to see the status of Regina's ankle. It is not broken, thank God, but it is sprained in which she has to wear a brace. This past week, from a distance she spies on Regina's whereabouts. Her woman still is stomping around the town with a high heels, hardcore for sure.

She is like invincible and it just makes her beam inside. However, she still can't reconcile Regina being some evil queen. Yes, she is regal, elegant, savy, and leads with an iron hand. Wait, maybe it wouldn't be too much of a leap that she was a queen in her former life. She scoffs at herself. "Nope, not going through that line of thinking again."

She turns her attention back to what she likes to call her "Trio of Amigos." She has her three favorite friends in the world: Jim, Jack, and Jose. They always seem to dull her senses from all the stress that hits her. Emma stills feels shitty though. This past week, Regina has tried to get in touch with her, through phone calls or texts.

But Emma just needs space. She is feeling really crappy thinking about how Henry ran into her, wanting to know why she was avoiding him. She kissed him on the head and told him that she is just dealing with some things, but she still loves him. He looked like a wounded puppy. Yep, she feels like a crappy father, mother, whatever she is to Henry. The liquor is really talking to her now. Maybe it's time to wrap things up. She laid down some cash, she doesn't know how much, on the wooden slab of the counter.

Tim is the bartender's name, he is slight with a 5 o'clock shadow. Like everyone else in town, he likes Emma. She brought a sense of newness and excitement that hasn't been here in a very long time. And if there are one of the few things he knows as a time as a bartender, is when someone is plastered. And their sheriff is about to reach that point."

"Are you going to be alright, Sheriff?" Emma looks back at Tim, and straightens her posture, almost like how she has seen Regina do numerous times.

"Just call me Emma and I'm fine. I don't drink and Sheriff, so there would be no random police brutality or irresponsibility going on," they both laughed at her response.

"See you later Tim."

"See you later, and be safe." He shakes his head as Emma steps out of the stale bar. She eventually made her way to her apartment. Emma stumbled into the loft, almost tripping over herself. Her stomach rumbled from hunger, some grease will help with the alcohol in her system. She goes into the kitchen, trying to figure out what she wants to eat. Too bad she sucks at cooking. So, she will just settle on some toasted PB&J. Yeah, she can handle that.

She got some slices of bread and placed it in the toaster. However, it was really cheap bread so it broke inside of the toaster. That is what she gets for being cheap by getting the generic. She should have went legit and got some Arnold's or Sunbeam brand. She gets a knife and tries to pry the bread out.

It was also cathartic for her, jamming a knife into the defenceless victim. Poking away at her disillusionment of this town and all of its secrets. Fuck, she missed Regina and Henry. She misses home cooked meals and late nights of video gaming (Regina doesn't know) and passionate nights (she prefers to not have Henry to know about that). Don't want to scar the poor little fellow.

Emma is still jabbing the toaster as Mary Margaret makes her way down into the kitchen. It is like 3 AM in the morning and she heard someone stumbling through her apartment. Mar put on a robe and picked up a lamp, cautiously making her way down the stairs. She's immediately relieved to find Emma in the kitchen. However, it looked like she was desecrating her very nice toaster.

The brunette makes her way into the kitchen, settling down the lamp on the counter.

"My goodness Emma, you startled me. Why are you up so late? And is the toaster broke?"

Emma looks up from her stabbing of the toaster.

"It wasn't until I got to it." And Emma observes the lamp on the counter and Mar in her obnoxious pink robe.

"Good thing I wasn't an intruder. Wouldn't want to get hit with a lamp by a lady in pink," Emma quipped. The smaller woman took the damaged toaster away from the obviously intoxicated blonde.

Mar went into the refrigerator to pull out some leftovers from the dinner she cooked last night. She gets a plate and pile the food on there and popped it in the microwave. Why Emma didn't think to look for leftovers is beyond her.

Mar sits right next to Emma, making eye contact with her. Her green irises are deep with concern as she looks back at her friend.

"Emma, what is going on with you? Ever since you saved Regina from that fire, you haven't been the same. You have been moody all week. Even Henry seems to be down lately. You haven't slept over at Regina's. I am here when you need me. Talk to me Emma."

Emma has been a crappy friend as well. She turned down Ruby's offer for another girls' night out. She has been dodging Mar's incessant questions. But what can see really tell Mary Margaret? That Regina is the Evil Queen from that movie and she cast a curse against Snow White and Prince Charming who happens to be her and David? She still doesn't know the background to that story. But what is she talking about? It is not true so it doesn't matter. Emma decides to tell Mary Margaret what else has also been bothering her.

"I am still working on the explosion case. You remember when it was initially called an accident?"

Mar nods her head, "Yes, I do remember it."

"Well, I think it was intentional. I think someone set up it to explode. I heard movement behind that door when Regina and I went down to it." At first she wanted to chop it up to just construction work and maybe somehow, something went wrong and that is how a fire erupted. But the blast was too strong for it to be an accidental fire and it looks like someone was tampering with materials. It stunk like a farmhouse as well.

The brunette's jaw dropped in shock. "Are you serious?" She furrows her eyes in confusion. "So who would have done something like that against Regina?"

"Unfortunately, I have no clue to go on."

"Have you talked to her about you?"

Emma frowned, she feels like she is in a flex of emotions. She doesn't know what to think or do with Regina. She can't honestly say that Regina is crazy but the alternative is that Regina is being truthful when she admitted that she was the Evil Queen. And now she has to deal with someone maybe potentially trying to harm her. She hasn't told Regina her suspicions…well….she hasn't talked to her much at all, really.

"No, I haven't."

Mar notices Emma's downtrodden look. Just some weeks ago Emma also had a blissful air and smile about her. As much as she may not care for the mayor, Regina did make her friend happy. She wonders what really happened between the two.

"I am not going to inquire again, but did something between you two happened? I just don't think this is about the fire case any more."

Emma looks at Mar and just shakes her head. She puts her face in her hands in defeat.

"I don't…I don't know what is going on any more," she replies weakly.

Sympathy pours out of Mar as she grabs Emma into her arms and soothes her by rubbing her back, Emma's face is in the crook of the smaller woman's neck.

"It's going to be fine Emma. Whatever you guys are going through, I can see you care for each other and things will work out."

"Thanks," Emma chokes weakly, her body wrecked with stress and confusion. If Mary Margaret was ever to be a mother, she would rock that role to a tee. But right now, she is being an unselfish friend, and Emma appreciates that in the moment.

"Now how about you eat the rest of the food on that plate and go get some rest, okay?" Emma nods weakly and they returned back to their rooms to get so much needed sleep.

Regina sits haughtily at her desk, her ankle still in a brace and healing as she finds herself doing more tedious tasks like budget reports. She realized that she has wasted much of her life right her at her desk, maintaining order in the town that she has created. However, nothing but instability is in her relationship with Emma. Given the fact that she does not know where she stands with the blonde.

She has called and texted but Emma has remained determined to be distant. A dark side of her wants to march right into Emma's house or police station or wherever she's at and demand that she speak with her. Whether Emma wants to yell at her or not, anything is better than this silence she is receiving. Damn Archie and his advice. The worst part of this is that it is affecting Henry, and she doesn't want her little boy to suffer like this. She remembers talking to him while picking him up from school a few days ago, considering that Emma has no longer been doing so.

Regina arrives at the school as the kids already departing from the vicinity. Ever since Emma has come into town, she has unofficially taken over the duty of picking up Henry, excited to spend time with the young boy. However, Emma spending time with Henry and Regina has diminished dramatically and it is affecting Henry.

Henry looks up expectantly to find who is picking him up and saw his mother, and was a little saddened which is something Regina picked up immediately. He drooped his head down as Regina put on her hand behind his back and lead him to the car.

"I am sorry I am not the person you were expecting." Henry glanced immediately to see his mother's face, he didn't want her to misinterpret why he was sad in this moment.

"Mom, I'm sorry, it is not like that. Emma used to pick me up. What's going on? Is it something I did?"

Regina stopped mid-stride and stopped Henry's progress as well, scooting down to his level to look directly in his eyes.

"My little prince, it is nothing you did at all. I don't want you to blame yourself at all."

"Then what is it?"

"I'll tell you once we get home."

As they entered the mansion, Regina rehashed her conversation with Emma.

"So she didn't believe? Even when YOU were the one to tell her? But she's the Savior!"

"Yes Henry. But you got to understand where she is coming from. She doesn't have a child's imagination, and she is very pragmatic. This is too fantastical for her to believe. Unfortunately, right now she just needs space."

"So, she still love us but just avoiding us," he stated more than asked.

Regina smiles brightly at him, she needs to give him more credit in being mature and understanding.

"That is exactly it." Henry nods but he is still a little disappointed at Emma's absence.

"I still miss her though. And at this rate, I don't know if the curse will ever be broken."

Regina places her arms on Henry's small shoulders, her brown eyes pierced green that looks just like his father.

"This curse WILL be broken. I promise, alright?"

"So…you do want the curse to break?"

Regina hesitates, she knows the implications what will happen to her when people regain their memories. There won't be much pleasantries exchanged between her and the townspeople.

"As I told you before, I want to do the right thing, even if it is detrimental to myself. I want to change and be good for you and Emma. And she does deserves to know her parents."

Henry smiles at her, his spirits lifted for a little bit and hugs her tightly.

"I don't care what the book says, you are not a villain, you are a hero."

Regina chuckles, she is happy for him to have faith in her. But she can still feel the pull of darkness in it, it is a constant presence in her life. One doesn't practice dark magic for as long as she has and not get out unscathed. "I don't know about that my little prince, but just know that I will do anything for you and Emma."

She bends down and kisses him on the forehead.

Her flashback ends at the knock on her door and beckons the visitor in. Sidney happily joins her in her office, like a dog trying to get a treat.

"Madame Mayor, I have all of the reports that you requested," he stated as he placed them on her desk and clasped his hands in front of him expectantly.

Regina grabs the envelope and thumbs through the numerous files. After a few moments she hums with approval.

"Good work Sidney. That will be all." She barely even took a peek at him when he first entered her door but he is still determined to spend some type of time with the beautiful brunette.

"How is your ankle? If you need me to escort you to any place or get anything for you because you are immob-" and Regina immediately cuts him off, annoyed with his assumption that she is an invalid.

"I am perfectly capable of moving around myself. But thank you for your concern."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to demean you in any way, it is just Emma hasn't been around you lately, and I just want to help out where I can." He is fishing to figure out if there was truly a schism between them too.

Regina is speedily re-engaged in this conversation, wondering why the hell Sidney's is into her personal business.

"What right do you have to be concerned with any of my personal affairs?" she demanded angrily.

"Again, my apologies. But I have an attentive ear," a hint that he will always listen to her, "and the whole town has been buzzing with you and the sheriff's relationship or lack thereof."

Regina squeezes her eyes and shoots a glare of death which he immediately shrunk back from. She hates to think that everyone is in her personal business, and it is really irritating to think that people can also sense some troubles between her and Emma's relationship. It seems that having Sidney around is good for something, she didn't even have an inkling that there was so much talk of her love life. She has been too consumed in how to get the blonde to talk to her.

She composes her herself and forced a smile at him, "I don't like anyone," implying him as well, "making assumptions about me. But thank you for bringing that to my attention. You have a good day Sidney."

Sidney eats up the smile that she pushed his way, loving that he gained her approval.

"Madame Mayor, I hope you know I will do anything for you. You have a great day too." He exits her office full with hope that maybe, just maybe, Regina can finally be his…

As the darker man leaves her office, she is left fuming with the current events with her life. It seems like Emma and her are the talk of the town, once again, and they can see that everything is not all peaches with Swan and the Mills. Emma's distance is even affecting Henry, even if he is more understanding of the circumstances when Regina explained to him that Emma is confused about the confirmation of the curse.

She cannot let this go on any longer, she will get Emma to talk to her after she gets home to check on Henry, even if the blonde wants to scream and yell. She knows how to use her sway and power with others, Emma is going to get a little taste of the Evil Queen.

Mr. Gold internally is gleeful from the hearsay and rumours of relational problems with Regina and the Savior. That is why he decided to pay a visit to the mayor's office. All the way back when she was queen, he has always enjoyed toying with his favorite pupil. Ever since being cursed in this small town, he had to find some enjoyment somehow until the curse breaks.

"Lovely day isn't, Madame Mayor? How's your ankle?" he asks but it is not out of concern.

This annoyance is the last thing she needs and she has no time for her former mentor's taunts.

"You don't give a damn about my well being so why the hell are you disturbing me in my office? You made an appointment, if there is no business that you need to attend to, you are wasting my time."

Gold giggled which reminded her of the imp in Enchanted Forest. She will get him to admit whether he knows he is Rumpelstiltskin or not some how.

"Aren't you testy? I hope this is not because of our dear sheriff being in a foul mood ever since the fire incident." She really wants to smack the smirk off his face. Regina knows a power play when she sees one. And Gold is taking immense pleasure at the distress in her relationship. She really hates this town sometimes.

"Get. Out. Now." Gold laughs softly to himself.

"I'll be on my way. Enjoy your day."

"Be gone, and believe me, I hope you don't enjoy yours." Gold shakes his head and leaves her office.

Regina is going to order her secretary to never again have that man in her office, period. And she also knows a way how to hit Gold where it will truly hurt. She will fish out a way for him to confess his true identity. Recently, Moe French has defaulted on a loan and Gold being the scrupulous bastard he is, took ownership of his van. He took the poor's man livelihood away.

What a delicious way to get revenge by using his precious Belle's father against him. She knows that she wants to become a better person but damn it, Gold had this coming for a while. She smiles a wicked grin. First revenge, then later a talk with Emma.

The small moment of glee he experienced when confronting Regina quickly faded as he found the front door of his house ajar. How dare anyone rob him in broad daylight? He draws his gun and slowly enters inside. He turns and finds Emma inside, also, with a gun drawn.

"Sheriff Swan."

Emma turns around quickly and sees Mr. Gold. Emma received a call a few minutes ago that his front door was open by some random person. She really wished today was a very slow day since she got trashed last night. One of few things that happens in this town, and it had to be today. But since she is being a crappy girlfriend and father, she might as well do her job with some professionalism.

"Your neighbour saw your front door open and called it in."

"It appears I've been robbed," stating the obvious.

"Funny how that keeps happening to you." He sees the blonde having a joke. The older man always loved a challenge.

"Yeah, well, I'm a difficult man to love." Mr. Gold is not going to get any argument from her on that point. Something niggled at the back of her mind and she might as well throw the question out there.

"By the way, I never got your first name." That is such a strange inquiry but it is a good question, he was never given one. It seems Regina's curse didn't provide one for him but that is not important now.

"You can just continue to call me Mr. Gold or Gold, Sheriff. Now if you don't mind, I would like to search my home for what items have been stolen."

Emma gives him a nod, "Okay, that is fine. I will also inspect the damage as well."

Mr. Gold proceeds to check the area where some of his most prized belongings were stored. After like 15 minutes, he returned his attention back to the blonde.

"Sheriff Swan, you can go now. I know exactly what was taken and who did it. I've got it from here."

It sounds like he wants to go vigilante, and she is not having that in this town.

"No, you don't. This was a robbery, public menace, and if you don't tell me what you know, I will have to arrest you for obstruction of justice. I have a feeling you don't want to be behind bars."

"Indeed not. Alright, his name's Moe French. He sells flowers, and he recently defaulted on a loan. A short time ago, we had a little disagreement over collateral."

She mentally stores the information in her head for future use. "Okay. I'll go get him, check him out."

"I'm sure you will, assuming I don't find him..." he chuckles, "Let's just say, bad things tend to happen to bad people."

He does not mind getting his hands dirty with the fat slob.

"Is that a threat?"

"Observation." Mr. Gold is a piece of work, Emma thinks as she prepares to leave.

Gold yells out, "Good luck."

In the meantime, a stranger strolls into town on a motorcycle with leather and skin tight jeans He got off the bike to inspect it right in front of 108 Mifflin Street. August knows that the time is now to end the curse, especially with the constant pain in his legs, wooden legs, are resurfacing since he was brought into the world. He has a lot to make up for to Emma. Somehow, he finds himself in front of a huge mansion. Someone is very wealthy here.

"What are you doing here?" A young brunette boy asked him.

"Fixing my bike."

"No, I mean in Storybrooke."

"Just visiting." Henry knows that NOBODY visits Storybrooke because they just can't. It is not even on Google, he checked it one time. The only stranger to ever come into town was his father, and that is because he dragged Emma into the cursed town.

He looks at a large case on the back of the motorcycle. "What's that?" Man, the little kid asks a lot of questions, but he can tell that the boy is very intelligent.

"A box."

"What's inside it?"

The kid is seriously giving him the third degree. "Just something I need to do what I came here for."

He puts his helmet back on and hops on his motorcycle and to drive away. Regina exits the house and pauses upon noticing Henry talking to the Stranger, who has gotten on his bike. She is dealing with too many things all at once and this person who she has never seen in the old world is now in her town. She is immediately suspicious of the newcomer as the man continues to talk to her son.

"I thought you were just visiting."

"Doesn't mean I don't have something to do." Thunder rumbles and August starts his motorcycle.

Regina stomps her way towards the two, she is not having any of this.

"Henry?" She loudly shouts at him.

August turns to Henry, "You better get to school." Regina starts down the path to the side walk. "Looks like a storm's coming," and he drives off.

"Henry, who was that?" Henry has no idea and he just shrugs his shoulder.

Regina has no clue either and she decides to text Emma. There is a stranger here and he has been talking to their son. The man could be a pervert and she cannot allow that in her town.

"Emma, call me ASAP. This is really important," she texted. She sounds pathetic and gone way too soft, but she has to do whatever is necessary to get her attention.

Emma is back at the sheriff's department with Mr. Gold's stolen items strewn all over her desk. She triumphantly smiles inside with her findings. At least she accomplished something today.

"You're welcome. You're right. Your man Moe ripped you off. It was all still at his place."

Mr. Gold was not thoroughly impressed. "And the man himself?"

"Closing in on him."

"So, job half well-done, then."

Why does he have to rain on her parade? "In less than a day, I got it all back. Is something wrong?"

He doesn't care at all about these useless artefacts that Emma as found. His most prized possession is missing, and that is all he cares about.

"You've recovered nothing. There's something missing," he hisses out.

"I'll get it when I find him."

"Not if I find him first."

Emma receives a buzz from her phone that is in her blue leather, or pleather as Regina sometimes chimes, jacket.

Emma reads the text message. 'Emma, call me ASAP. This is really important.' Emma turns back to Mr. Gold. "Don't dare try anything," and the older man just stares back at her, like he doesn't care what she said and just leaves the building.

But at this point, she is not dwelling on Mr. Gold's still missing stolen crap. There seems to be something that Regina really needed to speak to her about. She is not surprised that Regina decided to text first, considering that she has not been returning the brunette's call.

She takes out her phone and calls Regina, she has her on speed dial.

"Regina, what's going on?"

"I really need to see you, Henry may be in danger." Wow, that sounds really serious. Regina's voice affects her in so many ways.

"Are you home?"

"Yes, come quickly."

"I am on my way," she hangs up and gets in the cruiser to immediately head down Mifflin street.

Regina knows that she may have been exaggerating details, but she had to say something to convince Emma to come over. Emma entered the mansion using the key that Regina gave her some weeks ago.

Regina is in the foyer and as Henry heard Emma entering the large house, he rushed to her from the living room and enveloped his small body into her for a tight hug. Emma bends down and returns his hug, tugging him strongly back and ruffling his hair.

"Hey Emma, I missed you," he says as he looks up at her. Her heart took a tumble, seems like she is no longer referred to as 'Dad'.

"I'm sorry kid, for my absence. But I will do better okay?"

Henry nods back and goes into the kitchen to give his parents some privacy. Emma looks back at Regina and drops her gaze, her thumbs in her tight pockets.

"So, you needed to see me…" Regina is looking hella good, it has been so long. But, the fairytale thing is putting a damper on that.

Regina is a little disappointed that Emma still seems aloof but to even have her in her presence brightens her day.

"Yes, of course. It seems that Storybrooke has a new intruder in our midst. I know nothing about him and he must be investigated."

Emma runs her hand through her hair. She already has the explosion she wants to further investigate and now she has Mr. Gold now seeming to want to go vigilante for his missing stuff. There is a lot going on for a one-manned/woman police station.

"Hmmm…Regina. It doesn't seem that big of a deal. There is no crime against visiting a town."

Regina closes the space between them, wanting to convey the severity of the situation and to also get a sniff of vanilla that she misses.

"I saw that stranger talking to our son right outside my home. He could be a paedophile for all we know."

Emma rocks her head in agreement. "Now I see. I definitely will check him out. Can you describe him?"

"He is almost six feet, dark brown hair, with blue eyes. He was wearing a leather jacket and has a motorcycle." Emma mentally stores the information away, no pervert is going to be touching her son.

They stand there in a few moments in silence, until Regina decides to break their standstill.

"I missed you." Her mocha eyes stare longingly into Emma's. The blonde could melt right there in Regina's gaze.

"You know that this is a lot to take in, right?" They both know what Emma is referring too.

"I…understand. I will give you all the space you need but just realize, this is affecting Henry. He doesn't deserve to be pushed aside."

"I know, I know. Shit. I am sorry and I will do much better." Regina nods towards her stands and uncrosses her arms, letting her defences down.

"Oh, I got something I want to run by you. I don't think the fire was an accident. I am going to look into it."

Regina was surprised at that statement. The fire scene investigator said that there was so much damage, they just chopped it up to construction workers being negligent by leaving flammable materials around.

"I thought it was just some imbecile's incompetence. Now are you suggesting that it was maliciously deliberate?" Regina's sass, got to love it.

"Yes, and I need to know do you know anybody that has issues with you, that may want to hurt you?"

Regina is quite upset that someone has the audacity to cause her any harm. And she may be a bitch, but those fools cower under her power. But there is at least one person she knows that does have his memory who may try to attack her.

"No, I don't know."

"Well, please be on the lookout for any suspects. I can't lose you." Emma ducks her head at her confession. Professing her love to Regina is nothing new, but the confession of curses is not escaping her.

Regina was touched by Emma's statement, her heart leaps with joy as she has confirmation that Emma does still love her.

"Thank you," she whispers. If Emma wasn't within inches of her, she wouldn't have caught it.

"I am going to go and find out more about this stranger." Emma soaks up Regina, missing her touch, her loving gazes as she moans her name. Emma pulls Regina into her body and kisses her deeply. Regina eagerly returns it, moaning into her mouth as their tongues massage against each other. Heat pools in Regina's center but the embrace ends.

"I love you, just give me time, okay?" Regina looks into Emma's eyes then nods her answer. Emma goes into the kitchen and hugs Henry goodbye as she goes to the diner for a much needed break.

After Emma told her about how she suspected that someone was maliciously behind the explosion, she decided to call the one person who knew her identity.

"My my my, it is certainly a surprise to get a call from you. If you are not calling me about me getting my Grace back, I don't know why you are calling," Jefferson cut right to the chase. He has not had any interactions with Regina for the whole time in the curse. What would be the point considering that he already knew that the curse was going to break in 28 years. How tortuous an existence it is to live knowing that you are cursed for so many years.

"I know you are not part of the general populace but I venture to guess that you at least read the newspaper."

"Yes, I have, Emma Swan once again saves the day. If I was there, I would have left your ass to burn in there."

"So are you saying that you are not behind it?"

"I only wish I had came up with the idea of burning you alive, witch," he replied with venom.

Regina laughs at him, the Mad Hatter has never been a concern of hers. And after talking with him, she doesn't believe he did it. He was never strong enough to ever challenge her.

"You wish, I do agree. Too bad that will never come true. You have good day wallowing over your precious Grace while I enjoy my time with my son. Good bye, dear," and she ends the call triumphantly.

Jefferson on the other line looks at the phone and vows that he was going to exact revenge against Regina in a way that she can't possibly imagine.

It was a very short talk, but she determined that Jefferson had nothing to do about it. Emma is starting her investigation, but she knows that an additional eyes and ears will be useful in this case.

Regina dials Sidney's number, he is always good at gathering information back in the old world and the new.

"Hello Madame Mayor. How may I assist you today?" Hearing from Regina always brightened his day. He is disappointed about his plan failing miserably, but there has to be another way.

"Emma just told me that she doesn't believe that the explosion was a simple accident. Someone may have done this maliciously and I need for you to find out who," her voice drips with anger. "I would need you to find out more about this."

Sidney's stomach dropped with that information. He does not need the blonde sheriff to find out about his whole failed master plan because it would ruin his chances with Regina. It wasn't even meant to harm her, it was suppose to make him look like a hero.

There. That is how he could still come out of this victoriously. He could pin the fire on someone in town he knew had a grudge against the mayor. Sidney can still come on top and make himself look good. And would be beneficial for him to "discover" the culprit and make Regina look at him with admiration. It is time to get to work.

"Indeed. I will work tirelessly to find out who has dared try to harm you."

"Your enthusiasm is appreciated. Hurry up and do it quickly," she ordered and hung up the phone.

"Yes ma'am." Sidney believes that everything is not for naught, he will have his Regina.

Ironically Emma saw The Stranger when heading into the diner as he was exiting the small restaurant. He definitely is someone she has never seen before and he does match the description that Regina gave her. She was going to catch his attention by stopping him but he beat her to the punch.

"Hey, I believe you are the sheriff, right?" This guy doesn't even know her.

"Yes and I am curious to how you know that." The Stranger points down to Emma's waist where her badge is displayed.

"Lucky guess. So I am assuming that you are the Emma Swan that everyone talks about." Emma internally rolls her eyes at her idiocy but she is not going to let him get her off her game.

"Yes, and I want to know why you are in town and why were you talking to my son?"

August didn't know Emma had a son, he wonders if Neal is the father. He is a brunette and kind of favors him.

"My bike broke down in front of a white mansion and a boy kept asking me questions. He is quite an intelligent boy. Henry I presume is your son?"

"Yes he is and my first priority is to protect him so I will ask again, why are you in town?"

"I am a writer and I was just drawn to this town. It seems…magical," the Stranger says with a sly smile. He needs to feel out Emma to see how close she is to believing and breaking the curse. The quicker the better.

Emma gulps at his inference since that is the troubling reality of the town that people keep inferring. He is carrying a huge brown box and became curious.

"What is that?" The Stranger looks at the box and back to her.

"You really want to know what is in the box?"

"That is why I asked," she is getting impatient with his coyness.

"How about this, I will take you out for a drink and you can ask me all the questions you want."

"Sorry dude, you are barking up the wrong tree, I'm already taken."

"It doesn't mean I still can't get a drink with you, and it is not like that. I have to go now, see you around," and he continues to walk away from the door of the diner. That is when Emma realized that she didn't know his name and yells out to him.

"I didn't get your name."

"That is because I didn't give it," he replies back and hops on his bike and drives away. He doesn't seem threatening but you just never know these days. However, she has much more important matters to attend to. Her stomach is now growling and she decides to go in the diner, chat with Ruby, and eat some much needed food. She has a feeling that she is going to see the guy again.

Since the Savior seems to not be able to recover and "save" his most prized possession, he decided to take matters into his own hands in the dead of the night. Mr. Gold is driving Moe's truck, actually, his truck with Moe gagged and tied up in the back of it. He is taking him to an abandoned cabin in the woods for some much needed privacy. There are a few of those in town.

Mr. Gold pulls a pistol and opens the back of the truck and pulls the heavier man out of it, his eyes wide with fear and trepidation. Gold pushed him towards to door.

"Walk." As they enter the cabin, Moe turns around as Gold cocks his gun and points it to him.

"Now, you see, here's the thing – I don't normally let people get away," and he closes the door behind them. At this point, Moe almost peed in his pants.

Graham breathes in the pine air of the forest, enjoying the company of his wolf and finally having freedom. True freedom. He does not have any responsibilities but just his own cares which fit him more than the role of Sheriff that Regina appointed him as.

Reconciling his own identity with his cursed one is taking time. As hard as it is for him to admit, the curse was a blessing. He lived a very solitary life and had no friends. In Storybrooke, he now has that, also he has something that he didn't even realize that he was missing. Mary Margaret, Snow, Emma, Ruby. And heck even Leroy gave him a sense of belonging that he only experienced with his pack.

He will go back into town when he is ready but now is his time to enjoy the woods. He was just travelling through the forest when a van from a distance parked a few feet away from an isolated cabin. He squinted his eyes to see what was going on. He saw a smaller man with a gun pulled out against a heavier set one. He first instinct was to rush over there but he stopped himself. That is no longer his job and he doesn't know who that is, and to be frank, don't really care. He dials Emma's number.

"Hello."

"Good evening Emma, this is Graham." Why is she receiving a call from him?

"Is something wrong? What's going on?"

"I think there is something that needs your attention. There may be a man in danger."

Emma gets a notepad, ready at attention to get the directions from Graham.

"Okay, where is their location?"

Graham gives her directions on how to get there. "Thanks Graham. Take care of yourself." She was glad to hear from him, even if it was more of a business call. And again, he doesn't sound crazy so maybe there is hope that he drops his delusions.

"No problem Emma, be safe."

Gold is beating Moe up with his cane yelling that Moe hurt "her" and that it was his fault. What the hell did she run into?

Emma grabs the cane away from Gold from hurting Moe even further. "Stop!" She put herself between Mr. Gold and Moe to prevent him from harming him more.

"Go over there somewhere and sit." Gold is fuming and looks bewildered but heeds the sheriff's demand. Emma checks over Moe, making sure to not touch him in case she hurts him even more. She pulls out her cell phone and calls the ambulance.

Twenty minutes later, outside the cabin is the paramedics loading Moe into the ambulance and Emma is talking to Mr. Gold on the side with a powerful stance.

"So I hear you managed not break anything he needs. You're lucky, Mr. Gold."

"You've got a funny definition of lucky." He could have done so much more damage to him, and it is nothing short than what he deserves.

"You have a funny definition of justice. What did he really do?"

"He stole."

"That reaction was about more than taking a few trinkets. You said something about how he hurt 'her', what happened to 'her'? Who was that? What did he do? If someone needs help, maybe I can help."

"No. I'm sorry, Sheriff. I think you heard that wrong."

"You really don't want cooperate."

"Look, we're not done here." Where the hell does he think he is going? He has another thing coming, Emma thinks as he walks away.

She grabs his arm to stop him from leaving. "Actually... No, we're not. You're under arrest." She cuffs him and stuffs him into the cruiser. Emma packed him into the cell and called it a night. It has been very long day and she just wants to sleep.

Emma is sitting at her desk eating a sandwich while Mr. Gold is in his cell. She knows that he must be hungry. "Pastrami. You want half?" she asks with her mouth full. "You know, I still owe you that favor. Nice fatty pastrami. Delicious way to clear the books." After seeing Gold beat up Moe, she really doesn't want to have any dealings with him.

Mr. Gold turns toward the blonde sheriff to look at her. "Well, I don't need a reminder that you owe me a favor. And when the day comes that I make my request, it'll be for more than half a sandwich."

Emma shrugs her shoulders, she tried and proceeds to grin at his comment as footsteps approach. Regina arrives with Henry. Surprised since she hasn't seen Regina since yesterday, Emma sets down her sandwich.

"Sheriff Swan? Take Henry out and buy him ice cream." She knows that her appearance was sudden but she cannot past this moment to finally confront Gold. This situation is one that she will definitely keep to herself.

Emma suspiciously looks at Regina. The brunette hasn't told her about having much interactions with Mr. Gold other than staying away from him. But she has an opportunity to hang out with Henry during her shift, she will take it since she hasn't been spending time with him like before.

"You want me to leave you alone with a prisoner?"

Regina responds while her eyes are set on Mr. Gold. "Yes so you can spend time with our son." Emma looks back at Regina a little wounded. Regina knows that it may have been a low blow, but she needs Emma to stop asking questions and just leave her alone with Gold. And using Henry maybe manipulative but doesn't the end justify the means?

Henry is happy to get ice cream and spend some time with his dad out of this ordeal. "Hi Emma".

"Hey buddy." She gets up and ruffles his hair, her favorite gesture with him that she likes to do.

"Let's go get some ice cream, shall we?" She grabs her coat and speaks to Henry and the two head out.

Mr. Gold turns his attention back to Regina "It seems that you want to have a little chat, correct?"

Regina approaches the cell with a smirk, she knows she has the upper hand. "Yes, and this is the perfect time for it.

Mr. Gold gestures towards the chair that is in front of his cell. "Please, sit," and of course Regina does as she told because he has that power over her. He now knows without a doubt, that Regina is behind Moe stealing a very particular item that only she knows the significance with him.

"Now when two people want something the other has, a deal can always be struck. Do you have what I want?"

Regina smiles. "Yes." Why oh why is he not surprised. But he wants her to verbally admit that she was behind that robbery.

"So... you did put him up to it, then," he more stated than questioned.

"I merely suggested that... strong men take what they need."

"Oh yeah, and you told him just what to take, didn't you?"

"We used to know each other so well, Mr. Gold. Has it really come down to this?" Regina is enjoying toying her former mentor.

"It seems it has, yeah. But you know what I want. What is it you want?"

Now is the time to stop pussyfooting. "I want you to answer one question. And answer it simply. What's your name?"

"It's Mr. Gold."

Regina gives him a stern look. She also wants verbal confirmation as to whether Gold remembers his past identity. There is no way that he doesn't know considering he would never have reacted to that particular item being taken if it wasn't so.

"Your real name."

"Every moment I've spent on this earth, that's been my name." He has always been careful with his words.

"But what about moments spent elsewhere?"

Mr. Gold pauses for a few beats. "What are you asking me?"

"I think you know. If you want me to return what's yours, tell me your name."

Mr. Gold he pauses again, and then chuckles. "Rumplestiltskin." He stands to grip the cell bars. "Now give me what I want," he growled out.

Bingo! It seems that her plan worked well. Everyone has their own weaknesses. Belle has always been his. It is also funny that Rumple could have easily asked her by saying "please" without exposing his true identity. Obviously he was too focused on making a deal to get what he wants instead of just getting it for free by using their old deal before the curse.

"Such hostility."

"Oh yeah."

Regina reaches into her bag and takes out the chipped cup. "Over this?"

Mr. Gold reaches for the cup through the bars while she shifts the item from side to side teasingly. Has she mentioned how much she enjoyed toying with him?

"Such a...," his hand latches onto the cup, to which she stops moving it, "sentimental little keepsake." She loosens her grip as he snatches the cup back.

"Thank you... your Majesty." He finally has what belongs to him. He needs something to remind him of his Belle, his one true love. He sits back down on the cell cot to examine the cup in relief.

" So... now that we're being honest with each other, let's remember how things used to be, shall we? And don't let these bars fool you, dear. I'm the one with the power around here. I'm going to be out of here in no time, and nothing between us will change."

Regina moves closer to the cell, and grips the bars. "We shall see." She then retreats out of the room as Mr. Gold glances down at the cup in his hands. Now she knows that Rumple remembers who he is, she is worried how he will cash in his favor that Emma owes him. If he does anything that will harm Emma, he will see the Evil Queen.

Chapter Text

Sidney figured it shouldn't be too hard to frame someone else for his crime. What he needs is to find someone that would have a grudge against Regina. That is nothing hard to find at all considering how Regina's hard exterior rubs people wrong all the time, though she is still lovely. He decided to plant the materials he bought inside the home of Donald Samson. He was a entrepreneur that wanted to open his own taco food truck in Storybrooke. He applied for a license from the mayoral office but Regina vetoed it, saying that it was unsanitary.

He flipped a gasket and cursed Regina out and was getting so irate, that Graham had to physically escort him out of the office. He even wrote an article about the incidence which was very well talked about in town. It wouldn't be a stretch for him to retaliate against Regina. He goes to the police station to present the evidence to Emma.

He enters the office as Emma is shuffling through papers with scrunched up frustration. Sidney confidently appears in front of Emma, knowing that she hasn't found a thing. He has already told Regina his findings and she was quite pleased with his quick turnaround. He will go a million miles to just see Regina smile at him.

"Hello Sheriff Swan. Have you found any leads as to that explosion?"

Emma just realized Sidney's presence in the early morning. This guy rubs her in all the wrong ways. And she is not liking the fact that he pointing out her epic failure in finding who has tried to hurt Regina.

"No, I haven't." And she returns back to the profiles she is rifling through. "Why are you here?"

Sidney smiles triumphantly at Emma's lack of progress. He could come out looking good in this scenario.

"As you know, Regina has enlisted me to help with this investigation. And I received an anonymous tip that a Mr. Donald Samson has materials in his personal possession that is the same materials that were found in the town hall. This will be quite useful to you."

He beams a smile at her and all she wants to do is to wipe the smirk off his face. And why the hell would Regina get Sidney's help? And how the hell did he get a lead so quick? Now she is suspicious. Emma crosses her arms and gives Sidney a stern expression.

"Why would Regina even come to you about this? You not exactly detective material." Sidney can feel the jealousy roll off of the blonde. This feels certainly like victory.

Sidney walks slowly into Emma's presence, stalking with renewed confidence. He gets right into her face and whispers, "Whenever Regina needs something done, long ago before you came, I have always delivered for her. And she came to me once again, seeing as," he looks her up and down challengingly "you weren't up to the task," he said in a seductive, salacious manner. And he puts Donald's file on her desk.

Emma is internally fuming with hostility towards the darker man, not liking what he is trying to insinuate. It is now apparent to Emma that Sidney does have an infatuation with Regina. But she decides to fight back, no matter how juvenile it may come across.

"Regina knows that I do take great care of her and trust me, she is not your concern at all. But thanks for your little contribution. I will follow up with the guy."

"With the way Regina has been acting, I doubt everything is good at home." Oh no he didn't.

"You know what's funny, I doubt you have ever been in her house. Now, let me get back to my job, something that you should do also." Emma smiles as his expression was down turned. She revels that she wiped the smirk off his face.

Sidney straightens himself to fend off Emma's barb against him. He tilts his head towards her, "Sheriff," and leaves the building after his verbal sparring with Emma. She may have won that round, but he will win this war. He believes that Emma still has no idea that he was the mastermind.

Emma flops down on her couch, irritated with Sidney's appearance and hurt that Regina seemed to not feel confident with Emma's skills. They haven't made love in two to three weeks and she is feeling antsy. Is Regina pushing her aside and is now going to…ewww…Sidney? Right now, even with the confession of the curse being real, she can't help to still want Regina, to still love her even through the messiness.

Emma enters Regina's door without prompt. At this point, Mrs. Thomas knows that Emma has free reign into Regina's office. Regina looked up at Emma's abrupt entrance, furrowing her eyebrows at Emma's flustered appearance.

Emma crosses her arms and glares at Regain, "When were you going to tell me that you went to Sidney for help in my investigation?" Regina was taken aback from Emma's hostile tone.

"I thought it would have been helpful for you to have an extra hand. It wasn't like we were in constant communication anyway," she responded in frustration.

Emma marches to her desk and slams her fists on the desk, leaning towards Regina. "So is that why you went running towards Sidney, because I am not capable of doing my job? That I wasn't available to you?"

Regina observes Emma's demeanour, it cries out that the green head monster is making an appearance because this is not all about her case. She wants to soothe Emma's jealousy once and for all. She gets up out of her chair and walks around the desk to stand right in front of Emma, as the blonde takes a step back.

"I don't know where this is coming from but I have all of the confidence in you." Regina reaches out and settles her small palm against Emma's cheek, rubbing her thumb against the warm, pale, flesh. "And I have zero interest in Sidney, so you never have to worry about that. I'm even insulted that you implied that," Regina quipped with a small smile.

Emma uncrossed her arms as Regina caressed her cheek, the tension in her body dissipates. She looks into warm, brown honey eyes which makes her melt. Regina seems to get her like no other, and honestly, Emma has been yearning for her smooth, olive body to be next to her. The temperature in her body rises, Regina is feeling the atmosphere changed as well. It has been too, too, long…

Regina presses her lips softly against Emma's, and the blonde immediately reciprocates, pulling Regina against her as she deepens the kiss. Tongues tease one another as they moan into each other's mouth. Regina pulls back, which illicit a groan from Emma as she rubs her hand against Emma's excitement.

"It has been too long, dear." Emma palms Regina's voluptuous rear, squeezing the delectable flesh.

"I know." She knows why she kept her distance but she is beginning to think that it is not a good excuse any more. Emma latches back on Regina's lips as the brunette unbuttons Emma's jeans and grabs onto Mr. Big, stroking him, waking him up. They didn't hear the door being knocked nor the subsequent steps of the person entering the office.

"Madame Mayor, I gave the Donald file…" and Sidney stops mid-sentence as Regina quickly pulled away from Emma, who has her back to the door. Emma with shaking hands button her Levi's up, silently cursing Sidney for interrupting him. She knows that annoying guy's voice anywhere. With her clothing in order she turns around and smirks at his disapproving countenance as Regina barks at him.

"Don't you know to knock?"

"I did but nobody answered, so I decided to…"

"To what exactly?! You think you are worthy enough to enter my office without being prompted?" She will definitely have to give a talking to to her secretary.

Sidney doesn't want Regina's ire to be directed at him. "No, I, -I, I am sorry for intruding," and Sidney continues to bumble his words as he tries to defend himself.

"Stop that rambling and tell me what you want?" Emma leans back on the desk as she looks at Sidney, how you like me now?

"I was just about to tell you that I gave the Sheriff the Donald file, but, it seems that you have already been informed. I'll take my leave now," and he exits the office, dejected as he closes the door. He is fuming, he can't win, ever. He did all he can do but Emma keeps winning. He hates that smug smile on her face as he had to misfortune to see her tongue down his woman's mouth. Now he has to do something drastic.

Emma turns back at Regina and the smaller woman returns her attention to the blonde. Her eyes soften from the blaze she cast to Sidney.

Emma kisses her and smiles at Regina. "You know, you are kind of hot when you are mad at people, especially when it's not at me and directed at douche-bags."

Regina chuckles as she wraps her arms around Emma, "I told you, you didn't have anything to worry about."

Emma leans back in for more succulent lips, "I'm sorry to have doubted you." Emma and Regina stare back at each other, just comfortable in each other's presence. Relishing the closeness that they denied themselves but at the same time, ignoring the big elephant in the room.

"I want to see you tonight," Emma implored, Regina shivers in anticipation.

"I'll make sure to get Kathryn to babysit Henry. I wouldn't want to traumatize our son by screaming your name."

Emma moans and gets goose bumps by Regina's sultry tone.

"Can't wait. Let me go and bag this perp," she reluctantly releases Regina from her grasp. Regina plants another kiss on thin lips as she allowed Emma to leave.

"I want him arrested immediately."

"My pleasure."

August sits at the diner drinking some coffee. Places like this is the best way to get Intel by listening to other's conversations. Ruby has noticed the new bearded stranger. Other than Emma, he is the only person to ever stumble onto the sleepy little town and she really wants to be nosy to see why he is here. She approaches his table with a bright smile.

"Hello stranger. Welcome to Storybrooke. I never seen you around here. What's your name?"

August laughs, shaking his head as he peers at his menu. "That is quite a greeting. Can I get a coffee and some eggs? But if you want to make a deal, I'll tell you my name if you can tell me something about the town here."

Ruby lifts a sculpted eyebrow and smiles brightly. She considers herself the town's keeper of gossip and her interests is piqued with this new person.

"Go ahead, shoot."

"I heard the sheriff and the mayor are in a relationship, is that true?"

Ruby smiles at him, but she still thinks it is such an odd and specific question.

"Yes, they are."

"And who is Henry father?"

"Emma."

August is taken aback from the concise answer. Maybe he didn't hear her correctly. Ruby notices his confusion and nods her head, "Emma is Henry's father. She is a little different from a regular woman," and Ruby sees his funny looking face and wants to defend Emma at all cost, "but she is an awesome parent. If you have something negative to say about Emma, then you are in the wrong place because she is a special person here in our town."

August throws his hands, "No judgements here. It was definitely not the answer I was looking for. By the way, the name is August."

Ruby smiles back at him, happy to find that he wasn't judging Emma's predicament.

"Nice doing business with you. I will have your eggs and coffee right up."

Ruby found the new stranger quite nosy and suspicious, and decided to text Graham who she has secretly been communicating for a few weeks now. Their relationship has grown more…intimate. They haven't done anything yet, not that it was her holding back when she visits him at his cabin. She hasn't even told Emma or Mary Margaret about her rendezvous with the bearded Irishman. Graham was being a true gentleman, telling her that he wanted to wait for the right time. She types up a message.

Ruby: There is a stranger here asking some questions about Emma like he knows her or something. It is weird, right?

Graham: Wait, somebody from outside of Storybrooke is here in town?

That is impossible. The only one who escaped the curse was Emma since she was fated to break it. From his understanding of the last 28 years, no one has stumbled upon the excluded town. And for this guy to ask specifically for Emma, is far too coincidental.

Ruby: Yes, someone from the outside is here. We do get visitors. Well…not many. But it does happen.

Graham: Let's meet up sometime in town, to formally catch up.

Ruby squeals in delight. She is happy that he is willing to not exclude himself from Storybrooke. He was a beloved sheriff and they all miss him.

Ruby: Sweet! See you soon.

Graham smiles at the text. He has grown fond of Ruby, well Red. But he is not making any moves until the curse has broken because he wants to be with the real person, Red. He has felt a level of intimate comfort with Ruby that he has never reached with any other woman. It does not skip him that it is probably because she is a werewolf and the both seem to have an innate compatibility with each other, since he was raised by wolves.

He can see cracks of her cursed identity breaking, as she hangs around his cabin, her sense of smell heightening, her instincts sharpen. As much as he hates Regina for the abuse he has endured, he is grateful to be here, even when Regina essentially crushed his Alpha male ego. In Storybrooke, he has friends, a potential partner, he even has a legit name now. He knows that he is no saint. He has killed humans without a second thought, but not in Storybrooke. Now he has a second chance at life.

Graham also has another reason to get into town than seeing Ruby, he will also like to see how Mary Margaret is doing. If he could be honest, Mary Margaret, well, Snow White, was the first human he has ever met that made him feel any type of sympathy towards humans. He finally found someone with such a pure heart. Even though killing people has always been easy for him, being misanthropic and all, he couldn't bear to rip Snow's heart out. He can't wait to actually have a friendship with Snow, when the curse breaks.

Maybe that is why he seamlessly felt protective over Emma as well. It is quite interesting, if he went ahead with killing Snow, there would be no Emma. He smiles at himself with that thought. But what is also prompting him into town is Ruby's text that some stranger is specifically looking for Emma. In all of 28 years of the curse, no stranger has ever invaded Storybrooke until Emma. But of course Emma is the exception since she is the Savior. So this stranger just couldn't be strictly from the land of no magic since this town is not a legitimate town in Maine to be governed. He doubts anybody can just stumble their way here. This makes him quite leery and he needs to feel him out, not acting as a sheriff or anything but he will surely use his skills to find some answers.

When the raven hair waitress left, let's just say that he was in shock. When Snow and her Prince sent Emma through the wardrobe, he is sure that Emma was "all female." If he actually been there in her life as a brother, and as her appointed guardian, he would have known that piece of information. It seems coming to the land of no magic changed them both.

Suddenly, a sharp pain in his reverting wooden legs stung and he gritted his teeth while grabbing the right one. Right now, Henry's parentage is not the most important thing right now. He needs Emma to break this curse so he does not become a puppet. He was going to play coy and mysterious but he ain't got time for that. It looks like he needs to be very straightforward and convince Emma that the curse is real, and that she is the Savior.

He saw Regina at her mansion when he was parked out there and knew, without a shadow of the doubt, that it was the Evil Queen. He does not know what unfortunate circumstances that has landed Emma into that diabolical woman's hands, but he feels much guilt to not doing more. He still doesn't understand where Henry fits with the two. It is obvious that Regina is his mother but Emma also referred him as her son as well. Who is the biological parent? He could have sworn that Neal is the father considering that Henry does favor him as well.

Speak of the devil, the said kid enters the diner. Henry enters the diner. He doesn't know why, maybe because Storybrooke doesn't have a lot of places to go to, but he knew that the stranger he met was going to be at the diner. And lo and behold, there he is. He has to know why and how the stranger got here. It could almost be an extension of Operation Cobra. But it has to be very covert since him and his mother said that straight up telling Emma that the curse is real has not been working. He sits down at the booth that the stranger is sitting in, making himself very comfortable as the older man gave him an amusing smile.

Henry crosses his arms and pointedly stare back at August, trying to figure him out.

"You know, no one comes to Storybrooke. So why are you here?" It is then that Ruby comes to the table, laying down August's simple breakfast and then gives Henry a sceptical look.

"Good morning Henry. Shouldn't you be in school? Do your parents know you are here?"

Dang it. He doesn't want Ruby to interrogate him. He tries to come up with something quick. "Just trying to get an early start to my day." He gives her a crooked smile. "And besides, I'm not skipping.

Ruby shoots him "I don't believe you," glare.

"If you get in trouble with your mom, I will not be blamed. I'll get you a hot chocolate." As much trouble as Henry can find himself in, she can't help but be enamoured with the cute little guy.

When Ruby leaves their table, August looks back at Henry with a smug grin.

"It seems you are quite the busybody." Henry narrows his eyes, he is not sure what that means, but he decides to just keep moving forward with finding out who he is.

"You still haven't answered my question."

"I didn't know I had to."

"You don't have to, but it will be great to know."

"Well, if you must know, I am here for a very specific purpose. This town is a very special, special town. And there is something really important that I have to do."

Henry narrows his eyes, figuring out what he is implying. He lowers his voice, not wanting anyone to overhear this conversation.

"And how or why is this town special? I think I already know what it is."

August leans down at the table, also lowering his voice like they are conspiring with each other.

"And what do you know."

"If I tell, you won't believe."

August crosses his arms. "Try me."

Henry looks around to make sure no one is eavesdropping.

"The town is cursed."

August lifts his eyes in surprise. How did the boy know this? He seems to be very special indeed.

"I believe you and that is why I'm here. Emma is the key to break this."

Henry stood back with a wide mouth in shock. Someone actually believes him!

"You…you believe?" He stuttered his response.

August nods his head. "But who are you? I can't identify you in my book."

The older man is very intrigued. "What book?" He saw the boy carrying something and placed it beside him when he sat in the booth.

"It has all of the stories of the old world." He pushes the book to him. "And that is how I knew something was different about Storybrooke. Everyone was not ageing and I learned about my mom and almost every other major fairytale character.

August takes the book and flips through the pages. "Your mom, the Evil…." and Henry stops him.

"That is not who she is any more. I know she has done bad things, but she has changed." Henry is going to defend his mother at all costs.

August looks back at Henry, admiring his zeal in protecting his mother's image. She has committed many atrocities, but he doesn't need to tell Henry that.

"Well, since you know everything, then you know what we must do. We must get your…" he doesn't know how to label Emma, "Emma to believe and break this curse. People must be freed from this."

Henry shoots a deflated look. "I tried. And Graham," he tells him in a muffled tone, "tried to tell her that the curse is real. Even my mom told her her true identity, and my dad does still not believe anything. So sorry to burst your bubble, there is nothing else you can do."

August is again flabbergasted at what Henry tells him. The Evil Queen, the person he cursed the town, actually told Emma the truth, told her who she was. She knows that Emma will break the curse. Does the Evil Queen want the curse to be broken? Henry may be right. It seems, that maybe she has changed.

"I can get her to believe. We are more connected then she knows."

Henry is not buying it at all, everyone important has already told Emma the truth. If she still didn't believe, he doesn't think that this stranger can do anything else different to help their cause. The boy gives him a skeptical look.

"Well good luck," Henry murmured. "By the way, who are you?" He is really starting to sound like a broken record and just wants a straight answer.

"Since you have been so helpful, I'll throw you a bone. The name is August." He shoots out his hand and Henry shakes his hand, which was swallowed in his larger ones.

Henry voice still lowered asks again, "Who are you, really?"

August leans in again, "Pinocchio." With an empty plate, he lays down some cash and walks out of the diner. Now more than determined, he needs Emma to finally believe.

Gold is in his favorite spot, behind the counter of his beloved shop, reading the new edition of the "Daily Mirror." He sees that someone has been arrested for the crime of the explosion of town hall. He laughs, he knew all along that Sidney was the culprit. Like Regina, he has eyes and ears everywhere. But unlike Regina, his help is not obsessively in love with him.

Everyone assumes that the fire was done maliciously against Regina, but he knows better. If Sidney was involved, it was probably some stupid convoluted way to make himself look good for her. The utter failure that man is when Emma came swooping in, saving the day again, just as her title of Savior implies. But he sees no reason to get involved in the shenanigans of the joke that is Sidney. Even in his cursed form, he is utterly obsessed with Regina. As long as Emma finds a way to break the curse, he is all good.

