"Oh, shit." The words echoed slightly in the large chamber Emma suddenly found herself in. She was definitely not in Kansas anymore. Shit. The last thing she remembered was Regina attempting to teach her how to teleport. Suffice to say, it hadn't been going well—not between Emma's typical lack of focus as well as how distracting just being around Regina recently had become and Regina's impatience. She swore she used to be able to compartmentalize her attraction. Finally, Regina had snapped something at her, most likely to provoke her anger and force her magic to work. Well, it certainly caused something to happen.
Emma slowly turned in a circle, trying to figure out where she was. She had a sinking feeling she hadn't just poofed somewhere else in Storybrooke. No, this dramatic architecture could only mean one thing. Fairytale Land. A castle of some kind for sure, though in better condition than the one she'd seen when they were all stuck here. This one actually looked lived in.
"My, my, my," a dark voice intoned, low and silky smooth. "What have we here?"
Emma spun around wildly, the voice sending shivers down her spin, of fear or arousal she wasn't sure—most likely both—and it was that combination that told her who this was, even before her eyes settled on the figure lounging a few yards away. "Regina," she breathed in shock.
"That's a bit informal, dear, don't you think?" The queen's eyes were dark as they took in the strangely dressed, but attractive, blonde that had just appeared, quite literally, in the middle of her personal chambers.
Emma couldn't bring herself to answer as she stared, eyes wide at a version of Regina who was definitely still the queen. Her hair looked darker and definitely longer, styled half up and half down. She was wearing a red velvet, tight fitting dress and staring at Emma very intently, a wicked smirk on her dark red lips. Emma swallowed heavily. Regina looked hot enough normally, this was just…not fair.
Regina seemed to notice that the stranger wasn't going to answer her and so studied her more closely. To reflexively call her by her first name was very unusual—no one, in fact, called her simply 'Regina', but something in her eyes told of true recognition. The strange clothes suggested she was from another world, but then how would she know her? The blonde clearly possessed magic though, as her sudden appearance indicated, so that might explain it. Regina stood slowly, amused smirk on her lips at the woman's obvious appreciation for her appearance.
"You know me," Regina acknowledged and then cocked her head to the side. "How? And you are coated in magic," she paused, stepping even closer, and corrected herself, "No, that's incorrect. You are magic. How very strange."
"I'm," Emma began as she ran her fingers through her hair, "Oh god, I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but…I'm from the future." She could not believe that sentence just came out of her mouth, but it was the only explanation. What even had her life become?
"Are you really? Definitely interesting. And how exactly do we know each other in the future, ...?" she paused and seemed to wait for Emma to fill in the blank.
"Oh, it's Emma. My name's Emma Swan," the blonde supplied rather distractedly as she began to panic about how the hell she was going to get back.
"How exactly do we know each other, Em-ma?" Regina said with a smirk, voice heavy with insinuation.
"Jesus Christ." Emma was not strong enough to handle this version of Regina, especially if she was going to be saying her name like that. Still, she tried to focus. Damn, Regina had a strong presence. No wonder she was queen. Is queen? "It's complicated."
"Hmm. Life tends to be. Are you aware of how far in my future you are from?"
"Er, when exactly are we right now?"
Regina smiled widely, "I have recently achieved my greatest victory. My enemy Snow White has been cursed into eternal sleep, as she richly deserves."
"Oh." That probably explained why Regina hadn't thrown her into the dungeon—she was in too good of a mood. "That does help, but I'm not sure what I should tell you. Isn't it, like, if you step on a butterfly you could end up preventing your own birth or something?"
Regina chucked, "Not quite, although that is a good guess." Then an aspect of Regina that Emma recognized from their magic lessons shone though, her lecture voice as Emma privately called it, "Time traveling via magic creates stable pockets. You created one when you appeared and once you leave, it will be sealed back up, along with my memory of our meeting, until the point in the future when your travel is in the past as well. Then, I will remember once more—theoretically."
"Any travel into the past has, in a way, already happened and cannot be manipulated nor can you ever travel back in time within a certain proximity to yourself so as not to interfere with your own personal timeline in order to prevent paradoxes."
Emma was suddenly glad for all the random sci-fi she'd watched over the years because she actually understood most of that. "Wow, you seem to know a lot about time travel."
