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I'll Sleep... (Close to Heaven)

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Countless stars sparkle in the night sky as a half-moon steadily rises over the eastern mountains. Its gentle light illuminates the forest grove where a petite brunette paces, her long, white gown fluttering in the breeze created by her anxiety. At the rustling of bushes behind her, the woman stops and a reverent Emma whispers across crimson lips.

Turning quickly, chocolate eyes drink in the sight of the leather clad blonde stumbling into the clearing. The self-conscious smile that pulls at the other woman’s mouth does nothing to lessen the pure joy that radiates from her green eyes.

“Regina,” the blonde sighs as if her name alone were a sacred prayer.

Without hesitation, the brunette runs causing Emma to step back quickly, her hands held forward to stop Regina from coming too close.

“Your skin. The others will know,” Emma reminds sadly.

“I’ve told you before,” Regina says as she grasps the blonde’s face with both hands, “I will proudly bear your mark before all of creation as proof of our love.”

Gradually darkening fingers tangle in blonde locks as Regina pulls Emma into a deep kiss. Every inch of Regina’s bare skin burns where it meets Emma’s, but all Regina can focus on is the way her soul, her entire being, can finally breathe again with Emma’s strong arms wrapped around her and Emma’s soft lips against her own.

A small eternity passes before they part. The moon, having marked the passage of time, now hangs high above the grove. Their foreheads rest together, breathing the air shared between them, as they bask in the comfort of being near after decades apart.

Slowly, Emma pulls back while maintaining her possessive hold on Regina’s hips where the light cloth of her gown protects the brunette from the pain of her touch. Emma’s sad gaze takes in the darkened skin of Regina’s mouth and hands, the marks left on lithe arms from contact with her skin.

Regina waits patiently for the blonde to speak.

Tortured, green eyes lock with hers as Emma dejectedly asks, “Do you think She will ever forgive me?”

Regina doesn’t need the accompanying head tilt towards the stars to know just whom the blonde means.

“Oh, honey,” she responds gently, “the fact that we are here together right now should be proof enough that she already has.”

Regina’s heart clenches at the memory of the endless eras spent apart from her love. After the war, Lucifer and his sympathizers were banished from Paradise. Many low level soldiers had been able to earn redemption soon after the Dark Angel’s defeat. Emma being a high-ranking officer, however, would need to prove her contrition more than most. Zelena may forgive all that truly repent their actions, but she is slow to trust them a second time. Regina had spent a millennia begging to see Emma before her sister finally relented.

“Give it time, my love. You will earn your wings back.”

“Do you really think so?”

“I know it,” Regina states resolutely. “You have the purest soul of any being I’ve ever met. Stay true to the path you have set and we will be truly together again one day. We have all of eternity. I can wait a few more thousand years.”

Smiling weakly at the attempt to cheer her, Emma allows the brunette to lead her to the center of the clearing.

“Now, come lie down with me, dear, before our time together is over.”

Regina gently presses the blonde down into the dewy grass before wrapping herself around the supine body, strong arms holding her close as the moon slowly lowers towards the western horizon.

Come morning, Emma will be gone and Regina’s skin will be stained a deep ebony, a reminder of their love that will carry Regina through the next century.