August pulls his motorcycle in front of the police station, figuring that Emma will be here since it is the middle of the day and she maybe going on her lunch break. It is a long shot, but he is willing to do anything at this point. The pain sears through his joints, he can taste the iron in his mouth. August is desperate. He just hopes what he is about to do will encourage her to take a leap of a faith.

He enters the sheriff's office, which is quite easy to get into, he notes. Emma is sitting at a desk, throwing wads of paper in the small trash bin. He smirks, she is obviously not busy. It seems his plan could go on without a hitch.

Emma swirls her chair quickly to the impending steps, trying to gather a posture of professionalism but she knows that she has already been caught when the bearded stranger grinned at her. She looks at him suspiciously.

"It is to early for a visit to a new town to report any crime. How can I help you Mr…"

And August laughs. Emma is still trying to get his name. But this time, he is willing to give it. "Booth. August Booth."

Emma looks back at him inquisitively, "Really, that's your name?"

"Really really," he teases back.

Emma crosses her arms as she leans back in her chair. "And how can I help you August?"

"You can start by getting on my bike and I'll show you something."

"Whoa whoa there buddy, I am not down like that and you sound hella suspect. I don't think that you have anything that I want to see."

August rolls his eyes. "Not like that." He decides to switch his approach. It is just better to be a straight forward as possible. "We have a shared history, you and I. We were in the same orphanage."

Emma sneers, "Bullshit. I have been in plenty but I don't remember you. I don't believe you."

He hopes this won't be a continual thing she says. "I know about your blanket, it is white and has purple embroidery knitted with your name."

Emma looks shocked, there is no way he would have known unless…he actually did know her. She was rendered speechless and August feels like the first part of this mission has been completed.

"It looks like you are not busy, so hop on the back of the my bike," and from there he left the quiet police station, silently beckoning Emma to follow him.

Emma's body was glued to her swivel chair, still in a state of denial. She has always wondered about her parents. Why did they leave her? Were their good people who couldn't handle responsibility? Or were they deadbeats? She doesn't know if this August knows anything about her parents, but she thirst for any lead she can obtain for their identity. Once she comes to her senses, she flees out of her chair and follows August to his bike.

They arrived at the diner that is quite familiar to her. Right outside this outdated diner was where she was first found, abandoned on the curb like trash. He parked the bike and they climbed off it.

"Why, why did you take me here?"

"You will find out soon." He pulls out a news article. As Emma reads the heading her eyes widened.

"How the hell you still have this?" It was quite significant to hold onto a newsletter that is at least 28 years old and is in fairly good condition. She was impressed and at the same time, confused.

"So many questions. Just follow me." He proceeded to go onto a trail into the woods which is quite sketchy. She subtly pats her side pocket where she is carrying, making sure it is there in case she needs it. She still doesn't know what he is up too. August is still silent as he stops in front of a weirdly carved out tree trunk.

"The newspapers say that you were found on the curb. But that is not true." He steps aside so Emma can look inside the open trunk. "You came through here. Well, we came through here."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"I was with you Emma, since your birth. Your parents had to send you to this world to save you so that you can save everyone from the Evil Queen's revenge." He knows that he is taking a gamble, but he needs to break through her walls, and preferably quickly.

Her breathing accelerates as her blood starts pumping profusely. Here is another person, now a complete stranger, implying that her parents are Snow White and Prince Charming. The whole she-bang of the curse. But he must be out of his everlasting mind.

"You freaking crazy, I am getting out of here," as she turns back to try to hitch a ride back town.

August yells back at here. "I'm crazy?! Maybe you are the one who is crazy!"

With that Emma whips around to face August, baffled. As Emma remains speechless, August lowers his voice to continue.

"How many people have to tell you the same thing for you to believe? Your son has told you, even your girlfriend who orchestrated the whole thing has told you the truth, yet you're still in denial. What should it take? You have a responsibility to save that town, so put your big girl pants on and just break this curse."

A swirl of emotions collide within her. Anger, shock, disbelief, and now a burden she never wanted to carry. "Fuck you August. I didn't ask for any of this, even if it is true. Listen, life is not some fairytale, there is no epic journeys of a hero's mission. There is just life. And life freaking sucks most of the times. And let me tell you, there is nothing special about me that somehow, I have to save this town. It is unfair and I will not continue to listen to this."

She must admit, the amount of witnesses for this supposed curse is piling up. From her son, to Graham, to Regina who is the most level headed person, and now this complete stranger that has known her since she was a baby. But what is she left to think? That her room-mate is her mother, who she happens to be older than? That is just….no. Too much. And who the hell is he to put this unfair burden on her? She needs comfort now, and the only person she can go to is Regina. She needs warmth and answers, and the beautiful brunette can give her both.

Later on in the evening

"So when are you coming back into town, instead of being a lone wolf in the woods," Ruby asked Graham as they sit on a couch in her apartment in Granny's Bed & Breakfast. He chuckles to himself at the irony of her statement.

"Probably soon."

"Well, I missed you all the time, so don't make yourself into a stranger," she pouts. Graham finds that incredibly adorable and kisses her softly. It is funny, he does feel disjointed with two duelling personalities. He sometimes doesn't know where Graham ends or The Huntsman begin. But he feels lucky to have Ruby in his life. It kind of grounds him in a way.

Ruby wishes that they could go further but Graham has been so patient. She is happy that whatever relationship was going on between Graham and Regina has ended. He is the most handsome and eligible bachelor in their small town, next to David who Mary Margaret has already put her claws into. But she would never have gone for David, he and Mary Margaret are just too perfect for each other. Her musings end as Graham speaks.

"I won't. Trust me. But can you tell me more about this fellow, August is his name?"

Ruby straightens her posture on the couch as she bunches her face in confusion. "Yeah, he said that he knew Emma and wanted to see her. But Emma and I are close and she has never mentioned him before. I don't think he is dangerous, just mysterious."

"One of the most dangerous people are the ones that you don't know what they want. I trust your instincts Rubes, I do, but I want to make sure that he is not a danger to Emma." No matter how their relationship started, he will always have her back.

"I completely agree. Well, I have to get back to the diner for a late swing shift. I live and breathe Granny's," she huffs out in agitation.

Graham chuckles, "Then I'll let you be." They kissed again and departed from the Inn. Ruby going to Granny's and him going to the Rabbit Hole.

Graham orders some Jack as some random people come up to him to see how he is doing since his departure from the police office some time weeks ago. But all he wants to do is sit and drink. He still doesn't understand where the hell this guy is staying. Granny's Inn was the only local place to stay in town, and the guy came in a motorcycle so he obviously can't be sleeping there.

Graham takes in the dimly lit bar as his eyes fell onto another bearded man that he never seen around. He does fit the description that Ruby presented him with. He scoots out of his stool and walks over to the stranger.

August is downing some strong vodka, trying to numb the pain in his leg and also trying to swallow his utter failure in getting Emma to believe. He needs magic to stop himself from becoming a walking, talking, lump of wood. He loves his body, and has enjoyed many pleasures in it that he would have never experienced without the Blue Fairy changing him into a human.

He doesn't even notice when a man sits next to him. "Are you August?"

August takes a swig of his naked drink and glances at him. "Seems word gets around here. Yes, and what is it to you?"

"I want to know why are you here."

What is it with people wanting to know what he is doing in town? August looks back at him, trying to figure out who he was back in their world but he couldn't place him.

"And why should I tell you that?"

Graham's eyes are hardened as he stares at him. "Because Emma is my friend, and I don't know you or trust you."

August leans back from the man's glare. He is happy to see that there are people in her life that do care for her. Lord knows that he hasn't done a great job himself.

"I came for a personal matter, but I'm afraid, it is all for naught."

"And why is that?" He is going to needle him for more information.

August turns back to his almost empty cup of alcohol, and throws it back in gulp, the spirits are hitting him now.

"You can lead the water to the horse, but you can't make it drink."

"I believe the saying is 'you can lead the horse to water,' mate."

"Well, you get my point," he responds belligerently which catches a few patrons eyes to flash their way. Graham knows how to handle a drunk fool, courtesy of Leroy's favorite past time, and he will put him down if need be.

Graham calmly replies to August, "No, I am afraid I don't."

August cradles his head with both hands, just shaking from frustration. "She doesn't believe, I couldn't get her to do it," he whispers harshly. A little kid warned him that he wouldn't succeed, and look at him now. It seems inevitable that he is going to turn into wood. But Graham was going through his own thoughts as he was able to catch it which made him flinch back in his seat with wide eyes.

"Believe what August?"

"You won't believe me!" Even over the loud music, the bartender and some other patrons are now looking their way so Graham grabs the back of August's leather jacket and pulls him out of the seat as peacefully as he can. For the conversation they are about the have, he wants it to have it peacefully. As August is being dragged by the Graham, is feet stumble about, tripping over himself. By Graham's strength is he able to make their way out of the bar into a black, isolated valley.

Graham roughly pushes him into the wall, holding him up now by the front of his jacket.

"You said to make Emma believe. Tell me what you mean by that," he commanded.

"You won't believe like I said," he sputters out spit which lands on Graham's face, but he is undeterred.

"Try me."

"This town, everything and everyone in it is fake. And Emma is the only one…" and he slurs the rest of his words, "…but it won't work. She doesn't believe."

Graham lets go of August's ruffled t-shirt as he now as a full understanding of what August is implying. This stranger must be from their land, it is the only logical explanation.

"So you know about the curse as well," he stated more than he asked.

August shakes his head, feeling a little bit more sober by the other guy's admission.

"You…you know about the curse," he is so confused now. "But how? Who are you?"

Graham decides to throw him a bone. "Name's Graham but I was the Huntsman back home."

August's eyes widened in shock. He has heard of Graham being punished for helping Snow White, but he does not know all the details. Graham steps even further into his face, his nose a mere inches from his.

"And if you know what is good for you, you will tell me who you REALLY are," he says darkly.

August gulps as he answers his question. "I was Pinocchio and I was sent with Emma here to look after her. I have failed miserably," he laments with self-loathing.

Graham is disgusted with August. Emma could have used protection but this worthless piece of crap couldn't do it.

"You lousy piece of shit," he shouted and August pushes his own self back into the dirty wall of the alley to escape Graham's rage.

"To be fair, I was just a kid. And the foster homes suck. I made a choice, a terrible one, but I had to leave."

A wave of anger on the behalf of Emma overcame him, and he balled his fist and punched August in the right side of his jaw. The force was so hard, August's head snapped to the left, pain and blood is all he felt in his mouth.

"So you thought a baby could fend for herself. You," he points at August, "stay away from Emma. And if I see you around, I will do much worse to you." Graham turns his back as August slumps down onto the concrete ground. At least he got his answer, but if anything, it confirmed that Emma is nowhere ready to break this curse.

Regina dials Kathryn, needing a small favor since Emma is finally coming over to Mifflin street. And both of their intentions require Henry to not be in the house. It is not like they haven't made love while Henry is asleep, but their hunger needs sating with no filter.

"Hello Kathryn, how are you doing?" It might as well start good with small talk since she has not seen the other blonde in a while, too wrapped up with the lack of Emma in her life, she forgot that she has other acquaintances.

"Hello stranger. I am doing fine, wondering how my friend is doing. It is good that you are still alive."

Regina chuckles, "Indeed I am, dear. But I have a favor to ask. Can you watch Henry for me tonight?"

"You know I don't mind watching the little bugger. So…is this in regards to you and Emma? Are you two on better terms?"

Regina knew where Kathryn was fishing at, and she decides to give her a bite. "Something like that."

The blonde laughs, "I guess over at 108 is not going to be quiet."

"I don't plan on it. But thank you so much for this. I owe you one." And considering that she was also part of her curse, so maybe she owes her more than that. But she pushes that out of her mind. She is looking forward to this evening.

Later on that night, Regina has Henry in tow as she pushes the doorbell of Kathryn's house. Henry looks up at his mother. "I don't mind or anything, but why am I spending the night with Kathryn?" She definitely can't tell her son that she plans to scream Emma's name non-stop so she will give him PG answer.

"Your father and I have some very important things to talk about." Henry scrunched his face in confusion.

"I still don't know why I can't stay home, not that I don't like being at Aunt Kathy's house."

Getting exasperated with his insistent question, she huffs out a response. "Because we have to talk about adult things and I rather you not be there."

Henry puffs out frustration but decides to not further questioned his mother. "I hope you guys are no longer fighting."

Regina's resolves softens, as she looks at Henry in sincerity. "We are not fighting right now, we are actually mending. And Henry, you shouldn't worry about such things, you are much too young."

"But you love each other and I see that you aren't happy and it makes me sad. I love you and I want you to be happy."

Regina was so touched by her son's admonishment. Regina kisses Henry softly on his head and hugs him tightly as Kathryn finally open the door to greet them.

"Hey Henry. I'm so glad to see you."

"Hello Kathryn." He hugs her and hurries inside the home as Regina stands outside. "Again, thanks for this."

"It's no problem. But I want details," and she winks.

"Ha! I don't kiss and tell. Goodbye," she says as she retreats from her home.

"I am pretty sure there is going to be a lot more than kissing going on," she yells back. Regina shakes her head and gets in her car to head to her mansion, refusing to respond.

"On the way," is a text that comes through Regina's phone. Her body is tingling with anticipation.

"Can't wait. Just come on up to the bedroom." She has set her bedroom with a romantic ambiance. Lavender Yankee Candles are littered around her bedroom. It took her a few wardrobe changes, but she settled on a black lacy bra with a skimpy black thong. She put lotion on her legs and thighs using expensive creams, making her skin smooth as silk. Her mascara is precise and dramatic to make her brown, chocolate eyes pop. Lips are deep red ruby that is eager for her lover's lips.

She runs her hand on the flawless sheets on her bed, positioning in the most sexy way to welcome the love of her life. She noticed the gloating that Emma was displaying in her office as Sidney intruded into their moment. She doesn't know what brought it on, it was somewhat childish, but at least it gave her confirmation that Emma at least still feels something for her. Regina needs Emma, her mind, soul, and the ache between her legs long for her. Whatever Emma wants, Regina is going to give to her tonight.

Emma is running the bug hard trying to get to Regina's as quick as possible. She has been thinking about this all day. She just wants to put August's words of destiny and curses behind her. It all disappears as she opens the door to Regina's bedroom and is greeted by the most sexiest freaking thing she has ever seen. She is hit with whiffs of lavender as candles cascade the bedroom with dim lighting.

Regina has her legs crossed as her arms are extended, looking like a goddess with black lingerie that is barely hiding anything. Emma's jaw is gaping, stunned by this delectable sight before her.

"Damn," she breathes out.

Regina chuckles deeply which makes Emma's legs weak. Regina waves her index finger with a "come hither" motion.

"Are you just going to stand there or are you going to do something?" Emma snaps out of her daze and begins her descent to the bed but Regina tells her to stop and Emma immediately obeys.

"I want you to take off your clothes. Slowly." Emma smirks at her. It seems her woman wants a little show. Emma throws off her red leather and slowly pulls off her signature white tank. Regina softly gasps as she watches Emma's tight abdomen muscles contract which Emma doesn't miss.

The blonde stalks right next to the foot of the bed, and unbuckles her belt and slowly unzips her jeans, Regina's eyes glued to Emma's crotch. Emma takes off her boots and takes off her jeans, her hardness pronounced in her Hanes boxes. Emma's eyes haven't left Regina as she undresses herself, loving Regina's focused gaze on her. It fills her with bravado that she needs at the moment. Emma pulls down her boxes, she is hard as a rock as her dick juts out like a steel rod. Regina was much appreciative of the sight as she licks her lips, her core moistens with want.

"Is that good enough for you," Emma teased.

"Very, now come here." Emma laughs as she gets on her knees and softly crawls her way on the king sized bed. She reaches Regina and greedily latches her lips on plump moans. They both moan into each other's mouths. Their tongues began a slow cadence, rediscovering their rhythm as Emma lays her body on Regina's. Her hardness pressing on Regina's core as Regina's hands claw their way into corn silky strands.

Emma palms Regina's breast through her soft bra. Gingerly rubbing hard nipples through the lacy fabric. Emma pulls back and breathes out, "I miss you."

Regina palms Emma's cheeks, her thumb rubbing her pointed features. "I miss you too."

"Now, I need you to get out of these." Regina lifts herself so Emma can reach behind her back and unclasped her bar. Emma moans her approval at puckered nipples that she had to immediately latch onto. She sucked the perky nubs as Regina grabs her head, moaning Emma's name. The blonde pulled back and gave attention to the other one, licking the hardening flesh. Emma is so hard it is painful at this point.

Emma grabbed Regina's almost non-existent underwear and Regina got the hint, lifting her lower body so Emma can pull it off and flung it across the room. She was careful in her aim, making sure that it didn't fall on a candle and cause a fire. That would have been a bummer. With surprising strength, Regina flipped Emma so that she was on her back. She is about to show Emma how much she missed her. Regina moved her head down Emma's nether land, her dick standing up like the Eiffel Tower. Making sure that Emma is staring at her, she runs her tongue down Mr. Big's length. Watching Regina staring at her as she licks her dick was the sexiest thing ever.

"Regina…damn." Regina hums as she takes Emma's throbbing tip, sucking up the salty flavor of her lover. Emma put her right hand in brownish black hair as she has the left hand under her head. Regina decides to stop her teasing, and without preamble, deepened Mr. Big into her throat, all nine inches.

"Fuck," Emma shouted. Regina bobs her head from the tip back down to the middle in shortened throats. Good thing she doesn't have gag reflex, this wouldn't be possible with it. Regina can taste her pre-cum as Emma still has her hand in her hair, directing her movements. Emma's toes curls from the intense pleasure of Regina's mouth. If this continues, she doesn't know how long she can last and she wants to pace this into an overnight adventure.

Emma gently tugs Regina's head away from her dick and pulls her towards her mouth, kissing her as she tastes her essence. She then flips the brunette on her back and snakes her hand through moistened folds. Her fingers gathered sticky juices, Regina is oh so wet for her.

"Yeah, I can feel how much you miss me." Emma grabs her dick and rubs her throbbing tip onto the entrance of wet lips. She rubs it back and forth as it gathers more fluids. Emma kisses her intensely as she rubs her length over her pussy.

"Emma, I need you inside me now." Who is she to not comply to such a request? Regina is all wet and ready for her. She guides her length and enters with conviction. Regina hisses from the intrusion. Emma pushes her full girth into her with one thrust. Emma is lost in the brunette's tight, warm channel. Regina gasps, her fingers digging into Emma's back as she acclimates to her length.

"Oh baby," Emma moans as she slowly moves in and out of Regina with full, robust thrusts. Regina's legs tighten around Emma's small waist. The bed creaks as the two set their moderate pace as they kiss passionately. But Emma wants to hear Regina scream her name. Emma pulls away from full lips and she bends Regina's knees to her chest. Her thrusts become fuller, going into her deeper as Regina can't fully brace herself from the powerful thrusts, making her feel Emma all the way more. All her weight comes from the strong movement of her hips.

"Oh Emma. Fuck! Oh baby, go harder." Regina does not mind at all as Emma takes her hard. Emma feels like she is sucked into her even further, her pussy tightening around her. And this is all hers, nobody else's. And she wants Regina to remember that. And it is also a fuck you to Sidney.

"Whose pussy is this?" Regina moans and her arousal sky-rockets at the commanding nature of Emma's request. She is loving this and there is no one she will rather be with her.

"It's yours baby, all yours," and Emma's pleasure shoots up even more. She quickens her thrusts, spurned on by Regina's proclamations. She crushes her lips against Regina's and her pussy clenches around her pulsing, thick penis. Their grunts, moans, and love mix together as box springs and headboards crash against the walls.

"Damn straight," Emma says as she pumps harder inside of Regina has she says her name over and over again. Bodies are sweating from exertion, skin slap against each other as Emma aims to take Regina over and over again. They both reach the pinnacle of ecstasy, as Regina yells Emma's name again as her body convulse from her orgasm. At the same time, Emma's load squirts violently inside her lover as her breast is pressed against Regina. "Fuck," Emma screams as her load finishes shooting inside her, her body lays limp on Regina's heaving chest. Her legs fall by the wayside as Emma stays on top of her. Emma really doesn't get it. One time Regina said that she wasn't able to have kids and Henry was a miracle. She doesn't understand how she can't get pregnant again, but that is for another time or place. Emma pulls out her still hardened dick out of Regina, the scratches from her nails still fresh as she lies next to Regina.

Regina turns around and kisses her deeply. "I really needed that."

Emma hums her agreement. She is sated but wants more. "You think you can go for another round?"

Regina quirks her eyebrow, "I think you have no idea what I'm capable of."

After several hours and countless orgasms, both were thoroughly sated. For Emma, she was finally able to relieve some stress, to empty her mind, if only for a moment. She looks over at the sleeping, beautiful woman. Can she really be the Evil Queen? She considers herself a pragmatic, realistic person. She rather looks at cold hard facts. How can people from different walks of life, Graham, August, Regina, even her son come to the same conclusion? Can fairy-tales actually exist? Is she denying that reality as August accused, because it seems unfathomable?

This woman, this woman she so deeply loves, could possibly have been a cold-hearted villain. Regina confessed as much. Her gut is telling her that maybe there is some truth in this supposed curse even if her brain is telling her otherwise. Maybe she needs to take that leap of faith.

Emma nudges Regina softly, not wanting to startle her. She groans as she enters back into the land of the living, after her deep slumber and pleasured muscles.

"Yes, darling," she asked in a deep, husky but sleepy voice.

"Uhmm, can you show me actual magic? Like in that vault of yours or something?"

Whatever sleepy haze she was in was sobered up real quickly. Is Emma actually asking what she think she is? She won't deny this to Emma. Maybe she is coming around to the idea that everything that she said is true.

"I…I can. So does that mean you are believing?" she asked as looks earnestly in timid green eyes.

"I think I am softening to the idea. Clarity is what I need." Regina breathes deeply, she knows that this must be done. She must show Emma the truth, no matter how ugly it will be.''

"I will take you there tomorrow."

Chapter Text

Regina's master bedroom smells like lavender, sweat, and sex and it pains Emma to leave. Making love to Regina was like coming home again, and she never wants to go so long without Regina's smooth, buttery skin pressed against. But it is 6:42 AM and she has to leave to get to work. She lies on sheets with a thousand thread count, it is soft and heavenly. She pushes a strand of hair from Regina's face, tucking it behind her ear gently to not disturb her. Regina is breathing softly, she doesn't snore like us mere mortals. It is unfair for the elegant woman to sleep as graceful as she lives when she is awake.

Trepidation filters through Emma's core. She knows what are the implications of what she asked, for Regina to provide her concrete evidence of this fairytale curse. Emma doesn't know how she will react to whatever Regina will show her. She can't even believe that she is at this point to even start to believe half of what she first thought was Henry's disillusions. Her heart belongs to the woman before her, and she is going to make the conscious decision now. Whatever comes from this, she will never stop loving this woman that stole her heart at 18 years old.

Emma moves her lithe body stealthily from the bed, not wanting to disturb Regina. She searches around the bed for her discarded clothes. She puts on the articles on one by one.

But Regina squirms in her sheets. Noticing a lack of warmth, she slowly opens her eyes, spying Emma putting her clothes back on. She sits up in the bed, letting the sheets fall, exposing her breast.

"Leaving so soon? Without a kiss goodbye. My my, where are your manners?"

Emma looks up and sees Regina's succulent breast, making her mouth water. She feels her arousal rising but she stomps is down. If she starts things up with Regina, she won't be able to stop herself.

"Come on Regina, it is not like that. I just didn't want to wake you up so early."

Regina frowns. She really doesn't want to be apart from Emma, spending last night giving her all to the blonde. Showing her that she loves and cares for her. She fears that tonight's revelations in her vault would have the blonde bolting from her and Henry's life.

"So I guess…we'll meet at the cemetery then." The bedroom is heavy with unspoken concerns that neither woman wants to dwell too deep on. Even after the intense lovemaking that they experienced. Emma inhales deeply, now this is becoming almost awkward. Why things between them couldn't be easier?

"Yes, I'll see you there." She is actually dreading what Regina is going to reveal to her. She doesn't know if her sanity can take this ominous evidence that she will be presented with. She is determined to love Regina through anything, that is what she will promise herself. And then she leaves the house.

Emma made her way to her own apartment and was surprised to see David at the kitchen bar chatting with Mar with coffee mugs in both of their hands. Both adults turned their attention to the front entrance when they heard it close.

"Good morning, Emma. I hope you don't mind me over," David timidly commented. He didn't want to feel like he intruded on the blonde's home. But Emma smiled back at him. She really likes the built man. They have bonded over time, even without Mar's presence.

"It is no bother at all David."

"Good morning as well, Emma. Looks like somebody didn't make it home yesterday," Mar quipped over her mug as she sips her brew, giving her a knowing look which made Emma laugh. David also gave her a knowing look also, his face a bright red.

"Hardy har, har. Anyway I am going to go take a shower. Is there any breakfast left?"

"There is plenty of breakfast for you to eat, considering how hungry you must be."

Emma just rolls her eyes at Mar's insinuating smirk and goes to her bathroom to take a much needed shower for her aching muscles.

When Emma made her way back to the kitchen, she spied David and Mar making googly eyes at each other. They are so sweet that they give her a tooth ache. Since Mar wanted to tease her about Regina, she decides to make her room-mate sweat a bit. She sits by David as Mar prepares her a plate of toast, scrambled eggs, some fruit and Emma's favorite, BACON.

"So David, when did you get to the apartment? You're here mighty early." David's face turns a beet red.

"I just got here."

"Could have fooled me, with you guys snuggled up together and everything."

Mary Margaret sets down a plate of food for her roommate.

"Now now, play nice. You know I was just teasing. And besides, he did just get here."

Emma gives her a "I don't believe you," look.

"Truly."

Emma digs into her eggs as David smiles at her.

"So, is everything alright between you and Regina? I'm glad you caught that arsonist." Mar eyes lifts in interest because she wanted to know the same thing as well.

"Ah…yeah, things are fine. And I'm glad to catch the perp as well." Emma averts her eyes away from the peering looks.

"I guess it is with that smile on your face when you came in." Emma smiles but she knows that inside, she is full with such uncertainty and conflict and has no one to really talk to about it. For goodness sake, the two people in this apartment could very well be her parents. But it is like insanity but Emma couldn't help but to look, really look at Mary Margaret and David. She can't help to see some similarities between herself and these two people.

There may be physical traits but she doesn't think she matches either of them in personality. She just shakes her head from those thoughts. She is likely older than them. They continue to chitchat, catching up with how they are were doing. How David was still adjusting into life here in town. Emma got the sense they really have done the "deed" but something in her is just weirded out by the thought. She brushes it off and bids them farewell as she goes to work.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"This is bullshit! I didn't set that fire off in that town hall, as much as I hate Madame Cunt."

Emma is greeted by the vitriol of Donald Samson claiming that he didn't plant the explosives in the town hall.

"I need to get a lawyer. This fucking town is corrupt. The mayor's been banging all the sheriffs. I bet you just do everything she says," he egged on.

Emma slammed her hands on the bars. The force rattles the prisoner who shrunk back from her in fear.

"You will have your day in court to prove otherwise. But if you don't shut the hell up, I'll do it for you."

Donald sat his chubby self back on the cot, grumbling to himself as Emma spends all her time until lunch filing paperwork.

She decides to visit Granny's and have lunch with Mar and Ruby since it has been a while since they all spent time together. Emma settles into the booth as Mary Margaret sat down opposite of her with a huge smile on her face.

"You have a mighty huge smile on your face."

Mar's eyes get glossy as she gets lost in her own dreamland.

"David is just amazing. He is so kind, and loving. I really think he is the one."

Ruby makes a dramatic entrance by dropping herself into the booth besides Mary Margaret.

"Looks like someone got laid," she says as she throws the other brunette a cheeky grin.

"Uh oh, I am not the one who got laid, but Emma over there did."

"Hey, not cool bro," Emma says as she bats her eyes from the knowing eyes of Mar and Ruby.

"And besides, David and I haven't even so much as kissed."

Emma and Ruby stared at Mary Margaret with a "get the fuck out of here" look.

Ruby speaks up first with disbelief. "You have to be shitting me. Weren't y'all dating for like weeks or months or something?"

"Yeah, Mar. Especially since you and him were snuggling together in the kitchen." This spiked Ruby's interest.

"Look, I know you guys are looking at me weird or something. But David and I will agree to take things slow. But when we do kiss, it will be extraordinary," she breathes airlessly, again getting lost in her own little world.

Ruby just snorted, "Yeah, so that is not quite exciting," and she turns her head back at Emma to get her attention. "What about you blondie? You sure are looking more chipper lately. You must got laid. Come one, spit it out, we are your besties and who could you tell if not us?"

Emma just rolls her eyes as Ruby and now Mar stare intently at her. "I don't know why you are so invested in my sex life. We're alright now. That is as much as you getting out of me."

Mar looks at Emma sympathetically. "We were just concerned. We know how much Regina means to you and to see you in distress broke our hearts. We just want you to be happy."

Ruby nods enthusiastically in agreement. "She is right. And you are good for Regina. Once you came around, she wasn't in bitch-mode all the time. And when you guys were having whatever tiff you were having, she returned to that. Happy mayor makes happy town. No offense Emma."

Emma chuckles, knowing the reputation that Regina has in town. "Well, I'll make sure to keep her happy so your life is easier, deal Ruby?"

"Deal," and Mary Margaret just shakes her head at the two.

"Another reason I'm happy to see you guys is because…I have a secret."

Now Emma and Mary Margaret is now directing their full attention to Ruby, eager to hear what the excited woman will tell them.

"I got to hear this."

Ruby smiles and bites her lowers lips nervously, while drumming her fingers on the table.

"Okay, but please don't get mad at me." Emma narrows her eyes in confusion and Mar gave her a puzzled look as well.

"I have been seeing Graham for some weeks now. And I really care for him and he cares for me, and I hope that won't be a problem."

Mary Margaret gives her a loving smile. She has seen this coming ever since that night in the bar. The chemistry between them has been palpable. But Emma, she is still confused.

"But why would I be mad? I'm happy for you." So Crazy Graham was actually in a relationship with someone? She totally didn't see that coming. She wonders if Graham told Ruby about missing hearts and curses. This is making her head hurt.

"Well…Regina and Graham used to be…an…item. And I didn't want that to be weird between us."

Emma snorts as well. "Trust me, that ship has sailed some time ago. I have no hard feelings with Graham on that note. I'm just happy to see you are happy. But are you? You know, happy?"

Ruby beams at her, feeling much relieved to get that confession off her chest. "Yes, I am. Right now our relationship is vanilla but hopefully it moves quicker than molasses like this chick over here," she points at Mary Margaret as she has her mouth open in offense.

"That wasn't nice. I'm happy at the pacing in our relationship, thank you for much."

Emma just shakes her head at the two as they continue back and forth as they gave their orders to another waitress at the diner. Yes, on the surface, Ruby and Mar may see that she seems happier. Hell, sex with Regina could do that to you. But inside, she is nervous and feels like she is drowning into lunacy since she is actually believing that there is a possibility that Henry, Graham, heck and even August was saying is the truth.

She just couldn't confide that type of information to her best friends. So she just has to wallow in this madness herself. She doesn't even want to think about how that will affect her relationship with Regina. She sets aside those thoughts and rejoined the conversation, chatting amicably about the town, their other friends, things just felt back to normal for her.

Sidney seethes in his lonely apartment, Emma seemed to best him again. That should have been his lips on Regina. His hands roaming her curvy, perfect body. His name moaning out of her mouth. He has touched himself numerous times thinking about the woman that should be his. Regina should not be with that damn classless blonde! He has served Regina and has been loyal to her to a fault for as long as he remembers. And here this bimbo shows up and now Regina's attention is all towards her. He is just tired. He just wants to win, and today will be that day.

Later in the evening

"How dare that bitch try to accuse me," Jefferson says out loud to himself in his huge, lonely mansion. He thinks it is quite ironic that Regina in this world gave him riches, like she is mockingly upholding their deal that was made in the Enchanted Forest. His daughter is what he values the most, and to see her with another family pierces his soul. Regret flows through him, of the choices made, deeds that were done.

He will not go against Regina directly, he knows how he is going to hurt her. Yes, revenge will be sweet.

Regina stands outside the mausoleum in a long black petticoat and perfectly coiffed hair. Her hands fidget in the silky pockets, not from the frigid cold air of Maine, but of Emma's reaction to what she is about to show her. Her heart fully belongs to Emma, and she is the only one that can crush it. She calms her troubled mind rerunning last night adventures. Emma and her going back and forth from who is on top. Their names being slipped from each other's lips. Even remembering their small moments as a family with Henry around her dinner table, or going to the park. That is her happy ending, but it must be in truth. She strengthens her resolve as Emma parks her hideous yellow bug next to her Benz in the cemetery.

Emma is going through her own fears of this meeting. Like how can she allow herself to believe in such nonsense and how it will affect her relationship with Regina. Last night was like a reaffirmation that she can't be without her love, the woman that has her heart.

Emma walks up slowly to Regina, her thumbs around her belt loops, nerves are starting to get to her.

"Déjà vu, right?"

Regina gives her a tight smile. "Indeed." Regina gestures towards the door of the mausoleum. "Shall we continue?" Emma nods her head in the affirmative.

Emma recalled how Graham and her were just in here for a for weeks ago and found absolutely nothing. But she is not going to open her mouth, it seems that Regina knows what she is doing.

Emma gasps as Regina pushes the tomb and it gives way to a staircase descending into darkness. Emma takes a step back, startled.

"What the hell Regina!? You expect me to go down there? It looks like a cliché witches lair. I've seen too many movies than to go down there."

Regina is exasperated with Emma's reluctance. It is hard for her to even do this to show Emma the worst part of herself.

"Please Emma, there are no blood suckers or witches putting a spell on you. Unless you want me to ," Regina said with a mischievous smirk.

"Ha ha, not funny Ms. Mills." Seeing that Emma is still not making any progress to the steps that Regina already stepped in, she tried to appeal to Emma's pride.

"Are you scared? If so, I can protect you."

Emma shakes off her hesitance, just wanting to endure this endeavor. "No, I'm fine. Let's go."

As they got further and further down the crypt, goose bumps lit up on her arms from the morbid shift of the area. Emma can hear a low, rhythmic sound but she couldn't place where it is. It hasn't escaped her attention that Regina was quite silent and tense.

Holy hell! What the fuck is that?! She sees strange artifacts everywhere, and it was downright creepy and she has to swallow her fear. It seems very, dark, in here. The thrumming sound gets louder as they get closer to a wall with golden looking squares that look like they could be draws like in a post office.

Regina stops in front of the golden wall and takes a deep breath. She pulls open the drawer and carefully takes out the enchanted heart. She turns around slowly and with the heart being cupped with both of her hands, she presented it to Emma.

"This is your proof." Emma was directly behind Regina a few feet, so she couldn't see what she was retrieving.

Emma looks at the heart in puzzlement. "Hmmm, is that what I think it is?"

"Yes, it is a heart, enchanted that is."

Emma's breath starts coming in short bursts, like she is hyperventilating. "And it is beating?"

Regina patiently replies, "Yes."

What the hell? She couldn't have believed this until she saw this.

Stammering taking a few steps back, she asks, "So…Graham…he's….not crazy? He was telling the truth?" There was no chance in hell that she was going to hold the organ.

"Yes, he was." Emma's mind swims from such overwhelming physical evidence of the curse. The eyes can't lie at what they have seen.

"So the curse…it's real. Henry's book is factual?"

Feeling like she is a robot, she responds, "Yes," again. Emma eyes widened and she distances herself from Regina. She slumps her body against the wall and lowers her body to the ground.

"I need a moment," she says softly to Regina. It is all that Regina can do but nod her head to give her space. Awkwardly facing Emma who has her head in both of her hands, looking down at the ground to contemplate all this new information, the silence is deafening in the vault. She places the heart back in the drawer and faces Emma again.

"So you are the Evil Queen?" Emma asks without looking at Regina.

"I like to think I was." Regina has never been more nervous in her life, not even on her wedding day or trying to escape from her mother with Daniel. What she fears most is rejection from the love of her life.

Emma tries with her all to push anxiety and confusion out of her mind. Can the stories in the book be so simple of its depictions of these fairytale characters? The Evil Queen was just…to be frank…evil. She can't reconcile that woman to the one that is right before her. Regina looks so vulnerable in front of her. Like at any moment, she can burst into tears and collapse from the weight of the world on her. She needs to know more.

"I…" she begins while taking a few more breaths. "I read some of Henry's book. Something tells me there is more to it." Green eyes pierce Regina as she pleads her request. "

"Tell me, everything." Emma doesn't know if she can handle it, but right now they are at the point of no return. She looks directly at Regina, anticipating revelations.

"Everything is a lot."

"And I think your beginning is a great start." Regina can't deny Emma this. She deserves this and so much more. She bends down so her knees are on the ground as she faces Emma, no longer wanting to look awkward standing as Emma is sitting crossed legged.

"I was born into royalty from my father's side. Henry was his name as you know. You remember when I told you about Daniel and my mother?"

Emma thinks back about their first time in Storybrooke under her apple tree. She nods her head.

"Well, my mother has always wanted me to become queen. But all I wanted was love. I never cared for riches or power. Suffice to say, she was not thrilled about my relationship with our Stable Boy. One day, I was horse riding when a little girl was on a runaway horse so I leaped on Rocinante, my beloved horse, to help her. I managed to get to her and save her from what could have possibly been her death. That little girl was Snow White."

Emma sucks her teeth, "that wasn't in the movie." Regina just softly glares at her. Hey, she needed to inject some humor in his out of world tale.

"And Snow White is Mary Margaret," she asks slowly.

Regina knows that it is a lot to take in. "Yes, who happens to be your mother."

Regina stops as Emma begins to massage her temples. Her room-mate is her mother as well. Only this can happen to her. Emma looks back at Regina, "You can keep going." Regina wants to so badly reach out to Emma, but she doesn't know if that is the best thing to do now but so she continues at her request.

"Anyway, when the king, her father, heard about it, that is when he purposed to me. But I was in love with Daniel. I couldn't accept but my mother did it for me," Regina stops, the pain not as fierce as it was once, but still a dull ache in her heart.

Emma is confused. "So he purposed to you because you saved his daughter's life? What kind of fuckery is that?"

"The kind of fuckery that happens in the Enchanted Forest, dear," Regina quips. "His wife died and he said that he was looking for a mother worthy for his daughter. He decided it was me."

Emma is getting quite disturbed at one fact. "Ah, I hate to bring this up, but if all of this is true, does that make you my step-grandmother? Because that is fucked up on so many levels and it is pretty weird that you were married to my grandfather, if I am believing this whole thing."

Regina huffs, "Hardly. I never wanted to be in that relationship in the first place. And I was 18 when that happened, Snow was 12. I can hardly surmise that I was old enough to be her mother, let alone your grandmother."

"Okay, okay, I got you. What happen after that?"

"Some time after, I went to the stable to meet Daniel, to convince him to run away with me because I didn't want to be married to the king. After some back and forth, he agreed but Snow was there and was sad that I wasn't going to be her mother," Regina said with derision, "and was upset and ran. But I caught up to her and explained what True Love was and I made her promise to not tell anyone."

"I trusted her, but she broke that trust when she told my mother my plans. She thought she was helping me, explaining to Cora that I was happy with Daniel and I shouldn't be with her father." Regina looks fixedly into her green orbs, her eyes brimming with tears. Emma's heart is hurting for Regina, her pain is naked with loss, and crushed hope.

"Is that, is that how your mother had Daniel killed," she broached the question with as much finesse as she could muster, considering that it look liked Regina is about to break down.

Regina shakes her head no. "Emma…she ripped his heart out right out of his chest in front of me."

Emma was shocked, confused, and outraged that her own mother would do something so horrific like that. Regina saw the variety of emotions on Emma's face.

"That is one cold hard bitch Regina. You didn't deserve that. But how was she able to do that?"

Regina smiles at Emma's protectiveness. She never had anyone in her corner to ever speak up against Cora's heinous crimes. Not even her father.

"Magic. Dark magic. That is why there are hearts in the walls over there. They have been so many taken over the years."

Emma gulps at the imagery of someone going inside your chest and ripping your heart out. She visibly paled.

"So are those the hearts your mother has taken?" She can't believe that she even has to ask a question like that.

Now it was Regina's turn to bleach out. She feels so ashamed of herself. She never had even regrets hurting the people she hurt, with the exception of her father. But to confess her crimes in front of Emma hurts her bad and makes her feel like the scum of the Earth.

"Those are the hearts that my mother and I have taken."

Emma knows it is true, it is not like she doubts that Regina could do something so bad, but it is startling that her Regina, the mother of a son, was to be, quite frank, a murderer.

"I was in a bad place after Daniel's death. I was stuck in a marriage with a much older man, and I was powerless. My mother cursed me so that I could never leave the castle without Leo- the king. The kingdom never liked me, I was ever in the shadow of the great Queen Eva. I was alone. So I turned to Rumplestiltskin who is Mr. Gold in this land. I wanted to use magic to bring back Daniel, but even with that I couldn't save him. Rumple taught me dark magic, and I just continued to sink more into darkness."

"I only lived for one thing, and that was revenge on Snow White. She took my happiness, and I was determined to take hers away. Anger was all I had."

Emma is still getting overwhelmed by the wealth of information that Regina is pouring out to her. She will be lying if she said that some of this is making her look at Regina differently. There is much darkness to his woman. A woman that she loves with her entire being. How is she to reconcile that?

Emma decides to finish out the tale. "So you decided for ultimate revenge was to cast a curse on an entire population to separate Snow White from her true love. Happily ever after, right?"

Regina flinches from the amount of venom in Emma's tone. It is none less than what she deserves.

"I was not happy until I met you," Regina says quietly. Emma has head bowed again, seething in the thoughts in her head. She is outraged at the pain that Regina endured and inflicted. The longer that she sat to think about the implications of Regina's reactions. They sat in silence for a few minutes, drowning in regrets, questions, and hurt.

Emma looks at her coldly. "So you hurt people, probably thousands of people, because a little girl tattled on you?" Regina gasps at Emma's snappiness. She is offended and hurt at Emma's belittlement of what she dedicated her life too.

"Is that what you think?"

"That is what you just told me," Emma's voice raises. "It's bullshit! You chase my, my, my mother," again she can't believe what she is saying, "because she told your secret. She was a child. And all of that blame should lie solely with your mother."

At this point they are both standing, Emma's eyes fuming with indignation. Regina looks at Emma darkly, "I did take care of her."

Emma's stance is rigid with her fist balled, seeing Regina's eyes blacken with malice with the memory of she saying that she took care of her mother. Emma at this point has no doubts that she did.

"Do you even know how I feel? Because of you and your thirst for revenge, I had to grow up without parents. You know how crappy my life was in the foster homes. I can't even look at you right now," Emma yells with tears brimming in her eyes. Regina heart breaks for Emma.

"Don't you know how I feel about that? How low and monstrous I feel that I had a hand in your childhood when I found out who you were? I felt like the scum of the earth. And all I want to do is right my wrongs, to give you the love that you deserve. I know I can't give you back 28 years of living without your parents, I wish in all the realms I can. And for that I am truly sorry, Emma. I really am. But what I will do is spend my every last breath letting you know that you are loved. You and Henry are it for me, if you'll have me." Tears are falling down in Regina's face as she fights for Emma to forgive her.

Emma is in a state of crisis with tears falling as well. Regina has inadvertently caused her much misery in her life. But she also has given her the greatest of joys. The paradox is astonishing. Emma laughs through her tears.

"You know what is also the most fucked up thing about this, is that I still love you. Despite all of the things you've done to I guess my family and their friends and plenty of innocent people, I still love you. I know you are the Evil Queen, but I only know Regina."

Regina leaps for joy, she will endure whatever curses and screams that Emma throws at her. She will give her anything she wants. But her heart leaps with hope that throughout all of this new revelation of her gross crimes, that Emma still loves her. Regina has so much more she wants to say, but a ring echoes throughout the darken crypt.

It has disrupted their emotionally charged moment of them both staring back at each other. So many words unspoken. So many declarations unsaid. They both checked their pockets but it was Emma's to answer. She wiped her eyes and answers the phone while clearing her throat. Her head hurts from this dramatic standstill that she just had with Regina. She talks into the phone, avoiding Regina's eyes on her.

"Hello, this is Sheriff Swan." The other person who she cannot recognize talked for a few moments until Emma ended the call, stuffing the phone in her jacket. For Emma this is a reprieve. Again, it seems that she needs space between Regina and herself. And this is the perfect moment to do it.

"I have an emergency call. Someone said that a woman is getting beat up. I have to go right now."

Regina is frustrated at their interruption, and feels that Emma is using that call to run away, even with her declaration of love for her.

"Emma, we can't just leave this hanging like this. There is so much," but Emma snaps.

"Just go home Regina. I don't know what else you want me to say right now. I have a job to do." Emma winced from the pained look on Regina's face. She can't deal with this right now, they will have to talk about whatever is going on between them later.

Emma exits the crypt as quickly as she can. She will push the last few hours from her, too much drama, hurt, and things unsaid. She has a person to save.

It took some time for Jefferson to find this one particular person, but boy oh boy, would his hard work finally pay off. He may not be able to challenge Regina directly, but he knows one person who is powerful enough to take on the Evil Queen.

Jefferson has successfully infiltrated the physic ward by giving poisoned tea to a male nurse and taking his clothes. The man was roughly his same size. These people were fools and this was way too easy. He has the key to get into a particular cell.

He opens it and sees a pale, disheveled woman with wild unkempt hair. Despite the abuse of being locked up in a cage, the woman was quite stunning. What the hell this woman ever saw in the imp, he doesn't know. He approaches the timid woman softly, raising his arms in surrender to signal that he wishes her no harm. Just like the others, she was innocently taken from their realm as well.

He holds out his hand non-threateningly. "Come with me."

The confused woman was so distraught. "Who are you? Why are you doing this?"

"My name is Jefferson, and I need your help to do something that I can't. There's a man, his name is Mr. Gold. Find him. All you have to do is tell him where you've been, and that Regina locked you up."

The woman has been locked up for ages from what she remembered. Things are happening too fast for her, but she is relieved to have a reprieve from that suffocating bare walls with no life.

"Wait a minute, what?"

"It's very important. Mr. Gold's going to protect you but you have to tell him Regina locked you up. He's going to know what to do. You understand?"

"Yes, I-I have to find Mr. Gold."

The informer that told her of a woman getting attacked gave very good directions, and she finds herself in a secluded alley in Storybrooke. She couldn't recognize the voice at all. There is very poor lighting and it seems a perfect location for man to attack someone, but the problem is that she saw no one there. Her senses are heightened and she pulls out her glock in a ready position. She slowly looks over the area, inching away to find any life. Damn, she wished she had a flash-light.

There was a scrape of a can or something and Emma turns quickly with her gun raised, her adrenaline running rampant. "Whose there?!"

A shadowy figure made his way into the dimly lit alleyway and Emma visibly relaxed and put her gun back but she remained alert when she squinted and recognized who was there.

"Sidney, why are you here? Have you seen a woman here?"

"The only woman here is you, Sheriff," he said in a low voice, full of scorn.

It wasn't until he made his way to here being only a couple of feet from her when she became alarmed. Sidney who was always clean cut had a very early rough stubble. He had a very wild look in his eyes that looked like desperation.

"Regina is a very, very special woman. She deserves the best and I have been in love with her a long time. I would do anything for her. I have been trying to gain her affections for years. But here you come, prancing around with your cheap clothes, stomping around her like a Neanderthal, and you always seem to save the day, even when you didn't do shit."

Emma tried to interrupt his malicious tirade with a "Hey," but Sidney continued with his contempt of the woman.

"You are nothing but a street rat. I have read your profile and you don't deserve Regina." He voice raises in volume, "I WAS supposed to win. I am supposed to be the hero. But you took that, you took everything from me!

Emma is confused and angry at this pathetic excuse of a man swinging insults at her. She just went through the most dramatic, emotional talk she had with Regina, and she doesn't need this at all.

"Dude, you fucking delusional. Regina never WAS or WILL return your feelings. And I never taken anything from you."

"YES YOU DID," he yelled, his eyes crazy and spit sputtering out of his mouth like he has rabies or something. It was quite disgusting.

"I was supposed to be the hero, I was supposed to rescue Regina from the fire. But oh no, the white knight just had to swoop in to the save the day."

Emma's eyes widened in realization. "It was you that started the fire." Emma just shakes her head at the fuckery of this situation. "So you planted the fire to try to save the day, when you could have easily killed Regina? You are a sad, sad little man."

Sidney is livid, "Yes, it was me you dumb bitch and you couldn't even figure it out and still came on top. And I don't appreciate your insult. It would have worked if it wasn't for your meddling," he snarled. Emma just stared at him for a few moments, and bust out laughing. Sidney frowned at her while she gathers herself from clenching her stomach.

"Wow, really? I needed the laugh. Dude, you sound like you came straight out of Scooby Doo," and she laughs at not just him, but this night and her whole life. There are fairytale characters running away getting hurt, blowing shit up. It is just too much for one person to take. And this takes the cake, she is the one that has to save everyone. She really wants to stick a middle finger at her life but Sidney whining snapped her out of it.

"Stopped mocking me! I'll show you something to laugh at," and he launches his right fist to Emma's face but Emma's reaction was much faster, she being involved in a number of street brawls in her young life. She blocked his fist and punched him in his gut to thwart off any further attempts from him hurting her.

Sidney gasps from her blow and crumpled on his knees on the ground with his head facing down, trying to get the wind back in him. Emma is breathing hard, and her blood is pumping profusely from the "fight or flight" moment she had. But Sidney was really pathetic, it was no way that she was going to run from him.

While he was still on the ground, wheezing from the punch, Emma literally talked down to him. "Who is the dumb bitch now? You must be really stupid to attack the officer of the law. Now you are under arrest for attacking me and admitting to arson and damage to government property."

Damn it, she thinks. She doesn't have her patrol car nor her handcuffs since she quickly left from Regina's vault full of hearts. She is still adjusting to that piece of information. But Emma figures she can handle Sidney well enough and proceeded to get him off the ground but he scrambled away from her, and then in a flash, had a gun that she doesn't know where it came from pointed at her.

The force of her blow somehow had Sidney see so many images flash before him all at once. It seems like it took forever but it all happen in a few seconds. He knows he is the genie and remembers all of history with the queen. He has done a great number of terrible things for her. And he won't stop for the love of his life. She rightly belongs with him.

"Sheriff, you surely are an arrogant one. You just don't understand. Me and Regina go way back. And you don't know what I am capable of doing to make her mine. This is beyond you."

Emma immediately raised her hands up in surrender, attempting to talk down the now dangerous man. She cursed her look. It seems that Sidney no longer has a very wild glossy look. His eyes are hard but clear in determination. She doesn't know which one frightens her more but she knows that she is in a shitty position. She has no back up and no one knows where she is at. She can try to take him down by charging him but it will be futile since all he could do was mow her down with his gun.

"Sidney," Emma tries to talk sense to him, "you don't have to do this. You are not getting Regina like this. She doesn't love you. You've got to move on. There are other people out there for you." She may not have said that last part convincingly because she doesn't know if anyone would want that piece of crap.

Sidney shakes his head in the negative. "There is no one in all the realms for me but Regina." He will follow her to the ends of the earth.

Emma hates to beg but she has to talk him down, her life is at stake. "Don't do this."

Sidney's face became blank. "I have to do this. I have to win. I'm sorry." Emma tries to scramble but it was already too late. A loud BANG ricochet in the dead of the night in the isolated alley. Time stood still as Emma looked at Sidney in horror. The darker man had his mouth open in shock. He couldn't believe he did that, not that he wasn't capable, but that he actually did it. With Emma out of the picture, Regina will finally be his. He backed away slowly from the scene, throwing his newly acquired gun in a run-down garbage can.

Emma is in total shock. Her body still as a statute. It wasn't until that she looked down at her shirt, and saw the blood dripping from the wound in her chest, that she felt the hot metal burning in her flesh. She fell down flat on her back, pressing her hand against the hole in her chest. She has never felt such pain before. The bullet that pierced through her is sending shock-waves of intense pain that she could barely handle. She always thought it was cliché when people say that they see their life flashes by them. But now she knows it is true.

All of her hopes and dreams of raising Henry with Regina, possibly reconciling with, unbelievable fact of her long lost parents. She would have eventually got there to accepting that point. And she was looking forward to hanging out with Graham and Ruby, teasing them about their relationship. But she won't get that chance. She is bleeding profusely now. Now she wont ever have any moments with her family or friends. Her world becomes black as the last thing she hears is retreating footsteps fading away from her.

