“Emma?” A husky voice gasped at the surprised visitor that stood upon her stoop. “Did we organize to meet? I’m sorry, it must have skipped my mind.” Regina Mills knew that they had not scheduled to meet and the sudden appearance of her son’s other mother was not unheard of… well, it never used to be before the lost year that separated her from their son and the woman that stood before her.
“No, we didn’t. I have come to ask a favor.” Emma Swan replied.
The former Evil Queen of the Enchanted Forest studied the blonde’s appearance and wondered what the favor entailed. She had not seen her friend as nervous as she now stood in such a long time. “Of course, dear. Would you like to come in?”
“Thanks, but ahh… I don’t have time. I know it’s my week with Henry, but I was wondering if you could keep him instead?”
“Why are you unable to keep him?” Regina asked suspiciously, something wasn’t right with this scenario. For Emma to forfeit her week with Henry meant that whatever the blonde had planned was more important than time with their son.
“I need to go away for a bit, and I can’t take him with me. I’ve spoken with him and he understands.”
Regina frowned as she stared intently at the blonde nibbling on her lower lip. “Is everything alright?”
“Yes. I ahh… well, my parents are also coming along and we were wondering if you wouldn’t mind also watching Neal.” Emma blushed.
“What’s going on?” Why are they going with you? Is something wrong?” The brunette was mystified by the sudden trip and felt a little rejected. It used to be her and Emma going on trips when one needed to leave the town… now, they barely speak or even see each other. Ever since their return from Camelot and Emma survived her time as the Dark One, their relationship seemed to have declined to almost nonexistent.
“Everything is fine.” Emma smiled, a smile that failed to reach her eyes. “So, can you?”
Regina could not help but feel a niggle of worry. Something was amiss, and Miss Swan was not telling her the entire reason behind the trip. “Of course, I can. Where exactly are you going?”
“Just on a trip.” Emma brushed some of her hair behind her ear and moved her gaze away from the brunette.
“Emma?” Regina sighed.
“I need to go and get ready. I’ll drop the boys off in a couple of hours. We’re also not sure how long we could be so I’ll leave you the spare keys of our homes in case you need anything.” Emma informed Regina as she started to walk down the path back to her car.
“Emma,” Regina called. “You’re going to be safe, right?”
“Of course.” The brunette heard before the blonde departed in her yellow rust on wheels.
An hour later, Regina sat at the kitchen table with her soulmate, Robin Hood, drinking tea. She had called him over as she needed to discuss something with him. She was just about to speak when she heard her cellphone ding with Henry’s chosen ringtone. She smiled at Robin, a slight apology as she reached for her phone to see what her son needed.
“Mom! You need to stop her.” Regina frowned with confusion as to whom her son was referring to.
“Stop who?” She replied.
“Emma. Mom, she’s going to the Underworld to get Hook back.”
“She’s what?” The brunette furiously typed out. She was angry. A plethora of questions rushed through her mind that only fed that anger.
“She’s going to get Hook back and gramps and grandma are going with her to help her get back. You have to stop her. She feels guilty.”
“I’ll go and talk to her. Don’t worry.” Regina replied to her son before standing from the table and with a flick of her hand she let magic transport her to the blonde idiot, leaving a disgruntled blonde still sitting at her kitchen table wondering why his girlfriend left so suddenly.
Moments later, the brunette Mayor of Storybrooke found herself standing in front of a startled Emma inside of the blonde’s kitchen.
“Do you no longer knock?” She sighed. “What are you doing here? And why is that vein on your forehead beating like it’s ready to burst?”
“Oh, cut the crap, Emma! What the hell do you think you’re doing?” The brunette screamed.
“I was about to have a beer before I started packing. What brings you here?”
“What on earth made you think it would be a good idea to go to the Underworld, and with your parents no less?”
“Oh, that.” Emma’s eyebrows rose in shock. “Who told you? I knew I shouldn’t have said anything to my parents. It was my mother, wasn’t it?”
“No, it wasn’t. Now answer my damn question.” Regina growled. She could not understand why Emma would want to go and get Hook, he asked to die a hero and told Emma he did not want her to follow him.
“I’m going to get Hook back.”
“I know that, but why? He told you that he did not want you to follow. And why did you not tell me?”
“It’s my fault he is dead, Regina. He didn’t deserve to die and all this…” Emma’s arms flung themselves between the two women. “is why I didn’t tell you. I knew you would try and convince me not to go and scream at me. I don’t have time for this. Now, if that’s it then I need to get ready.”
“Why not ask me to go with you instead of your parents? We always worked together, that’s what we do.” Regina’s initial anger had now simmered somewhat, and hurt now had sprung forth. She could not comprehend why Emma did not seek her out.
“Someone needs to be here for Henry.” Was all Emma said before she took a swig of her beer.
“He could stay with your parents and you and I can go. It wouldn’t be the first time.” Regina countered.
“Nope, that’s not going to happen. Things are different now and after leaving your house earlier, I decided that I’m not taking my parents either, I’m going alone.”
“No! You’re not going alone; I refuse to allow you to do that. There is no way in hell that I’m going to let that happen, Miss Swan.” Regina ranted. No, no, no, no! She was starting to panic with worry. She could not allow Emma to do this trip, let alone do the trip alone. What if she didn’t return? Regina knew that if Emma didn’t return… if Emma died…
“In case you forgot, I’m an adult and you can’t stop me,” Emma growled as she looked away.
The brunette stepped right into the blonde’s space and forced the younger woman to look at her before she whispered. “I damn well will or so help me I will die trying.”