"Yes, well. It was an obsession of mine for a number of years," her eyes grew distant as she remembered how fervently she had search for a way to save her beloved. "I had something in the past I wished to fix, or at least….regain."
"Oh!" Emma cursed herself, Daniel. Duh. "Right, of course. That makes sense."
"Does it?" Regina's eyes were sharp as she stared into Emma's. She pulled back, rather startled and suspicious. "I see that it does. And how did you come by such personal information, Em-ma? I think it's time for you to stop delaying and tell me who you are."
"I…well… I really wasn't kidding when I said it was complicated." She searched for something to say other than that she's the daughter of Snow White and that they co-parent a child together. "You're teaching me magic? That's how I got into this mess in the first place."
Regina raised her eyebrows, "I'm teaching you how to travel through time?"
"Not exactly," Emma said sheepishly. "You were trying to teach me to teleport, to transport myself." At Regina's incredulous look, she tried to defend herself, "Technically, I did manage to poof somewhere."
"You attempted to transport yourself merely a few, yards I'm guessing for a beginner, and instead you managed to transport yourself back in time?" She was staring at Emma as if she'd never seen something like her.
"Well, kinda?" Emma flushed. "I also moved locations because we were not in this castle. Or even in this world actually?"
"What are you? To have such innate power." The Queen stepped even closer, inhaling deeply as she closed her eyes, "I can sense it, humming beneath your skin." Her deep eyes opened and she was suddenly dragging a single finger along Emma's collarbone. "It is quite intoxicating."
"Really?" Emma choked out, trying to keep at least pretend the brunette wasn't affecting her as strongly she was. "You've never mentioned that before." She peered at the queen, trying not to feel flattered and failing. "You like my magic?"
"It draws me to you, not unlike the pull of a loadstone," Regina supplied, staring at her so intently Emma was beginning to think Regina was trying to stare into her soul, a sheen of purple flashing over her brown eyes. Her eyebrows shot up once more, "You are the product of true love which had been tested and you have been tested in turn! How incredibly rare. No wonder you give off such irresistible power."
Emma meanwhile, had suddenly become aware that the strange beaded front of the queen's dress was in fact see through and, instead of some sort of undershirt, there was just bare skin underneath. And Regina really needed to stop talking about how much Emma's magic turned her on. "How come I don't feel like that about your magic?" Is what came out instead.
Regina's eyes brows rose, "Who's to say you don't?"
"Uh, me?" Emma responded.
Regina smirked, "Because you are an amateur, who most likely can't even sense her own magic, it…leaks out of you. I have mastered my powers, therefore my magic is contained."
Emma nodded, "Oh. I guess that makes sense."
"Here," Regina said, closing her eyes and inhaling deeply. When she exhaled, purple smoke began to come off of the queen in wisps and slowly move towards the surprised blonde. Emma remained frozen as the tendrils began to wrap around her, filling her senses. It smelled wonderful: rich, smoky, and spicy at the same time with the barest hint of underlying sweetness. More than that though, she could sense it, not through her traditional five senses but in some other way, her magic responding she supposed.
Emma was brought back to causing the eclipse on Neverland, stopping the trigger in Storybrooke, and even causing the hat to spin right after the curse broke. She had sensed this before, but she had thought that was just what spell casting with another person was like, that it had to with the what instead of the who. Now though, it was obvious the intense pull she had felt for Regina in those moments, as if she could never get close enough to the other woman, was for Regina specifically, not a side effect of performing powerful spells with another person.
There was something different though, about the queen's magic and the Regina she knew's magic, but it was subtle. The queen's was heavier, smokier, while the mayor's was lighter and the trace of sweetness was more apparent. Emma supposed that spoke to how Regina had changed.
Emma blinked as she felt Regina's magic dissipate and the urge to press herself as close to the brunette as possible became much more manageable—her typical, nonmagical, feelings for the other woman asserting themselves. She refocused her gaze onto the queen and saw she was smirking at her, evidently she knew what the effect her magic had caused.
Although, she still needed to hear Emma say it apparently. Emma rolled her eyes, "Yes, now I know what you mean. I've sensed that," she made some sort of hand gesture, "before—like when we caused that eclipse." It was only when Regina's eyes went wide that she realized perhaps she shouldn't have said anything.
Regina moved closer, "We created an eclipse together."
"Why? With how much planning?"
This once more was the magical student more than the queen, the one Emma saw most when Regina was teaching her or when the mayor talked magic with Gold. "Planning?" Emma said with a frown.