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Mary Margaret and David laughing in each other's embraces late into the evening in Mary Margaret's small loft. They have finished dinner and talked about everything and nothing. David stares into the brunette's eyes with love and adoration. Mary Margaret's heart warms for this amnesiac man that has captured her heart to be fully his.

"Mary Margaret…I…I am so in love with you. When I woke up from my coma, the first thing I saw was you. And you are the last one I want to see when my eyes close."

She at this point has tears in her eyes at his proclamation. They may not have known each other long, but she would want to spend the rest of her life with this man.

"And you David, are like a breath of fresh air. It feels like that since I met you, for the first time in my life, I am truly living." David couldn't believe his luck in finding this perfect woman. He didn't want to rush things, but he really wants to kiss her.

David glanced down at her pale lips as the brunette stares at his.

"May I k-,"

"Yes," Mary Margaret interrupted him. David tilts Mary Margaret's chin and softly kisses her. As their kiss deepens, they wrapped their arms together and a burst of white magic flared from them, but only dissipated a few feet away. Memories crashed in their minds, as they are overwhelmed from a life past lived.

They broke from their reverie that they were immersed in. Their eyes pierced at each other in recognition.

"David," Mary Margaret exclaimed with a bright smile.

"Snow," David responded with a wide smile that matches her. There is so much to say but they don't know where to start or how is this even possible for them to get their memories back. Was the curse broken?

"But,"

"How," David finished Snow's line of thinking. They both look at each in realization and yelled at the same time.

"Emma!"

Chapter Text

Snow paced the floor of her loft so hard, she could burn a hole through it. It has been the fifth call she has made to Emma's cell phone and she only gets her voice mail.

David tries to calm his true love the best he can. "Look Snow, I am worried as you are but it is time for us to try something else to reach her."

Snow huffs, "We have no idea where she is at. That is our daughter, our precious baby girl and I'm worried. She always answered when I called."

It is startling to go from viewing Emma as her room-mate to now understanding that it is her beautiful daughter that has been lost to her for so many years. She has to see her.

David is thinking the same. Cursed David didn't have as close of a relationship with Emma as cursed Mary Margaret did but he felt a sense of familiarity with her. Emma is his baby girl that he held to his chest while fighting the Evil Queen's soldiers to get her to safety. They will find her, but he has to calm his wife before she busts a gasket. He knows that she, and admittedly him, is overwhelmed with dual sets of memories flowing with each other.

"I think it is time to call Regina, she would definitely know where Emma is."

Snow stops her pacing and stares at David in horror. She covers her face with both of her hands.

"Our daughter is in a relationship with the Evil Queen."

"Correction, our daughter is in love with the Evil Queen."

Snow uncovers her eyes, "Our daughter has a child with the Evil Queen."

They both are reeling from that romantic connection. Regina has tried to kill their family for years, specifically Snow. Regina has taken their daughter away from them more than once, it felt like an injustice.

Snow is disturbed by her daughter being with her arch-nemesis, who is technically Emma's step-grandmother. It feels incestuous and wrong for Emma to be in relationship with her. Well, to be honest, she may have to evaluate Regina's character. With Emma, she doesn't seem to be that hateful woman back in the Enchanted Forest that hunted her for years. Right now, she can't go down that road at all, they have to find Emma first. It may be a maternal intuition, but something does not feel right about Emma's absence.

Snow finally recovers from her blustered state and looks firmly at David, "Let's go to Regina's."

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Regina has tears flowing down her face as she clutches her tumbler full of bourbon close to her. She has no idea where she stands with Emma at this moment. In one breath the blonde told Regina that because of her vengeful actions, she has caused pain in Emma's life but she still loves her. She didn't expect to be fully forgiven when she exposed her evil past to Emma. It is not like the darkness has fully left her. She can still feel it lingering, ready to be released.

But she is trying, she is trying to be a better person for Emma, Henry, and also herself. It seems that happiness has always been fleeting in her life. Regina doesn't even feel that she deserves a happy ending. She still even hasn't told Emma the worst act she ever committed in her eyes, killing her own father. But she was so, so desperate. He was a kind man, but he never defended her against Cora's cruelty. Maybe it is an unfair assessment, since many people, period, wouldn't be able to challenge the powerful witch.

Regina looks around her study and softly chuckles. It seems she is always finding herself in her study with alcohol when she is depressed. She has come such a long way, and she has Henry, who Emma has given to her in a night of passion. That is what she needs to hold onto. People in her life that she adores, and not just wallow in self-contempt. She must fight for her happy ending, because she damn well knows that there aren't any fairy godmothers that will give it to her. She is pretty sure that her mother killed hers. It did hurt her to have Emma to snap at her. She has never used that tone with her before. Emma is the only person to ever do that to her and live. Her Evil Queen persona would never allowed that such disrespect and defiance.

But Emma is her heart, and she understands exactly where she was coming from. She can hardly defend herself against Emma's accusations, or accurate assessments of the implications of casting the curse. Maybe the fact that Emma still loves her is because that she is her true love. She knows that they are each other's true love. Emma broke her infertility curse. But what Regina doesn't understand is why the current curse is still not broken. They have kissed plenty of times. Damn it, maybe she should have paid attention to the finer details of the curse that Rumple gave her.

Her musings were cut off short with a long banging on her front door. Regina huffs and makes her way to the door. It couldn't be Emma since she has the key to the mansion so whoever is disturbing her peace and possibly wake up her son at such a late hour, will be torn apart.

She puts down her drink, straightens her hair and clothes, and wipes any evidence of tears away to appear fierce and formidable, and to not look like her cold-black heart is being crushed. When she opens the door, she sucks her teeth and rolls her eyes.

"Mr. Nolan, Ms. Blanchard. What brings you banging at my door at such an ungodly hour?"

Mary Margaret and David just stare intently at her, not saying anything to her. She couldn't read them at all as they just stood at her door. She crosses her arms and taps her high heeled foot impatiently.

"I'm waiting."

Mary Margaret speaks first, "I think I prefer Snow," she turns to David, "don't you agree, Charming?"

David smiles at Snow, "I agree."

Regina uncrosses her arms and stops her tapping as her mouth drops open in shock. Did the squeaky teacher just say-

But Mary Margaret/Snow just barges into her home with David following close behind. Regina stood still a couple of seconds at their audacity to just enter her home and she turns slowly towards them.

Snow walked through the foyer looking in multiple rooms looking for Emma.

"What the hell you think you are doing?"

David looked at her in concern, "We are looking for our daughter. Snow has been calling her and she is not answering. We thought she would have been here."

Regina crosses her arms, "Well, as you can see, she is not here. And I don't appreciate you just barging in my home like it is yours."

David lets out a frustrated breath, "Well, when was the last time you seen her?"

David observed Regina's anger lessen as a dark, vulnerable look crossed her face. He has never seen Regina, at least in the Enchanted Forest, look so… human. She always looked invincible, ready to cut their heads even when she was tied up and in a disadvantage.

"The last time I've seen her, she had to take a disturbance call."

Snow re-entered the conversation after her search is futile. "Well, we were worried and wanted to talk to her. She has to know that we are her parents." In all honesty, Regina has been worried about Emma as well. Something feels… off. But the idiots are about to get on her last nerve with their rudeness and throws one index finger to slow Snow's frantic chatter.

"Ironically, you're already late for that, I have already told her. And how the hell did you get your memories back?"

"We said we love each other and kiss," David responded while giving Snow a big smile which she returned. These two are nauseating and her mood has soured even more since her relationship is up in the air.

"Well, did you confirm if anybody else has their memories back?" The two idiots stared back at her.

"No, we immediately wanted to find Emma so when we couldn't contact her, we headed straight here," Snow answered.

"Good, I don't need you going around town proclaiming that you all are Snow and Prince Charming."

"Why not?" Regina gave him a sharp look.

"Because I don't think the full curse is broken. I saw no blinding light or anything. It is probably because despite whatever realm you and Snow are in, you are able to use True Love's kiss. But it only brought back yours and hers memories, not for everyone in town.

Snow lit up when she realized something that Regina had said. "Did you say that you told Emma that we are her parents?"

David looked at her earnestly as well.

"Yes if you paid attention. Despite whatever you may think of me, I have told Emma the total truth about me, this town, and the curse. Let's just say that it took her time to accept it."

David and Snow was shock. If anything, they would have thought the Evil Queen to withhold any information that will cause her curse to break.

Snow was so confused at Regina's honesty. "But, why would you do that? You did terrible things for this curse, and to tell Emma who is destined to break it… I don't understand."

"Because I love her and I wanted to have our relationship to have a foundation of honesty. I had to show her all of me, even if she would reject me, because she deserves the whole truth."

Emma's last command for her to go home is still bitter in her mouth. Her tone was harsh and it cut her deep.

David saw the look of maturity and adoration when she talked about Emma. He was impressed. In all honesty, Regina never truly was too harsh with him in this town. But then again, they haven't really been around each other much either in town.

"Wow, you have changed." Regina's lips twitches, never forming into a smile, internally appreciating some recognition of improvement, even if it is coming from the shepherd.

Snow can agree with David's assessment, and she now she remembers small glimpses of young Regina while being cursed. She recognized now that the woman still has a deep part of herself that isn't all about getting revenge, but just wanting love. But love for her daughter…Emma must have been 18 when she met Regina…

"You corrupted our daughter. She was so young." Regina shot laser beams at Snow. She definitely has more fire than her Storybrooke personality.

"Excuse me…" her voice was a low rumble, "I never took advantage of Emma. She willingly gave herself to me, all night long, might I add," egging Snow on. Snow turned a bright red as David shakes his head.

"And let me remind you that I was only 18 when I was forced to marry your father." Snow now looked ashamed. She knew she was being irrational but it is just quite hard to accept that her daughter is dating her ex-stepmother and bane of her existence.

David couldn't take their argument any longer since none of them knew where Emma was.

"Okay, I know we all have our issues with each other," he plainly looked at Regina, "but now is not the time for that. We have to find Emma to see if she is alright."

"Alas Prince, something we can agree on."

"What's going on here? Where's Emma?"

All three adults snap their attention to Henry who was at the bottom of the staircase, rubbing his eyes.

And it hit Snow and David hard to realize that they are also grandparents. David wrapped an arm around Snow as they gaze upon their grandson lovingly. He is such a special boy and was the first person to truly see that the curse was real and was trying to convince others.

Regina saw the Charming's looking at Henry longingly, thinking their attention span being quite short since they were up in arms about finding Emma. She figures that the moment does need to pass, it is only right for Henry to formally meet his grandparents. She is not going to take that away from him.

"Henry, please come down here," she beckoned. Henry looked questionably at all three of them as he is slowly coming out from his deep sleep.

He made his way to them and asked, "Mom, why is Ms. Blanchard and Mr. Nolan here?" It broke Snow's heart for Henry to be so formal but she knows that it will pass.

Regina put a hand behind his back and slowly presented him to them, nodding for them to go on.

David smiled as Snow took the hint and began. "We remember." Henry looked at David and Mary Margaret a few moments before it truly hit him.

"YOU REMEMBER!" He crashed in between them with a fierce hug. He is sandwiched between his grandparents as they kiss him on his forehead. For Snow, it was truly special because as Mary Margaret, she always felt a special pull towards the creative boy. Now she knows that he is not just her favorite student, but he is her flesh and blood. Her very first grandchild.

Henry pulls out from the tight embrace as he looks back and forth at them, amazed that all the time he knew who they were but they didn't know. Now for him, it is like a burden lifted and a joyous occasion that he had an extended family.

"But how? Did Emma break the curse?" Regina looked at David and Snow waiting for their response.

Snow decided to answer, "We did it with True Love's kiss. But we can't confirm whether the whole curse is broken or not."

"But we are glad to finally, truly meet our grandson," David smiled at the young boy.

Regina began smoothing down Henry's cowlick. "I am sorry that we were loud and woke you up."

Henry looked at his mother and hugged her. "That is alright. This is like, the best news ever. But I heard that you couldn't find Emma. Is everything alright?"

Regina and the Charming's saw Henry's worry and lept quickly to quell it.

"We just couldn't reach her but we are sure she is fine." David looks at Snow and nods in agreement.

"I know this has been a thrilling day but you must go back to sleep. We can do more of this," she gestured to Snow and David, "tomorrow, alright?"

Henry nods his head. "Okay. Goodnight grandma and grandpa." Henry took to his family quite quickly. Those terms of endearment made the Charmings' hearts soar with love.

"Wait, can I call you that?" he asked shyly.

Snow and David looked at each other having a silent conversation and David decided to speak.

"We would love that. But hold off on those names in public. We still need to determine if others have regained their memories or not.

"Okay," he says in understanding and goes back to bed. Regina returns her attention back to David and Snow, internally being troubled by Emma's absence as well.

"Has Emma ever made it back to the loft?" Regina made sure that in the curse, that Snow gets ragged commendations. She hates that Emma stays in that squalor but until Emma feels comfortable with moving in, that is just the way it has to be.

"No she hasn't and it is late. Her disturbance call shouldn't have lasted this long."

Regina crosses her arms and agrees. "No, it shouldn't." She is getting extra nervous but she doesn't want to appear weak in front of them. David rubs Snow's back as they all stand in silence trying to figure out where Emma could be. A shrill ring tone pierces the quietness of the mansion. Regina goes to her study to get her cell phone.

Unlike most people in town, she has a very modern smart-phone. She clicks the answer button, "Hello, this is Mayor Mills."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Leroy is thoroughly plastered, it is his favorite hobby. He doesn't care about people's judgements about his drinking habits. Life sucks but alcohol is his best friend that is always there when he needs them. He has a spot that he likes to loiter around. It is very secluded and there are less likely any cops arresting him again.

He stumbles his way into an alleyway like taking a moonlight walk around the park. He's drunk but he is not totally out of his mind. He sees something lying prone on the ground. If his senses are not tricking him, he would have thought it was a body.

He clumsily made his way to the odd apparition that should have no place here. He looked and fell looked over and confirmed it was a body. He leans over to get a closer look when he saw blonde hair and fell on his ass when he saw that it was Emma.

He scrambled upright and looked for injuries and saw blood pooling around her. How he missed that he had no idea. Leroy has no idea if she is dead or alive but he needs to get his favorite blonde some help.

He hurriedly got his flip phone out of his pocket and dials 9 when the phone drops out of his hand.

"Fuck," he yells at his co-ordination. One should not be drunk when stumbling upon bleeding bodies. He hastily grabs the phone and pounds 911 on his phone. Even though he wants to see what caused her injuries, he knows that you are not supposed to move a body that is injured.

When they answer he shouts out, "The fucking sheriff is knocked out cold bleeding. Send an ambulance. NOW!" He gave them the exact location where he is at and they said that they will be there shortly. The short man is proud of himself to even do that in such a drunken state. Leroy is no medic, but he watches medical series, and figures that he'll try to feel around for a pulse. He pushes his two sausage fingers and felt a slight thrumming, he takes it as a good sign but it feels faint. He hopes his yelling made them to get their asses here quicker.

Leroy dazzlingly stays on guard as he waits for the paramedics. Five minutes passes and they arrived on scene. It was the slender woman and heavier set man that were there for the explosion, and rushed with a gurney to put Emma in.

"Where is the body?" the brunette asked Leroy.

"Right over here." He guides them to where Emma lies still. They carefully pick up her body and fastened her to the stretcher and quickly but carefully pushed her into the ambulance. Leroy ran right behind them.

"I'm coming with you." He promptly sat on the right side as the two, Cindy and Hank were their names, got to work by covering, as he just discovered, a bullet wound. They worked maddeningly to stem the blood flow. Emma's face was so pale and ghostly.

Leroy cursed who ever done this to Emma. She had a spark that he loved and she was beloved in the town. She never harmed anybody so he doesn't know who could have done this. Thank goodness the town is so small. It didn't take long for the ambulance to arrive and it won't take long to get to the hospital. Cindy and Hank pushed the cart yelling at the few people there to get out of the way so they can take her to the emergency room. Cindy had already called Dr. Whale ahead of time to be ready for the sheriff. She is a very important person in the community. Hell, currently she was the only law enforcement in town they have.

Leroy wanted to go in but Hank told him that he has to wait in the waiting room as the doctors work on Emma. He grumpily complied and something hit him. Damn! Someone needs to let Regina know what is going on. He doesn't have her number so he goes up to the front desk, barking out for them to call Regina. The wide-eyed girl receptionist quickly found the mayor's number to give her the call. She is nervous because the mayor could be quite terrifying.

Leroy sat down with a twisted face waiting to see if Emma is alright. The other office worker next to her began making calls, gossiping about the sheriff being shot…

"Hello Mayor Mills. We have Emma Swan, the sheriff, here at the emergency room and-"

Regina's eyes widen in horror. "WHAT?! WHY IS SHE THERE?!" Snow and David heard Regina shouting and ran towards the sound, guessing where she was and finally found themselves in a luxurious study. Snow has to admit, Regina does have taste.

The bumbling young woman continued to tell Regina that Emma has been shot and she abruptly ended the call and quickly goes to her key holder to get her car and get to her girlfriend.

Snow and David were confused by what was going on.

"Regina, what was that call about? What is going on?"

Regina really didn't have time for this. She ran up the stairs to get Henry. She just couldn't leave her son there by himself. Time was of the essence. Of course since the Charming's have no sense of personal space, they just followed her.

"Emma is in the ER and I have to go NOW!" David saw the fear in Regina's eyes which made him frantic as well.

"Why is she in the hospital?"

Regina snapped at them. "I don't have time to answer all your questions. I don't care what you do but I am going to the woman I love."

Regina shakes Henry who has not been able to fully fall asleep since he has waken up 15 minutes ago.

"Come on Henry. Put some shoes on, we have to go."

Henry was so disoriented form the back and forth of his sleep schedule.

"But where are we going?" Regina knows that her son is confuse but she doesn't have time for 21 questions.

"Henry, get your shoes and let's go." His mother had wild, fearful looking eyes and it scared him. For whatever reason they had to leave, it couldn't be good. He hurriedly obeyed her orders and put on some shoes.

When they got down to the first floor of the mansion, he saw the panicked expressions on his grandparents' faces. Whatever is going on, it couldn't be good.

Regina stormed past them with Henry in tow. David yells out, "We will be right behind."

Regina didn't care what they say or do, she has to be there for Emma.

"Fine," she bites out and she and her son get out of the house with the Charming's right on her heels. She quickly locks the door. Henry and her hop in the Benz and sped fast to Storybrooke General Hospital with David and Snow in his truck.

Regina ferociously stomped her way to the desk in her emergency section of the hospital.

"Where is she?!" David had Snow in her arms looking sternly for answers as well, following Regina's charge.

The desk clerk was absolutely terrified of the mayor's menace.

"She is in room 2A," the young woman stammered out.

Regina turned around to her son, "Henry, I need for you to stay in the waiting room." She has no idea what state Emma would be in and she can't bear to have Henry to hear any bad news. She can't take it either, to be honest.

Henry was about to protest but she immediately cut him off. "Do you understand?" she asked in a strict no nonsense tone.

Henry mumbled, "Yes ma'am."

"We will be right back, I am sure everything is fine," Snow smiled at Henry, hoping the Charming's gene of optimism rubs off him because they all are highly tensed. Henry nods and takes a seat at the corner, picking up a magazine to occupy himself.

Regina looks at David and Snow, silently communicating or them to take that step to Emma's room. Fears being unspoken.

There was a small window where they can see the operation going on, a team of doctors and nurses working on Emma's pale figure. There were tubes and blood and horror just struck them. Regina opened the door and tried to rush in to look at Emma.

"Noooooooooooooooooooo!" she sobbed. Emma looked like she was on the cusp of death. She couldn't observe her any more because a male nurse grabbed onto her. Dr. Whale yelled out orders.

"Get her out of here, NOW!"

Regina was fighting off a barrage of nurses trying to get her away from the operating table as she was screaming for them to release her. Snow had tears flowing in her eyes as she sees her daughter lying lifeless on the table.

David was stifling his tears to keep strong, his heart also breaking from the scene. Dr. Whale takes leave to calm Regina down.

"Look, let us do our job because your behavior is not helping Emma in the least bit. Go to the waiting room."

Regina hates the tone in his voice she is calming down to understand that her behavior is putting Emma's life in jeopardy, and she cannot have that on her conscious. She immediately stops her frantic tugging from some grunts arms and regained composure.

"I understand. But you need to understand, if Emma dies at your hands, you will be sorry," Regina said in a voice so maniacal, Dr. Whale gulped with fear as he return to Emma's surgery, not wanting to have the wrath of Regina on his head.

Snow would have been terrified to be on the receiving end on what was essentially the Evil Queen's threat. For David, he was happy to see the doctors and nurses work twice as hard doing whatever they were doing to keep Emma alive.

David guides them outside of the door back towards to the waiting room. "We aren't helping standing here, let's go back to the waiting room and stay calm."

Regina threw him a glare and stomped her way back towards her son.

"Is everything alright?"

"We will find out more from Dr. Whale," Regina hugs him tightly as she rubs on his back. Regina is trying so hard to be strong in front of him, and not show weakness in front of the Charming's. Snow sat a seat one over from her and David embraces her, probably serenading with encouraging words for Emma's life.

Regina can't stop for help, but feel like the frighten young woman that lost Daniel. She remembers feeling so helpless when she tried to kiss Daniel to bring him back to life, feeling like a failure when her attempts were futile. The pain is just as severe, her sitting here feeling helpless again as there is nothing she can do as they perform surgery on her.

Snow was feeling like Regina, breaking down from a huge potential lost. She looks sadly into David's eyes, talking quietly to him. "It feels like we just got her back and now she is slipping away."

David shushes her. "You've got to have faith, she is part of us. She is strong. She will get through this." He holds her chin up to look deeply into green pools of sorrow. "WE will get through this."

Leroy was asleep in his chair in the hospital room when there was a commotion near one of the rooms in the back where people were being worked on. He saw across the room the mayor, her son, and David and Mary Margaret. He has been trying to get updates on Emma, but they weren't giving him any, probably because he is no kin to Emma. Therefore, they may have not found it important to tell him anything. But hell, he found her and she is his friend, even if she had to throw him in jail for public intoxication. But Mary Margaret and Regina was as close a family to Emma that she has. He made his way over, coughing to gain their attention.

As Regina and David are soothing their loved ones, their attention was snapped by a coughing sound by the burly, short man.

"How's she doing?" he directed his question to Mary Margaret. She was way more approachable than Regina.

"We're not sure, they said that they will let us know when they are done with the surgery."

Regina sniffs in disgust when she smells a whiff of alcohol from the drunkard. It smells like he was wallowing in filth.

"Well, I hope someone can find the bastard who done that to Emma. I found her in the alleyway and called the ambulance immediately."

Mary Margaret was going to chide Leroy for his use of language in front of Henry but Regina quickly stood up after Leroy made his statement.

"You found Emma? Where?" It seems Snow's dwarves did have some use. And all she felt was gratitude towards the grumpy brute to get Emma some help. But she will never admit that to him.

David stood up to in shock as well, "Did you see who done this?"

With Regina, David, and now Mary Margaret standing looking at him expectantly, it made him overwhelmed with their slew of questions and he had to take a step back. And Henry was looking at him with curiosity.

Throwing his hands up in surrender, he is too still hung over for this.

"Look, I didn't see who did it. It was in that alleyway across the street from that boarded up shop. That is all I know. I got to go home and sleep this off. Can you tell me if anything else happens?" he asks Mary Margaret.

Snow nods her answer and Leroy left. It doesn't seem that anyone else gained their memories since they were not calling for Regina's head.

"That must have been where Emma was called to go," Regina says to herself. "Stay here," she orders Henry as she removed herself from her chair and beckoned Snow and David to follow her. As much as she can't stand their presence, they are all hurting from this and to be honest, she needs help in their ordeal.

David caught what Regina said , "It sounds like whoever called Emma planned it and ambushed her, or it could have been something totally random."

"The shepherd finally has a brain, I'm impressed." Regina knows that it is childish and petty but her defense mechanisms are high from Emma's disheartening condition.

"Let's not do this now. Regina, do you have any idea who may have done this?" Regina is sick with worry and just snaps at Snow.

"If I did don't you think I would have their head on a platter?" David is seeing the Evil Queen right now, and he can't say that he would be against anything that Regina does in retaliation against someone that harmed his daughter.

David tried to quell the tensions down again. "So I wonder who would have done this?"

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

When Gold received information from a little bird that Emma was hospitalized by a gunshot, he was livid. Emma is the only chance to breaking this curse so he can find his son. His foresight did not foresee this happening and he cursed his carelessness. He knows only one person that can have harmed Emma, and it had to be that love-sick man.

As a genie who was in love with Regina, he had agreed with Regina to off her husband. Even in his cursed state, it shouldn't have been within the realm of possibility that he could stoop to such low levels again to gain Regina's favors. The man was truly pathetic, but right now Gold is feeling like a fool for letting it get to this point. It is sloppy work that doesn't befit the Dark One. But Emma has to live, it has been prophesied that she will break this curse so this is destiny. He will leave in the dead of the night to check up on his investment.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Regina called Kathryn to pick Henry up from the hospital. She was frantic when she came to pick him up, considering the hour now in early morning. She said her hellos to David and Mary Margaret, confirming that she too did not know her old identity. She was hungry for answers but Regina told her that she will tell her more later in the day.

Regina feels like a mess and a bad mother dragging her son to and fro but right now, she just needs him to be home stable and safe. Her emotions are too much on the Fritz. Henry was trying to protest but she shut that down quickly. Now it is just her and the Charming's, and they still haven't received a word from Dr. Whale. But speak of the devil, here he is, coming into the waiting room.

"Mayor Mills. David and Mary Margaret," he acknowledged them as he holds unto his clipboard. He doesn't understand why David is there. He knows that he is dating Mary Margaret, so maybe he is there for moral support since it is Mary Margaret's room-mate here in the hospital. What a waste, considering that Mary Margaret was a decent roll in the hay. Anyway, back at hand.

David stood up with his arms around Mary Margaret, as they wait anxiously for any news with their daughter. Regina is shooting daggers at Dr. Whale, daring him to give her good news.

"We are finally finished with the Sheriff's surgery. She had a bullet in her chest but thankfully, it missed her heart and any major artery, which is a miracle. She has lost much blood, so we had to work diligently to stabilize her. Right now, she is very much alive but her body is in a state of shock. It is a good thing that Leroy found her when she did. Do you have any questions?"

David and Mary Margaret released a breath that they didn't realize that they were holding. They are eternally grateful for their cursed beloved dwarf. Regina was visibly relieved that the love of her life is actually very much alive. Her scrunched up face relaxed.

"How long would her recovery be?" Regina asks because she wants Emma in her arms as soon as possible. She never wants her to let her go.

"We are going to give her a couple of weeks, or however long her body takes to recover."

"When can we see her?" Snow jumps in with another question.

"You can see her now, but she is in a very deep sleep so she won't hear you. But please don't disturb her, and stay quiet."

All of them nodded and headed immediately into Emma's room. Regina had a sob caught in her middle of her throat that she refused to release when she saw so many tubes going into her lover. But she didn't look as bad as she did when they first entered the room.

Regina goes to one side of the bed as Snow and David went on the other side. Mary Margaret held lightly to one hand as David places a light kiss on their daughter's head.

"She looks so pale."

"But Snow, she's here and she is alive. That is much more than what we can hope for." Snow is elated that her daughter is alive. But she really can't take seeing her family in such dire straits. She observes Regina from the other side of the bed. Tears so close to falling down her from her eyes. Her face full of relief and trepidation. As much as it pains Snow to admit, she knows that there is nothing but pure love that Regina has for Emma.

Regina looks at Snow, and Snow nods. There was a passing understanding of gratitude of the person they love being okay. A nurse comes in and quietly whispers into the intimate moment in the room.

"I am sorry, but visitor hours are over. You will have to exit the premises." Regina wanted to snap at the nurse, but she is feeling so drained. But she really doesn't want to leave Emma. She wants to be there when she first open her eyes. She doesn't even know if it is Regina's face that she looks forward to seeing. But she told Emma that she will love her with her last breath, so she will be there for her lover.

Snow and David didn't want to leave either, but their hearts are much less burdened knowing that their daughter is alright. David saw that Regina was feeling the same thing as well. He whispers to the two women.

"As much as we would like to stay, we have some things to discuss." The women nod and slowly made their way out of the room, stealing glances back at their loved one lying on the bed.

When they made their way to the deserted waiting room, David began. "Now that we know that Emma is definitely safe, we need to find who did this."

Regina's eyes immediately darkened with rage. Whoever done this will pay. Then came an unexpected visitor.

"I hope I'm not intruding on a private matter. It is a tragic thing to befall our dear sheriff. How is she by the way?"

All three turned their attention to Mr. Gold, with his typical three piece suit and cane.

Regina snarled at Gold. She knows that the only reason Gold is here is because he wants to make sure his curse gets broken. She still hasn't found the reason why that is.

"Emma is none of your concern. Don't dare come in here and pretend that you care for her."

For David and Snow, they are finally seeing Gold for who he is. He is the manipulative imp that can't be trusted.

Gold put a hand on his chests in mock offense. "But I do care, especially when she owes me a favor."

David and Snow stepped up to Gold, in defense of their daughter. "You will stay away from her!" Snow lowly growled to him.

Gold observed the teacher, the fire in her eyes, and the regalia in her movements. Even David is exhibiting such a courageous air. He sees no timid cursed personality. His eyes widened in recognition.

"My, my, my. Something tells me that you finally got a spine, Mary Margaret," he said in a patronizing tone. Regina recognized Gold fishing to confirm his suspicions that Mary Margaret and David remember their old identities. She jumps in before he starts interrogating the idiots that don't know that they were being played.

"Gold, why are you here? This is not just a social visit." Gold gives her a mischievous smirk. He knows that Regina is trying to deflect him from Mary Margaret and David. He just may have his answer.

"I would assume that you all are probably wondering who could have done this to Emma, correct?"

"Yes, we have," David eagerly responded.

"I happen to know who is the culprit of this dreadful deed."

"Tell us what you know," Snow demanded. Regina rolled her eyes at her. They both don't know that Gold knows that he is Rumpelstiltskin. She needs to take charge in this ordeal.

"What's the catch, Gold? We know nothing comes free from you."

Gold looks right at Regina. "Dearie, this comes free of charge. I think we all are invested in Emma's recovery. And it wouldn't do to have her attempted murderer roaming the streets of peaceful Storybrooke, now would it?"

Regina crosses her arms and taps her foot, as David narrows his eyes at the smaller man.

"I'm waiting."

Gold couldn't help but chide his most prized pupil.

"Regina, I am shocked that you haven't figured out the answer that is right under your nose," he digs in.

"I don't have time for your games so you better spit it out, or so help me..." Regina is fuming.

"Tsk, tsk, you never really had any foresight. Jealousy is such a harsh mistress. It can drive many of people to do unimaginable things. This man has killed once in the name of love. It looks like he tried to do it again. Now how about you use that brain of yours, and figure it out."

There can be only one person that it can be applied, she gasps, "Sidney."

Snow fury sky rocketed. Sidney was Regina's mirror back in her world. She found out the he was an accomplice to her father's assassination. And now to find that he was possibly the one to have harmed her daughter.

"Why should we trust you?" David asked. He wants to choke Sidney to his last breath if what Gold is saying is true.

"Because I am invested in this, and like Regina over here, I have eyes and ears everywhere."

Regina is sickened by this and had to walk away, rubbing her temples to assuage her headache and guilt. Just as Sidney was willing to kill Leopold for her, she believes because he wants her, he thought the same in this world to remove her romantic other. How can she be so stupid? So Emma is hurt because of her, yet again. She wants to break down and cry but she has to be strong for her son and Emma. And that bastard must pay.

David took Snow aside to talk to her, as Regina moved away to gather her thoughts. It looks like his mission is complete. They should be competent enough to find where Sidney is.

"Well, I will take my leave then." Gold left the small waiting room. They were far away from the desk so no other people were listening in to their conversation.

Snow made her way to Regina. She doesn't care how broken up this woman is. Her world has been turned upside down and it seems that her former stepmother is still causing havoc in her family's lives.

She grabbed Regina's arm and turned her body to face her. "I need you to pull yourself together, since this is partially your fault." Snow laughs but there is no absolutely no joy.

"Emma deserves someone better than you. All you do is cause her pain."

Regina ripped her arm from Snow's hold. "Trust me, I have enough guilt to last me a lifetime."

Snow was taken back from Regina's brutal honesty. She would have never imagined the Evil Queen admitting any of her faults.

David runs over to the small commotion happening between his wife and Regina. Emma is okay but still recovering from being shot. Tempers are flaring, tension is increasing, but they need to pull through. They need to refocus their attention to what's important right now.

"I know that it has been a long night, and we are all stressed, but we all really need to calm down. We need to find Sidney. Do we even have a plan?" Planning has never been his forte. He has always been an action-first kind of guy. It was Snow that always did the strategic planning. He was never jealous, he has always admired her.

Regina begrudgingly had to agree with David. She had a genie's neck to snap.

"Well, there is no way that he can leave town, but I don't know where he could be hiding."

Snow calmed down enough to understand that finding Sidney is their top priority.

"I am good at tracking, he could be in the woods."

"I never thought as Sidney being the outdoors type," Regina quipped.

"Well, we have to start somewhere because right now, the town is without any police force."

Regina received an idea; there is one person that she could always count on to find somebody. Whether he will help her is another thing to deal with entirely.

"Graham, he is still in town and I know he can help." She took out a phone and typed Graham's number.

She was surprised that he answered at this time of the morning, but her musings were cut short.

"It seems that I require your assistance again, Huntsman."

Chapter Text

Graham did not know what to expect when he received a phone call from Regina so early in the morning. But as soon as she explained the situation, he immediately made his way to her mansion.

Regina entered her home with the Charming's right at her heels. Kathryn heard the door open and ran to Regina to embrace her. Regina reluctantly hugged her back. It is still hard for her to be affectionate with anyone besides Henry and Emma.

"God, I am so sorry about Emma. Is she alright? I just put Henry to bed." Kathryn went a mile a minute.

"Emma is stable but not awake. Thank you for asking and thank you so much for taking care of Henry on such a short notice."

Kathryn pulled back and looked at Regina. "That is what friends are for. Please let me know if there is anything else you need." The blonde woman just realized in her haste that David and Mary Margaret were right there. Kathryn gives Regina a pointed look that questioned, 'why were they here with her?' She knows that her and the elementary teacher are not friendly at all but she is Emma's room-mate so maybe that is why she is there. But that doesn't explain David's presence here. Regina just shook her head at Kathryn's puzzlement.

"Well, if that is all, I bid you all goodnight. Mary Margaret, David," she nods at them as she passed by to leave the mansion.

David knew that his old friend didn't recognize him and it sadden him, but they have more pressing matters at hand.

Regina guided them to her living room so they could wait for Graham to come. They all sat as they were physically and emotionally tired from such a hard day. There is permeating silence as they thought deeply about Emma and her attacker. Regina breaks the quietness of the room.

"Not that you deserve to know, but Graham does remember who he is."

Snow pops her head up at that piece of information. The Huntsman who saved her life. They were never able to build on their friendship in the Enchanted Forest and she didn't know what happened to him, but she owes him her life. It is interesting to look back and see how in Storybrooke, how they built an easy camaraderie. She knows that he is going to be valuable in helping them to find Emma.

"But how did he regain his memories?" David asked, looking at Regina. She can't wait to be gone from them. They are really suffocating.

"That, is none of your business."

"It should be our business because after everything that will go down with Sidney, we need to break your curse," Snow speaks up.

Regina scoffs at her, "Your daughter is the key to break your curse, idiot. Don't you remember putting her in a enchanted tree because of that belief?"

"It was your curse that forced us to do that."

"Don't you dare to stand here in my home acting all innocent, Snow White," she responded with venom.

David again breaks up their increasing hostility. "There is a time and place for that but not right now." Snow and Regina stared down each other, old wounds being opened again. Well, wounds that were never healed in the first place.

Ten minutes later, there is a knock on the door in which, once again, Regina found herself being followed to the door by Snow and David. It is getting quite annoying. Regina opened her door.

"Graham."

Graham looks at her and then David and Mary Margaret. At least he won't be alone with the Evil Queen.

"Regina," he dropped her former Storybrooke title. Regina sucks her teeth, opened the door, and made way for him to come in. Snow was very emotional. She rushed to hug Graham and he was taken aback from the action.

He returned her hug, "Mary Margaret." Regina rolled her eyes as David looks on without an ounce of jealousy. Snow told him years ago about how the Huntsman spared her life when he was ordered to kill her by Regina. In his book, he is an alright guy. But that doesn't mean he like her to be so familiar with her.

Snow pulled back from him. "Graham, I'm Snow. We have our memories back," she beamed at him. She pulled back as David gave him a firm handshake, giving him a small smile.

Graham took a step back in surprise. "Really?" he asked as he looks back at Regina.

Regina rolled her eyes at the nauseating greetings.

"Yes, yes, yes. Snow and Charming have their memories back. And before you ask, no, the curse is not fully broken. Now can we get back to finding Sidney who put my girlfriend in the hospital?"

Graham and Snow's moment ended immediately as Graham straightened up and developed a hardened face.

"Yes, that is what I came here for. But I want to make one thing clear, Regina. I came here for Emma's sake, not yours."

"Clear. Now since you are all here, I want there to be a search for Sidney. I know that he can't get out of town because the curse won't allow anyone to leave. Tomorrow I will make a televised announcement to the populace that he is at large, and to report if they have any clue with his whereabouts. That snivelling little roach won't be able to hide for that long."

David nods his approval. "That is a good idea. That will make everyone vigilant in looking out for him."

Regina rolls her eyes again, David of course stating the obvious. At this point, her eyes might get stuck in the back of her head.

"I can go look in the woods to see if he is maybe in an abandoned cabin. Is Emma okay at this point?"

Snow nods her head. "Yes, she is recovering and will be up and about in a couple of weeks or so."

"Graham, I'll join in that search," David eagerly volunteered.

"Charming, I am an excellent tracker and as much as I want you to join, I want you to be there when our daughter wakes up."

David looks at Snow and understood what Snow as getting at. One of them should be there when Emma wakes up. They'll decide on that later.

"If that is all, I would like you all to leave my house. We all need to rest anyway." Regina is so tired and wanted these annoying people to leave her at once.

"And whatever new leads you have, I want them reported to me immediately."

All three held their tongues, not liking Regina giving out orders like some queen. But everyone is exhausted and they are all in this together. every single one, so there is no need to protest. When they wake up, their search begins.

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Regina woke feeling physically a little rejuvenated and made breakfast for her and Henry. He bounced right into his questions.

"How is Ma doing?" he asked with a worried look but she wanted to quickly put him at ease.

"The doctor said that she is fine and will recover in some weeks' time. Don't you worry my little prince. She is the strongest person I know."

"But when can I see her?"

"You can see her when you're done with school."

"Who is going to get the bad guy who shot her? Who was it?"

Regina breathes slowly. She really doesn't want Henry to think about Emma's attacker, being so young. But this is reality, and with the announcement that she is going to make, there is no way that Henry won't find out. She grabs his chin softly and tilts his head to her.

"Graham and your grandfather will be out searching, and even the whole town will be alert. I want to protect you from all of the evils in the world, but I can't. So I will tell you this, it was Sidney."

Henry wrinkled his nose in confusion. "Sidney, the newspaper guy. But what did she do to him? She hasn't hurt anyone."

Regina shook her head. She is not going to open that can of worms about jealousy and rage. He is much too young for that.

"Henry, I need you to concentrate on your schooling. Leave this stuff to us adults, okay? All you need to know that the bad man will be caught."

Henry huffs because his mom sounds like she is talking down to him. But if Graham and his grandfather are going to search for Sidney, he knows that they will be victorious because they are the good guys, and good always wins.

"Let's go," and she guides him through the door and they leave to go to his school. All Henry could think about his seeing Emma.

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Emma winced from the blinding white light as she gathers her bearings. She sees nothing but bare white walls. "Where the hell am I at?" She quickly sits up in her bed. Her hospital bed that is. The pain throbs in her chest as she sees tubes coming out of her.

Now she remembers how she got here. That little worm, Sidney, point-blank shot her. She can still taste the ghostly metallic taste of blood in her mouth. There is one thing that Emma hates in life, and that is hospitals. It just reminds her of death, diseases, and yuckiness.

A nurse noticed the sheriff sitting up and fidgeting about. She runs into the room to check up her.

"Hello Sheriff, my name is Nurse Smith. I'll be attending you today. How are you doing?"

"Peachy," says in a light tone, trying to make her current situation less serious.

Nurse Smith smiles back at her, "well, I just want to check your vitals to make sure nothing is out of ordinary."

Emma let the nurse poke around her, checking whatever she is looking for.

"Okay, looks like I got what I need. I will alert Dr. Whale that you are awake."

"K."

"If you experience pain or need anything, do not hesitate to ring that button," she points to the small white device to the right of Emma.

"Sure thing, nurse."

Now that the nurse has left, it left Emma in peace and quiet. She has had a tumultuous couple of days. Her girlfriend said that she is…was the Evil Queen and showed her a real life magical heart. That everything that their son said was true. And now to top it all off, she gets shot by a psycho, delusional, wimp.

Flashbacks of her last conversations flow through her. God! To think that that could have been the last time that she could have seen her, it doesn't sit well with her. She knows that she loves Regina, and understands that not everything is black and white. Emma was stuck in her thoughts and didn't even realize that someone had entered her room.

Dr. Whale cleared his throat to catch Emma's attention. She slowly turns her head to him.

"I'm happy to see you are up."

"When can I be out of this joint?" She cuts right to the chase.

Dr. Whale got closer to her bed, checking his clipboard and checking the machines attached to Emma.

"You suffered a gunshot right through your chest. Fortunate for you, it missed your heart and any other major organs. And you also didn't develop any lead poisoning. I want you to be here for at least a week to make sure your body makes a full recovery."

Emma groans, "Is there no way for me to leave earlier?"

"I'm afraid not."

Emma rolls her eyes but she is too tired to complain any further, she lies back down to rest, trying to rest her body and mind.

Dr. Whale leaves the room and goes to his office to grab his phone.

"Mayor Mills, Emma is awake."

When Regina finished doing a televised announcement warning the town to be on the lookout for Sidney since he was behind the shooting of the sheriff, she received a call on her office phone.

"Mayor Mills speaking."

"Mayor Mills, Emma is awake." She instantly ended the call and gathered her purse to get to Emma as quickly as she can.

When she entered the hospital, she marched her way to Emma's room without acknowledging anybody. Her sights are set to just one person. But once she got right to Emma's door, her bravado evaporates. She is now nervous, not knowing how Emma will take her being there with how the way they left things.

She slowly opens the door and the softly closed it, to not abruptly startle the blonde. However, the small click of the door had Emma to look at her visitor. Regina. Her white blouse with straining buttons accentuates her slim waist. Her black slacks doing the same thing to her hips. Emma manages a small smile at Regina as she gladly returns it. How her smile drops as she realized that this is the same woman that tore her from her family.

Regina noticed the conflicted emotions on her face, but she musters all her strength to make her way to Emma's bed and gracefully sits down. They stare into each other's eyes for a few minutes in silence, so lost in their own thoughts of guilt and uncertainty. Regina timidly touches Emma's hand, wanting to hold her but silently asking for permission first. Emma balled her fist, declining Regina's request. Regina can feel the fissures erupting in her heart, but she still smiles at Emma. Emma is alive, she is here right in front of her. Fate has decided to not take another love one away from her.

For Emma, it is not like she is ungrateful to see Regina, but physical contact is too much for her right now.

"How are you feeling?" Such a simple but loaded question. Emma chuckles.

"Like I have been shot." Regina first wanted to admonish Emma making a joke about her almost losing her life, but maybe a little levity is needed right now. Regina badly wants to rub Emma's hand. But she already gave her answer.

"Are you in any pain?"

"A little, but it is nothing the drugs can't cure." Then another moment of silence encompasses them. Small talk is not suiting them in this process right now. Emma knows that she is being awkward but give her a break, her world just went upside down.

"It was Sidney who did it you know. He was the one who shot me." Anger flashed on Regina's face.

"I know, I actually alerted the town to be on the lookout for him. Graham is out looking for him now." She decided to not mention David, considering that he and Snow have their memories back and Emma had so much dropped on her, she doesn't want another bomb to land.

"Graham is back in town? Is he taking up the sheriff's position?" Emma would hate for the town to be without any type of police force, and since Graham was in that position for years, 28 years to be exact (ha), he is the best man for the job.

Regina wrinkles her nose. "I suppose, though I would say deputy will suit him better."

"I hope they catch Sidney quick. He is sick. He told me it was he who is the one responsible for that bomb in the town hall." Emma just thinking about the crazed look in Sidney's dark orbs sends shivers down her spine.

"What? Why would he do that?"

Emma snorted. "Because he is psycho. He said that he did it to save you, so he could become a type of hero so you'd choose to be with him. By the way, you got to release Donald Samson. He is innocent."

Regina's mind whirls with this new information. It now makes sense. This is Sidney's MO. He was willing to kill her ex-husband to be with her, which she willingly used him for. And now he in Storybrooke, Emma was just a new obstacle for him to remove to get to her. It seems her sins and past is still hurting Emma. Tears started to pool in Regina's eyes as she turned her head away from Emma.

"I am so sorry. This is all my fault." She turns her head away in shame.

Emma maybe a little cross with her, but she never wants her to see her cry. And yes Regina is guilty of many things, but this is not one. Emma sits up fully in her bed, and reaches out to gently tug Regina's hand in hers.

"Regina, this is not your fault. He was a very crazy, desperate man. You maybe guilty of many things but this," she waves over herself, " is something I don't blame you in the least bit."

Regina squeezes Emma's hand, appreciating the small amount of comfort that Emma is freely giving to her. She would love to kiss Emma, but she figures that it is too early for that.

"Thank you," Regina whispers. Emma smiles back but is she finding herself fatigue and lies back down, but she pushes a button to levitate her bed higher. Regina got worried.

"Did I hurt you?"

"No, I'm just feeling tired, that's all."

Emma is exhausted but Regina feels that there is still an elephant in the room that needs to be resolved.

"Are you…still upset with me, back in the vault?"

Emma knows that the night ended suddenly with yelling and tears. To know that Regina did those horrible things, she can't just easily brush that aside. But it still doesn't make her care for her any less. She will just be honest in this moment.

"I am not going to lie, some of the things you revealed, it is going to be hard to take. We will have to work through that day by day. But you know what I realized when I felt like I was going to take my last breath," Emma paused to gather herself. Regina was looking intensely at her, hanging on to her ever word.

"I realized that I didn't want my last moment to be mad at you. I love you woman. You have accepted me since the beginning. You give me strength, you make me feel…valuable, when I often felt like anything but that. You gave me my son and with you, I have never been happier in my life. But you also in a way made me grow up without parents. This, you and me. It will be a fight. It will be a battle everything for happiness. But I still care, just give me time."

The distance is hurting her. But Emma said that she loves her, that she cares for, Right now, that is enough.

"I love you, my dear. And I will respect your wishes for space."

Emma can see the tears brimming from the seams from Regina's eyes. She doesn't want to push the issue any further, she is afraid of breaking the older woman. So now, she deflects.

"How's our son?"

Regina blinks any tears from spilling and smiles at the mention of Henry.

"He was worried but we shielded most of the bad things from him. I am going to pick him up and bring him here."

Emma's eyes brightened up at the prospect. "I miss the little bugger. It would be great to see him."

Suddenly, there was a knock and the door opened, a new visitor making their announcement. Snow couldn't bare to go to school and teach little kids when her own child is in the hospital recovering from a mortal wound. Given, Emma is not a little girl, she is a grown woman, but she is still her only daughter. She got a substitute teacher at the last minute and came straight to Storybrooke General Hospital.

Her eyes widen to see Emma sitting up. She looks so much better and it only has been a day's turnaround. She came at a perfect Regina's threats against Whale and the nurses does seem to be of use. It does not surprise her that Regina didn't bother to call her that her daughter was awake now. She smiles brightly at Emma who just noticed her in the room. Snow is feeling nervous, hesitant, there is so much she wants to talk to Emma about. But Regina's presence made her smile falter, just a little bit though.

"Emma, how are you feeling?" Snow asked Emma as she made her way to the other side of the bed. Emma is holding in her breathe. This is supposed to be her mother. This is not just the elementary school teacher that was kind enough to offer her apartment and subsequently, became her room-mate and best friend. This is Snow Freaking White. A legendary fairytale character that gave birth to her. Yes, life is weird.

Regina can feel the anxiety bursting out of Emma. She knows that Emma is have problems reconciling that her room-mate is her mother. If Snow saw any trepidation in Emma's mood, she probably ignored it by looking at Emma in motherly concern.

"I'm…fine."

Snow reaches out to touch Emma's chin, which Emma flinched away from, causing a hurt expression to pass Snow's face.

"I'm sorry if that was too forward. It is just…I waited a long time to meet you Emma. I mean to really meet you. Regina told me that she has already explained to you that Charming and I are your parents. But I have a feeling that you are not happy about it."

Emma didn't mean to hurt Mary Margaret...no...Snow White, but this is a lot to take in. Regina instincts told her that Emma was being overwhelmed and Snow is too dimwitted to get that. She is too focused on her own needs to not see that Emma is not comfortable in the least bit.

"If you can't tell, Emma needs space so how about you give it?"

Snow stares down Regina. It looked like Emma and Regina were chatting for some time before she got here. Is it not fair and only right for her to spend time with her own daughter?

"Excuse me if I want to spend time with a daughter that I missed 28 years of life with. And guess who is responsible for that? You are the one that should leave so I can have a few moments with her."

Regina is trying to be civil, but Snow hit a sore spot of guilt. Emma just told her that she still finds fault with being the reason she didn't grow up with her parents. That is something she accepts. But Snow casting herself to be so innocent frustrates her. She does not want to hold her tongue any longer.

"As far as I am concerned, I didn't tell you to ship a baby out to God knows where all alone."

"A very hard choice given the circumstance because of your curse."

At this point, their voices escalated in volume and it just made Emma's blood rise. She knows that they have bad blood between each other, but this was on another level. It was a very uncomfortable position to be caught in the middle of this…family feud? And both of them are clearly not respecting her.

"Can both of you stop?! I know that you have issues between each other but would you care enough about me to not argue since I just got shot and trying to heal?"

Regina and Mar, or I guess it is Snow now, look thoroughly admonished at their antics.

"My apologies dear. I acted selfishly and that is no fair to you."

"That is nothing new," Snow lowly mumbles but Regina was still able to hear and glared menacingly at her. Snow ignores her and returns her attention to Emma.

"I'm sorry Emma. We acted very immature and we shouldn't have done that in front of you. Can you accept my apology?" Mar gave her apologetic eyes. Eyes that she acknowledges is identical to hers.

"Okay," Emma said timidly. She has no idea that how she is supposed to interact with Snow. This is a totally different person from Mary Margaret, the tamed grade-school teacher. She doesn't want to have a conversation with Snow, she wouldn't know how to do it. There was a knock at the door and a nurse came in.

"I must insist that you keep noise level to the minimum. Sheriff Swan, is everything alright?"

Emma waves off Nurse Smith. "Everything is fine."

"Please ring if you need anything," she said as she departed from the room. Even she can feel the tension in the air as the mayor and Mary Margaret had stared at her, and couldn't wait to get out.

Emma feels drained and not emotionally ready to deal with Snow White, Evil Queen, and decades long feuds and would rather be left alone at this point.

"I'm tired and need to rest. Regina, you still bringing Henry over, right?"

"Yes, of course." Regina knew that she was getting dismissed. And it serves them right too. Emma does not need the stress of her and Snow's fighting. Not when Emma is fighting for her recovery.

"Goodbye, and I will bring Henry over." She so wants to kiss her, but Emma is not responding physically positive towards her. She she just squeezes Emma's hand and let it go.

Emma smiled at her, "Thank you."

Snow goes up to Emma's forehead and pecks her. "You get better, okay. And I am here if you need anything." Emma flinched away from the kiss but still gave her a small smile and nods her head. The level of maternal affection is unnerving. Snow gave Regina a triumphant look.

That silent exchange did not go unnoticed by Emma. There is a level of pettiness that she can't get down with, and will address it with them. But today is not that day.

"Mary Margaret, you do understand that I would need space, right?" Snow's heart drops. It feels like Emma is indirectly saying that she doesn't want to see her.

"Okay," Snow starts cautiously, "are you saying that you don't want to see me?"

Emma couldn't look her directly in her eyes, she didn't want to see the disappointment in them.

"It's just…this is a lot to take in. You…me…David. I just…please understand, I don't mean to hurt you."

Snow swallowed deeply the hurt of Emma's rejection. "I…understand. We will give you all the space you need. But you have to understand, we love you truly. But we will respect your wish." Snow spares another pained glance at Regina and walked out of the room.

