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Prologue

 

Their first ‘date’ had been a disaster.

 

When Emma had arrived wearing that pink dress, Regina had told her to go home and change before slamming the door in Emma’s face. They’d had a heated argument about the dress either side of the door, which was firmly locked by this point, for such a long time and at such a volume that David had been called, presumably by one of Regina’s neighbours, and warned them that they were ‘disturbing the peace.’ 

 

He’d managed to negotiate Emma’s admittance into Regina’s home on the conditions that Emma would not wear that dress again and that he and Snow would take down the framed photograph of Emma and Hook on their ‘first date’ where Emma could be seen wearing the same, distinctly ‘un-Emma-like garment’. But by that point dinner had been burnt, and Regina had started drinking the expensive Barbera, that she’d purchased specially to pair with their meal, by herself. 

 

(Regina was pleased to note, however, after Emma was left swearing, sweating, and spent on her bedsheets that she gave ‘the best fucking head [Emma had] ever received’ and that their make up sex had definitely been worth the neighbours calling the Sheriff’s Station because Regina was ‘so fucking unreasonable’ and that Emma had ‘literally met less stubborn mules’). 

 

Their second ‘first’ date didn’t go much better.

 

Admittedly Regina had allowed Emma to drive her to the restaurant despite ‘that floral monstrosity of a blouse’ she was wearing. Honestly, Emma, stop allowing your mother to dress you for dates if you expect to see me naked at the end of them. However, that was as far as they got as Regina flat out refused to get out of the car when Emma had pulled up outside Tony‘s.

 

“What’s a matter now?” Emma had asked through gritted teeth after five minutes of bickering, “You like Italian food!”

 

“Yes,” Regina has acknowledged, “but I prefer to eat somewhere that dogs don’t get served in the back alley and incompetent pirates haven’t fondled you in the bathroom.”

 

“Oh my god!” Emma had pounded her hands down on the steering wheel before getting out and slamming the door to her car shut so ferociously that the entire Bug had shaken.

 

“What do you want from me?” Emma had snapped at her once Regina had joined her, albeit disdainfully, in sitting on the curb.

 

“I just want you to be you,” Regina had answered quietly, inspecting her nail varnish rather than look at the woman beside her. “You don’t need to dress like you’re going to a 1950s prom or treat me to some sort of Hollywood clichéd, rose-tinted, mythologized version of romance.”

 

“I thought you’d like this,” Emma had sighed, “you always bang on about how you’re this refined queen; figured I should wine and dine you.”

 

“One,” Regina had turned to look at her, only to see Emma looking small and vulnerable. She’d rolled her eyes, annoyed with herself for making Emma feel this way, before shifting so she could wrap an arm around her, pull Emma close, and then finally Regina dropped her voice down to the octave that she knew drove Emma wild, “we already fuck so I don’t need seducing. Two,” she had started pulling Emma’s lobe taught with her teeth by this point, “if you are going to seduce me, perhaps, don’t bring me to restaurants that’s been given a two-star Yelp reviews by your ex.”

 

“Perhaps,” Emma had rearranged herself so she was able to pin Regina’s roaming hands against her body, “when you next decide to curse a realm full of innocents, you should build a town with more than one restaurant.”

 

They didn’t try dating again.

 

Regina didn’t mind though.

 

Regina revelled in it.

 

Gone were Emma’s slumped shoulders, gone was Emma’s quick acquiescence and conflict avoidance. Emma has replaced them with an arrogant swagger and was standing tall once more, as if any moment she might take another chainsaw to one of Regina’s belongings.

 

Occasionally Emma smiled.

 

Regina found it was Emma’s smiles that she loved most about the woman.

 

It was a weird sort of irony that had her fall in love with the mother of her child. Admittedly most people fell in love and then produced children. Only she and Emma would have done it the other way round. 

 

Regina liked that. 

 

She loved that their love was unconventional.