Regina looked at her incredulously. "Are you saying we caused an eclipse with no preparation? Spur of the moment," her voice was careless and nonbelieving.
"Kinda," Emma said. "We didn't know we would need to do it, but we had shadows and they had our son so…"
Regina froze, taking a step back for once, "Our what?"
Emma froze as well. Shit. Shit, shit, shit. "I—I shouldn't have said that."
Regina's face hardened, thunder in her eyes, though she came no closer. "You have though and you will explain."
Emma sighed, Regina was going to forget, right? "We kinda, share a son. Like I said in the beginning, it's complicated. I'm his birth mother, but you adopted him and then he came to find me when he was ten and now we more or less parent him together."
"Adopt?" Regina said the word as if she had never heard it before.
"Yeah. In my world—where we both live, you know, in the future—it's when, instead of having a kid the normal way, you take in a child whose parents couldn't take care of them and they legally become your own kid."
"I see, for a moment, I thought I had been able to fix …" Regina was barely aware Emma was there, lost in her thoughts.
"I am unable to have children," Regina responded automatically before realizing what she had just said. Instantly her face darkened and she glared at Emma, as if the blonde had somehow tricked her. Regina had never told anyone about that, the doctor had told her and the king, but no one else knew. "Do not repeat that—ever."
There was the flare of darkness, the instant threat, Emma had been expecting to be much more present in this Regina. She held her hands up in surrender, knowing she shouldn't test this version of Regina, "I swear I won't." She really wouldn't and it answered a question she'd always wondered about the other woman.
Regina continued to regard her suspiciously. "In this future… I remain unmarried, yes?"
Emma blinked at the seemingly abrupt topic change, noticing that Regina wasn't really seeking an answer, but a confirmation. She bobbed her head, "Yeah."
Regina nodded, "And we…" She frowned and didn't continue, barely noticing Emma had frozen again. She gave Emma a much quicker once over than the slow perusal she'd given her in the past few minutes and nodded as if she'd confirmed something. "How long have we known each other?"
"Uh… I guess about two years? Almost two years?" Emma nodded to herself.
"I see," Regina replied, although Emma had no clue what exactly that was. She opened her mouth to ask, hating when Regina decided to be cryptic—no matter what time period they were in—when something else successfully distracted her.
"There you are, Miss Swan." The Mayor's voice cut through the silence and Emma's head whipped toward the sound. There, in a full-length mirror in the corner. Instead of reflecting the room she was in, she could see her Regina, and what must be her bedroom, looking very displeased. Emma could only stare briefly, before her eyes automatically flicked back to Queen Regina who had obviously heard her future self, but was keeping out of view of the mirror.
Emma looked back to Mirror-Regina who was plowing ahead with her disapproving lecture, "How on earth you managed to botch up even a simple teleportation spell is beyond me. Do you know how far I had to search in order to track you down? Honestly, if I wasn't completely convinced of your ineptitude, I would think you did this sort of thing on purpose."
"Regina." Emma tried to think of how to follow up that, but her mind was blank. Mainly because she was still trying to process the fact that she was now literally in the middle of two Reginas. She was so screwed. She squeezed her eyes shut, horrible choice of words, Swan. That mental image wasn't going to go away anytime soon.
The brunette in question heaved an exasperated sigh, "Is that all you have to say for yourself? Well?"
The queen chose that moment to move into frame, the brunettes spotting each other simultaneously. Both pairs of brown eyes widened.
After a long moment, Mayor Regina turned her gaze to Emma, "How did you manage this?"
"Of course this is my fault," Emma said with exasperation.
"Well, who else's would it be?" Regina answered automatically as her hands moved off of her hips an d crossed across her chest but her gaze had switched back to the queen.
"You are her teacher, are you not?" the Queen said, her voice full of amusement. "Her actions are therefore your responsibility."
Emma smirked victoriously, while Regina leveled a killer glare at her past self. "Not if the pupil refuses to listen or pay adequate attention."
"Hey! I pay attention," Emma protested.
"Pay attention to what? Certainly not my instructions," Storybrooke Regina scoffed, raising an eyebrow.
Emma blushed at the knowing look the Queen gave her. "I could venture a wager as to what she pays attention to." She managed to leer regally at Emma while smirking.