Regina can sense the anxiety storming inside her love. She reaches out again to her.

"Emma?"

"Regina, I'm okay. Just go, enjoy your day."

"The only thing I enjoy is being with you."

Emma gives her a tight smile. But Regina can take a hint. Emma needs her space from almost everyone. She holds no hard feelings against her lover.

"I'll see you later when I bring Henry over." She gives Emma a peck on the forehead and exits the hospital.

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Graham and David were in his truck riding around town, trying to find any clues on his whereabouts. David picked the bearded man up at his old apartment for the manhunt. It seems that no one has seen the darker man in town. How hard could it be to find a black guy in Storybrooke? David received strange looks from folks when with Graham considering that he was not law enforcement, but worked in an animal shelter. But all that David can think about is that Sidney gunned down his daughter, he is just a rabid dog at this point that needs to be put away.

"We have been doing this since early morning. I think it would be good to recharge at Granny's, don't you think?"

David really wants to continue to track Sidney, and bring him to justice for hurting his daughter. But he knows that he will be no good for Emma if he has no energy to search her assailant.

"I agree." They continued in silence, not awkwardly though.

"I want to thank you Graham. For saving Snow's life. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have met my true love." He steals a glance at Graham to show his gratitude.

Graham gives a small smile, not one for sentimental moments. "I have killed mercilessly. Snow was just the one person that I couldn't go through to murder. Your welcome, I guess."

David really didn't know much about the Huntsman back then. He is a hard man to read, a little cold, but any person that cared for Snow would be a friend of his.

"Thank you again." He pulled into the parking lot and shut down the truck.

"Let's get something to eat."

Ruby's eyes brighten when she saw Graham entered the diner with David. She quickly approached him and gave him a quick intimate hug and a peck on the cheek and turned to David and gave him side hug.

"Please come sit. You have to tell me everything that is going on?"

Ruby escorted the two taller men into the nearest booth.

"How is Emma? I want to go see her as soon as she is awake. I saw Regina's press conference. Is it true that Sidney did it? Did you find them? Excuse me for asking but how did David get involved? You are not exactly a cop."

David gave Graham wide eyes. Man, she is going a mile a minute. David's heart dropped that Ruby didn't recognize him. At least he knows with all certainty that the curse has not fully broke.

"Whoa, slow down there Ruby. I can answer all your questions, but we would need a full stomach for that."

Ruby knew that she was going non-stop. But she wants to make sure that her friend is alright. Nothing happened in this town for years, and now they have bombings, people getting shot (her friend), and now there is a fugitive out there. It is a lot to take in and there is quite a buzz going around the town. It is something that everyone is talking about.

"I am so sorry. You guys must be famished. What can I get you fellows?"

David and Graham gave her their orders and they waited for her to return.

"You know, we would need more help in this search, you know that right?" David released a breath.

"I know, but there aren't that many capable people out there."

"I think Ruby would be perfect to help us."

David narrows his eyes in disbelief. "I don't see how she can. She is a waitress. I love Ruby but she is not who she was in the past."

Graham leans over the table, lowering his voice. "That is the thing, I can see glimpses of Ruby's wolf. People's personalities are reappearing because the curse is slowly breaking. Her sense of smell and sight have increased. She is more special than you know."

David huffed at Graham's implication. He knows that Ruby, Red, is quite capable of a tracker and fighter. She has been alongside Snow and David fighting against the Evil Queen for years. He knows first hand what she is capable of. And she is like a sister-in-law to him. He would never degrade her.

"I know exactly how special she is. She is family to me. But here in Storybrooke, she is just a waitress. But if you say that you see differences in her, than I will take your word." They pull back from their conversation, Graham physically doing so when Ruby places their food in front of them. She sits right next to Graham, hoping to get some type of answers.

"So…"

"So…" Graham kind of teases in between bites of steak.

"So tell me what is going on. Emma is one of my best friends."

David winced. He was so focus on finding Sidney, that he hasn't been able to see his daughter yet. He will call Snow after their lunch.

"She is recovering. I hope to see her after this. Sn-" and David bit his tongue to prevent his almost major screw up. Graham subtly kicked him under the table and stared daggers at him. Geez, maybe Regina is right, and that he is an idiot. Ruby saw that tense moment pass but didn't know where it came from. But she decides to discard it.

"Mary Margaret went to visit her. I was going to get an update from her before going over."

Ruby frowns, "I can't get off work until this evening to see her," she pouts. Graham softly squeezed Ruby's left thigh. Emma is their friend, and her health is the utmost concern to them.

"She will be fine."

"What about your search for Sidney? And I don't mean to be blunt David, but how did you get involved? I didn't know missing persons is your speciality." It is ironic that he was a missing person himself.

David wasn't offended in the least bit. From Ruby's perspective, he is a former coma patient that works in an animal shelter with a past he couldn't remember. He does not seem to be the most qualified person to track down a mad man. He gives her the most honest answer he can give her. He just can't say that he is trying to hunt down the man that gunned down his daughter.

"Because he harmed someone that means very much to me, and the town will be safer with that creep locked away."

"Amen. He needs to pay for what he has done."

Graham turns to Ruby earnestly, "you are like the eyes and ears in town, do you have any inkling, or heard anything, that will point us to Sidney?"

"I haven't anything from anybody. Everyone is just shocked that Emma was shot by him. But there hasn't been any clues from his whereabouts."

"I think it will be great to join us in the search for him."

David nods in agreement as Ruby look back and forth between them, shaking her head.

"I would love to help but…I'm just a waitress. I wouldn't know anything how to track a crazy person."

Graham softly grabs Ruby's hand and looks her straight in her eyes. "You are more special then you know. You are a strong, smart woman. So don't sell yourself short. You may not believe it, but you are very very capable."

Ruby's heart swells at Graham's confidence in her abilities that she is still questioning. But if Graham, and even David who is looking at her encouragingly, believe in her, she will have to try. At least for Emma's sake.

"Okay, I will join you this evening."

"Ruby! Stop talking to your boyfriend, we have a lunch rush to feed."

Ruby's cheek reddened in embarrassment. "I'm sorry guys, I have to go. Meet up with you soon."

"See you later Ruby." Graham gives her a chaste, quick kiss.

David smiled at Graham. "I have a feeling we may find Sidney quicker than we thought." They finished their lunch orders and departed, going their separate ways. David takes out his phone to talk to Snow. He didn't get a chance to talk to her to see how Emma was doing.

"Snow. How is she doing?" He hopes Emma's individual progress is doing better than their search for Sidney. Snow is excited to give a positive update to her husband.

"She is awake and looking much better but is still in a lot of pain." David heart leaps. His baby daughter, well woman now, is recovering marvelously. He smiles while exhaling a relieved breath.

"That's…that's awesome. When will she be discharged?"

"Dr. Whale said that it should be a couple of few weeks or less. It depends on Emma."

"And she is a part of us so she will recover quickly. We should go back together to see her."

Snow frowns, "I don't think that is a good idea."

David's smile disappears as he hears the trembling in Snow's voice.

"And why would that not be a good idea."

"Emma…she is overwhelmed with everything. Regina told her that we are her parents. That is a lot to take for someone who is as practical as her. So much has happened to her."

David rubs his temples in frustration but understanding. "But we love her, she has to know that."

"I don't think it is the matter of knowing anything. Emma lived her life growing up thinking that her parents just threw her away. She grew up thinking fairy-tales aren't real. She just has been shot. Her world has literally turned upside down."

Snow was seething at that fact that Regina managed to have more time with Emma then she did. But she sat down and tried to look at it from Emma's perspective. She has revealed many things about her like her issues with abandonment and trust. She knows now that she will have to be patient, for her daughter's sake.

"I got it." Snow knows Emma a lot more than what he does. He will trust in her discernment.

"We are going to get Ruby to help us out with the Sidney situation." Snow smiled brightly, unfortunately something David couldn't see.

"Does she…"

"No, she doesn't have her memory back. But Graham said that there are pieces of her old self that comes out. She will be valuable to our team."

"That is great. We have to track down this monster. I will come join you."

"You don't think that people would find it odd that an elementary school teacher is out prowling for a suspect? You are quite known to be docile as Mary Margaret. "

"I'll just explain that she is my room-mate and I want to help out as much as I can."

He knows how Snow is. Once she gets an idea, she is too stubborn to be talked out of it.

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Regina is finding it a fruitless endeavor to do any of her mayoral duties. It just feels like she is in a situation of not being able to do any work because she is so concerned with Emma. She did get a moment's of satisfaction when Emma essentially kicked Snow out of the hospital room. And it serves her right trying to force a conversation that Emma didn't want to have. She at least gave Emma space when requested.

Regina didn't feel right leaving Emma all alone in that room. She seems so vulnerable and Sidney is still out there on the loose. She picked up her work phone and dialled a number.

"I want two security guards outside guarding Sheriff Swan's room…Yes, they will be paid overtime…I want them to start immediately…Very well." She hung up the phone. She hopes that there are no other crises that will happen.

Her phone rang two minutes later. She promptly picked it up. "This is Mayor Mills."

"Mayor, this is Nurse Rose from the psyche ward. Patient Zero is missing."

Chapter Text

Her heart throbbed in exertion as she listened to the imbecile nurse who had let her patient escape. She was seething in anger as the nurse explained how he was drugged and has no idea where she is. This will definitely bite her in the ass. If it is not one thing, it is the other. She slammed the work phone down, the plastic vibrated from the force of the collision.

How could she concentrate on work when she has a shit storm on her hands? She would have gotten Sidney to find out where that patient was, but he is on the deep end and trying to kill her lover, and that won't do. So right now, she is in a flux as far as to how she can find where that person is at. But right now, she has other concerns like getting an update from Graham and David of Sidney's whereabouts.

Regina dialed Graham's number. "Do you have any news for me about Sidney?"

Graham bites down on his tongue from Regina's demanding tone, but he knows that this is just Regina, and her being a damn tyrant is just something he is used to.

"No, we haven't. But we are still searching. And I got some additional help."

"Yes, well get on this. I can't have that mad man on the loose in town. If I had my magic, this wouldn't be a problem. Become competent and find the bastard," and she hangs up the phone.

Graham didn't even have a chance to respond. He repeatedly chants in his head, "This is for Emma. This is for Emma. This is for Emma," to help him endure the force that is Regina. He called David and Ruby to reconvene on the manhunt. His ultimate determination is to find Sidney as quickly as possible.

A young blue eyed brunette entered Mr. Gold's dimly lit pawn shop. It has an ominous feeling and many artifacts and objects that made her skin crawl. She has no idea who she is and who the young, crazed looking man was that told her to look for this man, but it gave her hope to know that there is at least one person in this town that cares for her. That is a comforting thought considering she has been in isolation for so, so long.

She finds a man with short brunet hair. He is on the skinnier side and seems preoccupied with wiping the dirt off his counter. To be honest, he would be good to have the rest of the shop dusted off as well. It needs some serious deep cleaning.

She timidly speaks up. "Excuse me, are you Mr. Gold?"

"Yes I am, but I'm afraid the shop's closed-" and he turns around, realizing the woman in front of him is Belle. But how can this be? He thought he lost her for all of eternity. This can't be real, she must be an illusion.

The amnesiac woman saw the look of shock on the older man's face. It seems that the man saw a ghost or something.

"I was uh, I was told to-to find and tell you that Regina locked me up. Does that mean anything to you?"

Gold reaches out and touches her in disbelief. "You're real. You're alive. She did this to you?"
"I was told you'd protect me."

Gold embraces her, sobbing slightly with relief and appreciation. Somehow, fate has decided to bring her back into his life. He won't make the same mistake again of ever letting her walk away again. He looks back at her with one hundred percent certainty.

"Oh yes. Yes I'll protect you."

"Um, I'm sorry, do I-do I know you?"

"No. But you will." This curse needs to be broken. And his former favorite student will have to pay dearly for Belle's imprisonment.

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A thousand things swirled in Regina's mind due to the increasing complexities that are life, she is now knee deep in. Despite all of these obstacles, one of the few things that bring her joy in her life is her son, her own miracle. She stood outside the door to pick her son up, wanting to be vigilant to make sure he is safe. Henry saw his mother and immediately ran to her with a big hug.

"Hey Mom. Can we see Emma now?"

She smiled down at him. "Of course we can."

They drove to the hospital as Henry chatted about what they did in school.

"Where's Grandma?" Regina clenched her jaw. She would be lying if she said that it didn't bother her how easily Henry accepted such a formal title for the teacher. But Henry has always believed that she was his grandmother so it is not a jump for him to call her such now openly with her.

"She is helping David, Graham, and Ruby with finding Sidney."

Henry smiles, "They will find him, I'm sure of it. Because good always wins."

Regina sighed. Henry's world is currently still viewed in black and white. But in this case, she doesn't mind if the heroes win this round.

"They do."

They made it to the hospital. She gave curt nods to the hospital staff in passing as they walked to Emma's door. There were two guards standing outside of the door which spiked Henry's curiosity.

"Is that Emma's room?"

"Yes."

"Then why are there two guys standing out there?"

"Because these are security guards, they are there to make sure Emma is safe."

"Okay."

Regina stood in front of the two burly men as they greeted the mayor. "Has there been any disturbances?"

"No Mayor Mills. It is been quite quiet here."

Regina nods at them. "Very well." And she opens the door and guides Henry in by putting her hand lightly on his back.

Emma lights up when she sees them. "Hey."

Henry's mouth is comically wide open as he yelped in excitement.

"Ma!" He ran to Emma's bed and leaped into her arms. He had to kind of maneuver around since she had a plate of food on a pull out table.

"Henry! Be careful," Regina admonished him from bulldozing her.

Emma laughed it off. "Well someone is excited to see her. But yeah, I am still recovering, so it will be great not to tackle me." She met Regina's eyes for a moment but quickly diverted it.

"I am so sorry."

"It's all good. How have you been doing?" she asks as she ruffled his hair.

"I'm good. I'm just so happy that you are alright." Henry looked down at the food that was on her tray. His nose wrinkled with disgust. It was mashed broccoli with stale looking rice and a piece of round flat meat that couldn't be easily identified.

"What are you eating?"

Emma laughs. She hasn't felt this light in a while. Henry is truly a gift to her, and to be so close to never see him again, it is too tragic to comprehend.

"I'm not sure what I'm eating but it sucks, yuck." And the two laughed together. Regina is feeling a little awkward, for some odd reason she feels out of place. She spoke into their cheery mood.

"The food is terrible. I can go and yell at the food service for their incompetence." She turned to leave but Emma's voice stopped her.

"You don't have to do that. Hospital food notoriously sucks anyway. But can you do me a huge favor and pick me something up from Granny's?"

Emma looks at her with her green puppy dog eyes. Eyes just like Henry that she can't refuse. Even though Emma is distant, it doesn't mean that she will stop caring for the blonde.

"I can do that. The usual I gather?"

Emma gives her a small smile. "Yep, double cheeseburger with bacon, fries, and a chocolate milkshake."

Regina can't believe she is willing to get that unhealthy meal for her. "Will do."

Henry whipped his attention to his mom, desperately wanting to state his case as well. "Can I get the same too, Mom?"

Her heart melts as two sets of green eyes peer at her. She has no defense against their whelms.

"This would be quite an early dinner but yes you can. Except you will have a single cheeseburger with no bacon and a shake. I don't want you to have an early heart attack."

Henry beamed at her, "Thanks Mom, you are the greatest."

"Thanks Regina."

She smiled back at her two favorite people in the world.

"You're welcome." She exited the room to retrieve two lunch orders.

Emma returned her attention back to her son.

"Really miss you buddy."

"Miss you too. Guess what?" he asks with a bright grin.

"What?"

"Chicken butt." Emma laughs at her silly son.

"Really Henry?"

"Nope, but Mary Margaret and David have their memories back." He is so happy to finally have confirmation that he was right all along. And that his blonde mother did have parents that love her. He was expecting more joy from her but she just had a frown on her face.

"Henry, no. I got it but no, I don't want to discuss that now."

"But why? We can all be a family together."

Henry is just a young kid that doesn't understand the nuances of relationships being forced between people. And he doesn't understand how her world has been shaken from the past days.

"Listen Henry. I understand that you are excited. David and Mar, that is a lot to take in and I don't want to discuss that right now. I am happy you are excited though."

Henry saw the sadness in her eyes, confused why she would feel that way when she finally has her parents in her life, but he doesn't want to be a bad son to make her feel that way, so he switches the subject.

"Let me tell you about the new comic I got."

Half an hour later, Regina returned with both of her loves' orders. They thanked her before they pounced on the food with vigor. Regina sat off in an uncomfortable chair to the side, observing them. They have the same mannerisms, quite barbaric if she can so say herself. But, she loves them all the same.

Henry left to go to the bathroom in the room which left Emma and Regina some alone time.

"I got to thank you again. If I can get food like that every day, it will make my time here more tolerable."

Regina got out of her chair and moved closer to her. "I don't think having burgers every single day would be the best choice. I like you and want you to stay alive. You can't be having a heart attack at such a young age."

Emma smiled back at her. Having Regina close to her makes her feel calm, despite the obvious tension that is between them.

"You can throw some lettuce in there, I'll be alright."

Regina touched Emma's hand softly which Emma reciprocated and held on tightly.

With a little insecurity, Regina asked, "are we going to be alright?"

"I think we will be." Time will just have to heal both of their wounds, and they both need to understand that.

Henry returned and they stayed for a couple of more hours and left. Emma wishes for her recovery to speed up so she can speed time with her family. They spent a few more hours together and Regina and Henry retired back to the mansion.

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"Damn it, he isn't here," David growled.

"Isn't it illegal or something? Shouldn't we have a warrant or something?" Ruby nervously asked.

"Regina already took care of that as well. She can be quite thorough when she wants to be."

They are in Sidney's apartment which has been ransacked. No one cares about making a mess, he doesn't deserve to be respected.

Ruby has noticed that Graham has been a lot more…informal when addressing the mayor. She doesn't know what to think about that.

The tall brunette let out a puff of breath. "I figured he wouldn't be here. If he was somewhat smart, he should have known not to return to his apartment since this is the first place we would look."

Graham looked at her and smiled in proud, "That is right indeed."

Ruby returned his smile, she is happy for him to have so much confidence in her.

Mary Margaret emerged from the corner with a blanched face. She looks wholly spooked as she entered the living room with the other three.

David saw Snow's distraught countenance and rushed to her. "Did you find anything? Are you okay?"

"I'm…quite disturbed if I can be honest about it. Follow me."

Ruby and Graham looked at each other in concern as they trailed behind David who followed Mary Margaret into a room they were not aware about.

They entered a dark room and was hit by aromas of candles. Candles were everywhere in this separate bedroom. Every inch of the one hundred square feet bedroom had blown up photos of Regina all over the walls of the room.

"What the hell? This is like a scene from a movie with a serial killer. This is gnarly."

"Not helping Ruby," David responded.

"If this doesn't show that he is creepily obsessed, then I know nothing."

Graham saw in the center of the room, a mantle with a small picture of Emma with a red cross marked on it, and shown it to them.

"I think he may want to continue to hurt Emma, maybe make the job permanent."

"Over my dead body he is, we need to find him now and make him pay."

Ruby was taken aback. She has never seen this type of strength coming from her best friend. She seems so much more self-assured and like a leader instead of a timid teenager. Wherever this new found confidence came from, she is willing to follow her.

David softly held onto Mary Margaret's arm. "We will find him, he won't hurt her again."

Graham spoke up, "I don't think we have to worry about Sidney trying to attack Emma. Regina has security guards outside her door 24 hours a day. Like I say, she is thorough."

Ruby had an inkling that she thinks what Sidney's next move is.

"Look guys, we know that Emma is protected. He may be hiding in some abandoned homes or out in the forest. But is it not reasonable to think that he may go after Regina? Who is protecting her?"

David, Snow, and Graham look at each other with "Oh shit" face. As much lingering dislike she has for Regina, deep down, she has always loved Regina and wanted her to change for the better. The woman has changed, and is deeply in love with her daughter, and she can't and won't deny that. Regina's devastated face at the prospect of losing Emma will never escape her.

It is fact that she is the mother of her only grandson, she is family. And Regina has done many terrible things in her life, but Snow cannot have her be hunted like prey for a psychopath.

"Henry is at home right now too, let's go." Graham nods his head at David as they all piled into the truck and sped towards Mifflin Street.

Sidney felt like a failure. He couldn't do one thing right. He shot the blonde square in the chest, and yet she still survived. The blonde has been a pesky nuisance for far too long. Regina's press conference on TV alerted the whole town's knowledge of Sidney being a fugitive. Her announcement broke his heart, but it also strengthened his resolve to win her, to have her.

He dressed up and covered his face well to see if he could find Emma to finish the job since she will be in a vulnerable state, but he knew that he wouldn't be able to get to her with security protecting the entrance to her room. It was risky for him to even be out in the open like this anyway. His disguise worked well for him, but he doesn't want to chance it and aborted that plan.

Oddly enough, despite all the trouble he is in, it didn't register with him to get the heck out of dodge and leave town. There is only one reason that is keeping him here, and it is Regina. He managed to dodge any person trying to find him. He figured it would do him well to hide in plain sight.

That is why he knew that Graham was back in town, probably on the search for him since he was the only other officer in town. Him and strangely the waitress, Mary Margaret, and David the former coma patient was with him. Quite an odd pairing indeed. But since they ran off throughout town, and probably the woods to find him, it gave him a golden opportunity that he now has courage to take. 108 Mifflin Street, here he comes.

Graham may have spent a great deal of time in Regina's mansion, but it doesn't top the times that Sidney has been there. He never found himself too jealous of Graham. Regina always seem to deal with him with slight contempt. Graham was just like a toy that she can throw away any time.

But unlike Graham, he has found a way years ago to enter the home undetected. He has rummaged through her expensive perfume, have rummaged through her lingerie. He has had her on his mind for years but he never had any courage to ask her out, so he relegated doing anything she wanted to get in her good graces.

All of the things to win her as failed. He has resigned himself to just take what he wants. It seems like everyone is going to be on the lookout for him anyway. If he goes down, at least he should go down with having a taste of Regina.

The daunting mansion looked quiet as a cottage in the middle of nowhere. There were only one light on in the home and he knew exactly where it was. Regina's room. The one fault of Regina is that is she always had an air of overconfidence. Living in Storybrooke has made her complacent since it is a quiet town where nothing happens. This will help him greatly.

He entered in the back door of the mansion smoothly with little noise considering that he has a key to the huge home. He managed to snag a key form the mayor when she was preoccupied and made his very own copy. He lightly stepped along the marble floors of the mansion, making sure he made as little noise as possible.

Sidney made his way into the bedroom, the sleeping body covered by expensive blankets. He predatorily stepped to the bed and quickly flipped the body over, eyes awakened in horror. He quickly slapped duct tape on the small boy's mouth. The boy thrashed around but he was already too late. Sidney managed to flip him onto his stomach and yanked his hands back to rope his hands and arms together so the boy can't escape and try to play a hero. He wants his time with Regina to be uninterrupted.

Sidney was thankful that tying up the boy took as little time and as little struggle as possible. He wouldn't want to alarm the brunette just yet. He carefully tip toed to her room, slowly opened the door. He knows that there would be no noise of a streaking sound from the door because Regina is too meticulous to ever allowed such a nuisance to exist in her home.

Regina is beautiful as she laid on her immaculate, luxurious bedding. In the deep shadows of her room, now that the light was turned off, he devoured the sight of her. He would finally have his mayor. Sidney climbs into the bed softly and lies on top of her. His heart is pumping profusely as he lays his lips on her succulent plump ones.

Regina has always been a light sleeper. She can chop that up to years of being the Evil Queen and always having to be on alert for assassins or plotters. That is why when she felt a weight pressed upon her, it startled her awake.

She feels lips pressed against her and she reflexively pushed the intruder off of her. She scrambled to grab the lamp light to bust the item against this intruder's head but the other person was too quick.

The man quickly recovered and knocked the lamp out of Regina's hand, grabbed her wrist, and pushed her violently onto the bed. The man smelled of musk and cheap cologne. It was sickening.

"Unhand me this instance fool," Regina defiantly spat at the man. She would never beg. Her eyes became more adjusted to the darkness of her room and she recognized the vile man.

"Sidney, get off me now."

He shook his head. "No, I have waited a long time for this. I have loved you for years, and done everything you asked. I will take what is owed to me, Madame Mayor." And he crushed his lips on her.

Her stomach dropped in disgust that Sidney thinks she owes him anything. There is only one person who could only say Madame Mayor in a seductive tone, and it is not this worm. His intentions are quite clear when she can feel his arousal. This is the most demeaning position she has been in. It reminds her of being powerless against the King when he took what he wanted. Sidney proceeded to rip her silk pyjamas off of her. Her shirt is now torn where there are glimpses of her black laced bra.

She thrashed and kicked around but Sidney's weight is too much against her. She is nowhere near her phone to call anybody, and her home is next to no one who can hear anything that is going on at 108 Mifflin street. She managed to get one good elbow in his ribs and he gasped. But he was again able to recover from her hits and grasped her arms and pulled it up above her head. He is a mad man with inexplicable strength right now. She gritted her teeth as he smacked her and then kept his right hand on both of her wrists. Then with his left, he reached down to his pants and unzipped himself.

"Please. God. No," is the only thing that she can think about as she screams at him to stop.

David rushed to Regina's mansion with Snow, Graham, and Ruby in tow.

"I don't have a good feeling at all. Let's hurry up in get in there as soon as we can," Snow said in the tense silence of the jam packed truck.

David nodded and braked violently to a holt as he parked and all of them scrambled out of it and ran to the front door. Mary Margaret tried to twist the door open but the door is firmly locked. David banged on the door like he was a police officer, hoping that someone would answer.

Graham observed that there were no lights on when they approached the home.

"I believe they are asleep at this time." He is after all familiar with some of the nightly routines of the Mills home.

David banged on the door loudly again. "IS ANYONE THERE?" After a few moments, there was still no response. Mary Margaret, Graham took some steps back off of the porch to observe if any lights came on to indicate that someone woke up.

David glanced at the other Mary Margaret and Graham. "Do you see anything to indicate that Henry or Regina are up?

Graham and Mar shook their heads no. "I don't see anything David."

David looked at his wife seriously. "I don't know if I'm being impatient, but even with the size of the house, someone should have came down by now."

Ruby hears a loud thump sound somewhere in the house. It sounded like something was breaking and she started to look around the windows.

"Guys, did you hear that? I heard something, maybe like glass breaking or something?"

David and Mar looked at her in shock. "No we don't hear anything." But Graham just smirks at his girlfriend. Her hearing has been extraordinary and if she heard anything, then someone is in there and it can spell trouble for Regina and Henry.

He ran up back to the porch and touched her shoulders to look deeply at her.

"I trust and believe in you. What do you think we should do?"

Ruby smiled at him, happy to see him consistently believe in her. But her stomach dropped because she can feel that something is not right just as Mary Margaret said earlier.

"Let's see if the back door or any windows have been open because someone is back there."

Graham nod back at her and gestures Snow to rejoin them.

"I know where the back door is. Follow me."

The three followed Graham and he is the first to see that the back door is indeed ajar. He opened it wider to everyone can come in as well.

"Oh god!" Mary Margaret put her hand on her heart as she gets a sinking feeling.

"Don't worry, everything will be fine," David tried to reassure his wife. He looked at Graham as he turned on some lights in the gigantic home.

"Where's Henry room?"

"Right up stairs and once you turn left it is the second door to the right. Ruby and I will check Regina's room. Let's hurry." He looks at everyone and they all nod and stampede their way to the corresponding rooms.

David and Snow reached Henry's room which is a place they have never ventured to. What greeted them made David furious and Snow mad and appalled at what they saw. Henry was crying on the floor completely bound up.

They rushed to him and Snow snatched off as softly but quickly as she can the duct tape around her grandson's mouth.

"Grandpa, Grandma," he cried out with tears. He is so relieved. Snow wiped the tears from Henry's face.

"Don't worry. We're here and everything is going to be fine.

The two worked in tandem as David unwound the strongly tightened rope around Henry's hands as Snow began working on untying the rope around his legs. Once released, he hugged Snow tightly as David joined in the hug, kissing his grandson on the head.

"I was so scared," he stuttered. He heard his mother screaming and felt bad that he couldn't do anything. The poor boy is distraught. But everything is fine since the heroes are here.

David eyes narrowed. "I know you are scared but everything is going to be fine. But can you tell us who did this to you."

Henry snuffles his tears so he can speak clearly. "It was Sidney."

As Sidney unbutton himself in which he had to elevate his body a little bit from Regina's, Regina was able to move her leg to position it between Sidney and kneed him hard in the groin. He groaned in pain has he fell off the bed.

That is when Graham and Ruby barged in the door. Graham pounced onto Sidney immediately and turned his body from the floor and clocked him dead in the jar, effectively knocking him out. Ruby rushed towards Regina who looked so dishevelled, and looks at her in sympathy.

"Are you alright?"

Regina's heart was racing at a mile a minute and she is still getting her bearings. She hates to look weak in front of them but she can at least stand Ruby. But she ignored her question.

"Where is my son?"

She looked at Graham who is over Sidney's body and Ruby expecting an answer.

Ruby answered her question, "David and Mary Margaret went to Henry's room to check on him."

Her concerns for her son is elevated above her own. She rushed down the hallway in a tattered shirt and entered Henry's room. Her son was in a tight hug with David and Snow holding onto him.

"Henry," she exhaled and he turned at her voice and ran into his mother's arm.

"I love you, Mom." He is just grateful that his mother is alive and doesn't seem to be harmed. She dropped to her knees and hugged him tightly, wanting to never let her little prince go. A few tears dropped as she placed light kisses all over her head. David pulled Snow into him as they smiled at mother/son reuniting.

Ruby and Graham arrived, standing outside of Henry's door witnessing Regina looking over Henry, seemingly to look for injuries.

"Are you okay my little prince? Are you hurt?"

Henry shook his head no and buried his face in her chest, just wanting to be comforted. Regina looked up at the Charming's, her eyes demanding them to say something. Snow got the hint and started to speak.

"When we came into his room, David and I found him tied up. Other than being scared to death, Henry didn't obtain any other injuries.

Graham cleared his throat, trying to gain everyone's attention.

"Sidney is knocked out cold in the other room but we need to do something with him before he wakes up."

Now that she knows that Henry is safe and secure, her minds eases back from fight mode and settles into a business set of mind frame.

"Indeed we do. Let me get dress and we will take care of him." She looked down at her shirt and bunches the sides to cover her peeking bra. Henry doesn't need to see that.

She runs to her room and changed quickly into some slacks, a simple white blouse, and straighten her hair. She feels empowered now, not victimized. Her clothes act as armour against any and all threats. She walked back over to Henry's door and exudes power.

"Graham, come and pick up the garbage so we can take him out of here."

She turned her attention back to Ruby and the Charming's.

"Can I trust for you to keep an eye on Henry? I know nothing else should happen but…"

"We will take great care of him," Snow interrupts her.

Regina is loathed to ask anything from the two idiots but Ruby is there with brains and she knows that David and Snow will take care of their grandson. Ruby nodded as well and scooted down at Henry's level to look at him.

"Since you was so brave today, how about I treat you to an ice cream sundae and a big cheeseburger?"

Henry's spirits went up as he smiled at the young brunette. But he then turned towards his mother, pleading his case in case she denied Ruby's offer.

Regina saw the gesture for what it was, and rubbed his cheek. "Yes, that sounds lovely Ruby. Thank you."

Ruby smiled at Regina's approval. Snow frowns when she saw how easily Regina seems to converse with Ruby more than her.

"If that is all, let's go." Graham followed Regina to her room and picked up an unconscious Sidney and had him dangling off his back. Regina and Graham made their way to her car.

"Don't you think we should take something more spacious?"

Regina gives Graham a hard look. "I don't care about Sidney having any sort of comfort."

She opens the side door and pulled up the passenger seat and points at the empty space. "Throw him in the back."

Graham bit his tongue and threw the man in the back of the seat, he as well not caring if Sidney gets any more injuries from the impact of the throw. Regina is already settled at the driver seat as he entered her vehicle. All of these years, he has never ridden in the black Benz.

"So where to?"

"You'll see," she curtly answered. They sat in still silence as Regina drives to her destination.

"I bet you were thrilled to see me in such a predicament."

Graham exhaled a sigh. "Thrilled at what? You being potentially raped when that is what you essentially did to me when you took my heart? No. I didn't. I only come for Henry and for Emma who wouldn't want harm to come to you. So instead of attitude, you can at least be grateful, your majesty."

"Huh" she responded. Looks like woods boy developed a wordsy bite. You asked the question out of curiosity at why Graham seems to be helping her considering the things she has done to him. At least she knows it is not directly for her benefit. She hasn't explained to Emma what she has done with the Huntsman back in Enchanted Forest. Her sexual entanglements were not about sex in of itself, but power over the Huntsman who had dared defied her. It is another nail in her coffin in her debased persona of the Evil Queen. A part of herself that she would like to shield away from Emma.

"We're here."

"This is the hospital," he stated, thinking that they were going to the common sense place of the jail cell.

"I am glad that you have eyes to see. So how about you use the rest of your body and get that piece of shit out of my car?"

She got out of her car without Graham's response. He huffed as he got of his seat, pushed it forward, and proceeded to grab Sidney by the legs and pull him out. His head banged off the rail of the car and onto the pavement. Then Graham picked him up back up on his back and followed Regina. There was no more chit chat between them.

He followed her inside the hospital and used a security code to get into some part that he has never been in. She opened the door and they travelled through a very sombre place. There is a very creepy guy with long black hair and big buggy eyes that they passed.

"What is this place?"

"The psyche ward," she answered simply. They came upon a blonde nurse with buns at the desk.

"Hello dear, I have a new visitor. Do make sure that this one doesn't escape."

The blonde nurse smiled at her. She knows that she is not blamed for the disappearance of Patient Zero.

Graham has no idea that anyone has escaped nor who Patient Zero is.

"I will Mayor Mills."

"Are you sure this is secure?"

Regina gives him a stern look. "I am." Then she turns her attention back to the nurse.

"Also, I would like for this one to not be fed for a couple of days. Just give him water until I revisit him."

"I will make sure to do so."

Regina always liked the nurse. She never did ask many questions. All Graham could do but look between the two conversing. He wasn't going to comment on the lack of nutrition that Regina instructed for Sidney's diet.

As he dumped Sidney's body in a room that Regina brought him to, all he could think about is that he doesn't give a damn if Sidney ate or not. He is getting off pretty easy if you asked him. They exited the hospital when Regina suggested to drop Graham at his apartment so he can get his car. He wholeheartedly agreed.

He is fine with spending as less time as possible with Regina, the better. Plus, he will be able to pick Ruby up so David doesn't have to bus everyone everywhere. He explained that to Regina to drop him off so that he can retrieve his car. It has been a tiring day.

Regina made it back to her mansion first. She is most relieved that Sidney will no longer threaten her, Emma, nor Henry. He will pay dearly for what he has done. She feels guilty that her sins are once again being paid by Henry and Emma.

She immediately made her way back to Henry's room where he is tucked in, sleeping peacefully and surrounded by David, Snow, and Ruby. They turned their heads when the door opened, very alert.

Snow was the first to speak. "We didn't want to leave his room."

Regina can see Snow's protectiveness, and she can admit only to herself that she knew that Henry was in good hands, despite Snow's ineptitude in looking out for Henry in the vicinity of the mines all those months ago.

"Thank you. I got it from here."

"Well, I guess I will be on my way. I am just thankful that he is not roaming around in the public anymore. I have to get up early for the diner tomorrow morning." The red-streaked brunette looked at Regina. "Can you let Emma know I'll try to see her sometime tomorrow?"

"Yes, I am sure she will be happy with that."

Ruby smiled at her and gave Snow and David a hug goodbye.

"I believe Graham is on the way back to pick you up. You can go downstairs to wait for him."

Ruby's eyes sparkled with mirth. "Sweet. Have a good one everyone." And she went down to Regina's big porch waiting for Graham's arrival.

Regina returned her attention the Charmings that were looking at her in concern.

"Let's leave my son in peace," and she led them out of Henry's room so they could talk.

"Snow, it looks like you have something to say, spit it out." Regina hates the look of pity on her face.

Snow saw the disheveled panicked look and torn shirt on Regina when she rushed to Henry's room when they just untied them. No matter what they have been through together, she would never want Regina to ever be forced in that type of position. Especially when she knows that her daughter would be devastated.

"I…we…were worried. Regina, are you alright? Did he harm you? I saw your shirt torn…"

"Oh now you care about the Evil Queen," she snapped.

David interjected. "You don't have to yell at her. Believe it or not, despite our past with you wanting to kill us, the matter of the fact is that all of these years in this curse, you never once tried to kill us. Even when it would have been easy to do so. We…I think we don't see you like that anymore."

Regina was shocked at David's perception of her. And she looked at Snow to confirm whether she just heard what she thought she did. That they somehow believed that she has changed. Snow say Regina's look and just nod her head in confirmation.

"The woman that we see before us undoubtedly loves her son with all her heart. Someone that can love like that couldn't be fully evil. Look, I know that we have been through a lot, but I am so tired of fighting. I just want my family," she looked at David who smiled back at her and returned her attention back to Regina, "and I just want peace. Can we just start from there?"

Regina was choked up. She as well no longer have any inkling to cause any further harm to Snow, to make her unhappy. Snow may have first took her first love with Daniel, but it seems that fate decided that through Snow Regina can regain happiness with Emma.

"Indeed, let's have a fresh start. I don't want to be bothered with you two idiots any further than I need too." She said it without malice but still in her lovely snark. And the Charmings understood her intent.

"Good," David exhaled. "I think we should let Emma know that everything is fine now when we will go see her." He frowned and mumbled, "if she wants to see us," referring to what Snow said that Emma needs space from them.

The tension that was non-existent sprang back to life as Regina opened her eyes.

"You will not tell any of this. You hear me. She is not to know anything that has happened here."

Snow protested, "But she has every right to know that Sidney has been put away after what he has done."

"That we can agree but she is not to know that he tied Henry up," and she left the fact of Sidney almost raping her unspoken, but David and Snow knew that as well.

David spoke up, "I don't think it would be wise to keep something like that from Emma. She is bound to know and I for one don't want to keep secrets from her."

Regina in exasperation responded. "Emma unfortunately has inherited her heroic idiotic tendencies from you both, and if she found that out, she wouldn't hesitate to run from the hospital and come to the mansion to protect Henry and I. And I don't want that to happen when she needs to recover from the gunshot would. This incident would put too much stress on her."

Regina doesn't want to have any secrets from Emma either, but this is the most mature decision to make.

"But what if Emma finds this out by somebody?"

Regina glared at Snow. "The only people who knows is you, me, Charming, Ruby, and Graham. Ruby may be a gossip but I trust she can be discreet. You on the other hand is the one I am most concern about. You never could keep a secret."

Snow bristled at Regina's jab. "I was TEN!" Snow just shook her head. "And I thought we were trying to make up."

"That's all well in good but I am just making sure you don't make any more idiotic mistakes. And telling Emma would be one of them."

"Alright, let's us calm down. Let's just let Emma know that he is put away and leave it at that. But if Emma does find out and gets mad, I'll blame it on you that we didn't tell her," he pointedly stared at Regina. She just crossed her arms.

"It is not the first time you blamed me for something. Anyway, it is not liked she wants to see you two anyway," she prodded.

Snow straighten her back and lifts her chin. "That will change. We love her and will give her the space she needs. We will see her when she is ready."

"You can leave now," Regina gestured to door. She had enough of them.

Emma still feels exhausted from the morphine that they pumped into her system. But her recovery is going on smoothly. Things could have been worse for her. She could have been shot in her spine and never able to walk again. Or shot in the brain and die or suffer from a coma. She doesn't see any reason that she can't get out of this joint by the end of the week. Emma always had a fascinating ability to heal quite quickly.

She starts to think about Mar who is Snow White and David who is Charming. Her parents. What a strange concept considering that she has been orphaned all her life. When she looks back on it, Mar always had a maternal feeling when she was around her. She knows that Snow White would have been a wonderful mother.

She didn't get to spend as much time with David, but she considered him a friend. He seemed very easy going. Emma could totally see herself as a Daddy's little girl. It is time to speak with them. She grabbed her phone which Regina was able to retrieve for her, and dialled Mar's number.

"Can I see you two?"

When Snow received the call from Emma, she was more than thrilled to wake David up and they hurriedly got dressed to get to the hospital. She knows that she has been neglecting her teaching position, but her family is worth more than some little job that the curse gave her. Besides, she has been doing the same lessons for almost 28 years. The children won't be missing anything.

David was nervous but excited to finally see his daughter after regaining his memories back. His palms were sweating as they stood outside Emma's door which was still guarded by security guards. Regina really doesn't spare an expense when it comes to protecting her loved ones.

Emma perked up when David and Mar entered her room. David is holding Snow's shoulders as they shyly made their way into their daughter's room.

"Hi," Emma timidly said to her new two visitors.

David had tears glistening in his eyes and Snow had a wide smile as they both said hello back. They walked right up to Emma's left side of the bed, holding each other and looking Emma. No one said anything for a few moments.

Emma's laugh broke up the silence. "Well, this is awkward."

"I'm so sorry. This…I am so happy you wanted to see us. Can I hug you?"

Emma nodded and Snow gleefully hugged her daughter, but she was careful not to crushed her. David follow along with her.

"If you have any questions, we are more than happy to answer them."

As Emma looked at David holding Mar's shoulders, she can't help but to think that they sickeningly look like the perfect couple. But she is not their perfect daughter. She had so many questions for them, she doesn't know where to begin. But there was the one burning question that plagued her for years.

"Why couldn't you keep me? I know that Regina's curse would have swept everyone, but why didn't you?"
David gulped because he can hear the inherent pain in his daughter's voice. He has never been fully set on sending Emma away as Snow had, but they had to do what is best.

"We needed you to break the curse, and you couldn't do that if you were part of that," Snow answered.

"But we would have been together, which curse would have been worse?"

Snow's heart broke at Emma's words, she held onto David for strength who felt like she did. She frowned looking back at their decision. It still hurt her to this day.

"Emma, you have to believe that if there was another way to escape Regina's curse. We would have took it. The Blue Fairy told us that it was the only way."

Blue Fairy, Emma thought. What kind of name is that?

"Who is this Blue Fairy? Is she here?"

"She is one of the most powerful fairies in our world. She was the one that gave us a way to break Regina's curse. In this world, she is Mother Superior."

She sounds self-righteous to Emma. She bristles at the thought that her fate was in the hand of others.

"So if the Blue Fairy told you to jump off the bridge, would you?" She knows it is childish, but she is frustrated that they just let their only daughter go.

David interjected, "The last thing I wanted to do was to put you in that wardrobe." He reached for Emma's hand which she hesitantly took. "I held you in my arms as I fought Regina's black guard. The only thing I could think about was your safety. I know it hurts that we haven't been able to be in your life.

It hurts me that I never got to hear your first word, teach you how to walk, or take you to your ball. But we thought we made the best choice. Please believe that we loved you with all we have."

Emma's throat hurt from holding in the tears that threaten to pour out.

"But, a wardrobe. Seriously. I've seen where the wardrobe ended up. Even if you thought you were keeping me safe, I could have easily died of starvation, or got eaten by wolves. You had no idea whether I would have survived or not. I just don't see how you can rationally make the choice you made."

"But the prophecy said that you would save us, on your 28th birthday you would come back to us to break the curse," Snow spoke up.

"Have you considered that maybe baby me would break the curse when 28 years passed?"

Snow and David were silent as they pondered on their daughter's reasoning. The prophecy can be interpreted that way.

"Emma, I know it is hard, but please try to forgive us. We made a decision that we thought was best, and it hurt to our very core. We can't make up for the last 28 years, but please give us a chance to love you now."

Emma continued to lie in her bed, thinking about what Snow said. It is unhealthy to live in the past. And in this moment, she finally asked the burning questions that either burned through her for years and quite recent.

"You right Mar, I wouldn't mind starting from the beginning." Snow subtly winced from Emma referring to her as just Mar. But even she is not too optimistic that Emma will just jump and call her Mom.

"But there is another question I have to ask. Is me being with Regina, going to be a problem?" She stared intently at them.

"I am quite reluctant with this relationship," Snow stated.

"Especially when she has tried to kill us on more than one occasion."

"But we are learning to grow into the idea of you two together. Regina and I have a very long history, but as your friend and room-mate, I can see how much you love her."

"We got to see how much she loves you two," David added.

"And all we want for you is happiness."

Emma is quite relieved at that. This would make her relationship with her parents easier.

"I am happy to hear that. Because in all honesty, if you ever put me in a position where I have to choose you two or Regina and Henry, I would choose them every time."

To Snow and Charming, the message was clear. Do not come between Emma and Regina's relationship if they want to be part of her life.

David tightened his grip on Emma's hand and smiled at her. "We understand." Their attention turned to the door when there was a knock.

Chapter Text

Regina had decided to allow Henry to skip out on school after his traumatic experience with Sidney. Henry was so surprised and thrilled that his mother was allowing him to play hookey because that never happened before.

The duo went to the hospital to see Emma. Regina knocked tentatively and entered Emma's room where she was surprised to see Snow and David. Emma widened her eyes in surprise to find her two favorite people in the world.

"Hey, I didn't expect you so early. Come on in," Emma beckoned her girlfriend and son.

Henry ran to Emma's beside in which David and Snow broke apart to allow Henry to hug his father.

"Hey yourself," Regina responded, narrowing her eyes at Snow as she approached Emma's side as well. She turned her attention back to her blonde lover. "This is an unexpected surprise."

Snow bristled at Regina's unspoken accusation that she told Emma anything about Sidney. But Emma didn't catch their exchange as she hugged Henry tightly and responded to Regina's inquiry.

"Yeah, David, Mary Margaret, and I were just…talking."

"Oh…okay." For Regina, she didn't think that Emma wanted to talk to her parents so soon. Maybe she is opening up to accepting them as her kin.

But what Regina is most concern about is what exactly did the Charmings tell Emma.

David spoke up, he can see the daggers that Regina is throwing at Snow and he wanted to clear the air. "Yes, we were just talking. Emma, and we have great news. Sidney is no longer going to be a problem."

Regina nodded towards David. So it seems that they didn't have any conversation about Sidney with Emma just yet which is something she was grateful for and she also appreciated David's tact in how she was trying to silently communicate with them without saying something in front of Emma.

Emma was very happy that the crazy reporter was gone for the time being.

"Is he locked up?" she asked Regina.

"Yes he is."

Emma clucked her tongue and nodded her head in approval. Regina is thankful that Emma doesn't seem like she was going to ask any more questions than was necessary. Maybe she was just tired and find it sufficient that everything was handled.

Henry was sitting in the bed pressed against Emma. And he was excited to talk about the heroism of his grandparents.

"I was so scared when Sidney tied me up, but grandpa and grandma were there to free me. And Graham and Ruby were there too. The bad man is gone because good would always wins." It is such a simplistic statement that Henry had no idea what he sparked within his mature audience.

Emma eyes dramatically widen and she stuttered.

"Henry…you were tied up?" Her eyes were bugged as she looked at Mar, David, and Regina to get an explanation. "What the hell went down?!" Emma demanded sharply.

Regina's heart dropped from Henry's revelation. She cursed herself that she has been so focused on Snow not spilling anything in regards to Sidney's capture, she had neglected to tell Henry not to say anything to his other parent about their ordeal.

Snow and David were shocked silent, not wanting to open that can of worms. David knew that Emma needed to be told, and her hearing from Henry is the last thing they wanted. If they just told her themselves, maybe things would be a lot smoother. Henry does not know what he has done, but it doesn't seem to look good as she tried to cower away from the bed when Emma becomes hysterical.

"Why is nobody saying anything? My son just said that he was tied up, don't you think that is something I should know?"

Emma was raising her voice and Regina wanted to quickly diffuse the situation. She turned to Snow and David and gave them an order.

"Can you please take Henry out to the vending machine to get him a snack?"

"But I'm not…" but Henry stopped when his mother gave him a sharp glare. David and Snow immediately got the hint and escorted Henry out of the room so that they can talk.

When the door closed, Emma immediately pounced on her with questions. Her heart is beating drastically from the small panic attack she was having.

"Is what Henry saying true? Tell me everything that happened, come sit next to me."

Regina didn't want to tell Emma because it was going to cause her undue stress, but now the cat is out of the bag, and she has no choice but to tell Emma everything. She walked over to Emma's right side of the bed and looked down at her.

"Yes, what Henry said was true. Somehow, Sidney broke into our home-"

"And did he hurt him?" Her blood is pumping profusely with anger thinking about Sidney touching her son.

"No, Henry was not injured. He was just scared very badly, but I think he is alright now. He is such a brave boy."

That calmed Emma a little bit as she looked over Regina closely. "And did Sidney do anything to you?" She noticed a faint blush on Regina's cheek, and she has feeling it is not from blushing.

Regina averted her eyes away from Emma's face so she didn't have to directly look at her. Where Sidney slapped her, she made sure to expertly put on make-up to cover up the bruise.

"I'm fine."

"Don't bullshit me, Regina." She grabbed Regina's hand and ran her thumb over smooth skin. "Please, tell me."

Regina uncharacteristically gulped. "He tried to…force himself on me."

"What!?" Emma immediately interrupted Regina, but Regina quickly stopped Emma from asking any more questions.

"But I hurt him before he could do anything. Don't worry, it's over. Ruby, Graham, Mary Margaret and David were there to assist us. I had him locked up where he wouldn't be able to escape. I don' t need you to be angry or stressed, I need you to heal."

Emma is breathing hard as her chest contract with pain at her inability to protect her body. Here she is, lying in a hospital bed while her son and girlfriend were attacked in their own home. Tears threaten to pour as she beats herself up at her ineptitude.

"That bastard. I feel so ashamed that I wasn't there to protect you."

Regina hushes her lover as she runs her hand through Emma's hair. "I refuse for you to blame yourself for this. We are fine and he is gone for good. The way you can love me is by taking care of yourself."

Emma's heart soared at that again, Regina is choosing Emma's welfare above her own. It makes her feel special that finally in her life, someone is choosing her. Emma furrowed her eyebrows as a certain realization overcame her.

Regina noticed the subtle change in Emma and wondered where it came from. "Can you get David and Mar here? Have Henry to stay outside and let the guards keep an eye on him."

Regina arched an eyebrow at Emma, curious as to why Emma has requested her parents. "Alright, I'll be but a moment."

Regina went to the waiting room and beckoned David and Snow to come with her. She explained to Henry to stay there and don't move. She honestly didn't want him out of her presence, but she felt confident that nothing else will happen to him. David and Snow followed Regina back to Emma's room.

The three entered with Emma's eyes intently on them as they made their way to her bed.

"I am guessing how it works, if the curse breaks, everyone would gain their memories back, right?"

Snow and David looked at each other as Regina frowned and answered, "Yes."

"And I am also guessing that they wouldn't be happy to see you, right?"

David snorted, "That is the understatement of the year."

Regina sneered at David's statement which is completely true. "Yes, I cursed them with unhappy lives to this town for 28 years. They wouldn't be thrilled to see me, that I can guarantee."

"So how is this curse supposed to be broken?"

Snow volunteered an idea. "True Love's kiss is the most powerful magic in the world, and I think it would be powerful enough to break this one."

"Well, Regina and I kissed aplenty, why didn't it work?" Emma can't believe that she is even asking questions about magic. The whole thing just feels surreal.

The air became exceedingly uncomfortable at the implications of Emma's question. Regina believes in her whole heart that Emma is her true love since she was able to break her infertility curse, but it is a valid question. That she now hates how David and Snow are giving judging looks in her direction. Like her relationship with Emma is not on the same True Love status as their own.

"Darling, I'm not sure," she is clearly uncomfortable in discussing whether they are true loves in front of the annoying Charming's. "And I am curious as to why you are asking?"

"I will tell you after all of you can confirm something with me. Will Regina's life be in danger when the curse breaks?" Emma looks at each of them as she asked the question.

"I am afraid it will be," Mar answered. She looked at her daughter and she believes she knows where Emma is going with this.

"Then, I just won't break the curse."

Snow gasps as David frowns and Regina's mouth opens.

"Emma, you have to break the curse, it was prophesied. You are the Savior."

Emma bristles at Mar's statement. "This is not something I wanted. I didn't choose to be some weird savior saving fairytale characters. I didn't ask for this, and I don't want it. My family's safety is my first concern," she looked at Regina with the last sentence.

Regina's soul is warmed by the protectiveness for her lover. But for Regina to continue on her road of redemption, she knows that she has to put others first.