Emma’s eyebrows nearly reached her hairline as she stared into the dark chocolate globes before her. It had been a while since the duo had been in such close proximity to each other and it made her extremely nervous. “You cannot come with me this time, Regina. Like I told you when I became the Dark One, you have worked too hard to get your happy ending and now you finally have it. You have your soul mate, the love of your life and if anything happens to me then you will have our son. You have everything you’ve always wanted at your fingertips. A family.” Emma heard Regina’s breath hitch as she spoke and thought she had finally got her point across to the stubborn Latina. Emma knew that if she allowed Regina to accompany her, and Emma was to find herself in a predicament that the brunette would easily sacrifice herself first and for Emma, that could never happen. It would kill her to lose the fiery brunette from her life completely. “You need to stay behind with your family.”
“You are my family. You and Henry are my family.” Regina snapped.
Emma smiled sadly. She could see the tears threatening to fall from the beautiful eyes she had come to adore. “I’m not. Henry, Robin, and Roland are your family. They are your family, Regina.”
“No! You’re an idiot if you think I would choose Robin Hood over you.” The brunette growled as she stomped her feet.
Emma stepped back and sighed. “Go home to your family. I’m sure they must be wondering where you are.” She was crushed. She would do anything to ensure the brunette’s happiness, even if that happiness did not include her.
“Why don’t you believe me?” The brunette cried. She had always chosen Emma, always. Not once had she denied the blonde or refused to help her.
“Because you have already chosen him!” Emma screamed. Her frustration finally revealed itself. It was only a second later that she realized the words that flew out of her mouth and stood in shock, staring at a slack-jawed Regina.
“Em… I’ve never put him before you.”
“Leave Regina, or so help me.” Emma grimaced. This had gone on long enough.
Regina moved to stand in front of the blonde again, leaving barely a breath of space between them. “I will always choose you. In any capacity that you need me, I will always be there.” The brunette spoke her truth before she cupped Emma’s cheek. “You and Henry are my family. The only family that I need and want. It’s always been you two, no other compares, Emma.”
Emma swatted at the tears that escaped down her cheeks. For years she had wanted to hear those words spoken to her but at that moment, she refused to believe that they were true, especially when Regina had been playing house with the insipid forest boy. “Nope. You’ve already chosen your family. You have your soul mate; you practically live together and are already raising Roland together. So, once again, go home to your family and let me be.” Emma pulled her face away from Regina’s hand then turned and walked out of the room.
The brunette remained standing in the kitchen; tears cascaded down her cheeks as she silently sobbed. The comprehension of Emma’s words had finally dawned on the woman, she had chosen Robin over the blonde by inviting him into her life and home. Frustration boiling its ugly head, she turned and stormed off after the blonde, and found her sitting on the couch in the living room.
“If I knew I had ever stood a chance, I would have chosen you a long time ago. Not once did you let me know that there could be more between us! And once that damn pirate got his claws into you, what was I to do? Sit on the sidelines alone, heartbroken, and watch you kissing him at every chance you got? Why do you get to sit there and reject me because I chose someone to settle with when you were already doing it?” She could barely see Emma’s reaction through her tears that now drenched her cheeks.
Emma stood up in reaction to the words spoken and stormed back into the brunette’s space. “How was I supposed to tell you, Regina? You’re a god damn Queen and I’m just a bumbling blonde idiot. How was I supposed to fucken know that you returned my feelings? I chose Killian because I thought that I could never have you… I mean… look at you! You’re breathtaking in every sense possible, my eyes had never known such beauty until the night we first met. When you laugh, it’s like a beautiful melody to my ears that I want to listen to on repeat, and your smile, your smile lights up my darkest days. You are the epitome of a goddess and what would a goddess see in me? A foster kid turned criminal turned police officer… Of course, I’m…”
The blonde was cut off as her lips had been captured by red plump, luscious lips. Each woman drowned within the other’s desire, hands tightened their grasps, moans rose in volume, and a light of blended purple and white smoke swirled in the space between two hearts that had finally combined, releasing a kaleidoscope of colors that took flight into the world, and gently broke the couple apart.
A bright smile adorned the brunette’s exquisite features. “I see my world, my everything. When I see you, I see my happy beginning. I love you, Emma Swan, my love for you consumes me.” She smiled into the kiss that the blonde placed upon her lips. “Please don’t go, Emma. He told you that he wanted to die a hero, allow him that honor. Oh damn!” Regina cupped her mouth as she laughed.
“What’s going on?” Emma asked in confusion.
“After you left my home, I decided that I needed to speak with Robin.” She felt Emma start to release her hold from around her waist. “I was in the process of breaking up with him when Henry texted me about your trip. As soon as I got everything from Henry, I flicked my wrist and transported to you.” She chuckled before she continued. “I left without a word and forgot he was sitting at the table.”
“You were breaking up with him?” Emma asked quietly.
“Yes. I’ve been trying to do it since we returned. I never wanted him, Emma but I was lonely, and watching you… I was willing to settle, but when I saw you on my stoop this morning, I knew that I would rather be alone than spend my life with someone I can barely stand and do not love.” Regina blushed.
“I love you, Regina. You and Henry are all I’ve ever wanted.”
“So, you’re no longer going to the Underworld?”
“No, you were correct. I should honor Hook's sacrifice, and let him die a hero. I just felt guilty, it was my fault.” Emma lowered her head onto Regina’s shoulder and tightened her hold around the older woman.
“I know you do, darling. But, in the end, he came through for everyone by sacrificing himself for us.” Regina sighed with happiness. “Why don’t we get our son, go to dinner and start our lives together.”
“I’d love that.”