"You know what? Fine," the blonde threw her hands up in the air. "I don't pay attention. I'm just a horrible, horrible student. Can we please move on?" Emma said plaintively. Mayor Regina smirked in victory while Queen Regina smirked in amusement.
"If you insist," the Queen said, as she strode closer to the mirror. "I for one am very interested in how you managed to find her," she addressed her future self as she drifted across the room, closer to the mirror. "Tracking someone across time and realms…. I was under the impression we were not capable of such a feat, at least not on such short notice."
Regina frowned, obviously displeased at being called out on the fact that what she was portraying as irritating was actually a significant accomplishment. Her eyes flickered to Emma, who had come over as well. The Queen raised a brow, waiting for an explanation and Mayor Regina scowled, "Emma's magic, because her control is tenuous at best, tends to accomplish magical tasks through brute strength instead of precise casting. I have become attuned to how her magic acts and how to analyze it. She left behind a gaping hole when she transported herself and I was able to quickly ascertain that she was no longer in our world." The Queen nodded, clearly following the discussion. Emma nodded as well, frowning in concentration but still following along well enough to scowl at the obvious slight to her abilities.
Regina paused, wondering how best to explain the next part. "I then used a focus," the Queen's eyebrows rose at that, "and a seeker, because I strongly expected her to be in this world, to locate and connect with the primary linkage."
Emma frowned, she was pretty sure that Regina was trying to phrase things in a certain way, in order to keep her from fully understanding what she did to get to her. She could guess what Regina meant, but the way the Queen seemed to find more meaning than the obvious one gave 'focus' and 'seeker' more weight than she could grasp. Damn it. Apparently all fairytale people liked to be cryptic, not just Gold.
"With your own magic alone?" The Queen was still frowning, her magic, while strong, was not that strong, even she did have an appropriate focus—something linked very deeply to the person she was looking for—and a powerful enough seeker spell that she was willing to use up in order to find someone across realms.
"Yes," Regina nodded. "You may have noticed its propensity to bond with her own."
"Obviously," Queen Regina scoffed, "but that does not explain the ability to transcend realms, of space and time, just to seek out companionary magical energies." The magical draw, and the way the blonde leaked magic were helpful lightning rods for seekers, but the realms of time and space were very hard to cross and set up a stable portal to, aside from with the magic of True Love, as Emma had demonstrated. "Our magic should not be powerful enough to do such a thing, not without artifacts or sacrifices."
"Time is an interesting barrier to us due to the inherent time discrepancy between us because of natal incongruences," the older brunette informed her and the queen nodded, if there already was a difference in time between them, since birth, it would facilitate getting over that hurdle.
"And not companionary," Regina corrected gently, "Complementary." Even Emma sudden appearance and the other various surprising statements had not resulted in such a flabbergasted look from the queen. For the first time, she seemed knocked out of her regal persona and Emma could see the woman underneath; a woman who, for a second so quick Emma thought she might have imagined it, looked as if her whole world had just been tilted on its head.
The Queen's mind raced. Impossible. Daniel was her True Love, this woman couldn't be. People only got more than one True Love in a lifetime under extraordinary conditions. She could never warrant such an exception. Destiny was constantly against her, causing her life to spiral down further and further. Although—she had finally gotten rid of Snow White, she could breathe once more. And if Emma hadn't even been born here yet, if she was interpreting her future self's words correctly, that could lend itself to another True Love.
Coupled with the fact that she looked only a few years older in the mirror, but Emma was not yet born, and they were in another world—all pointed towards serious fate manipulations. Then she frowned, "Still, my magic…" It reacted to Emma merely as one with companionary magic, as it did with Maleficent—although with Emma it was an admittedly a far stronger reaction. The blonde should be a powerful casting partner, but not her magic's complete complement as the older brunette is suggesting.
"Magic evolves, as you know," Regina responded, watching herself carefully. "Now it seeks full balance."
"Full balance? That should be impossible, darkness cannot…" She could admit that magic changed over time, after all she had seen her magic grow as she did, change as she did. However, her magic was too steeped in darkness. Dark magic seeks to consume, not balance. Right now, if her magic attempted to fully bond with Emma's, it would not stabilize, but draw off of all Emma's magic or be burned by the light of the blonde's.
"Magic evolves," Regina repeated, as a small ball of purple, shot through with some dark streaks grew in her palm. However, even Emma could see that the streaks were thinner than the ones in the Queen's magic, as well as less frequent, and closer to very dark purple than black. Most noticeable though, was the thin white edging to the ball as well. Light magic.