"Dear, I know you are concerned but I have to agree, the curse must be broken. It wouldn't be right to wilfully keep them in the curse I cast. They deserve their memories back because the memories I gave them were of misery."

"I am not going to jeopardize your safety," she defiantly replied.

David sighs, he knows exactly where Emma is coming from. He would probably do the same if he was in his daughter's shoes. David would like to think that she got her fiery zeal to protect those she loves from him.

"I understand Emma, you want to do everything to protect Regina. I get that. But we just can't let people wallow with cursed memories. It is not fair to them."

"And I can take care of myself." She rubbed a palm on Emma's cheek.

Emma decided to not say anything further in regards to her curse. She is not going to break it if it endangered the woman she loves. It may be selfish, but it is what it is.

With Emma's silence, the three mistakenly believed that Emma relented and agreed with them that the curse needed to end.

Jeff, a big burly man with a graying reddish beard, was one of the security guards outside of the sheriffs door. He doesn't mind getting paid a little extra for guard duty. It was a piece of cake since nothing really happens, it may be boring, but it gave him more money to buy some cigars.

And he couldn't pass up the offer that Mr. Gold presented to him, to report anything out of ordinary that happens with the sheriff. Usually the mayor and Emma's room-mate and the coma guy would visit her, their conversations were muffled. But this time around, he heard something which confused and alerted him.

What the hell were they talking about with curses? Are they in some Blair Witch Project sort of stuff? They don't seem the type. Jeff looked and waited until his partner came back.

"Can you continue the watch for me? I got to make a call real quick."

The skinnier, bald man with a goatee, name Sean, nodded. "Yeah man, sure thing."

Jeff took his leave and dialed a number.

"I hope you have something for me. How is our heroic sheriff doing?"

He has no idea why Mr. Gold is so worried about the welfare of the town's newest member, but with the wads of cash that the rich man presented, he decided that he didn't need to know.

"It seems that she is healing." He paused for a few moments, not sure if he was going to get in trouble for tattling on some of the most powerful people in town, but he wouldn't want to deal with the consequences of Mr. Gold finding out that he was holding out.

"I heard them talking. The sheriff was saying that she didn't want to break a curse or something. I couldn't catch everything, but the sheriff, she seems determined about it. I know it sounds bananas, and I'm not trying to get in trouble…"

"You won't. Your piece of information is invaluable to me. There would be an extra reward for you. Keep your ears open."

"Thank y-" but Gold already hung up the phone.

Now this is news to him. So it seems that the Savior is well aware of her identity and what she needs to do. This also confirmed for him that Charming and Snow must have their memories back and trying to convince their daughter to break the curse.

For Regina to be in the same room with them, they all must be in it together. Who would have thought that the Evil Queen would be working with her arch nemesis? No matter about that, he is more concerned that Emma is going to intentionally hold off on breaking the curse. That won't do at all.

Gold musings were interrupted when Belle, well, she doesn't remember that she is Belle, asked him a question.

"Is everything alright?"

He looked back at her, she is finally out of her hospital gowns and has on a muted baby blue dress with flowery prints that all right at her knees. She was gorgeous. She is still getting accommodated in his home. She also seem to be more at ease when she realized that he was not going to take advantage of her, and helped clothe, feed, and take care of her.

"Everything is going to be just fine. Don't you worry."

She looked satisfied with that answer and went back to the living room to play with the puzzles that she preoccupied herself with.

The curse must break. It is a miracle that Belle is right in front of him, but she is not truly Belle. Breaking the curse should bring her back her memories. If Emma is unwilling to break the curse on her own accord, it looks like he needs to intervene and create a circumstance that will force Emma to break the curse. He has come too far and too close to his Bae for there to be any interruptions in his plans. The gift of foresight should be called partial sight, because he wasn't shown any of the details on how to get to his son. He has a plan.

Jefferson sat in his huge mansion, the silence often suffocated with loneliness and regrets of years past. He is still not one step ahead of getting his Grace. He is painstakingly creating hat after hat, wishing for a way to get out of this hell hole, a way back home once his daughter is back with him. The doorbell rang which snapped his attention.

In all of these years, he has never had a visitor. Things are finally changing. He walked downstairs and opens a door, his eyes widen at who is before him.

"Hello Jefferson, I have a way to get us both what we want."

Jefferson opened the door to let Mr. Gold into his not so humble abode. Gold just walked on in like he owned it.

"And what could you have that I want?" Jefferson was banking that Gold had his memories or it would have been for naught for him to release Belle. He wants to confirm if he has his memories or not.

"Oh dearie, we go way back. And we two people need something from each other, a deal can always be struck."

Jefferson crossed his arms, "So do you know who you are?"

Gold decided to throw his old colleague a bone. He knows that Jefferson is well aware of the curse and who he was back in the old world. "Rumplestiltskin, dearie. And I must say, I thank you for releasing my Belle. I haven't found myself in this predicament often, but I owe you a debt."

The Dark One owing him a debt. This is going to pay out for him nicely. He smiled widely at the older man. "How do you figure it was me?"

"Let's just say, I can always tell a desperate soul. And besides, there are only a few people who knew my conflict with Regina. And considering you know who you are, it wasn't hard to figure out."

Jefferson uncrossed his hand from his defensive stance. He would be more hesitant in dealing with the Dark One, but he is quite familiar with him. And he said that he owes him a debt. He has the upper hand at this point.

"So what is your proposition?"

"I believe I have a way to get your daughter back, and that is for her to regain her memories."

"I already know that and the curse will be pushed. It is after all 28 years later. Emma is bound to break it."

"That is the conundrum. Emma doesn't want to break the curse."

Jefferson shook from that revelation. "She doesn't want to break the curse. So she already knows everything about it?"

Gold tapped on his can as he leaned on it. "That is indeed correct. I believe the Savior just needs a little…push."

Jefferson spread out his arms and let them fall on his thighs. "So how do I fit into all this?"

"I would need your hat?"

Jefferson just shook his head. "I don't see how that is supposed to help us when there is no magic in this land."

"You let me deal with that."

Chapter Text

Emma knew that she was holding back that she had no plans to break the curse, but she'll let Regina, David, and Mar think that she accepted their premise that it had to be broken. After Henry came back into the room, they all chatted for an hour or two, which was nice. That moment had such a robust familial connection that she seldom experienced before.

She is still relying on the morphine to ease the pain in her chest, which makes her weak and sleepy. As much as she wanted to interact with her family, it was time for them to leave and give her time to relax and sleep. But a couple of hours later, she received even more visitors.

There was a knock on the door which she beckoned them to come in. Emma felt more rejuvenated now.

"Ems! I am so happy to see you," Ruby exclaimed and rushed to Emma's beside.

"Ruby," Emma smiled as she hugged friend. Graham smiled and slowly walked to Emma's bedside as well.

"How are you feeling Emma?"

She smiled back nodded at him, a silent understanding passing between them that Emma now knows that Graham is not crazy.

"Like I have been shot."

"Ha ha Em. Don't joke like that, you scared all of us. But I'm relieved that you are doing better now."

"But I did get shot," Emma jokingly pouted.

Ruby pinched Emma lightly. "Hey, ouch. Injured person here," she pointed to herself.

"But seriously, we are happy to see that you are alright. I am so sorry I haven't been here sooner."

"Don't worry about it. And it should be me thanking you, both of you." She looked at both of them. "Regina had told me how you guys helped with that lunatic, Sidney. I can't thank you enough for protecting my family."

Graham put his arm around Ruby's slender waist and smirked down at Emma.

"It was nothing Emma, truly. I am just glad we can help."

Ruby smiled up at Graham and launched into an excited conversation with Emma. For the blonde, things were calming down and looking up.

Jefferson entered Gold's pawnshop. It was the first time he has ever entered the building. It is quite fitting for a man to be known for making deals, to also have the same type of industry here in the land of no magic. The bell chimed, signalling Gold's new guest in which he quickly went out to see.

"Hello, dearie. Did you bring what I requested?"

Jefferson lifted his top hat up so Gold could see. "I did."

Gold nodded his head to the back of his shop. "This way." And Jefferson followed suit. He thinks that Gold can use some more lighting here, it is quite dreary.

"So, I really want to know how this is going to work," he said once they reached a small clearing in the back of his shop.

"Simply, the answer is magic. I actually have some with me."

Jefferson widened his eyes in shock. "You have magic here?"

"I don't have much, but I should have enough to activate the hat."

Gold took out a silver coin with strange writing on it that Jefferson couldn't place.

"So that is all you have? Something that looks like a nickel?" He was sceptical that such an ordinary item would have any type of magic.

"This is not just a simple coin, this is a talisman I procured from a sorcerer I made a deal with. It is enchanted. It still holds magical properties that should be enough for a small portal into the hat."

Jefferson looked at it and saw how it glistened with light magic. He may not have been a magical user, but he can sense when something is magical. He laid his top hat upside down.

"Yes, I think that it should be enough. It may not be enough for you to jump in, but it should be enough to grab what you need. Just drop it down and imagine what you want and where it is."

Gold was going to bristle at him that he is no amateur, but decided to let it pass and dropped the magical coin into the hat. A small purple mist emitted from the hat in which Gold slowly knelled on his bad knee and reached into the hat.

Gold has always kept an eye on his favorite student. He was there when he saw Regina cursed herself with infertility because of her hate of the king. He was also there when Regina gave Snow White the infamous sleeping curse. He was always there, lurking, checking on his protégé in the background. He was invested in her future. That is why he had no trouble knowing exactly when and where the apple was located.

He successfully pulled it out of the hat, Jefferson being amazed at his feat. "Is that…"

"Yes, this is the sleeping curse that Regina used on Snow White."

"How are you going to use that?"

"That…is the question. How do I get the queen to taste her own poisonous fruit?"

Jefferson scratched his short hair. "How is that going to break the curse? Emma is the key."

"True Love's kiss, of course."

But Jefferson was still confused. "I thought Daniel was her True Love. Are you implying that Emma is hers?" He can't believe that at all. He doesn't even think the Evil Queen has the capacity to love even though she was once innocent.

"That is correct. The Savior would do anything to save her True Love, and that is what I'm leaning on to break the curse."

Jefferson was still not convinced of that fact. "I think that is a huge gamble. How do you even know if they are each other's True Loves?"

Since he knew of Regina's self-imposed curse, and how she was still able to get pregnant by Emma, it confirmed with him that her own curse was broken. And a strong curse like that could have only been broken by equally strong magic. "I know it, let's just leave it at that."

Jefferson wrinkled his nose in disgust at the fruit. "I don't see how you are going to get someone to eat an apple that has already been eaten."

"Don't be so simple-minded, I just have to put it into a different form."

"Like a pie or something?"

"Exactly."

He looked at Gold skeptically, "And who is going to bake it?"

The older man scoffed at him, "Me of course."

Then Jefferson crossed his arms, "You…bake?"

Gold grinned at him. When Milah left, he was forced to learn how to cook so he can provide for his son. And that also involved baking treats. They didn't necessarily have apple pies in the Enchanted Forest, but he can figure it out. "Again, let's just say I know my way around a kitchen."

"So even if you baked this poisonous pie, how will it be delivered?"

"You leave the details with me."

A few days later, Regina was in her office, as she usually is, working on even more tedious paperwork. Sidney has been properly disposed of, Samson has been released by Graham and acquitted of all charges, and things finally seem to be a lot calmer now. But Regina doesn't have much faith in this false peace. It is like the quiet before the storm.

And she still has to deal with the fact that Belle has escaped the ward. Regina knows that Belle doesn't have any memories of her past life, just like all the others cursed in this land. But if Gold finds out that she withheld Belle's whereabouts all these years, it wouldn't bode well for her. It is a good thing that they both have no magic. It puts them on an even level.

Despite Rumple teaching her magic, she never backed down from him, and she won't start now. The one thing that she is missing is her love returning back to her healthy. She wished she did have magic to accelerate her recovery. She just hopes that the other shoe doesn't drop.

The kitchen smelled like flour, eggs, and apples as Gold was rummaging through the kitchen, using a sifter for his flour, beating eggs, the whole nine yards. He looked like a male Betty Crocker with a limp. The apron on his dress slacks and dress shirt was quite distorting.

The amnesiac woman decided to give herself the name Lacey. Gold asked if she wanted to know her real name, but she knows nothing of her past, of this man, and didn't want to be tied down to something she has no recognition of. No, she will start of on her own path, and give herself a name. Gold never figured out why exactly she chose that name.

"Something smells good in here."

"Yes, I'm cooking up a very special recipe."

Lacey sauntered over, overlooking him mixing the batter up. She had gotten very comfortable around the unfamiliar man. He hasn't done anything to harm her or come on too her. He has been a perfect gentleman. She proceeded to get a taste of the batter but Gold immediately stopped her, there was almost a look of fear on his face.

"Whatever you do, please, never try to take a bite of this. This is specifically for one person."

Lacey was taken aback from his fierce look. He was very adamant that she doesn't eat any of the pie. She subtly looked around, trying to see if he had some hidden poison that he put in the confection, but she didn't see any.

"If it means that much to you, I won't touch it at all."

Gold was immediately relaxed. He knows that she is truly sincere when she said that she won't touch the dessert. That would be disastrous because in her state, he wouldn't be able to wake her up with True Love's kiss since she is not in love with him. He turned back to his baking, cooking up a pie so good, it will put one to sleep.

A couple of hours later, the delicious curse has been finished. Gold called Jefferson and told him to meet him at his shop as he wraps the dessert up thoroughly.

Jefferson entered Gold's shop and saw the pie on his counter.

"I'm impressed."

"And I'll be even more impressed if you can pull this off. I would need for you to go to Granny's Diner and swap the apple pie that is usually reserved for Regina with this one," he pointed down at his creation.

"And how am I supposed to sneak in there?"

"I'm sure you can figure it out. Besides, no one in town knows you. Be inconspicuous."

Jefferson really doesn't think this plan will fall through, but there is one thing he is certain about the Dark One, he is very meticulous.

"Even if I can swap it out, how can you be sure that Regina would eat it, and not her son?"

Gold has thought of that. If Henry ate the pie, it doesn't necessarily mean that the curse won't break. There are different forms of True Love.

"Don't concern yourself with that dearie. Just get the pie into Granny's. You do want Grace to remember you, correct?"

Jefferson sneered at Gold, took the pie, and left the shop. He repeats to himself that this is for Grace. He'll figure it out tonight.

The next day

Every once in a while, Regina would give Granny a basket of apples so she can bake apple pies for her. This is very rare considering that Regina has always believed that hers were superior, but there are just some days where she does not feel like cooking, and Granny is adequate at it, as long as she uses the apples from Regina's own tree.

It's been a few days since things settled, and she wanted to treat herself to some apple pie. She gave a batch to Granny a couple of weeks ago, hopefully she decided to put them into use and made the mayor a special treat.

She entered the diner with no fanfare. The brunette approached the counter where Ruby was cleaning, giving her a small smile.

"Hey Madame Mayor."

"Hello Ruby. You can call me Regina."

Ruby smiled brightly at the mayor, surprised that she would allow her to be so informal with her.

"Okay…Regina, how can I help you?"

"Is your grandmother around?" She asked as she looked over her shoulder, trying to see if Granny was in the kitchen.

"She is. I guess you want your pie, huh?"

Regina nodded her head. "Indeed. I think Henry and I should indulge ourselves in dessert." And in all honesty, Regina's appetite has been increasing a little bit. Maybe because she is now a little less stressed.

"Okay, one famous Mayor Apple Pie coming right up," Ruby jovially sung out as she walked back into the kitchen. That is where the special pie that is also designated for the mayor awaits. Yes, Regina thinks, she can tolerate Ruby just fine. Usually such cheeriness would annoy her, it still kind of does. But Emma has changed her in more ways than one.

Regina thrummed her fingers on the counter as she waits for her dessert. She courteously greeted some random citizens that greeted her. After a few moments, Ruby came out with the apple pie in her hands and placed it gently in front of Regina. Funny, she thinks, the pie seems a little different from one of Granny's creations. But she just brushed it to the side, maybe Granny is doing something a little different this time around. After all, it seems that Storybrooke overall is changing.

Regina took her pie and left the diner, thanking Ruby for her help and leaving a generous tip. She got into her car and went home to set the pie down for dessert later on tonight for Henry and her. It is the middle of the afternoon in which she preferred to spend some time with her love.

As she set the pie on the counter, the delicious whiff of the apple pie tingled her nose, and made her mouth water. She stares at the pie, trying to determine whether she should steal just a little bite of the treat. Regina goes back and forth and just decided to take just a small bite that Henry wouldn't notice. She went to her drawer and took out a silver small fork and dipped the utensil right on the edge and scoop a little bit out. One tinsy weensy bite shouldn't hurt. She daintily took a small bite, the apple with cinnamon and spice dissolving in her mouth.

It was delicious and she placed the fork on the counter. For some odd reason, the world just went black and her body dropped onto the marble tile of kitchen.

Henry waits for his mother to come pick him up from school, but has been over 30 minutes, and he is getting worried. He went back inside the building to see his grandmother. Their relationship has deepened tenfold. Now, it is not just a student/teacher sort of relationship, now they have a deeper bond because they are family. Mary Margaret has been there for him since the beginning, always comforting him when he was sad, and she was the one that gave him the book that changed his life.

He would love for the curse to break so he can publicly acknowledge her as Grandma. Snow smiled as she saw her grandson but immediately frowned as she looked upon his downcast face. She immediately got up from her desk and hugged him which he happily returned.

"What's wrong Henry?"

"My mom is supposed to pick me up at 2:30 and she hasn't. And she is never late. Never."

Snow looked up at the clock in her classroom which says that it is after 3. "You are right, I know her well enough to know that she would never be late. Let me give her a call."

She took out her flip phone and dialed Regina's number. It rang and rang and just went straight to voice mail. Snow looked at her phone and ended the call. "That is very strange. Let me try her office."

She rang Regina's secretary to see if she was available in which she received a negative response. Mrs. Anderson said that Regina went to the diner for lunch, so maybe she should check there.

"Henry, let's go to the diner." Henry nodded his head and followed Snow to her Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Yeah, his mother really didn't like Snow to curse her with that type of vehicle. After 5 minutes, they arrived at the diner and Snow told Henry to stay in the car and hurriedly went to the counter to get Ruby's attention.

"Whoa, are you alright MM? You look flustered."

"Yes, I'm fine," she replied as she slows her breathing. "Have you seen Regina around?"

"Yes, she was here to pick up her apple pie as she always does. What's up?"

"Oh, nothing. I'm trying to get in contact with her but she's not answering her phone."

Ruby immediately became alarmed. "Is she alright? I thought we took care of…"

But Snow cut her off, "No, I don't think this has anything to do with Sidney. Don't fret." But internally, Snow is getting scared that something has happened to Regina.

Ruby frowned. "You should just go to her house to check if she is there." Then she put her hand on MM's arm. "And if you need anything, please let me know."

Snow returned Ruby's gesture. "I'll go and check at the mansion. Thank you." Ruby smiled at her "You're welcome" as she watched her good friend leave the diner.

Snow hopped back into her Jeep and drove to the mansion.

"Come on, I got the key," Henry said as he jumped out of the vehicle. She followed her grandson inside the huge home, hoping to find Regina somewhere, anywhere.

"MOM! I'm home!" He yelled out. But they didn't receive any response. He is getting even more worried.

"Can you show me the kitchen?" If Regina brought home a pie, there should some type of evidence of whether she was in the house or not.

He led his grandmother to their kitchen and saw an apple pie there. Henry didn't see that before this morning so his mother had to be here.

Snow saw the same thing as well and went around the expensive island to see if there was anything else and what she saw made her gasp.

"Oh my goodness!" There, lying on the floor, was Regina. She has no idea how long she had been there, but she immediately dropped down to her knees and put her fingers on Regina's pulse. It was there but faint.

Henry followed Snow and went down on the floor as well. "MOM! MOM! Wake up!" He tried to move her around a little, to get her to respond, but Snow quickly stopped him.

"Henry, don't touch your mother. She maybe injured." She is trying to stay calm but she is panicking internally. But she remains composed for Henry's benefit.

"But, what happened to her?" Tears are falling down his face. He has never seen his mother so lifeless. Snow quickly punched in 911.

"Come to the mayor's house now!" She knows that the EMT team would respond quickly. Henry huddled into her chest and she ran her hand through his head of brown hair as he cried. Poor boy is frightened and she has no idea what could have happened to Regina.

Whatever they may have gone through in the past, Regina is now her family. And she can't stand to see her in such a predicament. She phoned David.

"Yes love, how are…"

"You need to meet us at the hospital now! Something has happened to Regina."

David was flabbergasted. "What's going on, Snow?"

"I don't know what happened to her but I found her on the floor at her home. Henry is with me right now. The ambulance will pick her up soon."

"I'm on my way now, but does Emma know?" Snow silently cursed at herself. Emma would be devastated to find Regina in such a state. And there would be no way to block her from knowing Regina will be in the hospital with her.

"We'll tell her when we have more information."

"Okay, I'm on my way."

Henry looked at Snow with red eyes. "Will my mom be alright?"

"Your two mothers are the strongest people I know. She will pull through this."

Sirens can be heard outside the door as the paramedics made their way to the front door of 108 Mifflin.

Snow quickly went to the front door and allowed the team to come in with their gurney. They carefully put the mayor on the stretcher and Snow and Henry joined the team going to the hospital.

Dr. Whale promptly saw to Regina's body as the paramedics made their way into the emergency room. Snow grabbed Dr. Whale's arm tightly before he left, "Please let me know when you have any new updates." Again, Snow found herself in the waiting room with Henry as David is already there, waiting for them.

He bear hugged them both tightly to his chest. "What the hell happened?" Snow gave him a sharp look, not wanting him to use vulgar language in front of their grandson. David returned an admonished expression.

"We found Regina on the kitchen floor. It doesn't look like anybody has forced their way in. I don't know anything else other than that."

"Should we tell Emma now?"

Snow knows it is not the matter of if but when they have to tell Emma about Regina. But considering that they don't have any clue what has happened to her, she thinks the best course of action is to wait until Dr. Whale give them more information.

"I think it is best just to wait," she answered her husband. David looked down at Henry who was still sniffling from tears. He felt so bad that Henry is going through another traumatic experience, witnessing his mother cold and laid out on the floor.

He rubbed his hand on his back as Snow also joined in to comfort him.

"Do you want to get some food?"

Henry nodded his head and the three headed towards the cafeteria to get a small little meal. They know it may take some time for the doctors to give them any type of information on Regina.

After a couple of hours, Snow, David, and Henry were sitting in the waiting room and wore solemn looks upon their faces. There weren't many words exchanged between them. Dr. Whale finally made his way to him with a thoroughly confused look.

"Mary Margaret, David," he acknowledged them. Henry gave him a pointed look and Dr. Whale corrected his mistake acknowledge the small boy as well.

"Henry. What we were able to gather is that Madame Mayor has not sustain any physical injuries to cause her collapse. There are no broken bones or even head trauma. We even tried to inspect for internal injuries but she has no heart damage. There is no blood lose. We even checked to see if there were any toxins or poison in her system, but we found none. It is truly a mystery."

Snow tightened her grip on David's arm in frustration. "So you mean to tell us that you can't tell us anything?"

Dr. Whale frowned. "I'm sorry. She has a faint pulse but we will continue researching."

"For your sake, I hope you figure out something quick." For some odd reason, his daughter loves Regina. And anything that happens to her, it will devastate Emma.

Whale nodded his head and took his leave. David ran his hand through his hair and exhaled.

"Let's go see Emma." Snow wordlessly followed David's lead to their daughter's room. Just when they were enjoying a couple days of peace, here comes another crisis.

They entered Emma's room in which she was totally upright with nerves screaming out from her. Her head snapped up quickly when she heard the door opening with new visitors. She became panicked when she looked at all three of them. Henry suddenly leaped onto the bed and hugged her closely, tears pouring out again.

"Sshhhhh, it's going to be alright Henry," she tried to comfort her son who was clearly disturbed. She looked at David and Snow for any explanation about what is going on.

"What gives?"

"Emma…sweetie, Regina is here at the hospital." Snow didn't know how else to word that but just bluntly. Her daughter doesn't seem like the type to mince her words.

"What!?" Emma's tone was sharp, piercing through the room. What the hell happened to her girlfriend? She thought everything was fine. She literally saw Regina earlier today in the morning, before Regina went to work.

"Snow and Henry found her at the mansion. Dr. Whale has already looked at her and can't figure out what is wrong."

Emma is fuming and is once again, feeling helpless that she can't protect her family. It is getting frustrating at this point. She would do anything to save her.

"I think I have a solution," and everyone snapped their attention to the person that just entered the room.

Gold knew that he can kill two birds with one stone. One of his paid security guards that still looks after Emma's room just informed him that Regina has arrived at the hospital. No one knows how Regina ended up in the state she is in. Everyone's ignorance is to his advantage. He calmly made his way to Storybrooke General Hospital.

"What are you doing here, Rumple?" David growled through clenched teeth as he looked at Rumplestiltskin. He saw the smug look on his face and he has no doubt that this shifty man is up to no good.

"Hello to you, Charming."

"So you don't deny that you are Rumpelstiltskin," Snow said to him. Henry looked at Mr. Gold. He finally knows he who is. And it couldn't be good.

"What the hell are you doing in my room?" Emma's body is on full alert, she never trusted this man, and he conveniently appearing cannot be chopped up to pure coincidence.

"I heard the state that has befallen our great mayor. I am here to be of assistance."

"What have you done to Regina?" Snow wanted answers.

"I don't particularly like your accusation. We can go back and forth about what is the cause of Regina's unfortunate circumstances, but I can tell you this, she won't have much time."

Emma's eyes widen in fear. "Are you saying that she can die?" Henry whimpered next to her. As much as Emma doesn't want Henry here for this conversation, she can't bare to put him outside her room by himself.

"Yes she can. You must act quickly. I have a cure bottled up for Regina, but only you must get it. You are the product of the same magic."

Emma felt trapped but what other options does she has. Her parents told her that Dr. Whale couldn't find anything, and as untrustworthy Gold is, he seems to be the only one that knows what is going on.

"I hate riddles. Okay, so where is it?"

Gold places both hands on his cane as he looked directly at David with a grin.

"Your father buried it for me, quite some time ago."

David blanched, he knew exactly what he was talking about. "No," he whispered. Snow and Emma looked at him confused.

"Yes," he smiled impishly. "And I have the weapon for the job."

"You…you charlatan!" David growled at him.

"Tick tock, time is expiring for the mayor. I expect Emma at my shop so I can give her the tools for the job." And with that, Gold exited the room, leaving everyone perplexed.

Whatever is it, David looked fearful but Emma is determined to save Regina at any cost. She wordlessly got of the bed, grabbing her hospital gown in the back so her bare behind is not flaunting behind her.

Snow looked at her daughter getting out of her bed and concern overwhelmed her. "What are you doing?"

"Getting dressed," Emma bit back. She grabbed her jeans, tank, and jacket that she had with her when she first came here, and went into the bathroom to change.

"David, where is this cure you buried?" Snow asked as she grabs David's forearm.

David eye's misted in a fog of long ago memories. "In a dragon?"

"A dragon! She can do it. She is the Savior, she'll save my mom!" Henry adamantly proclaimed. He will have every hope in his father's ability.

"Yes, she can," Snow had all the hope in her daughter as well.

Emma fully dressed came out of the bathroom. When she put on her red jacket, it truly felt like armor to her. She is still in a lot of pain, but she will ignore it. She has to save the love of her life.

When Snow looked at her daughter, common sense overcame her.

"I really don't think it is wise for you to do whatever Gold wants you to do. You are still in recovery."

"No, you heard Gold. I am the only one that can do this. And I'm not some invalid. I can walk and use my hands, I'll be fine. You guys stay here, and I'll go and get this cure."

"Emma, I'm not letting you do this alone. Snow, you stay here with Henry in case anything changes with Regina."

Snow nodded her agreement as she held Henry against her. Emma was about to argue but she saw the stern look on David's face. To be honest, it is good to have some type of back up. And it felt nice to have him seem protective over her. It felt fatherly.

Emma went to kiss Henry on his head and she awkwardly hugged Mar. Snow was thrilled to have her daughter in her arms since Emma was reluctant to show her any affection after she gained her memories back. David kissed his wife and hugged Henry.

Emma looked at David with fire in her eyes, "Let's go."

Regina screamed in agony as the never ending flames burned her skin whenever she got close to them. After she ate some of the apple pie, she woke up in some type of hell. She still has on her work clothes. The heat is intense and pain engulfs her whole body, this is truly torture. She wonders if this is some version of the sleeping curse. She didn't bother knowing about the side effects of the curse. If this is indeed the curse that she gave to Snow, she can feel a little remorse putting the younger woman under it. She pathetically crosses her arms looking around, trying to protect herself from the flames. She hopes that she can be saved from this wretched place.

Emma gritted her teeth from the pain sheering in her chest. She pushed her way out of the hospital, despite numerous nurses trying to keep her there, but she wasn't having it. But right now she found David and herself barging inside Gold's shop with him waiting for them right behind his counter.

"Where is the dragon Gold?"

"The dragon is in the basement of the library," he smiled triumphantly. He banked on Regina not passing up taking her dear old friend with her when casting the Dark Curse. His pupil was so predictable.

"The library has a basement?" It is not like she ever went there. "I really want to punch you in the face right now." She can't believe that there is a such thing as dragons.

"I didn't put a dragon in the library. Your precious girlfriend did. But, I do like that fire you have Emma, you're going to need it." Gold went to his right side and unsheathed a grand golden hilted sword.

"And you are going to need this as well."

Emma took it out of Gold's grasp and looked at it. It did look like an epic sword. David looked at it in awe.

"That's my sword." Emma looked back at David in shock.

"It is quite befitting that your daughter will defeat the same dragon with the same weapon as you Charming."

"Save your platitudes, imp." David looked at his daughter. "Have you ever wielded a sword?"

"No, but it looks like I'll be learning on the fly."

David became saddened at that prospect. He always imagined raising Emma to be a princess, teaching her how to horseback ride, or even join her in childish tea parties if that was what she desired.

David looked intensely at his daughter. "When this is over, I'll teach you proper sword fighting. You and Henry."

Emma smiled sadly at David. This is what she has always wanted. She always wanted to have a father to rough house with her, play with her. She knows that she told them that she doesn't need them in her life, she is no longer a child that needs their approval. But it will be nice how they can build their relationship in the future.

"As heart warming as this is, you should really be going. Let me tell you how to get to the hidden elevator."

Emma and David found the hidden elevator that Gold spelled out for them. As they entered the elevator, Emma realized what needed to be done.

"David, I have to go by myself. This is a two-manned elevator. You've got to go outside and pull the lever so I can go down."

David is upset that he can't go with her, but he must have faith in Emma. She is his daughter, after all. David pulled her in bone-crushing hug that Emma returned. After a few moments, she began coughing. Pain exploding in her chest again.

"Shot in the chest, remember?"

David was horrified. "Oh, I'm so sorry." David placed a soft kiss on her forehead. "Make sure you come back to us alive."

Emma smiled back at his fatherly affection. "I plan on it."

David nodded and went outside of the elevator and found the lever. He began cranking the device, never taking his eyes off of his daughter. "Please be safe."

Holy fucking mozzarella cheese balls! Emma cannot believe what she is seeing. She is still in the suspension of disbelief as she gazed upon a real life dragon. This is insane. Her instincts kicked in and she dropped the sword and pulled out a glock that she copped from the security guard. She shot at the dragon and it didn't even flinch. She bobbed and weaved all over the place to doge the fireballs spewing from the ugly thing's mouth. The pain is searing in her chest and she can't hold her own against the dragon for much longer.

But what pushed her through was Regina lying in the bed, dying. She didn't even get a chance to peek at her. She is determined to end this dragon once and for all. She looked across the desolate cavern looking arena and spied the sword, almost magically gleaming a bright light. She knows her best chance is with that sword. She ran across the ground, dodging fireballs as she picked up the sword.

She has no idea in hell what she is doing. She decided to just fling the sword right in the chest of the dragon, and wish for a miracle. Surprisingly, the sword pierced right through the dragon's chest and exploded dramatically. Luckily there was no blood and guts that fell over her, it just kind of magically exploded. She saw a bright gold egg and figured that this is what Mr. Gold said was the cure. She picked it up, sheathed the sword in the holster that David attached to her, and made her way back to the elevator.

She banged on the door and yelled up at David. "BRING ME BACK UP!"

Gold grinned maliciously, this was too easy. With David being distracted, Gold was easily able to swing his cane hard enough at the back of the taller man's head, knocking him out cold. It was a little bit difficult, but he managed to get the heavier man in a chair and taped his mouth and tied rope over his hands. All he had to do was wait for Emma's signal to bring her back up to continue his plan.

Over half way through the ascension of the elevator it suddenly stopped which puzzled Emma.

"David, what the hell was that?"

Suddenly, Mr. Gold appeared at the top. "Miss Swan? You've got it?"

"Mr. Gold? What are you doing here?"

"I've come to check on you. I'm glad I did. The elevator malfunctioned and David is looking how to get it fixed."

"What? I'm coming up!"

"No there's- there's no time for this. You can't possibly scale the wall and carry that."

She doesn't like anybody reducing her abilities. "Yeah? Well I can try."

"No you can't, just toss it up. Regina is going to be fine. I promise. We're running out of time, toss it up."

Her gut is screaming to not trust the man. But Regina is her first concern, and time is limited so she just gives in. "Okay. You hold on to it, I'll be right up." She tosses up the egg and Gold walks away. That bastard.

"Mr. Gold? Gold!" Emma climbed as quickly as she can up and out of the shaft to find David tied up.

"David?"

"He tricked you! How could you give him that?"

Emma is already feeling stupid at this point and ignored his question. "Where is he?"

"Gone." Emma untied him.

"That imp. He manipulated all of this."

"Come on, he can't be that far!" Emma's cell phone started to ring and she checked it. Her heart dropped. She knows that number well at this point. She turned towards David. "It's the hospital."

Snow and Henry were outside of Regina's room as doctors and nurses frantically rushed into the room when Regina's vitals dropped.

"What's going on?" Henry asked, looking up at his grandmother. Snow swallowed deeply thinking this is not good.

Dr. Whale made his way to Mary Margaret and Henry. His face was grim as he looked at them.

"She no longer has a heartbeat. I'm sorry." Henry cried in Snow's arms as Snow pulled out her cell phone to make the hardest phone call she ever had to make.

Emma rushed past everyone outside Regina's room, and right next to her. She has never seen Regina so pale. Her fingers ran over Regina's face to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. It can't be. This can't be the end. She was supposed to save Regina, now she is gone for good. There was so many more moments to have, so many more memories to build. How is she supposed to raise Henry by herself? Regina is her family as well, this is so unfair. The pain in her chest is nothing compared to the pain in her heart from this loss.

Emma cried and cried with ugly sobbing over Regina's body. David and Snow held onto each other as Henry latched himself to Emma. He knows that his mother is dead, and he feels nothing but anguish.

Emma has accepted that Regina is gone from her, forever. All she wants to do now is to kiss her, to do a final kiss in which she pours all her heart into. It is her goodbye. Emma laid her lips on Regina's plump ones, pouring all she had into it.

Suddenly, a barraged of images flashed before her. She saw David fighting out the guards and placing her in the wardrobe. She saw a long haired Mary Margaret holding a bloody David in her arms. She saw Regina in a strange get up and up-do with purple clouds swarming around her. A blinding light pulsed out from them and filtered throughout the hospital, and she didn't know this, but also the whole town as well.

Emma jumped back from the shock of it all. The pain in her chest subsided as if she is fully healed. Regina gasped and opened her eyes and snapped her body upright, grateful to see Emma alive before her.

"You saved me."

Emma is in total shock. "Regina…you are alive." Henry clapped as Snow and David looked at the two flabbergasted. They have no doubts what just happened.

"Did they…" David was about to ask.

"Yes."

"Are they…"

"Yes."

"You did it. You saved Mom. And you broke the curse."

Regina and Emma were still in a daze as they looked at each other with their arms wrapped around each other.

"It's all true, all of it."

Regina nodded, "Yes, dear it is."

The Blue Fairy decided to step into the room, happy that the curse has been broken, but is still in denial that the Evil Queen shares True Love with the Savior.

"If I was you, your Majesty, I would get a move on."

Lacey was right next to Gold, standing by the wishing well. She had no idea why she was out there, but she saw the strangest thing. A blinding white light passed, it looked like, all the way through Storybrooke. It passed over them and all of her memories hit her at once. She looked at her counterpart.

"Rumplestiltskin, I-I remember. I-I love you."

Rumple smiled. He is overjoyed that his plan worked and now he has his Belle back. But phase 2 needs to be commenced.

"Yes, yes. And I love you, too. But hey, there'll be time for that. There'll be time for everything. But first, there's something I must do."

"What is this?"

"This is a very special place, Belle. The waters that run below are said to have the power to return that which one has lost." He took out the vial and dropped the True Love Potion into the well. Purple smoke rises out and spreads outward.

Chapter Text

Ruby was wiping down counters as a light wave of energy hit the sleepy town of Storybrooke. Memories of a life ago hit her bombarded her with so many images. She dropped her cloth and looked at Granny who just came out of the kitchen with a spatula in her hand.

"Red!" The older woman exclaimed.

"Granny!" She replied back as she ran to give the tightest hug she can deliver, tears poured out of both of their eyes.

"The curse is broken."

Granny finally looked around her diner as everyone emerged from the deep fog of the curse, frantically trying to find their lost loved ones in the chaos that just exude.

"We need to find Snow and Charming. Geez, Emma is their daughter. This is so odd. I wonder how she broke the curse."

Granny sighed, "I don't care too much for the details. I'm just glad that we got 'em back." The bell rang, signaling another visitor. Graham looked around the buzzing group of people that were coming and going in the diner. Granny never had a problem with Ruby dating Graham. He seemed to be a strong man that doesn't take any shit, he almost like her in personality. She thinks that he is a good match for her Red.

Graham spotted Ruby and ran straight to her and kissed her deeply with Granny shaking her head, chuckling at the display.

"Is it correct to assume you got your memories back?"

Ruby pulled back and looked at Graham, truly seeing him for the first time.

"Yes I do. But I don't know who you were back in our world."

"I was the Huntsman."

Ruby took a step back in shock. "Really, you were the guy that saved Snow White's life? I heard her talk about you, but I never had the opportunity to meet you."

"That is because I was imprisoned by the Queen. But that is neither here nor there, considering all of us suffered somewhat by her hands.

Leroy came crashing into the diner screaming madly. "There is a huge freaking purple cloud heading our way! Hide!"

Granny looked outside to see what Grumpy was talking about and saw that not only were people trying to look for their loved ones, but they also were scared shitless. She turned to her granddaughter and her partner. "I hate to break up this union, but we need find Snow White and Charming. It is becoming chaos out here."

Ruby looked at Granny in understanding. "Let me get my things right quick," and she left them in the diner. With just a few moments of peace before they have to deal with the scary, purple fog coming upon them, Granny seized an opportunity to talk to Graham.

She gave Graham a hard stare and grabbed his arm. "Don't you hurt my little Red. She is the only thing I have left in the world. If you do, I'll put an arrow in your ass."

And Graham nodded his head smiled at her, "I don't expect anything less."

"I know."

Ruby came back without an apron on. "Are you guys ready? That purple mist is not giving me good vibes at all."

Graham looked out the window like everybody else. He literally was just outside so this mysterious fog just materialized now.

He turned towards the two women. "I think it is a good idea to find them as well."

Ruby called Mary Margaret, tears started to form in her eyes. No, she is just not Mary Margaret, she is Snow White who is practically her sister.

"Snow…Yes... I do remember…There's a…You want me to meet you where…On the way."

Granny looked at her frantically. "What did they say?"

"They want us to meet them at Regina's mansion."

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August knows magic when he feels it, and today, there is an abundance of it as he looked at the rolling purple clouds that menacingly made its way through the forest. He has no doubt that it will hit the main part of Storybrooke shortly.

He has been occupying an abandoned CRV in the middle of the woods, his left hand and right leg fully wooden. He couldn't bear to be in town as he considered himself a disappointment. He had one mission in life, and he blew it.

He managed to hop on his motorcycle and made his way into town. People were all out in the streets, there was a mixture of joyful reunion and looks of confusion as it looked like people were looking for something, or someone. And some were screaming madly as people spied the dark purple clouds coming to them. But he is not afraid at all.

His heart stopped as he looked at his father outside of his shop, looking very distressed.

He stopped random people who were passing by, fielding them with questions in a heavy Italian accent.

"Have you seen my boy? Have you seen him, my Pinocchio?"

He could not in good conscience confront his father, not in his current state. It also confirmed for him that Emma must have broken the curse. And there is one person that can help him.

He hopped on his bike again and rode to the convent. He asked one of the nuns where Mother Superior was at.

"I'm here," a small mousy woman replied. He whipped around and looked down at Mother Superior, AKA, The Blue Fairy.

"But, I'm not sure who you are."

August lifted his wooden hand in her eyesight. "Does this ring a bell?"

Blue gasped. "Pinocchio."

He smiled with no humor. "In the flesh…mostly. Can I speak to you, in private?"

"Of course." She led him to her minimalist, wooden and sterile office. He felt that the room had no personality.

Blue sat down behind the desk and folded her hands on the wooden table in a rigid posture. "What do you wish to speak about?"

"I was wondering if you can help me. And you seem very calm when we have a looming purple cloud coming our way."

"Because there is nothing to be afraid of. How can I assist you?"

"I think that magic is coming, and I was hoping that you can turn me back to a full man and not this," he pointed towards his hand.

Blue looked him over considerably, her face blank, giving nothing away.

"You know, I witnessed Emma breaking the curse. And considering that I only saw you in town in the last few weeks, it is safe to say that you never stood by Emma's side in this new world. Am I correct?" She leveled him with the question in a patronizing tone.

August gulped audibly, his face full of guilt. "I was just a kid, and foster care was horrible. I couldn't stay." He couldn't even look her in the face.

"So you abandoned her?"

All August can feel was lead in his mouth, his body wrecked with remorse. "I'm not proud of what I have done, but I am trying to make things right, to redeem myself."

Blue mulled over the questions she had, trying to determine how sincere August is.

"So have you ever tried to contact Emma, in your adulthood?"

August did keep tags on her, that is why he was able to locate her in New York and knew who Neal was. He did what he had to do, and her hanging out with Neal, Baelfire, would have prevented her from going to Storybrooke because Neal would never want to confront his father again.

"I have kept tabs on her."

"But have you even communicated with her? From some of the people that were skeptical of your return, it seemed that Emma never knew you. Where were you before you came here, to Storybrooke?"

August lived a carefree, wonderful, fun life. He has been to multiple countries, and experienced an abundance of pleasures the world had to offer. In in wooden body, he would have never experienced the joy of sexual intimacy. August lived a selfish life, and he is not going to bother to lie to her, considering that she is the only that can help him.

"I was in Thailand."

Blue was staring at August in silence for a few moments. The stifling quiet made August fidget, tapping his left foot rapidly on the floor.

"So what prompted you to come to Storybrooke when you did?"

August remembered the searing pain he experienced while in bed post-coital with a beautiful Thai woman.

"I woke up with pain in my leg. I saw it turning into wood and I knew I had to go find Emma to break the curse. It was time."

Blue frowned at him, disappointment poured out of her. "So you only sought out Emma to break the curse because you were in pain?"

That made him sound bad and he stumbled to say something. "Emma needed…"

"Stop," Blue commanded in a sharp tone. "You have lived a selfish life and only was concerned with yourself. You have not been 'Selfless, Brave, and True'. You didn't care or think about Emma until it suited your purposes. So I grant you nothing as for the cure of your ailment."

August eyes misted as the brunt of Blue's accusations settled into his soul. But Blue could care less that she hurt his feelings and stood up from her seat.

"I think it would be best to make up with your father, and whoever else you think you have wronged. Don't be coward."

August hung his head in shame and dejection, his body becoming even more wooden by the hour.

He left the convent and dialed a number with his good right hand.

"The curse is broken."

A gruffy voice answered, "Where?"

"Storybrooke, Maine. I'll send you directions."

 

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Regina and Emma are upstairs as Regina was putting on some clothes. Snow and Charming are downstairs with Henry, trying to process everything that happened in the last 24 hours.

Emma looked fondly at Regina, assisting her with putting on her white blouse, her hands touched soft flesh whenever she can. They haven't spoken much to each other while in the car. Emma is still reeling from very vivid memories that revealed some of the history of the Enchanted Forest, images of her parents, that they truly are Snow White and Prince Charming. She is technically royalty, and it boggles her mind.

Emma has no idea why Regina insisted on putting on a blazer, waist coat, and slacks, but she doesn't argue. After Regina is finished dressing, she looked deeply into Emma's eyes and passionately kissed her. Emma moaned into her mouth as Regina tightened her arms around Emma's neck.

Regina started to taste salt as tears poured out of Emma. Regina pulled back and they pressed their foreheads together, eyes closed as they savor one another.

"I thought I lost you," Emma voice broke.

"But I'm here, because of you," Regina replied, her thumbing rubbed soothing circles on Emma's pointed cheek.

"So True Love, huh?"

"Yes, dear, we have that."

"It must be mighty special."

And Regina burst out laughing, loving the childish expressions that her lover spews sometime.

"It is." Regina considered herself an eloquent woman, but she cannot dig within herself to find more things to say but than to just bask in the glow that Emma is right in front of her, and she is alive.

"I think when we kissed, my wound healed. I don't feel any pain in my chest anymore."

Regina looked at Emma's chest, her fingers ghost on the spot that she will never forget that almost cost her True Love's life. She stared amazed that there wasn't even a scar there.

She whispered to herself, so low that Emma could barely hear her. "True love is the most powerful magic of all."

"As much as I want to stay here with you, I think it is best to get down to my parents and Henry downstairs." Emma thinks that this is the first time she has verbally said that, to finally acknowledged that they were her parents.

They clasped their hands together, and walked side by side down Regina's opulent staircase. As they entered the first floor, Henry ran and crashed himself between his parents, thankful that his mom is awake. And he witnessed something legendary, True Love's kiss. So that his how the Savior conquers the Evil Queen. Through love.

Snow and Charming held each other at arm's length as they witnessed their Emma, Regina, and Henry hugging each other. Emma came out of her stupor and looked at her parent's curiously. Her mind is fully accepting that they are who they are to her. It is still a lot to take in.

"Hi," she timidly said.

Charming smiled brightly at her and pulled her into a deep hug.

"I knew you would make it. I'm so proud of you." Emma's heart soared, every girl has dreamed that their father boost them up. She never thought she would have this, but now that she does, she doesn't want to go without it.

She returned it as Snow joined in, brightly smiling at her. "Emma," she breathed adoringly, while looking at her daughter. Emma is now squished between those two as Regina and Henry looked on, the later with a wide smile on his face.

"We have so much to talk about, but I think we need to find out what happened to Regina." Snow proclaimed as she struggled to focus on very pressing issues. She knows that she is in a better place with Emma now, and there is much for them to talk about.

Emma sobered as well and looked at Regina. "I agree, can you tell us anything you remembered? Somebody must have done something maliciously to you."

Regina cleared her throat, regaining her posture. "The last thing I remembered, is taking a small bite of the pie and just falling down."

"The pie sounds poisoned."

"But Dr. Whale said that there was no poison in her system," Snow corrected David. "But everything you are saying is exactly what I experienced," Snow said, staring directly at Regina who had a blanched look.

"You can't be serious, Snow."

Emma and David had confused expressions passing between them as Regina and Snow looked at each other in understand.

"I am dead serious. Tell me Regina, when you were unconscious, did you find yourself in a burning room?"

Regina feels the ghost pain of the flames as she hugged herself. Emma saw how troubled she was and wrapped an arm around her.

"Yes," she answered Snow.

"Then you went through a sleeping curse." David looked at Snow in shock.

"A sleeping curse, but that's impossible. There is no magic in this land."

Emma was just confused. "A sleeping curse, really? Like in the movie except that somene decided to back a pie instead of giving a plain apple to them?"

Regina gave Emma an exasperated look, and Emma shot back a sheepish expression. This fairytale stuff is still taking some time to get used to.

"It sounds plausible. And there is only one person I can think of that is capable of this."

Regina, Snow, and David all said the name together. "Rumplestiltskin."

Emma is still confused. "You mean Gold?"

Regina loved her woman, but Emma could be a little dense. She'll just blame that on her idiot parents. "Yes, the one and only."

Emma gritted her teeth. "I'm going to punch him in the face."

"Not until I get to him first," David growled. Outside the mansion, everyone's attention snapped to the front door when a conglomerate of screams could be heard.

"Kill the Evil Queen!"

"Burn the witch!"

"She needs to pay!"

"What the hell is that! It sounds like a lynch mob," Emma frowned.

"That's because it is. I casted a curse to bring them here. It stands to reason that many wouldn't be happy about it."

"Watch Henry for me," she commanded Snow. She refuses to cower in front of these lowly peasants. Regina has never back down from a fight, and she won't start now. Besides, she knows that she must answer for her crimes. She marched toward the door and flung it open and shut it. Emma was barely able to respond to Regina's quick movement.

She haughtily sauntered onto her porch and stood directly against Victor, who no doubt was leading the crowd.

"You will suffer for bringing us here."

She pushed a finger in Victor's chest, making him stepped back from her push. "Listening to you is enough suffering for all of us."

Emma, Snow, and David rushed out of the door, telling Henry to stay put, and stepped themselves in front of Regina, acting as a barrier between her and the townspeople.

"Listen, all of you need to back the fuck up, now!" Ain't no way in hell would Emma let any of these people lay a finger on her woman.

"But she must pay for what she done to us," a thirty-something woman yelled.

"And do you think that this is the way to go? There is not going to be vigilante justice here."

Another random citizen that she doesn't know shouted out. "This is how we do things back in our land."

"Well good thing we aren't there. We have laws, and this is not the way we do things here in the real world."

Snow regally called everyone to attention. "No harm would come to Regina. She will make her amends. She is my daughter's true love that happened to break this curse. If I can come to forgive Regina, so can you."

People gasped from shock. Stark silence filled the front yard of the mansion. People liked Emma, and they now understood that all along, she was their Savior. So they had to contemplate to themselves, can their hurt their Savior's True Love? Emma is the only heir to Snow White and Charming, who they recognized as the true king and queen over Regina. Most started to quell their complaints now that their monarchs told them to stand down.

Emma was impressed how Snow took control of the crowd. She can also see how Snow was royalty in another realm. Her whole posture is so different from the mousy characterizations of Mary Margaret. It is going to take some time.

"Besides, most of our lives are better here and you know it." A female voice roared somewhere in the crowd.

Regina, Emma, and the Charmings looked in the mass of bodies to see who said that. They spied Graham, Ruby, and Granny pushing their way through the mob.

Once they joined them on the porch, Ruby faced the crowd again. "Some of us had terrible lives back home. And yes, Regina made us relieved the same day over and over again for 28 years, but it is not like we aged."

Regina is composed as the queen she is, but internally, she almost moved to tears to see so many people defending her. She never had that growing up, and as much as her father loved her, he didn't protect her.

A young teenager, maybe around 15 with spiked hair spoke up. "The music is so much better here."

Another citizen spoke up, a man of graying white hair with a long beard. "I don't have to hunt for food anymore. I can just go buy steak if I wanted to."

A red-hair woman in her early 20 twenties spoke up. "And here we have feminine products and condoms. We have so much more protection here."

Then another woman, in her 60s with a cane yelled out as well. "We have better healthcare here. If someone gets a cold, they won't up and die. We can just give them cough medicine."

And it went on for a couple of minutes, different townspeople talking about how much better Storybrooke was than their former land. Victor started to think about the supposed benefits of being here. Back in his world, his father never respected his work. He always demeaned him, and favor his older brother over him. But now, he is the most respected doctor in this town, and that does something to a man's ego. And he can bragged that he shagged a princess. He frowned as he looked at what many people were looking at behind him.

Everyone stopped their musings as the purple, sinister clouds rolled over them. People screamed and cowered, afraid to get caught up in the clouds. Then it all dissipated, and everyone looked around, and saw no harm was done to them, and were confused. Many people shouted, wanting to know what was that. Regina knew exactly what happened, but thought it wise to hold that information to herself. It wouldn't be smart to let the townspeople know that magic is back.

Charming stepped up and hold out his arms. "I know it has been a trying day, and we don't know what the purple clouds was and no harm came upon us. It's best to go back to your homes and family, and return to your daily routine."

Emma was freaking out when so many people dispersed from Regina's yard, just going with the flow at Charmings command and returning to their homes.

"What the fuck was that?! Why are you guys so calm?"

"Emma," Regina and Snow chided her at the same time.

"I think I know what it is," Ruby sadly frowned. This will turn her world upside down.

"Let's go back inside." Granny, Graham, and Ruby followed Regina into her house.

"Whoa what was that?" Henry witnessed most of what occurred outside, and the purple clouds looked so scary but it seem nothing changed.

"Yeah, what was that?" Emma repeated her son's question with hands on her hips.

Graham held onto Ruby as they listened to the former queen. "That my dears, was magic. Storybrooke has it now."

Graham noticeably flinched. "Does that mean you have it too?" Emma eyes bugged out as she looked at Regina.

"Do you?"

Regina can feel that magic is around her. She reached deep and tried to at least conjure up a flame, but it is like the magic is within her grasp, but she can't latch onto it.

"I don't know…It seems magic is different here."

Charming exhaled a breath. "Good, so if you can't use any, then Gold wouldn't be able to do it as well."

Regina gave him a pointed look.

Snow clapped her hand. "Well, the crowd is gone, and there is nothing that can be done with the magic clouds, I just want to hug."

Ruby shook her head at Snow's sentimentality and squeezed her best friend tightly. Then Granny had her turn with Snow as well, she considered Snow like a second granddaughter.

"Can I get a hug?"

Granny smiled at the little boy that was always eager to come into her diner.

"Of course munchkin." Henry ran into Ruby and Granny.

"This is so cool, you are Little Red Riding Hood."

Ruby laughed at him. "You are right, but I prefer to think that I wasn't as naïve as the story you are more familiar with."

Ruby looked at Emma, who looked a little dazed, and went to hug her friend while Graham was catching up with Snow and David. "It's nice to meet you again."

"So you're the big bad wolf as well? I didn't remember that in the story," Emma chuckled. She read the 'Once Upon A Time' book that Henry gave her. It seems that her world didn't get any of the stories right.

"Indeed I am."

Snow was so happy to be surrounded by her friends and family, but she knew that she has one burning question that has been tugging at her, and now that things momentarily have settled down, she wants to pursue it. Snow tugged Charming's arm and whispered in his ear. He shook his head and looked at Emma.

"Emma, we need to see the Blue Fairy."

Emma scrunched her nose and Regina looked annoyed. "Why we need to see the Blue Fairy? And who is she?"

"She is Mother Superior and she would have the answers we need," Snow answered.

Emma was confused and everyone else just looked at them inquisitively.

Regina doesn't like the self-righteous fairy at all. And there is no way she was going to allow Emma to visit the fairy without her there.

"If that is the case, let's get a move on." Regina couldn't believe that she was going to ask this, but events seem to have changed her, making her more trusting of people.

"Can you watch Henry as Snow and Charming ask the Blue Fairy some asinine questions?"

"Yes, we would love to watch the little shrimp." Granny and Graham nodded that they were okay with that as well.

"I'm not little, nor a shrimp. And why can't I go?"

Snow looked at her son, "It will be best to stay here."

"Okay," Henry pouted. But he is alright with that. He gets to hang out with legendary fairytale characters. And he feels safe with Graham, Ruby, and even Granny who takes no prisoners.

"Thank you."

They left in Regina's car, her insistence, to the nunnery.

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"Your Majesty, what brings you here? Welcome Charming, and Emma," Blue said as she stood up. It seems that she keeps getting visitors today. "Regina," she greeted the brunette curtly.

"Moth," Regina snark back. Snow and David sent Regina an exasperated expression, and Emma poked Regina in her side, her eyes begging her to play nice. She knows how quick-tempered Regina can be. She was willing to face the whole crowd by herself, and that was without magic. It turned Emma on a little bit, seeing how fierce she is.

They sat down on the chairs in front of the huge wooden desk. Regina was reluctant to sit down, her nose wrinkled at the dust she sees on the chair, and wipes it off before sitting down. David is on the far left, then Snow, then Emma, and then Regina, with her arms folded, staring daggers at the bug.

"We came because," she looked at David before she continued. "Well, we love our daughter. She is strong, brave, and beautiful. We are just confused about something…"

Snow seem unwillingly to continue so David took it upon himself to be blunt.

"Emma was fully a female when we put her in the wardrobe. We would like to know why she has…" David was now blushing, "the same…part I have?" David mused to himself, that it is ironic because he always kind of wanted a son. But he couldn't be more proud of Emma.

The blonde visibly stiffen. "I was fully female," she whispered to herself. One, it was a little awkward to have her gentilia talked about in front of everyone, but this has been a burning question for her for years. She had long ago accepted that she was just born this way, but to hear her parents confirm that she was fully female, it was puzzling.

Regina squeezed Emma hand in support, as Snow at the same time grabbed Emma's left hand, wanting her to know that she is loved. But Regina can tell that Emma was a little distressed. And just like everyone else, she wondered the same, even though she has spent a great time enjoying Mr. Big.

Blue stared at each person intensely; she had came to her own conclusion once she regained her memories about Emma's appendage that everyone in town knew about.

"As you know back in our land, True Love is the most powerful magic of all, and it is incredibly rare, not many people have it."

"Stop wasting our time and just come out with it," Regina snarled out. She doesn't want to sit in the fairy's presence more than she has to. Snow and David shot Regina a pointed look as Emma again poked her lover in her side to behave. Regina bristled at Emma's touch, not wanting to be treated as a child but she bit her tongue.

Blue smirked at Regina that she was put in her place. "As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, True Love is extremely rare. But once a couple has it, it must produce offspring."

She paused and looked around to make sure everyone was paying attention. Satisfied that they were, she continued.

"Emma, when did you recognize that you have a penis?"

Blue said it so clinically, that Emma would have immaturely burst out laughing, if it wasn't for the fact that she was deathly serious.

"Hmmm…I remember being around 4 when I recognized that I had…it. I definitely noticed when I was with my adopted family…that is how I got my last name…and they sent me back to foster care. They had another baby, but I think it was also because I had what I had…" Emma rambled on.

Snow and Charming both looked at each other in remorse. They never wanted for Emma to be cared so harshly, and they are responsible for that.

Emma felt her hand squeezed even tighter by Snow, but Emma didn't want to look at her parents, who are undoubtedly were looking at her. They'll definitely need therapy after this.

"It is extremely rare but two women who possess magic can produce a child, but they have to also be true loves. Regina," Blue steel her mouth to spit out the next part, "is your true love but fate had it for you two meet in this land that has no magic. Therefore, the wardrobe must have changed your biological to have a penis, in order to reproduce."

All four adults were stunned at Blue's explanation. Emma doesn't know the first thing with magic, so she was barely hanging on what she was talking about. This confirmed something for Emma. She has always considered herself a female, never even identified herself as a man. For her to find out that she was fully a female in the first place, it just cemented her gender identity.

Regina placed a hand on her stomach and looked down, a whirl of emotions ran through her. Fate decided to take her first love, and she has undeservedly been given a second chance with another. Even casting a infertility curse, did not prevent her to giving birth to her precious son. She smiled and tug on Emma's hand to get her to look at her.

"Dear, are you alright? Do you have any questions? I know magic is such a strange concept to you." Snow and David looked Emma as well.

Emma abruptly stood up and wiped imaginary dust off her tight jeans. "Nope, I'm good. I need to go back home."

Everyone got up as well. Snow thanked Blue for her time and turned her attention back to going home.

"Yes, let's go back to the apartment. We have so much to catch up on."

Snow's smile beam like a thousand suns, and it hurt Emma to set her former roommate straight, but she missed what Emma meant.

"I'm sorry but I meant back to the mansion. I want to see Henry." Snow frowned but quickly recovered. Regina secretly sniffled a small laugh at Snow's assumption, but at the same time, it made Regina warm inside that Emma considers home with her and Henry.

David rubbed Snow's back and nodded his head. "We understand Emma but keep in mind, we are just excited to really spend time with you. And what we found out today, we don't love you any less. You will also be a baby girl."

Emma gave them a small smile. "We'll talk more soon." Emma grabbed Regina's hand and the Charmings followed them back to Regina's Benz to head back to the mansion, since Snow's Jeep was back there.

Once they got back inside the mansion, Emma greeted Graham, Granny, and Ruby. Granny considered herself very good at reading people, and the vibes that she is getting from Emma, and Regina, is that they want to be alone with their kid together. So Granny initiated making themselves scarce.

"Well, it was fun hanging out with the kid, but I still got a diner to run and since people seem to be settling down, they'll be hunger and someone has to feed them. I'll be making my way out. Come on Ruby."

Ruby groaned, she just started to catch up with her friends and spending time with Graham. "Can you give me a break? We just got our memories back, can't we relax and celebrate?"

"You'll celebrate after your shift. Now get," Granny was shooing Graham and Ruby to the front door after they hugged Henry.

"Em, we will definitely catch up, okay?" Ruby threw back at Emma before leaving. Emma waved her hand and smiled.

"Definitely." Graham smiled his goodbye as well. Snow and Charming made their exit after squeezing Emma and grandson to death with a hug.

After everyone left, Emma exhaled a long breath. She looked back at Regina who was also glad to have the reprieve as well, but unlike the others, she feels that Rumple on the loose with magic is nothing to not think about. Where she failed, she knows her former teacher has already figured it out.

"Henry, can I talk to you?" Regina raised an eyebrow at her lover. She has no idea what Emma wants to talk to her about.

Henry was curious at Emma's serious tone, and he nodded his head reluctantly. "Am I in trouble?"

Emma laughed to put him at ease, she didn't mean for her tone to sound so somber.

"Come here and sit, kid," and she patted down the spot on the black leather coach in the living room right next to her.

"Okay."

"So, you remember a long time ago, when we talked about what you can call me?"

Henry smiled and nodded. "Yes, I can call you Dad."

Emma grimaced a little bit. She doesn't mean to confuse her little fellow, and she feels hypocritical about saying that she was fine with whatever term he chose, but she never was truly comfortable with 'Dad', but she just got used to it. Regina is quite intrigued to see where this is going.

"Well, you know that Dad usually refers to a male, right?"

"Yes…" he drawn it out.

"Well, we may each have the same part, but I do consider myself a female and maybe, you should call me something else. Is that alright?"

Regina crossed her leg and her arms as Emma pointedly stared at their son. Henry is tapping a finger on his chin in deep contemplation. It seems that his Dad…well, Emma doesn't want to be called that, and is allowing him to come up with another name. A light bulb lit up for him.

"What about Ma? Because it is the last part of your name, and you are like a second mom/dad combination. Is that alright?"

Emma smiled brightly that Henry so easily went along with it. "It's great bud. I like it. I knew you are the master with names."

"Tell me something I don't know…Ma." And he hugged her with his tiny arms as Regina looked at her true love and son. Emma never told her that Emma wasn't comfortable with him calling Dad, and she did always referenced Emma like that to people when asked about Emma. She feels bad that she may have indirectly hurt her lover.

"Stop thinking so hard over there." Emma smiled over at the brunette. She could tell that Regina had the look of beating herself for making a mistake and she does not want Regina to think that at all. "Come over here." Regina smiled and inserted herself in a three-way hug, she knows that Emma is not mad at her, and it gave her much relief.

"I have a question of my own." Regina and Emma pulled from their embrace to give Henry their full attention.

"When are you moving in? You guys are each other's True Love. I want us all to be here together.

This question shouldn't come at a surprise at all. Both of them were thinking about that for a few weeks now.

"I don't want to intrude…" Emma again and Regina scoffed at her playfully.

"I think it is a forgone conclusion that you will be moving in. We can get your belongings from Snow's apartment today. This home is yours as well." This is something that Regina craved for years. And to have concrete evidence that Emma is her one True Love, she doesn't want to delay any more time in progressing their relationship.

"Yeah…" Emma smiled goofily. This is truly where she wants to be. Right her with her woman and son. And after witnessing her almost die, she doesn't want to away from her any longer.

"Yes, Emma," Regina chuckled Emma's lopsided grin.

"Yes!" Henry pumped his fist in the air.

"Henry, go play some video games, I have to talk to your mother. And it's okay to have the volume up a little."

Henry eyes bugged as he looked at his parents. His mother is alive and well, the curse broke and everyone has their memories back, his parents have proven true love, life is on the up and up.

"Thanks," and he ran with full steam to the living room to play his PS3.

Regina turned her attention to Emma. "And what is it that you want to talk about?"

Emma tugged on Regina's arms to lead her towards their bedroom. In Emma's mind, saying 'their bedroom' feels so right. Here with Regina and Henry, she truly feels like that it is her room to claim.

When they entered their beautiful room, Emma shut the door, locked it, and gently pushed Regina up against the wooden frame. Regina in power suits always does something to here. And she laying the smack down on Dr. Whale, well, there is nothing sexier than a woman taking authority.

Emma kissed and pulled on Regina's luscious lips as she took off her stripped jacket and began unbuttoning her waistcoat.

"Have I ever told you how hot you are in your pant suits?"

Regina huskily chuckled as she proceeded to take off Emma's red jacket and white tank. Regina has always felt weak when looked at Emma's defined biceps.

"And have I told you how hot you are in your tank tops?"

Bras are taken off as they kissed each other, only breaking apart to pull off the next piece of clothing when necessary.

"I guess we need to tell each other stuff more enough, yeah?"

Emma began backing up Regina onto the bed and laid solidly on her. Regina has her arms around her lover, she has never felt more safe and loved. She never thought she would have came out of the hell hold she was in. But being nestled in Emma's arms as she softly laid her on the bed, she feels like she has a small piece of heaven. Regina's perfume of sage, apples, and something else Emma still can't pinpoint, filled her senses as she nestled her nose in her neck. The kiss deepen and more passionate, Regina felt herself become even wetter as Emma's thin lips tug nip on her overly sensitive nipples.

As much as she wants to continue this, she pulled herself from thin pink lips and looked at emerald eyes blazing with lust.

"I really want to make love to you, but with Rumple bringing back magic, and I'm fairly certain that he put me under the sleeping curse, I don't share Snow's belief that things are calm and…"

"Shush," Emma placed her index finger gently on plump red lips.

"We will deal with that soon, but…I almost lost you but look…we're here. Together. Let's just enjoy this, we deserve this."

Regina is not going to argue with that logic. She had craved her touch for so long, and Mr. Big is fully erect, rubbing between her thighs teasing her.

Emma punctuated her point by nibbling Regina's ear lobe as Regina massaged her hands in yellow silky strands. Then, Emma trailed her tongue down Regina's jaw and her chest. Emma really wanted to take time, but Regina's body so soft lovely and soft beneath her, she's painfully erect, she don't think she can partake in foreplay any longer.

Emma lifted Regina's right knee and placed it over her left shoulder. Regina's breath hitched from pleasurable ministrations.

She angled herself and moaned loudly as she slowly inched herself inside Regina. There is a slight resistance, her tight channel swallowing her length, tightness giving her immense amount of pleasure.

Regina grabbed the back of Emma's head to kiss her, trying to keep their love making to minimal noise.

"Damn, you're so beautiful," the blonde breathed as she made full, slow strokes inside her lover. Regina's nails dug inside the skin of pale, milky back. Their moans mixed together as sweaty skin moved against each other.

Emma put down Regina's leg from her shoulder, and lifted herself from her body, spreading her wide for her to enter again. Emma rolled her hips to thrust slowly while staring down her lover. Regina arched her back to match Emma's motions as she moaned and gasped.

"Faster," Regina pleaded as she grasped Emma's ass, trying to quicken her thrusts. Emma grunted as she tried to stop her body from her lover's command. She kissed and laid her body back down flushed against Regina, and thumbed Regina's sensitive clit while still slowly stroking her, triggering Regina's first orgasm.

The brunette bit the inside of Emma's shoulder, stifling a scream that may disturbed their son's video games.

"Fuck," Emma said as she felt Regina's muscle clenched on her hard throbbing muscle. Regina still hungered for more and she took Emma by surprise and flipped their positions.

Regina leaned down and bit Emma's lobe and husked in her ear as Emma is balls deep inside her in the new position.

"When a queen issues a command, you obey." Emma's arousal shot up tenfold, this new verbal sexual play being introduced. Emma is still wrapping her head around being in love with an actual queen, and Regina dominating her…she is not going to protest anything.

Regina made quick vertical thrusts, rolling her hips as she rode Emma while pinching her nipples, her head leaning back in pure ecstasy. Emma bit her tongue from crying out in pleasure. She put her hands on Regina's hips as she is bucking wildly. Emma felt like raging bull is on top of her and she is just hanging on for dear life. Her toes clenched as Regina's tightness makes full movements as she bounced up and down.

When Regina said faster, she meant it. Emma lifted her upper body so that Regina was essentially sitting on Emma as she continued to roll her hips, breast to breast against each other again.

"I love you baby," Emma breathed as she lifts her hips to meet Regina's initiated thrusts.

"I…" Emma's thrust really hard which made Regina swallow her words. "Love you too," she climaxed and semi-yelled in Emma's mouth as she felt hot liquid pour into her, and coating her inner thighs. Emma laid down, keeping Regina in her arms as they both catch their breaths.

Regina laid her head on Emma's chest as Emma swatted sweaty brown strands in her face. Regina laughed, "You're right, we did need that."

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Gold and Belle stared at each other right next to the wishing well in which he dropped the True Love's potion. It still boggled his mind that his precious Belle is right in front of him, in the flesh. He needs to know what happened to her back in the old land, he thought she had died.

"My darling Belle. You have to tell me what happened to you," he insisted as he gently held her hand.

Everything feels surreal to her now. Memories are structuring themselves so that she can be somewhat coherent. But she never imagined that she would ever see Rumple again, and it warms her heart how much he has taken care of her, never forcing himself on her, when she didn't have her memories.

Her eyes became less clouded as she answered his inquiry. "I was abducted."

"Regina," he stated more than asked.

Belle nods at his statement. "She locked me away until her curse, and I've been in the asylum ever since."

"For twenty-eight years?" She nods again. "All these years.. you've been here? Alive." It still baffled him that he has never known that she was so close to him all of these years. It's a rare occasion, but in this Regina has truly bested him.

"Is that—is that why you did this? Why you wanted magic? For revenge?"

"Oh no—but it might come in handy."

"No… NO." That made her sorely disappointed in Gold. It seems that he hasn't changed at all and it breaks her heart. She wants Gold to want to become a better man. And revenge is not the path towards redemption.

Gold winced at the disappointment that she shot his way."Please Belle, don't look at me like that. You know who I am."

"Look.." She squeezes his hand and made him looked at her in the eye. "Promise me—promise me you won't give into your hate. Promise me you will you won't kill her."

Gold looks away from her, saying nothing, he has already in a way hurt Regina, though it didn't kill it, it served two purposes. But whether he will exact more hurt on her, remains to be seen.

"Promise me, and we can be together."

He caressed her smooth face. "Sweetheart…I promise." Or at least the last part. They kissed and embraced. He pulled back and held her hand to leave the forest.

"Let's go back to the shop."

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Jefferson immediately went to the house where his Grace was living for the past 28 years. He banged on the door as a middle-age man answered.

"May I help you?" Jefferson forced his way past the man and yelled around the house.

"Grace? Where are you?"

A little girl ran out the hallway followed by the wife. "Daddy!" Grace screamed and she rushed into a tight embrace of her father.

"Oh, so Grace was your daughter back in the Enchanted Forest," the wife asked as she looked stood next to her husband who put a hand around her shoulder.

Jefferson didn't pay them much mind, he had tears pouring as he bent down and held Grace's face in her hand.

"I missed you so much. And I promise to never leave you again. I love you. Do you forgive me?" His voice broke. Grace hugged her father tightly as she was crying as well.

"I love you too, Daddy."

Jefferson picked up Grace in his arms and looked at the two. "We're going to go," as if daring them to stop him.

The older man held up his hands in surrender. "Paige…Grace, was a pleasure to have in our family. But it is all due to the curse. We have no right to take your daughter away."

With a tight lip, Jefferson nodded in their direction and headed towards Gold's shop. Jefferson witnessed the purple plumes that rolled through Storybrooke, and he is going to see Gold and collect his favor.

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"This shop is filthy Rumple," she chastised him as she dust off the objects he took from the Enchanted Forest. It seems even in a smaller space than a castle, he still couldn't organize or keep his stuff clean. "It is a good thing I have my memory back," she mumbled but Gold still heard her and chuckled. He went and kissed her on the cheek.

"And that is why you are my better half." They feel so comfortable with each other, they fell into a rhythm effortless but the bell chimed interrupted their moment.

"Rumple I need to…" Jefferson trailed off as he saw Belle. "Hello Belle, you look quite lovely."

Belle smiled back at the Mad Hatter. "Thank you Jefferson, and thank you so much, for me being here," she gestured around the shop. She may be sweet but she is not naïve. She knows that Jefferson didn't free her out of the goodness of her heart, but out of spite towards Regina. But she can still express gratitude towards the man.

"No problem at all." He guided his daughter in front of him, she is somewhat hiding her face in his side.

Belle smiled at the little girl. "How are you little one?" Gold also smiled at the girl, he longs for his son as well.

Grace feels more at ease with the pretty young woman. She felt tensed being in the shop, it gave her the creeps.

Jefferson smiled proudly at Grace. "She is my daughter. Gold, can we speak for a moment?"

"Let's," and Jefferson along with Grace followed him back to his shop, outside so they were in an open but an enclosed place that no one was aware of.

Once Gold closed the door for privacy, Jefferson is ready to make his request.

"I would like for Grace and I go back to the Enchanted Forest. Being here is just a constant reminder of our separation." He had his hat handy in his arm.

Grace frowned, she has already protest that she preferred staying here in this world. Their old home doesn't have cartoon and pop tarts.

"And you think I can get you there?"

"Of course you can. I know you brought back magic and I tried to activate the hat, but magic is different here."

"And you are right about that." He has already figured out how to bend magic in the new world to his will so he know she can open a portal with the headgear. Gold will hold his end of the bargain, and it won't cost him anything to send the mad hatter back to the Enchanted Forest when it is most likely nothing there anyway. He considered this payment of Jefferson sending Belle this way.

Gold held out his bony hand, "The hat."

Jefferson quickly gave the older man the hat. Gold twirled it down, the purple mist rising out like angry clouds.

"This is it." Gold said to the father and daughter.

That is the last time Gold will see the Mad Hatter and his unfortunate daughter.

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Jefferson broke his daughter fall as she landed on top of him on grass. Usually he would have a more graceful landing, but 28 years is a long time to be out of practice.

"Daddy, I don't feel well."

Jefferson ran his hand through Grace's face and held her close, taking in his surroundings. The vast openness was like a breath of fresh air since he was stuck in such a small area for a long time.

"I'm sorry love. Portal jumping can be distorting, but you'll be okay."

The walked around, Jefferson hoped to find a town so they can get some food. He literally left everything he had back in Storybrooke. He didn't want to take anything that Regina made.

"Well, well. What do we have here? The Mad Hatter is gracing my presence again."

The voice came from behind and it startled him. He whimsically did a 180 and was both shocked and terrified.

"Cora?!"

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As soon as he received the call, he immediately packed a bag of clothes and hopped in a Honda Civic silver, 2011, to make his way to Storybrooke, Maine. He laughed, the name of the town is such a tell of fairytale characters being dropped there, the irony does not escape him.

He sat in plush leather, and straighten the mirror and shifted the gear to drive.

"I'm on the way Emma."

Chapter Text

Jefferson immediately pushed Grace behind him in face of the powerful witch he encountered in Wonderland. He detested that with every fiber of his being. There is nothing "wonderful" about that land. That is where he received his infamous name, and he rather not be associated with anyone, or anything, from that place.

Cora laughed at his over-protectiveness. "There is no need to hide the child. I won't do anything to her. It is fortunate you landed here in my bubble, considering my daughter destroyed most of the Enchanted Forest with her curse. Where did you come from and how did you get here?"

Jefferson silently cursed Rumplestiltskin. He should have known if the curse destroyed their homeland, and for him to not say anything to him about it, just solidifies how cold that bastard can be. And now, he has to deal with another Mills woman. But he figured the sooner he tells Cora what she wants, the sooner she'll leave him alone.

"I was in a place called Storybrooke in the land of no magic. It was your daughter who cursed us there," he growled out.

Cora's eyes glinted with extra intrigue. Ever since she saw her daughter cry over her body, saying that she was her weakness, she reneged on the idea to exact revenge on her daughter for pushing her through the looking glass to Wonderland. Her daughter now has power, and it is probably the first time she has ever been proud of her.

"Tell me more about this…Storybrooke." The name of the place sounds childish to her.

"It is a realm quite different from ours. Instead of horses, they have mechanical machines called cars. They have technology."

"Technology," Cora slowly sounded it out. "And my daughter, is she queen in this new realm?"

Jefferson scratched his head, trying to explain to her what Regina's position is. "She is a mayor, who resides over the town."

Cora scoffed at that. Mayor doesn't sound as powerful as queen. She must get to her at once.

"Open a portal so I can get to my daughter."

This witch is crazy if she thinks that he will use his hat for her pleasure. He will get out of this quickly.

"It is a land with no magic, my hat only works between magical realms."

"But you just said that you came through the hat back here. So why wouldn't it work going back towards it?" She is getting irritated by his nonsense.

"I guess it is easier to go to a magical realm then traveling to a non-magical one. There is some magic there but it's quite different. My hat wouldn't be able to get you back there."

Cora's eyes became jet black as she looked at Jefferson, her hands itch to reach into his chest.

"You just said that this land has no magic, and now it does. Speak clearly or your little girl is going to witness your heart out of your chest."

He became increasingly nervous and just spouted out anything and everything to get her off his back.

Cora contemplated all that he told her, the scheme that he was involved in with Rumple. The imp is going to pay for what he has done to her daughter. Yes, she may have been a bit cruel to Regina, but no one is allowed to do that other than her. Cora thought she was going to have a heart attack, if she had one, when Jefferson told her that her daughter is with the spawn of Eva. A woman she hated for decades. She must correct all of these things.

"It seems that you are no longer of use to me," she waved him off and disappeared in a purple cloud. She knows just the right person who hates Rumple as much as she does, and has the resources to get to another realm. Jefferson exhaled and went towards any town where he and Grace can start their life anew.

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Emma's nose nestled into Regina's neck as she slept as a big spoon up against the smaller woman. After they made love last night, they cooked dinner, more Regina cooked, Emma just did whatever Regina ordered, and watched a movie with Henry. It was such a domestic night in the midst of chaos. Then Emma and Regina spent the rest of the night making love.

Regina and Emma quickly made love again in the morning before going downstairs to eat breakfast with their son. Regina kissed Emma and Henry goodbye as they made their way to Snow's apartment to pick up the rest of her stuff. Regina figured that Emma wanted to spend time with her parents. Besides, she has a dirty kitchen to clean and she wants to work on her magic. Even though there have been plenty of people to stand up for her, she feels more secure in protecting herself.

She sat on the couch, trying to summon a flame with her non-scented candle. This felt like her learning magic with Rumple all over again. She can't even make a small flame.

"Light damn you," she hissed in frustration. She noticed for the past week, she has been feeling a little nauseous, but she chopped that up to stress. Between Emma getting shot, the hunt for Sidney, being a victim of a sleeping curse, the curse being broken, mobs wanting to kill her, trying to figure out her magic... there hasn't been too much of downtime. If it doesn't go away, she'll get some medicine. This is going to be a long day indeed.

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Emma still had keys to the apartment so she thought Snow wouldn't mind too much for her daughter to let herself in. Emma's eyes bugged out, her mouth is wide open, as she looked at the sight before her. Henry was just confused.

"Why are you still in bed, it is in the middle of the afternoon?"

Snow put the blanket that was covering them over her mouth to stifle her laughter at her daughter's mortified face.

"I…I am going to go get some of my stuff. And maybe make tacos or something," she said as she herded Henry to her room.

Charming's face is beet red as he looked at his wife. "I guess it is never too late to scar our daughter for life."

They burst out laughing as they quickly put clothes on to spend time with their daughter and grandson.

Charming assisted Emma with the limited amount of boxes to load into her car before they settled back in the kitchen to make lunch for themselves.

"So Emma…is there anything at all you want to ask us? I can imagine that you have so many questions."

All of them looked at Emma expectantly. She still can't look directly at them since see saw them post-coital. Thank God there she didn't see any nudity.

"Hmmm. How old are you both exactly?"

"Well, I was twenty six when I gave birth to you."

"So biologically, I'm older than you?" Emma considered this very weird as she bit into her sandwich.

"The concept is strange to me as well. But if we include the curse years, I'm 54 years old."

"And you are the most beautiful 54 year old in the world," David said and he kissed his wife which prompted a "yuck" from Henry.

"Aren't you so Charming?" Snow smiled at them. Emma smiled at her parents, they really are good for each other and it blows her mind that she has that with Regina as well.

"And you David?" No way is she going to refer to him as Charming.

"Same age as your mother."

"How old is my mom?" Henry remembered that they never really celebrated her birthday but he always managed to make her a card.

Snow took a gulp of her juice before answering. "Well, Regina is only 8 years older than me, so she had to be at least 33, 34 when she cast the curse. Including cursed years, she will be 62 years old."

"Geez, I really have an old lady."

Charming clapped Emma on the back and grinned at her. "I think it would be prudent to never mention that to Regina. Just stick with the 34."

They chatted for another 15 minutes and Emma decided to go on her merry way. But before she left, she pulled Snow and David to the side.

"Can I leave Henry here with you all?"

David crossed his arms as both he and Snow looked at Emma in concern. "Not at all, but you seem nervous.

"Regina and I are going to see Rumple."

"I don't want you to deal with that man," Snow sternly put her foot down.

"Look, we'll be fine. We just need to get some information from him. I want to find out if he put Regina in a sleeping curse because if so, his face is going to meet my fist."

Snow was about to stop Emma but David put an arm around Snow and looked at Emma.

"We understand but if you need anything, please call us. And whatever you do, don't make a deal with him."

Emma smiled but it lacked warmth, considering that she already made a deal with Rumple. This is not good at all.

"Thank you." She went to Henry and kissed him on the forward.

"Hey kid, you are going to stay with your grandparents."

"Okay," Henry replied as he played his hand-held Nintendo DS.

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"Hey babe, I'm home!" Emma yells while holding a box in one hand as she opened the door. She loves her own I Love Lucy moment.

Regina walked toward the door and kissed Emma on the lips. "Do you need any help?"

Emma shook her head, "Naw, don't worry about it. I don't have much stuff. After I am done, we can head towards Gold's shop."

"Alright, dear."

Emma went back and forth to load the stuff in the house. She'll put them away once they get back. Now they made their way to Gold's shop.

Before they get out of her Benz, Regina grabbed Emma's forearm before she got out of the car.

"Let me lead when talking to Gold. I know the man well and his trickery."

Emma leaned and kissed Regina lightly. "Whatever you say boss." Regina smirked at her and they entered Gold's shop hand and hand.

Regina dramatically slammed the door shut to gain Gold's attention.

Gold smiled at Regina's theatrics. "Hold on, let me make room for your anger."

"Quit it with the nonsense Gold. You know why exactly we're here. So start speaking imp."

Emma is right beside her with a pissed off look, as she rubbed Regina's back to calm her down.

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"I deserve a little bit of gratitude. Your Emma," he nodded towards Emma's frowning face, "didn't want to break the curse. So I figured out a way to make that happen. Now the Charmings have concrete evidence that she shares true love with you, and you now are adopted in their happy little family.'

Regina looked at Emma to see if everything the imp said was true. Emma made sure she didn't look at Regina as she stared down Gold.

"How the hell did you even know that?"

Gold's gold tooth gleamed as he looked back at Emma. "I have my resources."

"Why did you even go through all of the trouble to get me to cast this curse in the first place?"

"None of your concern, dearie." Belle came out to see what all the ruckus was.

Regina was stunned as a healthy Belle entered the main portion of the shop.

"Oh, my lovely Belle. You remember her, don't you Regina?" He menacingly glared at her. And he also introduced Emma. "And this is Emma, Snow and Charming's daughter, and also known as the Savior."

"Hello, Emma."

"Hi."

The title is more grandiose than what she feels. And meeting Disney characters is still taking her for a spin. Emma looked around, so confused. "So you are Belle? Like, Beauty and the Beast Belle?"

"Is that a story? I would love to read it."

Regina and Rumple are staring at each other as Belle returned her attention back to Regina.

"Hello Regina," she frowned at the brunette.

Regina took a deep breath and released it. She knows that to be worthy of Emma and Henry, she needs to make amends for the wrong doing she has committed with at least a few of her victims.

"Belle, I want to apologize to you. What I have done is not right, but I did it not personally against you. You were just an unfortunate target in a tug of war between me and the Dark One. I'm really sorry," she mournfully pleaded with Belle.

Belle observed Regina. The older woman looks lighter, like the darkness has been falling off her little by little. And she is not surprised to know she was used as a pawn to get back at Rumple. At this point, she is used to it.

"It wasn't fun being locked up for all those years, but I forgive you."

Gold looked disgusted as he looked at Belle in shock. "But she…" but Belle held up her hand to stop him. "Enough is enough. I know you are not innocent Rumple. And if I want to forgive Regina, then I have my full right to do so. Just as I have forgiven you. I want no further battle to play out over me."

Gold bit his tongue as Belle shut him down. He glared back at Emma and Regina. "Are we done here?"

"We are," Emma replied as she tugged Regina who was about to protest. She guided the away from the shop and towards the street.

"So you locked her up back in the Enchanted or here?"

Regina crossed her arms in a way to protect herself from Emma's accusations. "Both."

"Geez," Emma said and she rubbed her temples.

"I have done terrible things that I'm not proud of. But I'm trying my best to make amends. I'm sorry that you fell in love with a monster."

Emma glared at Regina, "I'm not trying to judge you, I'm just trying to understand you. And you acting like a victim is not the best way to go on a redemption path."

Regina scoffed. "I'm sorry that the Evil Queen doesn't measure up the Savior's standard," and she walked to the driver's side to get in the car. Emma ran to stop Regina's movement, she thought that moment escalated way too quickly.

"That's not fair and you know it." Emma held Regina's face in both hands, forcing her to look at her. "By what you told me how Gold manipulated you, we both were given roles that we didn't want. I know it's painful to think about your past, but it's not right to shut me down like that. I know your past and I still love you. If True Love's kiss is not enough evidence for you to believe that, then nothing is," Emma laughed.

Regina closed her eyes and leaned into Emma's strong body, her body melted into her as she calmed herself. She didn't mean to lash at Emma, but she hates that Emma had to witness her past transgressions. At least Belle has forgiven her. Emma lifted Regina's chin and kissed her softly, but they were interrupted by Regina's stomach growling which made them laugh.

"How about we get something from the diner?"

"Yeah, let go back to Snow's apartment and pick Henry up."

Regina drove them to the loft. Somehow the Charmings wiggled their way to join them in the family gathering and here they sat in a booth. Henry is squished between his moms as Snow and Charming sat across from them.

The townspeople are still wary of Regina, the Evil Queen. However, people are more at ease as they observed their king and queen having no trouble at all with socializing with the former monarch. But there were a few mutterings which made Regina to keep her head up high and Emma to glare daggers at them.

"I'll take a double-bacon cheeseburger, large fry, and a chocolate milkshake."

Everyone at the table looked at Regina like she was an alien from out of space. Emma put her hand on Regina's forehead to check her temperature. Regina swatted at her hand.

"Regina…umm…are you alright?"

"I'm just fine dear."

"Mom, you never order cheeseburgers, like ever."

Regina is perturbed that everyone is looking at her like she has something on her face.

"I don't know why you all are making this into some big deal. Snow, how are you and Charming adjusting?"

Snow went into a long-winded answer that she politely nodded to as she devoured her burger. Henry and Emma were still giving her weird looks. Yes, it is not the conventional meal she would order, but she has been ravenous.

Emma took a sip of her drink and launched into a different type of conversation. "It has only been like a day and I already have calls of disturbances. It looks like there would need to be another deputy."

Snow looked at Emma curiously. "I thought Graham was going to do that, even though it would have been strange since you were the deputy, and he was the sheriff."

Emma chuckled, "Yeah, but he said that he doesn't want to do it. Something about being free or something."

"I can be your deputy. We can work together and I'll be your back up. I still need to teach you sword fighting," David volunteered. He saw this as an opportunity to spend time and get to know his daughter.

"That's an excellent idea, Charming," Snow beamed at her husband.

"A daughter/father combo. Sweet," Henry pointed out as well.

Regina was stuffing her face with the monster burger and fries before daintily wiping her mouth and put her two cents in.

"As mayor of this town, I employed the most qualified people, and I don't know how a shepherd makes the cut."

"I seem to have taken your guards down back in the day, Regina," David challenged.

"Can we all just get along?" Emma pleaded, trying to quell down any escalation in the conversation.

Emma turned to Regina, and subtly wiped with her thumb at a little bit of sauce that was on the corner of her mouth. "You know I'm right Regina. With people in panic, adjusting to their new memories, I would need more man power for this town."

Emma realized that there is a little nepotism going on, but there is no one she would trust more by her side then her own father, which is still crazy to think about.

Regina would not deny Emma her request. And it is logically sound and David can somewhat do a decent job with it. When it comes down to it, she knows that he will protect her love at any and all cost.

Regina sighed, "I'll send you the paperwork today and I expect you to go through the town ordinances with him. Professional is key, Emma."

Emma beamed at her and kissed her on the cheek. "Thank you." David shot his daughter a smile and thanked Regina as well.

Emma scrunched her eyebrows at Regina's finished plate. Usually Emma is done with what every meal they're eating first. But on Regina's plate, there wasn't a fry or a crumble of beef to find.

The blonde noticed that Regina was a little pale and rubbed her back over Henry's head.

"Are you okay, Regina?"

Snow looked at her in concern as well. "You are not looking well."

Regina had this queasiness going off and on for a couple of weeks. "I'm fine. Excuse me, I have to go to the ladies room."

Emma started to get up as well but Regina placed a palm on her shoulder. "I'm fine dear." Then she silently made her way's to Granny's bathroom.

"I have never seen her pack so much food in. I hope she doesn't throw up."

Henry looked at Emma in concern. "Ma, I have never seen Mom sick like that, like ever."

Regina said that she was fine but Emma doesn't buy it at all. "Henry, can you scoot? I'll go check up on her."

Henry moved out of the booth and she made her way to her.

Regina placed toilet paper on the ground so her knees didn't touch the floor. She vomit her lunch into, thank God, a clean toilet. She is getting more concerned with her health. She hasn't felt this since…since. It's like déjà vu all over again. She remembers ten or eleven years ago, being in Granny's, eating a greasy burger that she has never ordered before. Then making the subsequent trip to Whale and finding out that she was pregnant with Henry. Her hands trembled as she placed them on her still flat stomach. She rocked back and forth as she contemplated whether she is expecting again.

For years, she never thought about having another child, Henry was her whole world. And when Emma barrelled herself back into her life, rekindling their relationship was the main focus. Having a baby was a fleeting thought. Would Emma want another child?

She flushed the toilet and her muses ended as Emma knocked on her door, she didn't even hear her come in.

"Regina…babe. Are you alright? Was it something you ate? Did you get food poisoning? I don't think there has ever been a case of food poisoning at Granny's. She is pretty clean and thorough."

She got up and snapped open the door. "Dear, you are rambling. I'm fine."

Emma crossed her arms and stared at Regina as she bypassed her to wash her hands.

"You know, I can always tell when you are lying, and this is one of those times. You should be able to tell me anything."

"I am just feeling under the weather, nothing I can't get over."

Emma rubbed her back and looked at Regina's reflection in the mirror. "We can go home if you want.

"No, I'm fine. Let's go." She grabbed Emma's hand and led her back to the booth. They resettled to continue their meals and Regina decided to get a ginger ale, to calm her stomach.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Storybrooke is a nice, quaint town that looks stuck in the eighties. He parked his Honda and asked a random person where Emma might be. Came to find out, she is the sheriff of this town. She came a long way. Neal entered the diner which incurred numerous stares from the residents who have never seen him before. People were speculating who he was but he had no interest in revealing that to anybody.

"Emma…is that you?"

The familiar voice made Emma stiffen in her seat. She slowly looked at Neal smiling down at her. It has been so many years since they last saw each other, since he betrayed her.

"Neal?" Emma breathed out. It was like seeing a ghost.

"Emma, I am so…" but his words were stopped when Emma's fist connected with his nose.

"Fuck!" Neal exclaimed as he dropped to the ground. Regina held Henry down to protect him if any scuffle happens. Emma has told her about Neal, the man she considered as a brother. Her blood boiled thinking about how he had abandoned her lover.

David leaped out of his seat and got behind Emma, acting almost like back up. He has never seen his daughter so angry before, and for her to outright smash a man in the nose, he couldn't be good news. Snow was right beside him.

Neal rolled on the floor of the diner, held his nose which had blood pouring out. People were murmuring about what he has done to the savior to warrant that sort of action.

Granny came out from the kitchen when she heard of all of the ruckus in her diner.

"Sheriff, I think you need to take that outside."

Emma frowned and apologized to Granny. She ignored Regina's inquisitive stare and grabbed a handful of Neal's hair and dragged him outside of the diner into the alley on the side.

She pushed him against the wall and ignored his painful grunts.

"Why are you here? And how the hell did you find me?" She was fuming with rage. Neal gathered his wits, trying to stop the flow of blood so he doesn't pass out. Through pained gasps, he pleaded his case.

"I am here for you. There hasn't been a day when I haven't thought about you. Listening to August was the worst mistake I ever made."

Emma's eyes widened that he knew August. "So what, August told you to let me fall for your crime? For what? When I needed you the most, you weren't there. Should I be thankful that you tracked me down after ten years?!"

"I am from the Enchanted Forest as you are, and he knew who I was. He said that you had to break the curse. I couldn't stop you from reuniting with your family. But I am not going to excuse myself for you ending up in jail."

"You're from the Enchanted Forest? Who were you? And that doesn't even make sense. Who's to say that if we stayed together, that the curse wouldn't break?"

Neal became silent for a few moments. "Nobody you would know from the fairy-tales here in this land. And yes, to your third question, I guess I was too stupid to think about an alternate to save you from the curse."

"No, you're actually a genius," she spat out sarcastically. "You were so self-righteous to think for me and deciding my fate, thinking you were doing me a favor to find my parents, and you didn't even realize that I considered you my family."

Neal and Emma are almost in tears from their painful reunion. "I will always consider you as my sister, Emma."

"I don't know if I can trust you."

"I didn't totally abandoned you. I left you twenty grand for you to live off after you got out."

Emma wrinkled her nose, she remembered how hard she had to struggle with no money after getting out of jail. She had to take odd jobs here and there and barely made it. And she is damn sure if twenty thousand dollars were waiting for her, she would have spent it.

"Neal, I have no idea what you're talking about."

"I left the money with August to give to you…" he trailed off as he realized how August fucked both of them.

Emma's temper threatens to explode as well. So she had more men in her life that decided her fate. It disgusted her.

"Emma, is everything alright here?" Regina glared at Neal and he gulped, more than a little frightened by this beautiful woman's ire.

Emma rushed to Regina. "Everything is under control." Regina lifted an eyebrow at Emma.

"Everything is under control? I think not considering you just knocked a man out right in front of our son."

Neal still had his hand against his nose as he took a few steps towards them. "Son, you have son? With her? Nice."

"Why is this Neanderthal even looking at me?"

"Regina, I need to you to calm down."

"Regina? Is that the Regina you hooked up with in New York? You knocked her up?"

"Excuse me?" Regina retorted.

Emma gave him an exasperated look. "Neal, you're not helping."

"Congratulations," he threw her a goofy smile. It pained her with reminiscing memories. "That kid in the booth with you, what's his name?"

"Henry," Emma smiled her response.

"None of your business," Regina said at the same time.

"Emma, can I speak to you in private?" Neal is still struggling to stay up as Emma focused her attention on Regina.

"I don't want that criminal anywhere near our son."

"Don't you realize that I also was a criminal?"

"You know you are worth more than that to Henry, or to me."

Neal spoke up between their private conversation. "Look, I just want to make amends. I don't want to cause any trouble with your family. But I think we both need to have some words with August."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

August took Blue's advice and confronted his father, whose name is Marco in this world. He was jumbled with nerves as he knocked on the door of his modest home.

"Hello, may I help you?"

"Papa…"

Marco's eyes widened in shock as he observed the wooden hand on the rugged looking man.

"Pinocchio?"

They sat down for a couple of hours, August explained what he has done with his life. He expressed remorse how he failed his father. Marco forgave him and said that he too is at fault. He decided that they both needed to see Snow and Charming.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"Here is some tissue…you know, for your nose and stuff," Emma gestured with a piece of tissue in front of Neal. The bleeding stopped but he still had residual of blood stains on his face and shirt. He smiled and took it from her. Emma said to Regina, her parents, and Henry, that she was going to leave with Neal to find August to get some answers. They piled into her yellow bug.

"Thank you so much. You pack quite a punch."

Emma gave him a small smile. "That I do."

Neal looked Emma up and down, not in a sexual manner at all, just in curiosity to see how much see has grown from a teenager.

"You got some pretty impressive pecks. I'm glad it looks like you have been fed."

"Being a bounty hunter would make you tough. And you are just as scruffy as I remember." Emma won't admit right now, but Neal always had a soft spot in her heart. And even with the ten year absence from each other, he still was able to banter with her just the same. The only other person she has felt that comfortable with was Regina.

"I can't believe that you still kept this car," he said as he sat and looked around the vehicle. "It reminds me of old times."

"Yeah, well, it has its sentimental value."

Neal smiled, "because it reminds you of me?"

"No, it reminds me to not trust so easily."

"I'm sorry that I hurt you so much."

Emma sighed. "Well, it seems to be the story of my life right now." They came across Marco's apartment. She asked Snow where Marco's apartment was. She wanted to try him first to see if August ever contacted him, or knew where he was at. August never booked a room at Granny's Inn, and Emma never knew where he laid his head. His father would be the best option.

They got out of the car and Emma knocked on his door. Marco answered and was surprised to see Emma and some stranger at his door.

"Sheriff Swan, how can I assist you?"

"I was wondering if you have seen August. I found out that he was actually Pinocchio and we need to get some answers."

Marco nodded his head. "Of course, my boy, he is in the living room." Marco stepped away to allow them in. He has no idea who the man was, but if he is with Emma, he should be an alright fellow.

Emma and Neal stepped through the small apartment. August whipped his head at the new visitors that came in.

"August?!"

"Surprise mother-fucker."

"I didn't expect to see you here."

"We're here and you better tell the truth. Did you steal money from Neal that was intended for me?" Emma wasn't even that upset at the lack of cash, but it is the principle of the matter. Neal did try, in his own way, look out for her. And August screwed her again.

"I-I…that wasn't the finest moment in my life," he confessed.

Neal crossed his arms and glared at August, but before he could drill into August, Emma stepped towards August, swung her right fist against August's jaw and bust his lips, and blood dribbled from his mouth down his chin and he fell back into the couch.

Marco saw the escalation of events and interjected immediately. "Please, don't harm my boy any longer. It is not all his fault." He looked right at Emma. "I need to see your parents now, I have something to tell them. Where are they?"

Emma's knuckles are now cracked and there is some minor bleeding. But the pain was worth it to drop August where he stood. Bastard. And to think that Pinocchio was one of her favorite movies. She shook her head at herself.

Emma took her phone and called Snow. Her parents are now back at her apartment as Regina and Henry are back at the mansion. She hopes her beautiful woman is taking it easy. Once she took care of her business here, she can't wait to be with her True Love and kid.

"Snow is at her apartment." She looked at Marco, "I'll see you there."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Cora entered the dirty, rowdy tavern in the southeast side of the Enchanted Forest which she had erected a barrier around against her daughter's curse. The lowly place was completely beneath her station, but she will endure it to find that smelly pirate that her daughter employed to kill her.

Since Jefferson told her that she would need to find alternative solutions to travel to a non-magical realm, she knew one pirate that can procure what she needs.

And this is where she found herself. In a bar of drunken fools and loose barmaids. She can see Killian palmed a woman's posterior as she sat in his lap. On the authority of a queen, she announced her presence.

"Leave us!" The musicians stopped their music and everyone became silent. Killian gulped as he looked at the Queen of Hearts.

He looked around at his men, "You heard her, leave us."

Not wanting to piss their boss off, his sea mates vacated the bar, and the barmaids also took their leave. Cora stepped her way to Killian, peered down at him like a lowly being he is, and then sat daintily down on the chair, but not before wiping the wooden chair down.

Killian sat up straighter in his seat to regain some semblance of posture. "I'm surprised to see you here."

"I have no time for pleasantries. I've learned some information that would be beneficial for the both of us."

"And what is that?"

She smiled menacingly. "Your crocodile is in another realm."

Chapter Text

Neal and Emma drove in her bug with August and Marco tailing them to her parent's apartment. She thought at this point David has finally moved in with his wife. Emma flipped out her phone to dial Regina.

"Hey gorgeous, where are you?"

"I am home with our son, what are you up to?"

"Going to Snow's apartment to have a chat. It seems that Marco needs to confess something. That August guy is actually Pinocchio." This is still mind-boggling to her.

"I knew he couldn't be trusted. I can come over to be with you."

"Aren't you feeling a little sick? I need you to be home and rest. Do you need anything? I can get you anything you need."

Regina sighed, she wanted to argue with Emma that she is fine, but doesn't have the strength.

"You don't have to get me anything. Just come back to me."

Emma smiled, "Always. Love you."

"Love you too, dear." And they ended the call.

Neal snorted with affection. "Man, you sound so whipped."

Emma smiled even brighter. "I love her. There ain't no woman like the one I got." Regina is truly a masterpiece and has layers of complexity. And she is a powerful sorceress slash queen. She thinks her to be very unique.

Neal laughed, "So you're quoting Four Tops to me? You really got it bad."

"Well, according to me breaking the curse, she is my True Love."

Neal's eyes widen dramatically. "Really? Wow." He briefly covered his hand on hers. "If there is anyone in this world that deserves that level of love, it is you."

Emma was touched at his admission. "Thank you. But I must say that the concept of magic being real is still startling. You grew up there, how was it like,with magic existing and everything?"

Neal scratched his beard. "It was so common, you don't really think about it all too much. And I only grew up in the Enchanted Forest until I was like 12. Magic hasn't been too kind to me."

Emma glanced at him quickly and saw his face darken when he said that.

"I see. Well, how did you managed to get to here to the real world?"

Neal smiled at Emma's wording. "All worlds are real but I didn't come straight here from back home. I spent years in Neverland, actually."

Emma accidently swerved the car but immediately, then when she noticed her mistake she straightened it out. A "what the fuck" expression is plastered on her face. "Neverland is real?!"

Neal frowned in displeasure, "Yeah, and whatever things you learned about Peter Pan in the movies, disregard it. He is a monster."

"Ew, so no trip to Neverland, got you."

"By the way, how long did you spend time in Neverland?"

"A couple of hundred years, I guess. I stopped counting for a while."

"Get the fuck out of here."

Neal lifted his hands, "I swear I'm telling the truth."

"Geez, like Henry and I are the youngest people here."

Neal nervously smoothed the wrinkles in his jeans. "Speaking of Henry, I would love to meet the little guy. You know, be an uncle type of person to him, if you'll have me."

Emma momentarily contemplated Neal's request. Her hands tighten on the wheel. "In all honesty Neal, you'll have to earn my trust before that happens."

Neal vigorously nodded. "I understand. Whatever and whenever you want."

The two cars finally made it to Snow's loft in which Emma with ease made her way into the apartment with Neal, Marco, and August in the rear.

Snow and David stood up from the breakfast bar when they heard the door opened. Emma has already informed them that Marco, their old friend, wanted to speak to them.

Emma's parents engulfed her in a three-way hug. David saw Neal come into their apartment and furrowed his eyes at the man that his daughter punched. "Why is he here? Is he bothering you?"

Emma lifted up her hands to ward David wanting to put a sword through him. "No he is fine."

Snow gasped when she saw her daughter's battered hand. She gingerly took Emma's hand in hers and spied the dried blood and cracked skin. "Let me get some bandages." She looked at Marco and August, who she now sees who is Pinocchio when she saw his wooden hand, entered her home as well. She gestured to their couch.

"Please seat."

Marco shook his head, declining her offer. He doesn't feel worthy to sit in her home, and August just followed his father's lead.

David smiled softly at Emma when he looked at her hand. "That's my girl," he said as he patted her back.

Emma's heart swelled with love for her father. Whatever circumstances they are at now, she knows that he loves her unconditionally. And for an orphan that always had to work for affection, that meant a lot to her.

Snow came down and chided at Emma over her injuries but gladly cleaned Emma's wound and dressed it. Neal looked at Emma interacting with her parents, and he is so happy for her to have her family. His heart broke a little bit over his family issues. He still hasn't seen his father, but then again, he didn't come to Storybrooke for him. He came for Emma whom he considered as his family.