Queen Regina's eyes were wide, "And the counterbalance is…" her voice faded as her eyes drifted briefly to Emma before fixating on the mayor.
"Yes." Regina felt lighter having told someone what she had figured out in the past few weeks, working closely with Emma to master her magic. She had discovered her own feelings in Neverland, but simply being in love with someone, did not make them your True Love or even mean they loved you back. Their magic on the other hand, did.
"How? Why?" the Queen had never dreamed she might find romantic love again and she found herself ravenous for more information about it. She wouldn't just get to win, she would get to be happy.
"Startling commonalities and nonmagical predispositions," Regina answered obliquely, eyes darting to Emma, hoping this conversation wasn't giving too much away. She had a plan where the blonde was concerned. Since she had discovered their feelings first, that put her in a marginally better position as Emma was either unaware or in denial of her own feelings. It had given Regina the time to adjust to the idea herself, as she had never expected Emma to return her feelings, beyond physical attraction she supposed.
"I see. She doesn't know, does she?" Queen Regina asked, obviously amused.
"No," Mayor Regina replied, voice dry. "She's startlingly ignorant for the moment."
"Could you please stop talking as though I'm not here?" It was aggravating enough being ignored by one Regina, let alone two. This whole conversation was a waste of time as far as she was concerned. All she'd been able to manage was that her and Regina's magic together was not just powerful, but rare and special and that Regina had been purposely underselling what she knew and what they could do. She planned on grilling her about this 'complementary' magic and the rest as soon as Regina couldn't literally gang up on her. "How about we focus on me getting back to Storybrooke?"
"Storybrooke?" Queen Regina wrinkled her nose. "What sort of pedestrian name is that?"
Emma snorted and Regina huffed, "The name came with the place. Don't ask. As for getting home, all you have to do is step through the mirror."
"That's it," Emma deadpanned.
"Alright, no offense, my queen, but I do not want to get stuck here again, forced on a medieval road trip and have to eat chimera and fight ogres, so I'm gonna go through before a wraith attacks or a death curse gets in the way or whatever new bullshit might happen." Mayor Regina just looked amused at the rant as she stepped to the side to allow the blonde through while the Queen merely raised an eyebrow at all the excitement of the past. Both Reginas kept silent with regards to how they felt about the words 'my queen' coming from Emma's mouth despite the obvious sarcasm; had the blonde been paying attention, she would have noticed the way their eyes darkened.
Emma reached a hand out, pressing against the mirror's surface. She felt very slight resistance before she pushed through a thin curtain of what felt like warm water and her hand emerged on the other side back in Storybrooke. She tried very hard not to think about the fact that one of her hands was in a different world, and time, from the rest of her and stepped through.
It was a very weird sensation, but suddenly she was back home. Well, in Regina's bedroom, which she looked around at with interest. There were a lot more neutral colors than she would have expected. The mirror was on an open door that lead to a ridiculous walk-in closet. Emma stepped back, allowing the mayor more room so she could face the Queen fully once more.
"Where did you get this mirror?" the Queen asked curiously, referring to its portal capabilities.
"It came with the house," Regina said carelessly before answering her real question. "I poured a potion I got from Mother's things on it to facilitate inter-realm travel."
"Mother?" the Queen's voice was tinged with fear. "She comes back?" She always did, why had she even deluded herself into thinking otherwise; her magic began to spark automatically as she fought the urge to look around as if just mentioning her might cause her to appear.
"She's gone, dear," Regina's voice was gentle as she talked down her past self. "I promise," she added firmly.
"She—" The Queen swallowed as she attempted to turn her fear into rage, battling the memories she usually repressed as best she could
"She can never cause pain again," the mayor continued in a firm voice.
Queen Regina's eyes widened, "So she's dead."
The queen looked shocked and mildly distressed by the news, but far less fearful. She tried hard not to think about her mother, especially not in the present or future tense—she was unable to prevent the past from haunting her—so it was not too difficult to push thoughts of her mother to the edge of her mind. She groped for other things to question about her future, even if she would not remember. "Emma said we have a son?"
Regina couldn't tell if the queen meant herself and Regina or herself and Emma or even all three of them, but the answer was the same regardless. "Yes, a twelve year old boy."