After Emma's injuries have fully been bandaged, she addressed Marco who looked so forlorn.

"Marco, what's going on?"

Marco bowed his head as he answered her question. "Snow, I am so sorry for what I done. To you and your daughter. Truly I am. The Blue Fairy said that only one can be put in the wardrobe. But that was a lie, two could go in."

"What?!" David shouted as he stepped side by side with his wife and gathered her into his arms. Snow's heart thumped dramatically. She can't believe what she just heard.

Marco patted August's arms as he looked at him sadly. "She needed me to build the wardrobe, to put your Emma in. But I only agreed if my son could be saved as well. I acted selfishly."

Snow paused for a few moments, letting that information sink in. So she could have been with her daughter all along. Raising her, loving her, protecting her from the evils of the world.

Smack, resounded through the whole apartment. Snow's hand stung from the force she put on Marco's cheek that he palmed with his hand. David sent daggers Marco's way.

"I'm sorry," Snow gasped.

Marco shook his head, "I deserved it your majesty." He looked at Emma. "I'm so sorry that I acted so selfish, I truly am."

Emma didn't know what to say, it seems that so many things happened before she was even born. For Emma, who's to say that she wouldn't behave the same as Marco? He seemed like so many countless others that were pulled into a conflict that didn't involve them; the problems were always between Regina and her parents. Why did others have to suffer with them?

Snow and David looked at each other, and in sync, grabbed their daughter in there now famous hugs.

Emma wordlessly hugged them. She communicated that she doesn't, at least any-more, blame her for their abandonment. At this point, Emma wanted to move on from the past.

Without looking at Marco, Snow gave a command. "Thank you for your confession. You may go." Despite his deception, he is still a dear friend, and if she was honest with herself, she and David, even in the limited time frame, should have looked for an alternative.

When she and Emma talked in the hospital, and Emma explained to her that she could have done more for her, Snow fully understood that, at the end of the day, it is on her that Emma grew up alone. She wouldn't even include David because he was always the one that was hesitant in putting Emma in the wardrobe.

But that doesn't mean that she can't confront Blue on her misdirection

Marco bowed and August vigorously nodded as well. "Thank you so much Snow and Charming, for your forgiveness."

With that they took their leave. David pointedly stared at Neal who was beside Emma. "And you make sure that you don't harm my daughter as well."

"Yes sir, Emma is like a sister to me." He rocked back and forth as he looked at Emma's parents. "I would also like to apologize to you two as well. I haven't been there for her when she really needed it, but I am more than willing to make up for it." He looked at Emma as he said the last part.

David released a sigh. "Don't make us regret it."

"Yes sir."

"Look, I have to go, Regina hasn't been feeling well and I want to check up on her."

Snow looked concerned. "Is she alright?"

"I think so, but I'll go home to find out."

"Okay, Emma." Snow hugged Emma and kissed her on the cheek. David, being taller, kissed her on top of her head and Emma and Neal made their way out of Snow's apartment.

Emma glanced at Neal as he got in her car. "How long do you plan on staying in Storybrooke?"

He shrugged his shoulders. "Don't know. It is not like I have anything to hold me down in New York."

"Well, if that is the case, you should explore the town." She exchanged her phone number with Neal once she dropped him off at his car.

"Catch you later."

Neal is making slow progress with Emma, but he is fine with that. "See you."

Neal decided that he will try to find his father. Not to speak to him, but just to physically see him.

Snow and David found themselves back at the nunnery again. She insisted that they had to speak to the Blue Fairy about Marco's confession.

Blue was startled to see the royal couple again in her office.

"Oh my, I'm surprised to see you."

David crossed his arms as Snow ploughed her with questions. "Is it true that you knew that the wardrobe could hold more than one person? Is it true that Geppetto insisted that his son was to accompany Emma to this world?"

Blue saw fire in the young princess's eyes. She was reluctant to acquiesce to Geppetto's demands, but the wardrobe had to be built so Emma could escape the curse to save them.

Blue closed her eyes, "yes. It is all true. Emma was the key to the curse, and she had to first be saved to save us."

Snow stomped her feet. "How the hell was it a good idea to have a child look over a baby?" David can feel the anger rolling off of his wife.

"The wardrobe had to be made quickly, if there was another way, I would have chosen it."

David rubbed his temples from annoyance. Things didn't add up for him. He was just a shepherd boy. Magic was a totally foreign concept until he was indicted into King George's world. Magic did a number of things he never thought possible.

David began to say his peace. "I just don't understand why did you need Geppetto to build a wardrobe out of a magical tree? I mean, you are like one of the most powerful fairies in our world. You transformed a puppet into a real boy, with flesh and blood. You mean to tell me that your magic couldn't fashion a piece of wood into a wardrobe?"

Blue closed her mouth at David's accusation. Snow just shook her head at the fairy's apparent incompetence. She wished that she thought so much clearer back at that time because what her husband said made so much sense. Geppetto really wasn't that needed if they could have just used magic to carve out the wardrobe. It is just freaking wood. And it infuriated her that she could have went with Emma to this world.

Snow pulled back and punched the fairy, which made her drop to the floor. She wallowed on the floor from the shock of the punch that had levelled her.

"Snow," David exclaimed at his wife's violence. Not that he didn't think the fairy deserved it.

"Stay away from my family, since you have proven how useless you are." With that, Snow made her exit as David, stunned, followed her back to their home.

Regina made a stop at the pharmacy. She found it quite unfortunate that Sneezy has his memories back. His annoying habit of constantly sneezing and spreading his germs irked her to no end. She saw a number of different brands of pregnancy tests. She decided to buy three different kinds. She subtly looked around, she didn't want anyone to know her business. She quietly made her way to the register, and covertly laid her products on the counter. Sneezy looked at the products, looked back at Regina, then back at the products, and then back at Regina again.

Regina slammed her fist on the counter and growled. "Don't say a word. And hurry up and scan my products so I can get out of her munchkin."

Sneezy frowned, "But I'm a dwarf." He scanned the items quickly and placed them in a bag. He witnessed that Regina didn't have her magic, but that doesn't mean he is stupid enough to incur her wrath.

Regina is secretly pleased that she can still incite fear even though she doesn't have her magic.

"Like I care," Regina snapped as she snatched her bag and stomped her way out of the store. She had Henry in the car waiting for her, she didn't want him to see what she was getting, and made their way back home.

Once they entered the mansion, Henry pleaded with his mother. "Can I play my video games?"

"You may after you do your homework." Henry nodded and ran up to his room to complete his homework as quickly as he could.

Regina went into her kitchen and drank a tall glass of her home-made apple juice. She would need to urinate to take her pregnancy test. After she finished her drink, her doorbell rang. Regina has no idea who this is, so she straightened her buttoned blouse and opened her door.

"Kathryn, Abigail," Regina was taken aback seeing the only friend she truly made in Storybrooke.

Kathryn smiled. "I actually prefer Kathryn. May I come in?"

"Yes," she opened the door and made way for Kathryn, Princess Abigail, to come in.

"It seems that we haven't seen each other since the curse broke."

Regina has no idea what reaction Kathryn has with the aftermath of the curse.

"A lot has happened since then."

"I didn't come here to yell at you. Actually, I came here to thank you for your curse, which for me was a blessing."

Regina was shocked still, with her mouth a little open. "But why? I didn't cast this curse for everyone's happiness, but just for my own. You're not mad at me?"

Kathryn nodded at the former Evil Queen's shock. "We are both royalty, you and I know. But being women, we actually didn't have many choices in life, especially in regards to marriage.

Here in this world, I can be something more than a conveyor belt for children. Here, I can be with my Frederick, who isn't royalty. Here, I can live without being under the thumb of a domineering father.

So yes, what you did was selfish, but I know many others whose lives are much better here than back home. Thank you."

Regina finally blinked her eyes and nodded at Kathryn's statements. "It means a lot for me to hear that. I hope we can continue to be friends, even though I'm still learning how to do that."

Kathryn smiled and hugged Regina. "Of course, just don't forget that you actually have one."

Regina tentatively returned the hug. "Say hello to Frederick for me."

The blonde smiled back, "will do." And she made her way out of the mansion.

Regina exhaled, she is still getting used to having people in her life that genuinely care for her. She placed her palm on her stomach, wondering if she has someone else in the world that will come to love her.

She quickly made her way to her master bathroom, and peed on all three sticks. Her right foot nervously tapped the floor for a couple of minutes to get her results. Once her timer went off, she hurriedly read each stick. Positive. Positive. Positive.

Regina held her hand to her mouth as she gasped and dropped the last stick in the garbage. She's pregnant. There is a baby growing inside of her. She placed both hands on her stomach as she looked down at her still-flat belly.

She instantly fell in love with her baby. Emma's baby. She never thought she would have another child other then Henry. This is a gift that she doesn't feel that she deserved. But she will love this child with every fibre of her being. But she wondered at what Emma's reaction will be. Would she be happy?

Regina musings ended when Emma yelled out, "Babe, I'm home."

After she dropped off Neal, she went to the pharmacy to get Regina some Pepto Bismol, since her stomach was unsettled. She gave Mr. Clark strange looks when he kept smiling at her. But she is not going to pursue his reasons for odd behavior, she just wanted to get home. She kicked her bug into gear and entered her home, "Babe, I'm home." She made sure to put her coat on the coat hanger, she already has been chewed out before when she thrown her coat on coaches and chairs.

Regina made her way down the stairs to greet her lover.

"Welcome home, dear." Regina tried to go out of her way to reinforce that this is no longer just her home, but also Emma's.

Emma gave her bright smile and kissed Regina softly. She rubbed her back as she pulled a piece of hair out of Regina's face.

"How are you feeling? I got you some Pepto. Hopefully that will help you with your digestion."

Regina gave Emma a peck on her lips to slow her down. "I'm just fine. Tell me how has your day been? The last time I saw you, you punched that Neal person. I don't want you around him if he caused you so much pain."

"Don't worry about it. We talked, and I understand where he came from, I just want to move on. He is not that bad of a guy."

Regina would be a hypocrite if she doesn't accept that Emma readily forgave Neal the wrong that he has done to her. Emma has done the same thing for her. She decided to let the Neal situation pass over her.

Regina looked at Emma's bandaged hand. "I really need you to take care of yourself. I just got you out of the hospital," she chastised.

Emma looked at her hand and grinned. "That's nothing. Don't worry about it. As for my day, well, Marco and August came over and confessed that Snow could have came with me in the wardrobe. But Marco cut a deal with the Blue Fairy so August can go instead."

Emma chuckled but it lacked any mirth. "It is becoming comical how many things went wrong at my birth."

The pit of Regina's stomach dropped as she recounts how much Emma's terrible childhood can be attributed to her selfish actions. She looked as she frowned to herself.

Emma immediately detected Regina's change of mood. She had her typical look of self-loathing. She lifted up Regina's chin to look at her.

"I know what you are doing and stop it. Stop beating yourself. I'm over it. I'm tired of living in the past. I just want to move forward. And that includes you and Henry. The future with my family is what I'm concern about." Emma softly kissed her to reassure her lover.

Regina returned and deepened the kiss. But she pulled away before it escalated.

"Speaking of family, I have something to tell you. But let's sit down," and she lead them to their study.

Emma groaned from the absence of her luscious lips. "Okay," Emma slowly responded as she dropped right next to Regina, she wondered what this was about.

"Speaking about family, ours is expanding."

"Oh," Emma responded, but she has no idea what Regina is referencing. She scratched her hair, trying to figure out what the big deal was. Regina rolled her eyes and internally calmed herself. One unfortunate trait of Emma's is that she can sometimes be a little dimwitted. She kind of an action first, think later, sort of person. But she still loves Emma to death, but thank God that Henry takes after her in that department.

After deliberating for a few moments, Emma's eyes bugged out as she dropped her mouth and looked at Regina. "We're pregnant?!"

Regina chuckled at Emma's slowness. "Yes dear, we're pregnant."

Emma looked at Regina's stomach and placed her hand on her flat belly. "We're having a baby," she whispered. Regina placed her forehead on Emma's as they fell in deep thought and happiness.

"You know, I missed out on so many firsts with Henry. His first word, his first step. I know the circumstances didn't allow me to see that, but I feel like I have a second chance. That we have a second chance to raise our child together. This time around, you don't have to be alone. We will do this together."

Regina was close to tears, she was in such euphoria. She will be able to raise her child with her true love. She placed her hand on top of Emma's that was on her stomach and peered into sparkling green eyes.

"Together," she said softly."

"You know, speaking of Henry, where is the kid?"

"He is upstairs doing his homework. Let's announce this to him, shall we?"

Emma got off the chair and gestured her hand for Regina to take. She did and Emma gently pulled her beautiful, pregnant lover towards her. She gave Regina another kiss before they made their way to Henry's bedroom.

Emma knocked and Henry answered, "Come in."

Regina and Emma walked into their son's room. "Hey kid, we got some very important, great news for you."

Henry dropped his pencil in excitement. "I'm getting a puppy?" He has been asking for a dog for years, but his mom won't let him. Saying that animals deserve to stay outside, not in. With Emma in town, he thought she would change her mind, but she is not budging.

Regina shook at him. He is still trying to get that pet. Se spoils him in so many ways, but she won't indulge in that.

"No Henry." And Regina glanced at Emma and the blonde smiled back at her and nodded. Regina returned her attention to Henry.

"You are going to be a big brother."

Henry's mouth dropped open, almost identical to Emma's which amazed her.

"You're pregnant?! Wow! Yes!" He pumped his fist in the air as his parent's hugged him.

"Can I name her?"

Emma furrowed her eyebrows. "Kid, we don't know what the jelly bean is."

Regina frowned at Emma's nickname. "Our baby is not a jelly bean."

"I know our baby isn't a jelly bean, but it's my new name for the little one."

"I think it will be a girl, because you already have your little prince. And I'm not giving that up."

Regina laughed and Emma ruffled his hair at his antics. "You might have a brother, so don't get your hopes up."

"Well, either way I'm happy. I'll show him or her all of my comics and teach them stuff."

Emma just smiled at her family, as peace settled on her that she doesn't want to end as Regina and Henry chatted away. She knows that at some point, she'll have to tell her parents about the newcomer in their family.

Neal took Emma's advice, and travelled around town to get acquainted with it. It is seriously stuck in the 80s. They are all probably still listening to Michael Jackson and people may still have jheri curls. Well, there aren't any because they are hardly any black people here.

He walked and came across a pawn shop. As far as pawn shops go, it is as sketchy as the ones he encountered in big cities. But for some odd reason, this pawn shop piqued his interest. He walked inside which made the bell ring. No one was here, though it said that it was open, so he decided to look around. He can feel that some of the objects weren't ordinary objects. A pair of creepy dolls mesmerized him, he grabbed one to inspect it.

"Is there anything that I can help you with?"

Neal dropped the doll, startled beyond belief. He can recognize the Irish lilt, a thousand years over without looking at him.

He slowly turned his head to see his father whom he hasn't seen in over 200 years. Here in Storybrooke, he looks just like the same as he did before the Dark One's curse. He's dressed very formerly, in a three piece suit and wide tie. His mouth felt like cotton as he stared at him in a few very long, uncomfortable moments.

Gold was struck by the peculiar man that he has never seen before. "Excuse me, but do I know you? You just standing there looking at me makes me think that we have associated before?"

Rumple may have known Bae, but he didn't know Neal Cassidy. He answered as honestly as we could.

Neal coughed to clear his dry throat, and clumsily picked up the doll to put it back on the shelf. "No you don't. And I don't need help. I was just looking around. I…I am just going to go now."

Rumple's hands clasped on top of his cane as he observed the scruffy fellow. Something feels so familiar to him, but he just can't put his finger on it.

"Well, if you come back and find something that interests you, I'm sure a deal can be struck," he grinned mischievously.

Neal nodded his head at the older man, and briskly walked out of the shop. He made it far away from the store before he silently broke down. He covered his mouth in is his hands as he exhaled to release his disappointment. It doesn't seem like his father changed. Rumple still made deals. It seems that even when centuries pass, some things remained the same.

Belle put her foot down and ended her argument with Rumple. This is not the Enchanted Forest and she refuses to stay hidden in his home. She has been locked up for far too long, and she wanted to see what Storybrooke offers. Belle assuaged Rumple's worry that she will be fine, and no harm will come to her.

So that is why she found herself in the Granny Diner's. Ruby, who was the Little Red Riding Hood in their world, treated her with such kindness and patience. Ruby introduced her to Graham who is her boyfriend, and kind of hangs out at the diner with her. He seems like a decent fellow. She told her what are the best things to eat. Food wasn't quite this good back home. She thinks that she has made her first friend.

After the first attempt of trying to subdue the Evil Queen, Snow, the savior, and Prince Charming set them down and told them to go to their homes. Many people spoke up and said that they actually enjoyed being in Storybrooke more than Fairytale land. However, there were others that wanted to escape the confined town but were too afraid to cross.

Personally, Grumpy, but he prefers to be called Leroy, not liking that his name was an adjective, took it upon himself and recruited some of the dwarves to investigate the mysterious line at the town. Not that he wanted to live, he doesn't like Evil Bitch but the one thing he can admit is that, Storybrooke provided him an opportunity to be with his Nova. In this land, Blue Bitch can't forbid their relationship because she has no power. But for the sake of others who do want to leave, he wanted to help in whatever way he can.

They took out a bag of straws and drew to see who was going to cross. It was Sneezy but he was reluctant to go but Leroy kindly pushed him over the line. He knew they were in deep shit when Sneezy just remembered himself as Mr. Clark. Houston, we have a problem.

With Leroy's loud mouth, it didn't take long for the whole town to find out that they can't cross the town line without losing their memories. People aren't happy with the prospect that they don't have a choice to leave the cursed town. Another large mob tried to make their way to 108 Mifflin but David was able to intercept them with his new deputy car, blocking the street. It seems like déjà vu that Snow and David have found themselves again trying to quell the large crowd.

"This is the Evil Queen's fault."

"Why did we not go back home once the curse broke?"

"She is responsible for this."

"I want to leave this place."

Snow could feel the migraine about to assault her. She remembered Regina's insults of how the simple minded peasants can easily get riled up. It hurts to admit that she agrees with her. But these are her people, she needs to fix this.

"This is not Regina's fault, you already witnessed that she doesn't have any magic here. And we will have to make Storybrooke our home because the Enchanted Forest is not there. I know things are not ideal, but we are all now reunited with our families. This has been our home for 28 years. We will have a solution for you soon."

David looked at her like, "we will?" But she just nodded her head for him to trust her.

After a few moments the crowd dispersed as before, Snow and David quickly made their way to the mayor's mansion.

"We have a situation," Snow rapidly breathed as she and David made their way into the large white home as Emma opened the door.

Emma frowned. "What situation?"

David gave Emma a hug and they recounted how the town line can't be crossed without losing memories.

Emma just received the best news ever and now her day as turned sour. It feels like if it not one thing, it is another. Regina saw their visitors and grimaced when looking at Snow, David, and Emma's expressions. They were just enjoying their day and these two idiots just had to ruin it.

"Regina, we have a problem. It looks like the people are losing their memories when crossing the town line."

Regina exhaled a breath. "This is probably due to Rumple bringing magic back. I can imagine, if he didn't bring it back, people would have been able to come and go as they please." She really didn't need this type of problem now.

"I'll go visit Rumple so he can fix the problem that he created."

Emma frowned in displeasure. "The hell you are. You aren't going anywhere near that man."

She loves Emma but she is not going to allow her to lord over her. She has already experienced that before and never again. "I'm not an invalid Miss Swan. I can probably do something to help this town."

"That man put you in a sleeping curse. I don't trust him and you don't have just yourself to worry about."

"You can't stop me," Regina childishly challenged.

"You can't go, and I'm not letting you." Emma retorted, she can be stubborn as well. And she planned on protecting Regina at all cost.

This is the first time that Snow and David witnessed those two arguing and she got concerned.

"Why can't she go? We can come along as well," Snow responded in the tense argument between her daughter and true love.

Emma closed her eyes and opened them to look at her parents. This was definitely not the way she wanted to announce that they are expecting.

Emma wrapped her arm around Regina who was tense, but melted into her embrace as she looked at her, then back at her parents.

"We're pregnant."

David was stunned and Snow squealed and hugged them both. "Congratulations! Oh my, I have another grandchild on the way. When are you due? How many weeks are you?"

"Wow," David joined in with the hug. Regina felt awkward and pulled back from everyone, subconsciously touching her stomach.

"Thank you but I don't know the answers for your incessant questions. I just found out today."

Snow ignored Regina's bite as she beamed at her. "This is wonderful news.

Emma put her hands in her pockets. "I'm stoked as well, but we need to go see Rumple about this whole thing." Emma is pissed that she can't bask more that Regina and she are having another child. It's amazing, it's a miracle to her. And something always freaking happens in this town.

"I'll hate to ask you again…" and Snow cut her off.

"Don't be ridiculous. If you need us to watch Henry so you two can speak with Gold, we are more than willing to take care of him."

"Thank you guys."

Snow and David hugged their daughter. They looked at each other, thinking the same thing, wishing that Emma could get to a place where she can call them Mom and Dad. But they will in no way push her to verbalize that title.

Regina stood off to the side. She is definitely not at the point to hug the two idiots but at least they have their uses. They could always count on the Charming's as babysitters.

Regina and Emma took leave and got in the Benz, which Emma argued that she should drive, but Regina rebuffed her that she can still drive, and made their way to Rumple's shop.

"Gold!" Emma held her close to calm her down. She didn't want the baby to get upset and since this matter deals with magic, she'll let Regina take the lead on this one.

"Your majesty! Aren't you positively glowing?"

Emma was quite suspicious at his wording, but she ignored it as Regina sneered at Rumple.

"Your meddling in magic has caused people to not be able to drive out of Storybrooke without losing their memories."

Rumple internally seethed and he frowned, but he quickly caught himself as he schooled her with an indifferent expression. If it was anybody else, they wouldn't notice. But Regina spent years under this man's tutelage, and she is the one that can pick up his quirks.

"And how is that my concern?"

Regina's eye lit wide, she saw Gold's panic, just for a sec. She has learned how to read the man to get any type of weakness from the formidable magic user.

"Oh, I think it is your concern. I think there is a big reason why you wanted this curse to be made and broken. You are the one that needs to leave Storybrooke. Why is that Rumple?"

Rumple greeted his teeth and ignored Regina's attempt to spill any type of information.

He faked a smile at them. "I'll do a public good and seek a remedy for this problem. Is there anything else you need?"

"Oh please Rumple, like you'll do anything that is good, unless it helps you in the end. You know, I always wondered what people think when they know that you were the one to be rightfully responsible for the curse…"

"If I remember correctly, you cast it."

Before Regina can get another barb in, Emma interjected. "I think we're done here. Rumple, just make sure that you fix the mess you started."

"You were the one that gave me the love potion." He just loved riling up those two. Emma bit her tongue and grabbed Regina's waist to exit the shop before she punches him in the face. And her poor right fist can't take any more knock-outs of douche-bags. She just wanted to go back home to spend time with her family.

Rumple was incensed with the news that they can't cross the border without losing their memories. Once the curse broke, Rumple quickly tried to find magical means as to the location of his son in this world. Now, even if he did locate his son, he can't even go out and find him because he'll just forget the reason he was there in the first place! His visions didn't include details of this incident. But he is the Dark One, he will find a way.

A month later

Cora waited patiently for Hook to savage the realms for him to procure a very rare magic bean. The sorcerer queen was interested in how Hook, a one-handed magical user, could think he can take on the Dark One. The hairy fellow said that he knows of a poison that can kill a person in a couple of minutes.

Cora wondered how Hook can even get close to Rumple to use it on him, considering that this…Storybrooke doesn't have magic. He laughed and said that he'll find a way. It took some time, but she managed to get the pirate to give her a small amount of the poison for herself before he went out to search for the bean.

The pirate was suspicious, but he begrudgingly gave her a small amount in a vial. He asked what she was going to use it for, and she said that it was none of his concern. She occupied herself in a month's time by combining different potions to act as a cure to the person. She was just an unwilling peasant as a test subject. It took some time, but she got it to work. Her reasoning is not if the pirate wanted to betray her, she would at least have a cure by her side, so she could crush his heart if necessary.

"Cora, I got it." He opened his palm and presented her the magic bean. She smiled wickedly. She is finally going to have the chance to see her daughter.

"Let's not stall any longer, we have a realm to visit."

A/N: I personally think the Blue Fairy is useless.

Chapter Text

A month had passed, though there has been panic, and a spike in crime , things have settled down when nothing critical happened. Once the citizens understood that there is no option to go back to the Enchanted Forest, they resigned themselves to that fate, but there were plenty of people that didn't care to go back anyway.

David finally got the time he wanted with Emma and Henry. With wooden swords, he taught them some of the basics. For some odd reason, Henry shown more promise, he had more balance and was a quicker study, then his daughter.

She was clumsy, but determined. He doesn't know how she managed to defeat the dragon as she did, but maybe it is just she is part of him, so he refused to think more on that matter.

Emma and Regina had their doctor visits to check on their child's progress. Both refused to have Dr. Frankenstein as their primary doctor. It is not like Regina didn't bring other medical doctors to the land. She just used Victor primarily with the curse because she felt he owed it to her. Now with his memories back, she doesn't want his smarmy hands on her.

Emma readily agreed since it was kind of weird to anyone since he slept with her mother. David was livid when he found out but Snow just brushed it outside saying that, "she was cursed."

So instead they went with Dr. Valerie Henderson to be their doctor. She was a brown-skinned black middle aged woman with greying neat dreadlocks and a genteel spirit. As Regina explained, she was a midwife back in the Enchanted Forest and she was made a doctor here in this world. Emma was in awe as they went to Storybrooke General for their first appointment to get an idea of Regina's pregnancy.

Regina was in a hospital gown with a tight grip on Emma's hand as Dr. Henderson carefully applied the jelly on Regina's still almost flat stomach. She moved the probe around and for the first time, Emma and Regina heard the heartbeat of their second child.

Emma placed a soft kiss on Regina's forehead as they looked in wonder at the monitor.

"See, that is your child right there."

Emma felt justified in calling their kid 'jellybean' because the image that Dr. Henderson pointed out looked like a small pea.

"How many weeks am I?"

"I'll say about 8 weeks. The baby is progressing wonderfully. I prescribed you pre-natal pills and since this is not your first time, I don't have to iterate what to stay away from."

Regina nodded her head. "No alcohol, no caffeine, I got the message." Regina definitely prefers her over the creepy Frankenstein.

"And you miss, make sure that she does not get any stress," Dr. Henderson pointedly stared at Emma.

Emma smiled, "Yes ma'am."

"Would you like some copies of the sonograms?"

"Yes please."

Dr. Henderson handed them four copies and Emma and Regina kissed softly, overjoyed to hear that their second child is healthy.

"I want you back here for your monthly appointments."

"Thank you Dr. Henderson," and the couple made their way back home.

For Regina, this was a brand new chapter in her life. She still can barely use her magic, but the first time in her life, she feels that she doesn't need it in her life. She only began to learn magic because of desperation, she wanted to have some semblance of control.

And Emma insisted for Snow and Regina to resolve their issues, or at least start on a path towards reconciliation. Regina is proud of the steps that she did take.

Regina sat a little nervously in her plush leather sofa in the living room. Across from her is Snow, who was equally as nervous, taking a careful sip of her chamomile tea as a tray of cookies sit on an expensive silver tray on top of the chestnut table.

"So…" Snow tried to begin. Her daughter also expressed to her how much she wanted peace between her and Regina.

"So…" Regina nodded, taking a small bite of her home-made macadamia nut cookie.

"Are you still having visions of the burning room?"

Snow just stepped right into the heavy stuff. Regina is happy to no longer find herself in the burning room of the after-effects of the sleeping curse.

"No I haven't. It passed." She never mentioned to Emma, she didn't want to lay another burden on her lover.

Regina swallowed, the burning room was the worst thing she has ever experienced. Proverbially speaking, she got a taste of her own medicine that she forced Snow to partake.

"Snow…I'm sorry."

Snow waved her hand to cut her off. "Let's just…." she shook her head, "what's been done has been done. So how is my grandchild doing?"

Well, Emma would be pleased. Snow has been less annoying. The irony is not lost on her that she is having her former step-daughter's daughter child. Fate has a funny sense of humour.

"He or she is doing fine, I'm only like a month or so pregnant. Here is the sonogram."

Snow eagerly took it and ogled at her new grandchild. And from there, the former Evil Queen and Snow White bonded over babies.

When Emma moved in, she saw the ultimate playroom in their basement. There was a huge, decorative pool table, a full size fully stocked bar, a refrigerator, a newly purchased 60-in LED TV, and a fooseball table.

Emma whined that her girlfriend was holding out on her. Regina retorted that she wanted to actually spend time with Emma, and not lose her permanently to the fun room or Emma cave, as the blonde named it.

"I think we should have a little party, to announce that we are expected."

"Henry and your parents already know. I don't know why we need to make a big fuss about it." Regina feels very guarded about her family. For her to even think of the Charming's as family is truly remarkable. But her being pregnant would just allow her enemies to think her vulnerable. And she doesn't want to chance that.

"We can invite only close friends. Come on, it'll be fine. And it would be a great chance to use my cave," she gave her a goofy smirk.

"That is acceptable," Regina sighed. She wanted to always reinforce that this is Emma's home as well, and if it is a party she wants, a party she gets.

That same Saturday, their home was filled with smells of hot and honey barbecue wings, meatballs sitting in a crock pot, potato chips, vegetable trays that Regina insisted on, cupcakes, and non-alcoholic beverages. Regina, Henry, and Emma worked vigorously to get everything ready. And Emma's cooking skills have been improving under Regina's tutelage.

The doorbell rang and Emma wiped her hands and went to answer the door. Neal greeted her by lifting a pack of beer in front of her.

"I bring good tidings." He smiled and wrapped her in a one-arm hug.

She returned it and took the beer out of his hands.

"Heineken. You brought the good stuff," she stepped out of the way to let Neal into her home.

"Damn, you live here," he said in awe as he looked around the home. This is the first time he has been to her mansion. Emma and him are slowly working on their relationship.

"Yep, that I do. It has been wonderful," she replied wistfully.

"I'm happy for you. You definitely moving up in the world, you got yourself a bona-fide sugar momma," Neal laughed as Emma playfully shoved him.

Regina came out to see what the ruck-us was about. She saw Neal and pointedly looked him up and down.

Neal straightened and tried to be as formal as possible. He wasn't in the Enchanted Forest when Regina was making her reputation as the Evil Queen. The tales he heard of the atrocities that she committed under her reign made her Disney counterpart look like a girl scout. But the woman right in front of him, he couldn't reconcile that with that image. And he would prefer to be on good terms with her since she is his best friend's girlfriend and mother of her son.

"Hello Regina, I brought some beer if that is alright."

Regina looked at the pack that Emma lifted to put it in her eye sight."

"Hmm, Heineken, that is quality beer. I plugged you as a Bud Light type," Regina responded with a voice laced with judgement.

"It's actually my favorite, whenever I could afford it back in the day," Emma informed her.

"Or when you could steal it," Neal smiled as he reminisced the days of them teaming to steal little things here and there in convenience shops.

Emma smiled fondly at the memories. "Those were the days."

If Regina had to admit to herself, she experienced a pang of jealousy in that moment. One, she didn't know that Heineken was Emma's favorite, and two, Neal obviously shared a relationship with the blonde that was quite different.

Regina knows all of the meta, big important things about Emma, but small things like favorite beer, they can admittedly work on improving that aspect of their relationship.

Henry came out to the foyer to see what was going on.

"Hi," Henry waved at Neal as he stood by his mother's side. The last time he saw the brunet, his Ma punched him out. But it seems that she is on friendlier terms with him, so he will feel him out.

"Hey kiddo," Neal greeted their son. He just remembered what he got under his arm. He retrieved it and presented it to Henry.

"Your Ma," Emma told him what she is referred as to her son, "told me you liked comics. Well, me too. So I got you something, if your mothers don't mind me giving it to you." And he looked to Regina and Emma for confirmation that it was alright to give him the comic. Regina folded her arm and gave a curt nod.

Henry's eyes brightened at the brand new addition of X-men that he doesn't have yet. But before he got excited, he as well looked to his mother for approval to take the comic.

Regina rubbed is back and beckoned him. "It is alright to take it Henry."

"Yes!" He fist pumped the air as Emma smiled brightly at his happiness. He took the comic and thanked him. Then he grabbed his hand, "Come, I got to show you my collection. If that is alright," he asked his parents.

Regina was about to shout a resounding "no" but Emma beat her to a response. "That's cool. Once you are done, just show him to my cave."

"I guess I'm on my way then," he gave Emma a cheeky grin.

"Now take me to your lair," Neal said to Henry in a terrible, medieval British accent.

They left and Emma went towards her cave to chill the beer with Regina furiously stomping her feet after her.

"What the hell was that?!"

Emma jumped at Regina's tone. "What was what?"

Regina just rolled at her eyes at Emma's ignorance. "I don't want him around our son. I don't trust him."

"He is not a paedophile or something. He wouldn't harm a kid and it is enough that I trust him."

Regina scoffed. "Like how he left you to jail and didn't even bother to come visit?"

Emma internally calmed herself before responding. She understood where Regina is coming from, Henry's life is their first concern, but Regina needs to trust her in this.

"Neal and I talked and I forgave him and we are moving on. Neal was one of the few people in my life that were there for me. If anybody understands people getting a second chance in life, it should be you," Emma looked directly in Regina's eyes.

Regina bristled at Emma's remark, but she couldn't argue against it. She huffed and put up her hands, "I understand," and she gave Emma a small peak on the cheek.

"Your baby is hungry so I need a snack."

Emma leaped to help her. "I'll go get it. What do you want?"

Regina gave Emma her order and they waited for more guests to arrive.

The Charming's made their way to the mansion. Snow had a green bean casserole which Regina frowned at but Emma bumped Regina to be nice and to thank her for the dish. Regina mumbled that it didn't fit with the them but David ignored them and made his way to the basement.

Then Kathryn with Frederick showed up. Fred nervously thanked Regina for inviting him and she hoped she relieved his worries with a genuine smile. She never ever had any issues with Frederick in the old world and this one.

Ruby and Graham showed up hand-in-hand with Granny taking the rear. Regina and Emma welcomed them to their home and had them to go to the cave. Emma was thankful that Graham and Regina were at least civil to one another. Granny immediately occupied herself with plating the food. Regina secretly loved Granny's feistiness.

Archie came as well, if Regina can admit to herself, she grew fond of the bug. He was always there when she needed someone to talk to. So she considered him at least as an acquaintance. Emma was also happy to see Archie whom she hasn't spent a lot of time with. He is close with her family, trustworthy, and he has a strong friendship with her son. He is alright in her book.

The cave was 1500 square feet, which is bigger than most of the apartments Emma has lived in. The fellows sat on the couch, digging into the protein on paper plates that was prepared as they watched a basketball game.

"So at different lengths, they get a certain amount of points," David asked as he bit into a chicken wing.

"Yes, beyond that arc over there, they get 3 points. Anything over that arc is 2 points," Frederick explained.

It boggled her mind that David still is getting use to this world. Unlike the other people under the curse, he was in a coma for most of the 28 years. Frederick was the perfect person to explain to him the rules since he was the gym teacher.

Emma also found out some of the details of the history between David, Frederick, and Kathryn. How David replaced his twin brother, was betrothed to Kathryn, how Kathryn's father was THE King Midas that accidently cursed Frederick to gold. It's all bananas to her.

Graham was in an intense battle with Henry playing fooseball. The noise of the balls racketed through the basement. Regina looked to have a pleasant conversation with Kathryn. Ruby, Granny, and Snow were laughing hysterically, reminiscing about their times back in the Enchanted Forest.

Emma, Neal, and Archie were talking. Archie was very interested in how the two met. He wanted to know their background. Even though Neal was from the Enchanted Forest, he still felt in awe that he was meeting some Disney characters. He wasn't living in the Enchanted Forest when these infamous people were alive.

Graham called Archie over to be the referee because he believed Henry was cheating. The boy laughingly said that he wasn't, Graham was just mad that he was getting beat by a kid. Archie smiled at Emma and Neal and excused himself to be a "mediator."

Neal and Emma kicked back against the chair and chugged their beers. Emma looked over at Regina who was nibbling on a carrot and nodding her head at what Ruby was saying since she was joined by the waitress, Granny, and her mother in the conversation. She smiled lovingly at her woman.

Neal looked at Emma and then looked at the direction she was staring at and smiled.

"She is a beautiful woman."

Emma's smiled widened. "That she is."

"She is definitely out of your league. Lucky you got the True Love thing on your side."

Emma turned back to Neal and lightly punched Neal in the stomach while he laughed at her.

"Hater."

Neal held his hands up. "I'm not hating. So…" he wiggled his eyebrows at her and softly asked her suggestively. "How is Regina…you know?"

Emma looked at him confused. "How is she what?"

Neal just rolled his eyes. He forgot how dense his best friend can be.

He exhaled. "How is she in the sack?"

"Oh! Ew, no! You are not getting details on that."

"Come on blondie…you never told me the rated R version."

Emma rolled her eyes. "And you are not going to. It is enough to know that over there," she pointed towards Henry, "is enough to know what went down."

Neal took another sip of his beer as Emma huffed at him.

"Well, the story was so classic. You coming to Regina like a shining knight in armour and protecting her honour. You are charming. Pun intended."

"Whatever…" Emma rolled her eyes again. Then Neal suddenly got a bright idea.

"You know, you are royalty, and charming. I just got a new nickname for you Princess Charming."

Emma was mortified. She still is having a hard time accepting that she is the real deal, Holy-field, royalty.

"Don't you dare," her cheeks tinged pink.

Neal laughed and got up in the middle in the room and clapped his hands to get everyone's attention. The room quieted down, Frederick turned the volume down on the TV, and everyone's eyes were on him.

"I have an announcement. Today is the day that a new nickname has been born for Emma." He gestured his hands towards Emma like he was on the Price is Right and pointing towards a prize.

"I give you PRINCESS CHARMING," and he gave Emma a cheeky expression.

A couple of seconds passed and Ruby and Frederick burst out laughing. Kathyrn sniggered and almost choked on her drink. Snow clapped her hands excited exclaimed.

"That is perfect Neal. It really does fit her." Regina rolled her eyes at Neal's juvenile behaviour. He really does seem to fit well with Emma's personality.

Archie gave Emma a small smile as he looked at Emma's embarrassment who cheeks are now a flaming red. She was sinking into chair, trying to disappear. Graham just shook his hand as Henry laughed as well.

David grinned brightly at his daughter and loudly said, "I approve this message," and Neal was belly aching laughing at Emma who was desperately trying to escape everyone's eyes.

Regina lowly laughed to herself but decided to save her True Love from any more teasing. She walked over to Emma and rubbed her arm up and down her arm and whose head is buried under pillows.

"I think that is enough teasing of the Princess…please continue the pleasantries."

Emma took the pillow off her face and looked at Regina. She can't take Regina also joining in the "let's embarrass Emma today. "You too!? I thought you were on my side."

Regina husked quietly in Emma's ear. "How about I make this up to you later?"

Emma's face flushed now for a different reason. "I approve this message," she mimicked her father.

Regina winked at Emma and went back to the table that has the food laid out. She just finished a plate of meatballs and is now going for the wings.

After another 30 minutes Emma called everyone's attention as she stood in the middle of the floor. She beckoned Regina to come over and Regina walked gracefully towards Emma like the queen she is. Emma smiled at her and pulled her close with an arm wrapped.

"Hey guys. I want to thank everyone for coming out and enjoying this awesome place called 'Emma's Cave.'" Everyone laughed at Emma's silliness.

"But seriously, thank you all for coming. You know you guys are very special to me. I used to be a loner, never putting down roots. But that all changed when Henry dragged me from Boston. And now I have this wonderful woman before me," and Regina's eyes sparkled as she looked back at Emma while in her arms, "and I'm happy to announce that we are expecting. We're pregnant."

Some people gasped and everyone told the couple congratulations. Ruby looked at Snow because she didn't seem all that surprise. "You knew? Why you didn't tell me?"

"Because it wasn't up for me to announce. I finally learned how to keep a secret."

Ruby rolled her eyes, "Okay Grandma."

"Well, that explains how Regina was able to wolf down so much food in one town," Kathryn winked at Ruby. The red-streaked brunette laughed at Kathyrn's quip.

"Gosh, I'm glad that I wasn't the only one seeing how she was stuffing her face."

"You young-ins are slow, I knew for weeks."

Ruby slapped her hands on her thighs in frustration. "Why didn't you say anything?"

"Like Snow said, it wasn't my news to share."

Snow looked at Ruby, Kathryn, and Granny and had them to conspiratorially had them to form a circle. "You know what this mean; we have to do a baby shower for my grandchild."

Kathryn was very excited, honestly in this world, Regina was her best friend. And to throw a baby shower for her would be an honour.

"That is an excellent idea Snow. Let me give you my number." Snow took out her phone and let Kathryn put it in. She never interacted with Snow during the curse but it looks like things will change from here on out. Ruby took out her phone and the blonde put her number there as well.

Neal hugged Emma and pulled back and said very low. "The sex must be good since you are making babies left and right."

Emma just shook her head at Neal's tomfoolery. "Neal…just…go over there in time-out," she pointed to a corner in the room.

"Yes Princess Charming. I shall fulfil your request to go to the corner."

Emma lightly kicked Neal in the butt to get him moving. Neal laughed and walked away to put some food in his belly, leaving Emma chuckling to herself. Having Neal here has been a good thing for her. Someone that she can be silly with, good time indeed.

Snow and David came up to Emma and pulled her to the side away from everyone. Emma was puzzled at their nervous disposition.

"What's going on? Are you guys mad or something?"

Snow looked at Emma in shock. "Or course we're not. We're excited to have another grandchild. We made peace with you and Regina some time ago." Snow looked at David and Emma observed the weird silent communication thing they have going on that she picked up. David had an arm around Snow's shoulder as he tenderly looked at their daughter.

"Don't hate us for this. And you may think we are a little old-fashioned…" he began.

Snow picked up from where he trailed off. "You and Regina are having a second child, don't you think you should propose at a certain point?"

Emma was momentarily stunned. "You mean, like get married?"

Snow smiled at her daughter and forgave her for being obtuse. She will blame it on David that their daughter can be a little slow.

"Yes, marriage. You and Regina did things differently putting the carriage before the marriage."

Emma was silent for a few moments. Regina and her didn't talk about marriage really. Right now, their focus has been being a family with Henry and preparing for their second child.

Emma put her hands in her pockets and nodded at her parents. "I hear you."Emma looked at Regina. She was glowing and looking so beautiful. Her lavender blouse is showing a very small bump. Emma agrees with her parents. It is time for her to put on a ring on it.

Hook guided the Jolly Roger to a pier so he can dock his ship. "Here love, it seems we have arrived to this Storybrooke." Along with the magic bean, Hook had to procure a magical compass to guide them through the realms. The magic bean would have been useless if they couldn't navigate their way to this land.

"Thank you Captain Obvious," Cora sneered. She was feeling testy from the long ride here. She is eager to see her daughter but the first thing she has learned, whenever one visits another realm, you will have to do some re-con to familiarize oneself with different customs, people, and landscape.

Hook decided to bite his tongue at her remark. He is not going to try to anger a powerful witch. They stepped off the ship and Cora closed her eyes and breathed deeply.

Hook had no idea why she stopped on the pier. "What are you doing?"

"Shut up and let me focus." She again focused on the magic that she feels all around her. Jefferson was right, magic is different in this land. Cora focused a few minutes and was able to call it forth and cloak Hook's ship.

"Aye, what happened to my ship," he panicked.

"Nothing you fool. I cloaked it so nobody will be aware of any newcomers."

Hook really wanted to separate from Cora to skin his crocodile, but things are complicated now that there is magic here, and the feat will not be so easy to obtain. So now, he is stuck with Cora.

The pirate smiled at the woman. "A great idea indeed. What do you suggest that we do next?"

Cora waved her hands over both of them. Hook saw the purple mist around them that dissipated almost immediately. "I made ourselves invisible as well. We need to find out more about this village and tread carefully. We don't know the dangers that are ahead. And the Dark One is here."

Hooked nodded at Cora's explanation. They proceeded to walk through town. They both were struck at how odd this place was.

The roads were like no roads they were familiar with. They were not brick or dirt roads. It seems to be composed of a different material. The buildings were quite different as well. They places had banners of names like "The Game of Throne" and "Michael's Tires."

The deeper they got into the "town," the more people they encountered.

"The fashions of these people are quite unique."

Cora rolled her eyes to another instance of stating the obvious. They heard a loud noise veering heading towards them. The beast a few feet from them when Hook shoved Cora off the side, both falling on the ground as the beast passed them at high speeds.

"What is that monstrosity?"

Hook offered his left hand which Cora begrudgingly accepted and he pulled her up.

"I don't have any idea what that was, but I think it would be best to stay out of the middle of the road."

"That is the first good idea you had Hook."

Hook mockingly bowed towards Cora. "I can be surprising." The Captain wiped his Hook on his clothes to clean it.

"So how long does this invisibility spell last?"

"A few more hours. Let's press to find out more about this town that my daughter created."

They scouted some more ran across some interesting conversations.

An older man with a blue cap was talking to a scrubby brute next to, what looked like a trash bin.

"…I think it is bull crap that we can't leave this place without losing our memories. I really want to go to Cali and go to the beach and get some blonde chicks."

"Snow and Charming said that they were going to find a way to undo the border, but they are too busy smooching up with the Evil Queen."

"Yeah, the only reason she is living because she is busy fucking their daughter."

The other man just shook his head. Cora fumed from them talking about her daughter in such a crude way. It is secluded where they are at, and she figured it would be better to get intel directly from these plebes.

She magic down her invisibility spell, and made herself visible to the two men. They gasped in shock as the older woman appeared out of nowhere. She lift her hand and they crashed against the wall, floating in the air. Fear encompassed them as they looked down at the witch.

"Where is Regina?" She cut right to the chase.

"She's….she lives in the biggest house in town."

Cora seethed. "Idiot, where is it?"

The other man stuttered their location, and after getting out what she needed from them, she dropped them to the ground.

"Love, They saw us, what are we to do with them."

"They just saw me but don't worry." She waved her hand over the two frightened men and they transformed into mice.

"Now scurry away," she mocked at the rodents, and they scrammed.

"Brilliant. Well, things do seem complicated. The Dark One also probably won't be able to cross the border without losing his memories."

"And I believe if he does leave this town, then he won't have his magic."

Hook smiled wickedly at Cora's line of thinking. "And then he will be vulnerable. But how would we lure him out?"

Cora felt strong magic, even dark magic, coming from one building which had pawn shop written on it. No doubt this was Rumple's lair. Through the windows, they saw Rumple and a young beauty looking over parchments.

Cora smiled manically. "Rumple…I found you."

Hook looked through as well and smirked evilly. "There is his heart. I have a perfect way to lure the crocodile."

They retire back to the ship to rest. All night, plans of revenge and schemes were planned.

Gold felt a powerful presence of magic that just entered Storybrooke. The signature is unmistakable, it is his former lover and student. And that doesn't spell good news at all. He thought the bitch was dead. He will contend with her when she approaches him, because he knows Cora, and she wouldn't give up the chance to see him again. She is another woman that hurt him, they could have been unstoppable together. But she chose power over love which broke his cursed heart. But it's no matter, he has Belle and he has more important and less deadly things to focus on.

Gold has been working on a formula to cross the border with no issues for weeks. He stirs the finished product of the potion, and lifts it up against the light to inspect it. It is a hallow red color. Now all he needs to do is test it.

The same day, Gold found an unwilling volunteer. It is somebody no one will miss. He parked his car a few feet away from the town line. He opened the trunk and removes the heavyset fellow.

"This will only take a moment."

"Don't, push me over. If I cross the line I'll lose my memory, it's a cruel fate."

"Just consider yourself a necessary sacrifice for the good of the community." Gold pushes him to the ground and removes his red cap. He knew Smee all the way back to his feud with scoundrel Captain Hook.

"You've had this rag since the day we met, why is it so important to you?"

"My grandmother made it for me when I was a boy, it's always brought me good fortune. What difference does it make?"

Gold poured the potion on his cap. That was a good answer and he chuckled. "All the difference in the world. It's your only chance." He did returned the cap to Smee.

He happily put his special cap back on and looked at him confused. "What do you mean my only-" but Gold kicks him across the town line, and magic is visibly running across Smee's body.

"What's your name?"

"William Smee."

"And who am I?"

"Rumplestiltskin, the Dark One. I remember everything! How can this be?"

"Well it seems that our little experiment was a success." He then pulled Smee back across the line. "Now go." Smee ran off, he didn't have to be told twice. Gold didn't care to share any of is success with the residents that do want to leave. He is only concerned about finding his son. He grinned down at the potion in his hand. "I have a trip to plan."

The next day, Cora decided to confront Gold in his shop. She has plans, big ones, and Rumple is a formidable foe that she doesn't want to contend with right at the moment. And she feels that she has the best leverage to ensure that Gold does not interfere, and she knows she is one of the few or only person that truly knows why he wanted to cast the curse in the first place. If she still had a heart, maybe she would still have feelings for him. But all she feels towards him is coldness.

"Hello Rumple." Mr. Gold turns, a little startled to see Cora standing by the shop's door, but it certainly wasn't surprising. He felt her magic. Damn this woman for being in his life once again.

"I expected this was just a matter of time. How I hoped you were dead, but hey—disappointment's just part of life. I'm sure we can agree on that."

She slightly shook her head. "Aw, the crocodile snaps at the little bird. And after I brought you a gift." She knew this is one thing that should keep him off her back, especially when she is plotting his demise.

"Yeah, did you bring the antidote, too?" The sarcasm just pours out of him dealing with this woman.

"Oh, Rumple. It's a peace offering." She smiled insincerely.

"And what do you want for this uh-" he looked at the box, "this peace offering?"

"My daughter. You were so clever to get her lay the curse so you could come here. You don't need her any-more. Let me try to get her back. And- let us live."

If one thing that is consistent about Cora, it is she wanting to control all aspect of her daughter's life. If that is truly what she wants, it is no hair off his shoulders.

"And what do I get for my troubles?"

Cora smiled since her plan is working. "Your son."

Mr. Gold turned to face the box from Cora, and opens it. It resembles a globe, but it is completely blank. "

"You know what that is, of course," she said condescendingly.

"It'll find him... If this one truly is it."

"Darling, I have no reason to cheat you."

"Any-more," he bit out. The sting from her rejection of love in favor for power still stung him, just a little.

"I want you to find the one person in this universe who might still love you. After all, I'm doing the same thing." Regina's confession over her dead body did affect her, even without her heart.

"You don't care about anyone who loves me."

Cora looked at him with a fake sweet smile. "I don't care what you think. So…will you accept my offer of a truce?"

He thought for a minute, he is really coming out good with this deal. He reached out and shook Cora's hand. "Truce."

"Let's seal it like we used to." They kissed softly. For him, this was not cheating on Belle since the kiss meant nothing to him.

Cora walked away in triumph. Now it is time to see her daughter.

Cora still had her invisibility cloak on. She didn't want to alert any of the citizens to her presence, just yet. She finally made her way to the large white castle. The plebe was right, her daughter's home is the biggest out of the whole town. Even though it didn't look like a traditional castle, but it did scream wealth, that is relieving. She saw the 108 gold emblem on the door and knocked.

"We should do that more often," Henry said, but it was barely intelligible considering that his mouth was stuffed with rice pilaf that he was shoveling in his mouth. He was still going on about how much fun he had with his parent's baby announcement 3 weeks ago.

"Don't talk with food in your mouth," Regina admonished her son. They were having a nice dinner of baked salmon with broccoli and cheesy rice pilaf. Emma was thoroughly enjoying the meal, moaning with appreciation which affected Regina in her core. Emma winked at Regina, she deliberately knew what she was doing, making Regina flush with lust. She is enjoying good food, and hopefully some good sex later on.

They all heard the door knock, and Emma scrunched her eyebrow. "I wonder who that is." She couldn't think who would be over the mansion, it is not like people just dropped in unannounced. Snow and David usually call ahead of time.

Regina frowned, she doesn't like that her family time is interrupted. Whoever is at the door, they will experience a tongue lashing to dare disturb her peace. "Whoever it is, they will be taught manners for not calling."

Regina rose from her seat and Emma patted on her arm, "try to be nice, okay? I don't want you to stress, it wouldn't be good for the baby."

"Yeah, my brother or sister is in there," Henry threw in his two cents. Regina rolled her eyes at her darlings.

"Okay, dears, I'll play nice." Regina smiled at the blonde. Emma and Henry have the uncanny ability to keep her calm either through words or touch.