"What's his name?" The queen was eager for details, ones that would prove this happier future was real.
"Henry." Regina was wary as she watched her past self, but she couldn't help the small smile that dawned on her lips at the thought of her son.
"For Daddy?" the queen asked hopefully.
Regina nodded, "Yes."
"And the pain? Does it finally stop?" Queen Regina's voice had a desperate tinge she could not help, her hand automatically going to her heart as it throbbed and ached in her chest.
Regina looked compassionately at her younger self, "Not completely. You know it will never truly leave us, but there are other things in our life, things that help balance the pain out. It does lessen."
It was more than the queen had ever hoped for. A child of her own, to love her, and a new love. Perhaps she could love again with Daniel finally avenged, and Mother gone in the future so she could not threaten this new love. No one to condemn Regina for this weakness, no one to take her happiness from her. Then she frowned, suddenly angry at her future self. She glared suspiciously through the mirror at the Mayor, who had waited patiently as she sorted out her thoughts. "What are you waiting for? You know who she is, I can see you feel it, so why isn't she ours yet?"
Regina should have expected this, her younger self unable to comprehend the complexity of the situation. "I only realized recently, there was a time without magic, and you know as I do that I thought only… But he said to love again and the magic doesn't lie."
"He what?" The queen went white as a sheet, swaying. She had spoken to Daniel? Then why…?
Regina's face twisted with sadness and pain. "He was improperly brought back for a few hours. I had to let him go."
"How could you do that?" the queen sounded angry and heartbroken.
"He was in so much pain," Regina tried to explain, needing her younger self to understand. "He begged me to…"
"Yes, yes." The queen held up a hand, unable to listen any longer. "Stop."
"Yes, well." Regina took a deep breath and tried to bring the conversation out of the past and back to the present. "Emma Swan is… She is… infuriating, to be honest," Regina admitted with a smirk. "But she…" Regina continued, trying to put it into words, "She sees us, just Regina and so I…"
"I can see that." The queen truly could and she'd only spent a few moments with the blonde. "I felt a draw to her even as I am now. But if you've realized..."
"These things must be planned out," Regina responded in her best mayoral voice, as if it was the most reasonable thing on the planet. "No need to rush."
The queen studied her older counterpart, trying to think of what could delay her in seizing her new love and never letting go. Although, the queen did find it hard to believe that she could have a new true love, she never got things like that, didn't deserve… Her eyes sharpened with clarity. "Oh, I see. You don't believe."
Regina rung her hands, "I know what is true and yet I still can't. Not for me, no matter what I tell myself. So much more happens to us, it gets much worse before it gets better." Her face kept it's relatively calm expression but her eyes showed the truth and pled for understanding.
The queen narrowed her eyes, suddenly suspicious, "But you will try, yes?"
"Yes," Regina responded.
The queen pursed her lips, knowing her own ability to talk herself into self-destructive choices, remembering what had happened in the past. She straightened and pulled on her best queenly manner as she demanded, "Then I want to witness it. If you are going to do it, then do it now."
Regina looked at her, her gaze measuring before she sighed. Her younger self was right, she was scared and putting off exposing herself even though true love was as strong a guarantee as she would ever get, her own magic verifying her and Emma's feelings for each other. "Very well. Miss Swan!"
Emma had left the room, after she'd gotten through. She had lingered in the hallway for a minute or two, wanting to make sure everything was alright. Once Regina—both of them—started talking about their mother though—the instant fear in even Queen Regina's voice—confirmed all Emma had ever suspected about Cora. That made the conversation way too private to eavesdrop on. She'd headed downstairs, with the vague idea to look for some food, and tried not to think too hard about Queen Regina.
"What is it? What's wrong?" It sounded as if Emma had run to get here, sounding half worried, half exasperated as she burst into Regina's bedroom.
"Excitable, isn't she?" the queen commented, though her eyes were eager as she looked once more on her future true love.
"What are you still doing here?" Emma blinked at the mirror. She had figured Regina was calling her either because something had gone wrong or just to yell at her for accidently travel through time and worlds. Everything looked fine though and the Queen was still here.
"I think I'm offended," Queen Regina pouted, holding a hand to her chest. "So eager to see me gone?"
"What? No, that's not what I meant. I was just, you know, surprised and—" Emma realized the Queen was teasing and scowled, "Oh, shut up."