Regina walked to the door and didn't even bother checking it. The days of the town wanting her head is over, so she didn't have anything to fear. She opened the door and what greeted her stunned her. There in the flesh was a ghost from her past. Regina's mouth is opened, her body froze as she tries to logically figure out what she is seeing is actually true.

Cora just smiled at her daughter with her hands clasped in front of her. She has thoroughly caught her daughter off guard. Good.

"Dear, that is very unbecoming on you. I know I taught you better manners than that. Close your mouth. Aren't you going to welcome me into your home?"

Regina stayed stunned for a few moments, and not getting the response she wanted, she pushed her way into the mansion.

Regina regained her wits and closed the door and returned her attention to her mother. A thousand of questions ran through her mind.

"How are you…how are you alive?"

Cora looked around the foyer, taking in the design detail or these strange new homes.

"Maybe you shouldn't have hired a magic-less pirate for the job. That is twice now that you tried to get rid or me."

Regina immediately became defensive. She had lived for years trying to gain her mother's approval. She has endured multiple beatings, verbal insults, but through it all, she still loved her mother. When she became the Evil Queen, she needed power, and Cora always preached to her that 'love was weakness.' And despite her mother's abuse, Regina loved her mother, and that was a weakness she couldn't afford.

Regina clenched her fists, her feet became planted in case she had to lunge at her mother.

"You gave me very good reasons to."

Cora flipped her head to Regina, giving her full attention to her daughter. She noticed the woman's defensive stance, the snarl on her mouth. This won't do at all. She needs to make Regina fill secure in her presence.

Cora slowly walked up to Regina, and tenderly stroked Regina's cheek. This is the most tender, loving gesture she ever experienced with her mother. But she flinched from her touch. She doesn't want to be soothed into anything her mother wanted to pull her into. Cora saw Regina's reluctance to her touch, and softly put her hand down.

"Dear, I'm not angry at all for what you did. With determination, I had to come and see you. I needed to tell you that I know why you sent me through the looking glass. And I know why you tried to have me killed. And it's... it's all right."

Regina looked her in disbelief. This woman has killed people for less offences.

"I don't believe it was alright."

"I love you. I just—I've always shown it in all the wrong ways and I am so sorry."

Regina scoffed. "I don't buy that." She crossed her arms against her chest.

Cora shook her head, pleading with her daughter. "When you cried over my coffin it... it all changed."

"Forgive me for not believing you."

"What must I say to get you to believe me. I'm sorry Regina, I never should have made you marry the king."

A lone tear fell from Regina's eye at wanting forgiveness. 'I'm sorry' was never in Cora's vocabulary for her entire life and in one setting, she said it twice. Her heart yearns for her relationship with her mother to heal. She never thought it would happen since she sent an assassin to kill her, well, an inept one. But now that her mother is right in front of her, she struggled to grasp the concept.

Her heart is telling her to trust her, but her brain is telling her that this is just another manipulation of Cora's.

"Tell me what do you really want, because us being a happy family never been a goal of yours."

Cora quickly changed the direction of the conversation. "I hear that I have a grandson, I would love to meet him."

Emma heard eating her food and was wondering what was taking Regina so long, then she began to worry.

"Make sure you eat everything on your plate. I'm going to check on your mother." Emma wanted to teach Henry the value of food. She remembered how sparse meals came by growing up.

Emma got up and saw a shorter woman in front of Regina. She never saw her before and decided to make her presence known.

"Regina, is everything alright?"

The two brunettes' attention snapped towards the blonde. Fear coiled throughout Regina. She remembered the last time that her mother talked to her lover. It led her to becoming the Evil Queen. She ran to block Emma's view of her mother.

"Please Emma, go back to our room. I'll handle this."

Emma looked at Regina confused, the fear in her eyes troubled her. And anyone that can make Regina look like that, is bound to be trouble. "Who is that?"

Cora walked right in front of Emma's eyesight. She looked her up and down, inspecting her. Regina had a grip on Emma's forearm, trying to get her to move from her mother.

"Aren't you a pretty little thing. You must be Emma, the woman who shares a son with my daughter. My name is Cora."

Emma eyes widened in shock. "You're Regina's mother?" Emma looked back and forth between mother and daughter. The resemblance is clear. She seems friendly, but this is the woman that killed Regina's fiancé. And she is known as the Queen of Hearts, 'off with her head.'

"Yes, I am. And I wonder if what they say is true."

"What do you mean mother?" Regina spat out.

Cora looked at Emma, quickly grabbed her shoulders and swiftly lifted a knee straight into Emma's crotch.

"Fuck!" Emma screamed as she fell with a thump on the marble floor. She never experienced this type of pain before since no one would ever suspect her having the appendage in the first place.

"Emma!" Regina yelled as she dropped her knees on the floor as Emma curled in pain, holding her crotch. She tried to soothe Emma by rubbing her back.

"Why would you do that?!" Given, she thinks a kick to the balls is a much preferable action to crushing a heart, but still.

Cora just looked down at impassively. "I wanted to find out how a woman managed to impregnate you. Would you rather for me to ask her to pull it out," she barked out with a laugh.

Regina is so confused right now. Did her mother just make a joke? Regina returned her attention back to her lover.

"Are you feeling better?" she asked softly.

Emma nodded her head, in too much pain to speak the throbbing has slowed but there is still lingering soreness.

Regina was also confused about another fact. Cora has notoriously always been very judgemental of her lovers. Well, she only had one but considering she made a child with a woman, she would have thought that Cora would be freaked by this very rare occurrence.

"Mother…this" she waved a hand over Emma's body, "doesn't disturb you?"

"Dear, I spent many years in Wonderland. I have seen the most impossible things, find a woman with a phallus doesn't even top my list of fantastical."

She hopes her accepting Emma would get her daughter to trust her.

Emma managed to finally to get to her feet with Regina's assistance, though she still bends over in pain.

"Oh come on, I didn't hit you that hard."

"Lady, you knee packed a mean punch," Emma sassed back.

"Oh, you are a feisty one. Regardless, where is my grandson," she looked around, trying to find her very first grandchild.

Regina was astounded, Emma is alive. She didn't seem too judgemental of her lover. Could she truly have changed?

In perfect timing, Henry came out to the foyer when he heard his Ma say a bad word.

"What's going on? Is everything alright?" He sounded just like Emma.

Cora laid eyes on her grandson for the first time. His nose is a little big, but he does seem cute.

Regina beckoned Henry to her, then he made his way next to his mother as he looked at the older lady.

"Henry, I want you to meet your grandmother. Cora." Henry's face became blank. He has always asked questions about his grandparents. His mother always had more things to say about his grandfather, who he was named after, than his grandmother.

She looked very regal and kind of imposing. But she smiled at him as she lift his chin to her, almost exactly mimicking his mother's favorite gesture.

"Aren't you a handsome little fellow."

"Thank you ma'am."

Cora looked at Regina impressed. "And he has manners. Good. Something smells very good and I'm famished. I have been travelling realms." She looked down at Henry. "Can you take me to the kitchen?"

Henry nodded his head. Cora seemed ok, but he wondered why his ma looked like she was in pain. He looked at Regina for confirmation.

Regina nodded her head. "It is alright, you can take her to the dining table."

Henry nodded, took Cora's hand, and led her to their dinner table.

Emma still grimaced in pain and Regina frowned. "I'm going to get you a bag of ice for that."

"Your mother is a piece of work."

"Tell me about it," she mumbled.

Regina led Emma and had her to sit down on the stool. She quickly got a ziplock bag, pushed the lever for ice cubes on the refrigerator, zipped it out, and placed it on Emma's crotch. She groaned in relief and her mind finally caught up to the bizarre set of events that just happened.

"Your psychopathic mother is here. The same one that killed your fiancé. Didn't you imply you killed her?" Emma's voice raised.

"Keep your voice down," she chided. "Yes, I did send someone to off her but obviously he failed.

"And she was just alright with that?" She found that unbelievable.

"Yes, she did. I truly think that she wants to have a real relationship."

"Regina, I love you, and I know how much you love your mother but she was terrible to you. I don't think it would be wise to have her around, especially around our son."

"I never known my mother to harm children-" but Emma cut her off.

"But she did harm you." She hated to bring up Regina's past, but she is becoming blinded from wanting her mother's love. Emma saw it all the time in foster care. Some kids' parents were downright vicious to them, but the kids always seemed to love their parents, hoping that they will change for the better.

Regina is very understanding of Emma's reluctance. She would be a fool to not admit that she does have her reservations about her mother's intentions. But deeply in her heart, she wants to believe that her mother loves her and wants to do better.

"Emma…please. I believe her to be genuine and I wouldn't put Henry's life in danger if I thought she would harm him."

"By the way, let's check up on them. I think I can finally walk without pain."

Regina lightly pecked and they both went to the dining table to see Henry and Cora laughing together. The brunette never thought she would see that.

"Regina…darling, the food is exquisite. And Henry is such a bright little boy."

Regina is still rocked, she never been a recipient of so many compliments from her mother.

"Thank you, mother."

Cora regally dabbed a napkin around her mouth. "So, where are my chambers?"

Chapter Text

Regina held onto her slightly swollen belly. She looked at Henry, who is happiest that she has ever seen. He is innocent as he talked to his grandmother who she has barely ever mentioned to her son.

But she looked to the side and saw the frown on Emma's face. Her True Love does not feel comfortable at all having Cora in her home. And why should she, when Regina told her how her mother killed Daniel in cold-blood right in front of her.

Cora's eyes glistened hard as she looked at Regina, and requested where her chambers are at. The gall of the woman. How dare she just come into her home, attacked, even in jest, her lover. Then waltz in like she isn't the same woman that mentally and physically abused her?

All Regina wanted in her life was her mother's approval. A pat on the back. Kind words. She never received those, as she was all set on, colloquially speaking, pimping her daughter out to the king because she so desperately wanted her daughter to be queen. To be her own puppet. If Regina wasn't a stronger woman, if she didn't have love and just had the companion of loneliness, she would have jumped to have her mother in her life. She decided to test her.

"No, I don't have a place to keep you mother," she definitely stared at Cora, challenging her.

"Surely you have a room for your dear old mother, dear."

Rage fumed in Cora's eyes, which Regina caught and made her shiver inside, wanting her to cower in the corner like she did whenever her mother was having fit. From Cora's tone, it was starting to sound like a demand from the Queen of Hearts. The tension encompassed the dining room, now Henry wasn't so keen on eating his dinner.

Emma noticed the shift in the atmosphere as well. She can feel the slight trembles as she placed a hand on Regina's lower back, wanting to calm her. Regina was internally grateful for Emma's soothing touch. It made her feel powerful, and under her mother's hard gaze, she needed it.

"I don't think I do."

Cora quickly schooled her expression in blankness as the situation became awkward, she doesn't want to lose the little ground she gained with her daughter. She smiled as she took a drink of her cup.

"I…understand. It was rude of me to intrude in the first place. Can you forgive me?"

Regina couldn't trust this woman, and now she is expecting and has her own family, she won't jeopardize it for Cora's sake.

"This can be forgotten."

Cora nodded at Regina's compromise and rose delicately from the seat. She looked down at Henry. "It was a pleasure to meet you, my grandson. And the food was lovely. I will retire with some other accommodations."

She walked to Regina and Emma reflexively held Regina's body to her. Cora ignored Emma's move of protectiveness, and laid a palm on her daughter's cheek. "I hope we can meet again tomorrow, and relay things to each other. I have much to learn of this new place."

"That is more agreeable."

"Thank you. I'll take my leave now."

Regina led the way to escort her mother out of her home. Once Cora was outside the door, Regina laid her forehead on the door as she sighed in relief.

Emma slowly turned Regina's body towards her, and lifted her chin up slightly to her eyesight.

"I thought that you didn't mind her staying." Emma was eternally grateful that, for whatever Regina's train of thought on the matter, she didn't have her mother here in their home.

"That woman…I don't trust her, just yet."

"I don't blame you after what you told me. And I got weird vibes from her, on top of her breaking my balls," Emma quipped but Regina frowned and pulled away. She got lost in deep thought.

Henry looked at his mother. "Are you okay, Mom?"

Regina gave him a tight smile. "I am. How about you clear the table and go wash up for bed?"

"Yes ma'am," and Henry scurried away to put up the dishes.

Regina bit her bottom lip as she caressed her own arms with her hands while in deep thought. Emma didn't like to see Regina in such distress as her lover paced back and forth.

"Babe, tell me what can I do because right now, you don't look well."

Regina had so many things running through her mind. Is Cora being truthful that she wants a relationship? Does she have an ulterior motive? Should she even let her in their home in the first place.

"Make love to me."

"Huh? Emma said in confusion."

"You asked me what you can do, and I'm telling you."

"I understand what I said, but I don't think that-" but Regina interrupted her by crashing their lips together. Despite her hesitance, Emma pulled her flushed and placed her hands on Regina's lower back, pulling her body into her like a second skin.

Regina needed to feel something other than fear, other than uncertainty. And those are the two things she always felt in Emma's arms. She felt sure of her love for her. She felt safety in her embrace.

Wet tongues danced against each other as Emma stroke her hands slowly from Regina's inner thighs, up to the sides of her hips, and then to the swell of sensitive breasts. Regina jumped onto Emma which she was fortunate to catch.

"Take me," Regina breathed in Emma's ear. She felt herself harden in her tight pants, her dick twitched in the material.

"As you wish, baby," and Emma quickly, with Regina in her arms, made to their way to their bed. Emma wanted to argue, to talk and see what is troubling Regina's mind. But the brunette is not having it. With Regina's belly protruding just a little bit, Emma has been quite careful to not lay her body on Regina's stomach.

Clothes were torn and Emma groaned at the beautiful sight before her. She opened Regina's thighs and sees her glistened clit that is already dripping with her juices. Brown eyes pleaded into Emma's to take her, to make her forget her thoughts, her worries.

It amazed Emma that they are at a point that they can communicate without speaking. Emma put Regina's legs over her shoulders, she scooted her body up against Regina's front and guided her big dick in Regina's wetness. In one easy, slow movement, she entered Regina fully. Regina gasped as she rubbed Emma's nipples as the blonde slowly thrust inside in her in an upfront motion. Emma grunted as Regina's tightness suck her in deeper into her. Regina's moans and calls out Emma's name as the blonde quickens her ministrations.

In a couple of minutes, they reached the apex of their ecstasy, and Emma collapsed beside Regina, and cuddled into her back as she palmed her stomach, her baby resting inside.

Sometimes their lovemaking was quick and easy, and she doesn't mind it at all. Her hunger for her lover was sated, and her mind calmed. She whispered softly into the quiet bedroom.

"Thank you."

Regina sat in her mayoral office. Her blouses and pants are becoming a little tighter with the little weight she has been gaining. It hasn't been much, but it's there.

Suddenly, a purple plume of smoke appeared, and then dissipated, revealing her mother in modern clothing right in front of her. Regina's heart dropped from the random appearance.

"Hello dear."

Regina dropped her pen and stood up at her desk, fuming at her mother.

"What are you doing here?" She saw her mother's hair down; she never saw it down before. It gave her a softer look. And she also sees her in a black pant suit that looks like something that came out of her wardrobe.

"I had to come see you." Cora had magicked up some clothing that looked like her daughters. If she was going to make her presence known in town, she figure to have some clothes that mirrors the fashions of this town.

"Usually you make an appointment."

Cora waved her hand, "nonsense. I had a lovely time at your home."

Regina cut her off. "Again, I ask, what are you doing here?"

Cora gestured to the couch so they can sit together. Regina reluctantly obliged as they sat on her intricate couch. Cora softly held Regina's hand in hers.

"I'm sorry for you making you marry the king. That was wrong of me."

Regina's heart broke a little; she closed her eyes as a single tear rolled down her cheek, her head down in thought. She has waited for years for her mother to acknowledge some wrongdoing she has done in her parenting. Even though it was common in their world, making your daughter marry a man three times older than her is still sickening.

"Thank you mother."

"My child, I have also came with a specific reason."

Regina snatched her hands from Cora's and shuffled away from her.

"Of course you always have an ulterior motive."

"But this is justified, dear," Cora quickly responded. Her eyes became very cold. "A little bird told me that the Dark One put you under the sleeping curse."

Regina shuddered at some phantom pains that roll around her, reminding her of the painful burning of the skin in the flaming room.

"Yes mother. He intentionally did that to break his curse."

"So this Emma is…"

"Very important to me." She doesn't want to confirm to her mother that Emma is her true love, she has already witnessed the destruction of Cora's hand in her romantic life.

"I see." Cora sat for a few moments, letting that information seep in.

Regina cannot take the silence any longer. "Is there anything you want to talk about?"

"Rumple needs to be punished. How dare he curse you in such a way? We don't know what else he plans to do, and we must strike first."

Regina snorted at Cora's gall, the nerve of her. Cora has done far worse to Regina. Regina sat back in her seat and leaned back looking at her mother.

"And how do you suppose we 'strike first'?"

"Simple, dear. We get his dagger."

Regina shook her head and stood up from the coach. It is obvious that Cora's first love is and will always be power.

"You didn't come to Storybrooke to make amends, you came so you can control the Dark One."

"Look around you, you created this town. We can have it all, we can have power, and the only one in our way is Rumple."

"The imp is none of my concern and I have bigger things to worry about." She subtly placed her right hand on her stomach

Cora looked at Regina like she had grown two heads. "Don't be so naïve. The Dark One always had an obsession with you. We need to eliminate him."

"I'm not going to go along with your plan. I'm not the same little girl that you can push around."

Regina gritted her teeth and stood up to tower over her mother with clenched fists. "You know, I always wondered how you always wanted me to be powerful, but never taught me magic. Now I do. You may wanted me to be queen but only in the context that allowed you to control me.

Well mother…you won't control me any longer. I don't need you or your approval or your love. I won't believe your lies that you care for me and I won't be dragged in some vendetta you have against Rumple, even in the guise of protecting me. Take your manipulations out of my office."

She trembled inside with the passion of standing up against her mother. Maybe if she was more isolated, and didn't have friends or people that cared about her, Cora's plan would have worked. She would have been able to seduce her to her side. But she has her children, her True Love, friends and allies. She didn't need Cora's strong hands. Today is not going to be her day.

Cora stood up with fire in her eyes and glared at her daughter's equally fiery stance. "You insolent child! How dare you talk to me this way? You will regret this." She tried to use the soft approach to lure Regina in her clutches, but now calls for a more subdued heavy hand. She disappeared in a plume of purple smoke.

Regina breathed hard, her palms are clammy as her heart raced. Cora is going to be on a rampage, and no one is safe.

Chapter Text

Gold stood in awe at the majestic globe that Cora gave him in a deal for his non-cooperation in her affairs. His heart pounded rhythmically, his hands trembled just a little bit. All his years of planning, manipulated, all accumulated to this very moment. Gold breathed deeply and exhaled as he pricked his finger, a small drop of his blood landed on the globe, and dissipated, conjuring up a bleary image.

After it cleared, a point emerged, indicating where Baelfire was located. He gasped as he observed that the small point is right there in Maine. How could that be? It is impossible for his son to be in Storybrooke without him knowing. This globe must be malfunctioning. Gold quickly pricked his index finger again to see if he received the same results.

Baelfire is here.

His mind is boggled that Bae, is so close next to him. He thought that Bae was going to be somewhere outside of the fictional town of Storybrooke. That is why he went through lengths to secure a favor from Emma, since she has experience in the outside world that he can use to find his son.

Gold quickly retreated to the back of his shop to make a location spell. The ingredients and spell was so pedestrian, he was able to make the potion quickly by memory. He poured the contents of the liquid on Bae's goat fur coat. It levitated in mid-air, Gold's attention transfixed on the object as it made its way to the door.

Gold magically opened the door so the levitated object continued its journey to his son. The sight of a person following a floating object can be the most ridiculous thing ever, but for fairytale characters where magic is just a part of life, people barely blinked twice seeing the Dark One publicly following an inanimate coat. And Gold could have cared less what people thought. It was in the middle of the night and there were few people out and about in the first place.

Curiously, the shawl stop in front of Granny's Bed & Breakfast. He clucked his tongue on the back of his teeth as he seethed in anger. To think that his son was here right under his nose made his blood boil. He enter the resting facility like he owned it…well he did own it, courtesy the deal he brokered with Regina being the one to cast the curse.

Granny was looking down over the ledger studying the payment history as she heard a visitor come in. Over the tip of her glasses perched on the end of the nose, she greeted Gold with alarm.

"We have already gave you this month's payment."

Gold raised his hand to quiet her blabbering. "I'm not here for payment dearie. I want to know who has recently procured a room here at this establishment."

Granny straightened her posture and glared at Gold. She doesn't want to cause problems, but she definitely wasn't jumping at opportunities to converse with the dreadful man.

"The only visitors we received was Emma and a nice little fellow." She definitely didn't want to give up anything more of Neal's identity to Gold when she didn't know what he wanted him for. She has been one of the few people that never made a deal with the man nor had many interactions with him, and she'll like to keep it that way.

Gold's eye lit with interest.

"How long has this fellow had a room here?"

"For maybe a few months."

"Where is his room?"

Granny placed two hands on the counter with a defensive stance. Neal was a friend of Emma's and the limited time she spent with him, he had a very genteel spirit about him and was good-natured. And she wouldn't want him to be in the company of the likes of the Dark One.

"Why do you want to know?"

Gold shot Granny a sinister smile, his patience has been tried at this point and this flabby bag of a woman is impending the search for his son.

"That is my business, not yours. Now are you going to tell me where his room is, or do I have to use certain methods to get it out of you," he asked menacingly.

Granny gritted her teeth as she spat out, "he is upstairs, second door to the right." Ironically, he is staying in the same room that Emma booked.

Gold gave the elderly woman a smirk. "Now was that so hard," he grinned as he made his way upstairs with the white hair woman sneering at his back.

Gold made his way to the door, and he stopped two feet from it. This was it. This is the moment he has been waiting for over 200 years.

He knocked on the door, and waited a couple of moments. He got agitated that he heard no movement on the other side so he knocked even louder.

Neal groggily opened the door, rubbing his eyes so he can see who interrupt a great deep sleep.

"What do you want?"

Rumple stood shook seeing his son in the flesh after such a long time. He is a grown, healthy man, and he's so happy to see him. But he was also very familiar…where did he see him from?

"You were in my shop, Bae, is that you?"

With the utterance of his Enchanted Forest name, he woke up dramatically. Shit. It was his father right in front of him. How did he know? Well, he is a powerful magician, of course it was due time for the man to find him since they are literally 15 minutes away from each other. Neal stepped out to see if there was anybody in the hallways.

He checked both sides and ushered Rumple immediately inside the country-style room.

"Bae, that was you. I'm so happy-" but Neal cut him off, both verbally and physically since Rumple was going in for a hug.

"The name is Neal Cassidy. It has been that for years."

Rumple wanted to argue, but he saw the stern expression in his son's face, and decided to let it go. Neal it is then. He had so much to say, but didn't even know where to start. And that is a rarity for him.

"You came by my shop, why didn't you just reveal yourself to me then?"

Neal went to the chair and pour himself a glass of water to clear his parched throat. "One, I have been running from you for centuries, I wasn't in such a rush for a nice daddy/son reunion. And two, I see you haven't changed much, at least internally."

Rumple wanted to plead his case. "But Bael- I mean Neal. As soon as I let you go in that cursed portal, I regretted it immediately and never stopped to find you."

"That doesn't tell me anything about you changing your ways Rumple. You were willing to still do deals, and you didn't even know me. And we know how your deals go."

It hurt to no longer her Pa Pa from his little boy. But that is all of his doing, and he'll accept that wrongdoing of his. "But deals are a part of who I am. I would never do something like that to you Neal, believe me."

"There is one thing that is bothering me about this whole town. Tell me how you even managed to get this world. What did you have to do?"

This is not the type of topic he wanted to discuss. He wanted to talk about how they can mend their relationship. But he denied one wish of his son, he won't deny Neal anything he wants.

"I am sure, by the length of time you were here, that you heard of the Dark Curse?"

"Yes, I heard how Regina, who was the Evil Queen, cast the curse. But why her? Why didn't you cast this yourself?"

Rumple clucked his tongue on the roof of his mouth. He knows that this won't make him look better, but the least that his son deserved, is some form of honesty.

"The curse required sacrificing the one you loved the most."

Neal stared at him for a couple of seconds. The air heavy with his implications. Rumple had no one in his life that he loved in order to cast the curse.

"So why Regina?"

"Is this really necessary?" He asked agitated.

"It is to me. Why Regina?"

"Desperate souls do desperate things," he said cryptically.

"Are you one of the reasons that Regina was desperate in the first place? Neal did develop a kind of protectiveness over Regina after spending so much time with the Swan-Mills family. She is the mother of her best friend's child, and True Love. He felt for Emma's sake, that since Regina was a permanent fixture in her life, then he too should get to know her. But getting Regina to talk to him has been a task when she throws him scowls at every chance she gets. But they got on friendlier terms.

"Perhaps. But what I really wanted…"

"Look," Neal interrupted him. Aggravated that he was still getting half-answers. It was too late at night for these type of discussions anyway. "Let's talk again some other time. I'm not fully awake anyway, it'll be beneficial for the both of us."

Rumple was not happy with his time cut short with his son. But he wanted to respect his wishes. He slowly got out of the chair, desiring to hug him but noticing his posture that it wasn't going to happen.

"I love you son, remember that. We will see each other shortly."

Neal scratched his head, sleepiness still lingering with him. "I see you again."

Rumple sadly left the room with so many questions unasked.

Regina immediately made her way to the police station to see Emma. She was clearly shocked at Cora's threats and knows not to take those lightly. Cora always delivered on them.

Her heels clicked on the hard floor of the building, waking up Emma from her slight slumber on the desk. Emma quickly got up to greet Regina at the entrance of the office. But she knew something was very off with Regina.

Her eyes had a wild, frightened look. It amazed her that she can see so much in her eyes. Emma held Regina gently at the waist. She can feel the small trembles in her body, Regina was clearly shocked by something.

"Regina, as much as I love seeing you, what's wrong? Something doesn't feel right?"

Regina closed her eyes and took a deep breath and exhaled. Then she opened them and look at Emma's eyes which were full of concern.

"I just had a talk with my mother. It seems that she wants to team up with me to get Rumple's dagger. When I refused, she didn't take it too well."

Emma furrowed her eyes in confusion. "Rumple's dagger? He has one? Why is it a big deal?"

Regina shook her head, Emma still has a lot to learn of their world. "Rumplestiltskin is the Dark One. He is cursed but still the most powerful sorcerer back in our land. Whoever wields his dagger, gets control of him. And if that person chooses to use the dagger to kill him, they become the new Dark One."

Emma's eyes widened in understanding. "And either course Cora takes, it is not going to good for any of us."

Regina bent her head down and a few tears drop. "My mother is a cruel, evil woman. And I won't be surprised if she goes after you or Henry. I just can't take it. I can't allow it. Even if I don't have my magic."

Emma wiped Regina's tears and lift her head to meet her eyes. "Maybe you are not strong…but together…we are. We can stop Cora from whatever she is doing. Believe in us."

Regina looked at Emma, she knows that Emma is strong, but she has seen the viciousness of her mother. She knows Cora's cunning in the fact that she was dumped in a totally foreign realm and rose above everyone to become queen.

Regina knows that much needs to be done than flowery speeches to beat her mother. Since she found no need for magic, she discontinued her failed attempts to reclaim it. Now, she is in dire need of it. All she needs is some sort of…jump start. Her eyes widened in realization.

She'll use her own mother's belongings against her. The spell book! She can take a short-cut to get her magic back. She holds her little bump, which Emma followed as she laid a hand on top of hers.

She will protect her love ones at all cost. Cora will no longer take anything away from her. Regina slowly laid her lips on Emma and step away from her.

"I have to act quickly. Please keep Henry safe and I'll call you so we can meet up again." Regina turned to leave like a whirlwind, and it took Emma couple of moments to gather her thoughts. Before Regina made it all the way out of the building, Emma caught up to her and turn her body towards her.

"What the hell you think you are going?"

"There is something I have to do."

"The hell you are. You just told me that your vindictive mother is out there plotting. And you just think I'm going to allow you to gallop around the town alone? Pregnant? With our child?" She knows that Regina is scared but their best chances are together. And she can't bear if anything happens to Regina, Henry, or the baby.

"I am going to go to my vault. There is very powerful magic there to fight against her. I don't think my mother is going to do anything directly to me. That is why I'm more concern with you and Henry. So please, trust that I know what I'm doing. "

Sometimes Emma forgets that she was one of the most power magical practitioners back in the Enchanted Forest. Her knowledge of magic is nearly zilch, but it is not like she doesn't trust Regina, she just wants to protect her.

"I'm just concerned with your safety." Emma bit her lip because she doesn't want to allow Regina out of her presence, but now it is time to call in the troops to get some type of plan to combat Cora and protect everyone from her.

"Okay, look, I'll give you thirty minutes to do…what are you going to do by the way?"

"Research." She didn't want to tell Emma that she will be messing with dark magic.

"Research," Emma asked sceptically.

"Yes."

Emma shook her head. "Okay, I want you back to our home in 30 minutes. I'll call everyone to meet at the mansion to inform them what's going on, we got to game plan."

Regina inwardly scoffed at the notion of people in her house. It was quite disconcerting to have so many people in her home when it was essentially just her and Henry for years. But ever since their baby announcement, having people over was a regular occurrence. Maybe once a week, and it is not like all of those people gather at the same time.

Snow has been head over heels over her pregnancy. She talked about it non-stop with her, which has been annoying but Emma enjoyed the peace between her True Love and mother so Regina rode along with it. Regina highly doubt the Charming's, nor the Huntsman, or any of the non-magical beings will stand a stance against her mother. But maybe strength is in the numbers.

Regina hugged Emma tightly. "I'll be back shortly dear, don't worry about me."

"Try to not let me regret this," Emma grunted out.

Regina turned again to make her exit towards her vault.

Cora magicked herself back to Hook's ship in annoyance at Regina's refusal of her, in the conquest to seek Gold's dagger. It seems that she will have to allow herself to elicit the dirty pirate's help in getting the dagger.

She was mildly surprised that Hook was actually there. It is not like she bothered to monitor his whereabouts.

"So how was the lovely meeting with your daughter, love?"

Cora grounded her teeth. "It seems that my daughter thinks she no longer needs me in her life."

Hook took a swig of his enchanted flask of rum. "Well, Regina is a big girl. Can't say that I'm surprised."

Cora waved him off in annoyance that her daughter refused her. "Nevertheless, I won't need Regina's help in getting what I want. I know you want revenge against the Dark One. How about we actually work together in that regards."

Hook lift an eyebrow in intrigue. "I thought you wanted to work on your own, lass. But, I'm quite interested in that damnable creature's demise. So tell me, what do you have planned."

"We need to get a hold of the Dark One's dagger."

Hook frowned. "That is going to be very hard to find." But then his eyes brightened. "But I know the perfect person who can help. Belle."

"Ah. The wrench he got in a deal to clean up his mansion. We did see her in this town."

"How do we say that we make her talk?"

Cora smiled wickedly. "I like the way you think, pirate."

Regina sat on a chest in her vault with her mother's spell book in her hands. She can feel the sinister aura tingling her skin as she slid her hand across the book cover. But she must protect her family at all cost. And if it means dwelling in dark magic, then so be it.

She lift the book in front of her, and sniff the powerful magic. The purple like smoke filtered into her nostrils, her eyes glowed violet, and she can feel the magic tangentially. Now she can reach it. To test, she conjured a small fireball. Shortly after she distinguished it, a sharp pan ruptured in her stomach.

She screamed in agony, her knees dropped down to the floor as she held her stomach with both hands. What was that? Could the dark magic harm her child? She looked down at her stomach in confusion.

"Mommy is so sorry. Is the magic hurting you? I have to keep you safe. Please understand."

Regina is at her wits end with the correlation of inhaling the magic of her mother's book and her stomach pains. She doesn't even know if it will harm the baby or not. But the horrible pain only lasted a few moments and she was perfectly fine.

Maybe she'll find answers later. She got up and wiped off the lingering dirt from her skirt. Her phone rang and she scrambled to where she last laid it. She found and pick it up. Damn, it has been 40 minutes since she got there, and Emma was calling.

"Dear," she answered. She kept her voice calm, not wanting to alert her lover to any distress that she had endured.

"Regina, you should be here already. Where are you? Are you alright? Do I need to go where you are? You still in the vault?" Emma shot out questions in panic. She doesn't want anything to happen to Regina nor the baby, and there was a high level of uncertainty with Cora in town.

"Emma, please calm down. I'm on my way, there is nothing to fear."

Emma closed her eyes on the other end, and breathed in and out. "Okay, but if you are not here in 10 minutes, I'm coming for you. I love you and be safe. I already picked up Henry from school and the gang is already here."

"I love you too." She hasn't heard that statement to her of being loved often in life. But when Emma says it, it feels like she can never get enough of it.

Regina arrived at the mansion, and as soon as she entered her home, Emma met her at the entrance. She gently tugged Regina towards her in a warm embrace and gave her a small kiss.

"You had me worried sick."

Regina laid another kiss on Emma's thin lips as she responded. "My apologies."

"Did you find what you were looking for in the vault?" Emma still had no clue what type of "research" Regina was looking for.

"Indeed I have." After Emma waited a few moments for any elaboration, Emma sighed and guided Regina to where everyone was located, in the enormous living room area on the first floor.

Archie, Snow, Charming, Graham, Ruby, Granny, Neal, and even Grumpy was there. The dwarf was sitting down on the couch, enjoying the soft fabric of the luxurious item. The queen gets all of the good shit. Henry is upstairs in his room, despite his protest in wanting to join anyone. But Emma put her foot down that this is adult business, and told him not to eavesdrop on their conversations.

Everyone perked up as Regina entered the living room. Everyone wanted to know why they were summoned here. The mood in the room was intense.

Emma clasped her hands as she stood next to Regina to confront everyone.

"Ah… I thank everyone for coming out today. We have some not so good news."

"Oh no, you didn't lose the baby did you?" Granny asked.

Emma shook her head. "No, the baby is just fine. No worries there."

Regina felt a modicum bit of guilt with that but she is going to press forward. The brunette decided to lay it on thick with everyone, it made no sense to be coy about the new threat in town.

"My mother is in town. And she wants to get her hands on the Dark One's dagger. She wanted me to help her. I refused and let's just say, that she is not pleased."

"That couldn't be good," Ruby frowned.

"Can't we reason with her?" Regina shook her head at Archie's naivety. There is not enough therapy sessions to stop Cora's quest for power.

"I don't see what the problem is. Let's just bag the old bag," Grumpy grunted out with his arms crossed. Emma cut her eyes at Grumpy for his rudeness.

Regina just ignored the dwarf as she looked around the room. "My mother is the Queen of Hearts. She is a powerful sorceress and 'bagging' her is not going to stop her."

Regina's landed on Snow's directly, who is sheet white right now. She gulped and peered at Regina, both understanding the lengths that Cora will go through to get what she wants.

Granny spoke into the Snow and Regina's intense look off. "So your mother is the "off with their heads" type?"

Regina snapped her attention to Granny. "Yes, she is exactly like that."

"And she must be stopped, at all cost," Snow proclaimed as she stood up.

"Indeed. And my mother would most likely try to harm the people I love most." Regina turned and looked at Emma who wrapped an arm around her.

"Then we need to protect Henry," David jumped into action. "We need to keep surveillance on him, if what you say is true," David's statement came out as a question to confirm that Regina does think Henry's life is in danger.

"Well, I'll make sure to keep an eye on the lad," Graham spoke for the first time. He has always looked over Henry while under the curse. He has a soft spot for the kid, and the thought that he could be harmed hurts him.

"I'll join Graham as well," Ruby responded, their hands grabbed each other in solitude.

"But we need a game plan. We need to alarm everyone to keep watch on Cora."

"How does she look," Archie asked a vital question.

"She is around 5'3, a brunette with an up do, she is an older woman," Regina answered.

"Just be aware of a woman you never seen around Storybrooke. We should all be familiar with everyone's faces at this point," Emma responded.

"Do we know if she is working alone?" Charming frowned. "It will be nice to see if we are only dealing with her."

"We are not sure if she is alone or not. But that is a good thing we can investigate."

"I'm the best tracker here, maybe if you have something of her, I can sniff her out."

Regina wanted to make a small quip about Ruby's wolf, but now is not the time for jokes, but she does appreciate the younger woman's efforts.

"I don't believe that will be the best way to find her. She has magic, she can easily transport herself in a moment's notice, and that doesn't leave a natural trail. What we need is something that can have eyes on her any time."

Regina eyes gleamed with a brilliant idea. Now she has her magic back, keeping tabs on her mother can become an easier feat. But she will execute her plan after this meeting.

"That is great an all, but maybe we should try to find this dagger before Cora gets it."

"So how do you suggest we do that Graham? Ask the Dark One nicely?" Grumpy sassed him.

"Maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea. Gold is a powerful sorcerer, I don't see why we wouldn't tell him about this, why do we have to do all of the grunt work?" Granny huffed out with a hand on her hip.

Emma massaged her temples with her thumb and index finger. "Let's go with that. Maybe Gold can assist us with this threat. I mean, is he on friendly terms with Cora?" She looked at Regina for insight.

"My mother was a student of his. But I don't think they hold any love for each other."

"Just great, more Mills women with dark magic."

Granny slapped the dwarf on the backside of his head and Emma again threw a glare at him.

Ready to put things into action and get annoying people, specifically the munchkin, out of her house, she ended the meeting.

"Alright, Emma and I will confront Gold with this and we'll start from there. You may leave now."

People exited the huge mansion, David, Grumpy, and Ruby were tasked with alerting everyone about Cora being on the loose. But Neal silently stayed behind in the back of the living room. He was deathly quiet with his hands in his pockets.

"Regina, Emma, can I talk to you for a quick sec?"

Emma noticed how Neal seemed so, small, while discussing the Cora business, but she didn't want to bring it up.

Regina rolled her eyes at Neal from delaying her to more important matters than what McGruff wants to talk about.

"Okay man-child speak? If you didn't notice, we have a witch on the loose."

Neal was used to Regina's infamous sass so he just let it roll right off him.

"I have something to tell you, and don't be mad. I feel bad for not telling you sooner."

Emma got defensive and stared hard at him. "Well, just spit it out."

"Rumplestiltskin…he is my father." He winced as he confessed, trying to mentally and physically protect himself because he didn't know the drawback would happen.

"What?!"

"You are the imp's spawn?"

"Regina, I'm sorry. Actually, I feel bad for everybody here. It's like, I feel responsible that everyone is where they are because of me. My father was a good man, but because of fear of being weak, he became the Dark One and he changed. I couldn't live with him.

Everyone feared him and I couldn't live like that. I couldn't even have friends. So I got a bean and I landed in London in all places."

This could go very well get him killed but he felt a pressing need to get Regina, specifically, to understand his remorse. He softly took Regina's hand and looked at her. Emma was bugged eyed at Neal's gesture. Regina barely tolerated Neal, and this can end up bad.

"I am sorry Regina, that my father wanted to destroy the person you were, in order for you to cast the curse to get to me in this land. I heard stories about you being the Evil Queen. But allowing me to spend time with Emma, Henry, and also you, I don't see you as that.

You are sassy but loyal and loving person. I haven't seen people love their children as you loved Henry. And I know I can't make up for things in the past, but I just wanted to let you know, that not only am I on Emma's side, but also yours as well."

Neal gulped and stepped back, in case Regina wanted to lash at him for the audacity to even touch her. But what he received was the complete opposite. Regina was silent for a few moments, her eyes glistened with unshed tears.

For her to have someone to tell her that they were sorry for Rumple's manipulations, well, that is unheard of to her. She knows that she has to take responsibility for her evil deeds, and nobody forced her to do anything. But Neal acknowledged something that few people understand. And that is that Rumple was the architect of everything. And yet she gets the brunt of everyone's ire for their lot in life. Neal must have talked to Rumple to even find out her journey to the Evil Queen which no one knows.

Regina swallowed hard, her hands shook as Emma rubbed her back for support.

"So you are Rumple's son?"

"Yeah."

"How old were you when you ran away?"

"I was thirteen."

"Well Neal, I thank you for your apology but it is unwarranted. You shouldn't have to accept the responsibilities of your father's actions. This is not your fault."

This was an emotionally charged moment as Emma looked at Neal in disappointment. "You didn't think to tell us sooner?"
Neal sucked his teeth. "It is not like it is an easy thing to admit that the Dark One is your father. I didn't even talk to him like that until he came by room at Granny's."

Regina came out of her reverie, her heart being healed just a little bit more. "And does Gold know about Cora's plan?"

Neal shook his head in negative. "It doesn't seem like he knows anything about that. He was just concerned with talking to me, trying to apologize. But if you guys are going to talk to him, I need to come with you. I have the most leverage with him."

"I think we have enough leverage we need. Someone wants to control you. That's the end of the story. Something tells me that Gold values his own self-preservation."

"You're right about that," he grumbled remembering that was the very main reason that his father didn't want to go through the portal with him, because of power.

"Then let us not linger any longer than necessary, let's get a move on. First, I have to do something. Emma, Neal, I will meet up with you later to see the damn imp."

With that Neal left the house but Emma still hung over, looking at Regina seriously.

"Whatever you got on right now, I need to be involved in it."

"Emma it is not needed," she said as she looked away from Emma.

Emma gently tugged Regina's chin to look at her. "Why do I think you are trying to hide something from me?"

Regina closed her eyes and opened them to look back at the blonde. "I need to do this on my own."

"Do what on your own? And where were you earlier? Geez Regina, look at this from my angle. You are pregnant with my child, we have a crazy witch on the loose, and you are hiding things and going to places I have no clue about nor what you are doing?

I doubt we already had the "need for honesty" talk. It is my job to protect you so stop being so pig-headed and tell me what is going on."

The secrecy is not fair to Emma, but just like Emma, she is doing everything she can to protect her family.

"I have to see an old acquaintance, I believe he can assist it."

"Okay, let's take Henry to Snow's apartment. I don't want him to ever be alone."

A/N: Tell me what you think.

Chapter Text

"So, who exactly is he to this Belle?" Cora asked as they made their way to the library where this young woman worked at. It is a little late in the night, the air cool and still with a low breeze. Cora used magic to make them invisible but only wanted it to be cast for less than an hour to reserve some of her energy.

"Belle is the woman that the crocodile is in love with. The pretty lass have a vast amount of knowledge that would be beneficial for the both of us."

"Hmmm," Cora sighed noncommittally. It seems that Rumple has moved on from her but she has no problems with that. Love is a weakness that she couldn't afford, and that is why she didn't want to be with the skinny bastard and took out her heart.

"It looks like we found what we are looking for," she said as they entered the deserted library with only one occupant.

Belle has insulated herself more into the fabric of society of Storybrooke. She told Rumple that she will no longer to be locked up anywhere, and nice people like Ruby and Archie had made her feel so welcome. She talked to Emma and enjoyed telling Henry stories of her youth, but it is not like she made it into the inner circle of Emma's clique, if that is how she can label it.

Rumple's gift to her was to ask Regina, with no deals involved, to open the library for the public and allow Belle to run it since there is no dragon down there, thanks to Emma. Regina felt guilty for imprisoning Belle for so long, wanting to redeem her past evil deeds, willfully gave her the keys to the library.

It was also a political move, a happy Rumple makes for happy lives everywhere in Storybrooke. Having a library for a growing population was just the smart thing to do.

So that is where Cora and Hook found Belle, reorganizing books using the Dewey Decimal system that she researched on something called the computer. Belle loves this world and its endless resources.

On a ladder filing books, Belle jumped a little as the door open and closed, a bell similar to Rumple's shop signaled a new visitor. Which of course was curious to her, since nobody really comes to the library this late, or barely at all.

"Hello, is anyone there?" She called out in her drawl. With no answer, she slowly climbed down the 3 foot ladder and went around the bookshelves to return to the front of the building. She didn't see anything at first but then, two figures materialized right before her.

"Hello, love, miss me?" Hook threw the younger woman a salacious grin that made her skin crawl and feel dirty with the way he looked at her. She has never found the pirate appealing nor attractive, just grossly creepy. She remembered he attacked her a long time ago in the Enchanted Forest because he had a grudge against her Rumple.

Belle immediately got defensive and looked around quickly for a weapon, any weapon, to defend herself with. She would not allow this horrid man nor his older accomplice to make her wallow in fear. She grabbed a stapler and aimed it towards the couple. It wasn't much, but she needed to show strength somehow.

"Stay back."

Cora laughed mockingly at her. "So this is the Dark One's whore," she turned her head towards Hook who grinned back at her. She did returned her attention to Belle, who was miffed that this woman can disregard her so easily.

"You think that object will do anything against me? Foolish young one, indeed." Cora waved her hand and made the stapler disappeared.

"Time for games is over, dear, tell us where is the imp hiding his precious dagger?"

"If you tell us, we may just hurt you a little bit, not too much, love."

Belle felt cornered but still wanted to defy them. "I have no idea where it is, he never told me. But even if he did, I would never tell the likes of you." Whoever the woman is, she seems to be a powerful witch but Belle faced off the Dark One, she felt she can stand up against this woman as well.

Hook became impatient, he felt so close to his revenge and doesn't want to delay any longer while playing 21 questions with the lass.

He stomped towards her with vicious intent. "I'll make the little bitch talk, she knows something."

Belle quickly went into flight mode and tried to make a beeline to the elevator since the front door was blocked by the two. Cora lifted her hand and immobilized Belle to not run which made Hook's job easier.

"Thanks love, I didn't want to chase the lass around."

Cora hummed and they made their way in front of a terrified Belle.

"You can't run or hide. So how about you start talking or," Hook slide his hook over Belle's exposed collarbone, "or I'll have to use nonpleasurable methods to get want I want."

Belle tried to stop the quivering of her lips though she is frightened with her predicament.

"I told you I DON'T KNOW!"

"Tell me now or I'll rip you apart!" Hook snarled at Belle, some saliva hit her.

Cora can tell the young wench didn't know anything, so to further question her is futile, so she knocked her out with a sleeping spell.

"What the hell are you doing?!" He turned angrily to the sorceress. However, with one look at Cora, he tampered down his rage.

"We need her to find the dagger. Other than that, she is useless."

"She can still be useful to us. If Rumple does indeed love this woman, we can use her as leverage."

Hook nodded his approval. "Love is a weapon. I do love how you think." The handsome man fiddled with his silver appendage.

"We heard from those two peasants you turned into mice, that once people leave this town, they'll lose their memories, right?"

"Yes, that was correct."

"So leaving this town should not allow them magic?"

Cora's eyes gleam with interest. "If we can lure Rumple over the town's barrier…"

A sinister smile became painted on Hook's face, "…then he will be vulnerable. And I can actually get close to him to use my dream shade."

Cora wanted to kill Rumple with the dagger in her head, but maybe this dream shade will weaken him enough to take his power away from him.

"Now that we have that underway, I have a perfect idea how to get my daughter down on her knees."

Hook scrunched his eyebrows in confusion. "You still are going on about Regina?"

Cora scoffed at him. "Regina will not get away for defying me. And I can't believe that she is working with those idiots that she spent a lifetime trying to kill."

"What are you talking about love?"

Cora looked at him with superiority. "What do you think I spend my time doing in this place? Twiddling my thumbs? No, I know that they are planning to try to find the dagger for themselves. But I have a perfect solution how to teach my daughter a lesson that she has still failed to learn. 'Love is weakness.'"

"You haven't let me down yet, I can't wait to see what you have planned."

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The older witch had the perfect solution of subterfuge against her daughter conspiring with the insipid fools that she has aligned herself with. She'll strike first without Regina even knowing. The irony just makes the woman chuckle inside as she looks to gain control of the Huntsman, just as her daughter had done. She had eyes on her daughter as the Evil Queen, and that is why she knew about her daughter's pet.

This time, he will be used to her benefit. She stalked the man, who was always around that tall brunette with red streaks. He was always around somebody, even escorting her grandson from school to take to the infernal couple that was Snow White and Prince Charming. How sickening.

But she finally got him by himself, as he was taking a trip to the cabin. For what, she doesn't know and she doesn't care. She startled the bearded man as she materialized before him when he was crouching down to check on some white werewolf.

With blazing speed, he stood up to confront the strange woman before him.

"Who are you?"

Cora smiled as she quickly stepped in front of him and shove a hand in his chest, and painfully ripped the heart out of his chest. His control melt out of him, as the thought of 'not again' filtered his brain. This had to be Regina's mother. And though Regina was evil in her own right, this woman seems downright demented.

The power of the heart pulsed in Cora's hand as she held it in her palm. She loves it when things come together. Barely even looking at him, she spook into his heart. "You will not speak of this to anyone. You will act normal and do as I command when I tell you. Is that clear, Huntsman?"

Graham's eyes darken from the lack of emotions, it is familiar territory for him. As much as he wants to resist the witch's command, it became futile.

"Yes, ma'am."

"Good, now you can go on about your business." And from there she disappeared.

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Emma drove the Benz towards the psyche ward at Regina's directions. Emma was confused and frightened that something happened to the baby and the brunette had to calm her down. She explained that they were not there for her emotional health.

And that is where they found themselves. Goosebumps shivered on Emma's arms as she waits for Regina to punch in a code in the basement of this psyche ward. It gives her the creeps as the morbid air surrounds them.

"Regina, why are we down here?"

Regina turned to Emma and finally gave her an answer, not wanting to totally surprise Emma. "We're here to see Sidney."

Emma's mouth curled in disgust. She can still feel the ghost pain of the bullet Sidney released piercing her chest, nearly killing her.

"What the hell woman?!"

Regina opened the door which led them to a hallway of countless doors. Then she turned around and crossed her arms. "Do you even know who Sidney was back in my world?"

Emma thought about it, but she actually never knew. "I don't know, all I know that he is crazy and was in love with you. But I have a feeling you are going to tell me."

"With my mother in town, we need eyes on her, anything that can help us gain an advantage on her. Red and Graham, as great as trackers they are, won't be able to track her so easily. Sidney was my mirror."

"Huh? Like, 'mirror, mirror on the wall' dude?"

Regina rolled her eyes at Emma's quip as she led them to Sidney's prison. "Yes, the one and the same."

Emma had many other questions, but it all halted as they entered a dark room which stunk of body odor.

Regina grinned evilly as they looked at the hollow shell of the darker man. He sat in the corner in a ball, weight clearly dropped off of him unhealthily. Especially since he was a thin man to start out with.

His face had a haggard graying beard, his eyes sunken and cheeks pulled in tighter, making him look like a skeleton. Emma wrinkled her nose in disgust. She is all about Sidney getting his punishment, but this type of treatment somewhat unsettled her. She kept an arm around Regina's waist, preparing to push her behind towards the door in case Sidney wanted to do something stupid.

"I see that my nurses have been taking care of you."

"Everything I deserved, your Majesty." Emma grind her teeth, damn right he deserved it. Going after her love and son was a big resounding no in her book. But she continued to let Regina lead this meeting.

Regina hummed at Sidney's conciliatory disposition. The fool still seems to want to do whatever she wanted. But she will allow no relief for him when he tried to rape her, harm her son, and shot her True Love. She will give him a different type of prison.

"I am of need of your services, Sidney. And believe me, you have no choice in this matter."

Sidney nodded his head as he tried to stand on weak legs, and arms wrapped in a crazy jacket.

"Anything you want your majesty, I will redeem myself." Sidney is intent on staring right at Regina, and not at the blonde who looked like she wanted to tear him apart.

Regina smiled threateningly. "Good." The sniveling worm is still obedient. This compliance will do nicely for what she has planned.

She waved her hand and Sidney disappeared in purple smoke, which made Emma jump back sharply.

Emma looked at Regina bug eyed as she open her compact and saw Sidney's face, she as her mirror back.

"Geez, give somebody a warning next time. And when the hell did you get your magic back?"

Emma stepped back aside of Regina and peered into her hand which had Sidney's head in the mirror. "I didn't know he was the magic mirror. But baby, you really got to talk to me."

"I only got my magic recently." She is not going to tell her how she managed the feat. Before Emma can opened her mouth to ask another question, sharp pains stabbed Regina in the stomach, it was the same feeling she experienced when she inhaled the dark magic of her mother's book.

She groaned in pain, dropped the compact and it closed on impact of the ground, and her knees dropped on the floor of the psyche room.

"Regina!" Emma yelled as she kneeled down as well to see why her love seemed to be in pain. "I'm right here. What is going on?" She fears for Regina and her baby, since Regina's hand cradled her stomach.

"Does this happen when you use magic? When did you even get your magic back?"

The searing pain clouded her mind, it was even worse than he conjuring a flame, but after a few moments,