"Not very respectful either," the Queen noted. "Are you sure you didn't make a mistake, dear?" she asked her older self.
"I'm afraid not, dear," Regina responded with mock disappointment. The mischievous twinkle in both brunettes' eyes gave their teasing away.
Emma's eyes narrowed, "Can you not have inside jokes about me? It's seriously annoying and putting me on edge." They needed to stop ganging up on her with their perfect hair and smug smirks and other, er, assets—it was really unfair.
"Aw," the Queen gave Emma a little pout while Regina simply smirked.
Emma glared at the matching pair, "Was there a reason you called me up here? Or was it just so you could smirk superiorly?"
The Queen took that opportunity to do as Emma suggested and smirk superiorly at the blonde before she gave the Mayor a significant look. The Mayor rolled her eyes. "I don't recall being this impatient," she observed.
"Right, cuz you're just so full of patience now?" Emma asked.
Regina narrowed her eyes at the blonde while the Queen laughed. "Very well, I did call you up for a reason. The Queen made a request that I agreed to grant."
Emma frowned, "Something that has to do with me?"
"Yes," Regina said and took a step closer to the blonde, although both were still readily visible to the Queen watching with eager eyes from the other side of the mirror.
Emma gulped, suddenly unable to look away from the very intent, dark eyes of the other woman, "Umm."
"Relax, my dear," Regina practically purred. "It's nothing too bad."
Yeah, like that was going to help Emma relax. All the low and sultry tone of voice managed to accomplish was sending Emma's blood pressure sky-rocketing and making her clothes feel too tight. She swallowed hard, Regina's demeanor reminding her strongly of the Queen when she first met her, seductive and completely captivating.
"You see," Regina continued, now practically breathing the same air as the blonde. She was thoroughly enjoying the obvious effect she was having on the blonde and the younger woman's proximity was not leaving her unaffected either. "Recently, due to our magical studies, I discovered something about you and I."
"Uh…" Was Regina really trying to have a conversation right now? Emma tried to focus. Then she remembered the two Regina's cryptic conversation about their magic, the one Emma had planned on asking Regina about later. "Okay, what was it?" she ignored the part of her that noted any slight breathiness that might be in her voice.
"Our magic works well together, as I'm sure you've noticed." Emma nodded and Regina continued, "I'm afraid I may have deceived you as to the exact extent of how well they work together and why that is."
Emma tried to follow along. She decided to focus very closely on Regina's words, instead of just her red lips, only inches from her own. Regina shouldn't be allowed this close to her if she wasn't going to—. "Okay, I kinda got that from earlier. So what's the real deal?"
"Well," Regina began, her eyes darting briefly to the Queen and seeing her younger self's eyes riveted on the pair on the other side of the mirror, her eyes nearly as dark as the Mayor's and Emma's. "Your magic is actually the counterbalance to me, the perfect complement, if you will. And that is rare."
"How rare?" Emma asked, finally beginning to catch on to where this was going. Her breathing deepened as she unconsciously leaned closer to the brunette.
"Very rare," Regina confirmed. "In fact," she paused to lick her lips, Emma's eyes following the action with a laser focus. "It only occurs when the two parties involved share true love."
Emma sucked in a breath and then their lips were fastened together without either knowing who gave in first, not that either cared once the kiss had begun.
Emma's hands landed on Regina's hips, pulling the brunette flush against her. One of Regina's hands wove into Emma's long blonde hair, luxuriating in the soft strands. Her other hand cupped Emma's jaw, guiding the kiss. She nipped at Emma's bottom lip and the blonde opened eagerly.
God, Regina was a good kisser, Emma thought distantly. The ebb and flow that came so easily to their arguments was translated into warm give and take, tongues lightly brushing. She felt the kiss in every cell and nerve-ending.
Regina shuddered into the kiss, feeling her magic spark to life in a way it never had before, liquid heat running through her veins as she sampled the unique flavor of the blonde and instantly decided she would never get enough of the addictive taste.
The Queen watched in envy and awe as a small circle of light burst from the pair in the other time and place. As they finally broke apart, Regina waved a lazy hand at the mirror, having fulfilled her promise and the portal image dissolved, leaving the past sealed behind. She gave a small shudder as the memory opened up to her, blooming in her mind the memories of the bright future she had gotten a glimpse of decades ago. She smiled as she pulled her true love in to steal another kiss.