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Sunshine Girl

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Emma slides into behind the tapestry into the small room. She leans against the door, heaving as she settles her breathing, finally given a moment of respite from the wandering hands and sour words of her suitors.

 

When Emma finally gains her bearings she gazes upward from herself, startled she flinches as she notices another figure in the dark room.

 

“Oh I’m sorry. I didn’t know there was anyone else in here,” Emma explains.

 

“That’s quite alright, dear,” the stranger waves off her concerns. Her voice thick and velvety. It causes a shiver to run though Emma. “I assume you could use a break from the hustle and bustle of the party, a break away from the claws of those annoying cads who fancy you.”

 

“Is that why you’re here?” Emma asks timidly, the question falling from her lips before her manners instilled from her mother kick in to tell her it’s rude to pry.

 

“I suppose,” the woman says simply. “I find I get little joy from

parties anymore... After my husband died-“ Regina begins, her words over dramatic as she plays up her role as widow.

 

Emma interrupts with an obligatory, “I’m sorry.”

 

The queen waves her off. “May he rest I hell,” she chuckles. “It wasn’t my choice,” she adds as an aside. “No, my mother sold me off to the man who stood to give us the the most money, prestige and power.” She pauses hardly able to contain her Cheshire grin as she goads, “But I’m sure the virtuous Snow White would never be like that,” her words cloyingly emphatic. “Would she?” Regina asks faux-innocently.

 

“No,” Emma grits out quietly, not sure if she herself believes it. With all her talk about true love, her mother sure has been pressuring her to find a man and get married asap, despite Emma’s insistence that she’s fine to raise Henry without one.

 

“I’m sure she listens to you,” Regina adds patronizingly. “That’s why she keeps throwing you all these parties so you can have a choice, is it not?” she provokes, full well knowing how Snow must be pestering her daughter.

 

“She listens to me!” Emma argues petulantly, feeling defensive at this woman coming out of no where pretending she knows anything about her life and saying these things about her mother. Her mother is a good mother. Where does she get off?

 

Regina sensing the other woman’s anger, tries a different approach.

 

The woman in the dark corner takes a step forward into the stream of moonlight bleeding in from the small window. The only part of her body it illuminates is her gracious cleavage on full display. This is intentional. Emma sucks in a breath quietly. Her eyes darting down, a flicking fast momentum before she blinks herself out of it. The queen’s lips quirk up in a smirk.

 

She turns her back to Emma, as she begins another story. “I loved someone once but-“ she pauses “- this person was not someone who my mother approved of me being with, you see.  And well- my mother was not a nice person.” Regina shutters inwardly at the memory, but holds herself strong, ready to push through the story until she realises playing up her distress would only add to the other woman’s sympathy.

 

She cries hysterically and emphatically in a way she has denied herself for years.  “She- she killed- there limp in my arms-“ Regina grunts out the memory too much to bare. “The person I loved! Like it was nothing to her! Like I was nothing to her!” The harsh tone of the evil queen makes itself known and had Emma had more wits about to look past the tears on the stricken face maybe she would have seen through the ruse, but she got just as swept up in it as Regina herself.  “We were going to run away. We should have run away. If I could go back, we would run further and faster and never look back.”

 

Emma doesn’t know what to say to that. Any kind of apology would just fall flat. So she stands very still and very silent for a long moment as Regina sobs to herself quietly turning away.

 

“I know, no one will ever replace the love you lost but you know you deserve happiness. You could go out to the party and find a husband- this time of your own choosing,” Emma suggests gently.

 

“All the men here aren’t my type,” the queen speaks simply, her voice still thick with tears.

 

“All the men? How? Not into royal men, huh? I don’t blame you they are so entitled,” Emma babbles until Regina interjects.

 

“I don’t think you understand what I’m saying,” Regina speaks slowly, clearly. “How to put this?” Regina says mostly for her own benefit. “My interests lie in something fairer, a softer touch.”

 

Emma studies what she can of the other woman’s expression in the dim light.

 

The queen rubs her own hands up her torso, tilting her head back slightly as she stops to grasp her own breasts gently.

 

Emma licks her lips subconsciously.

 

“If you know what I mean?” Regina’s dark teasing tone leaving nothing to debate.

 

“I see,” Emma intones through the desert in her mouth.

 

“Now I’ve made you uncomfortable. I should really go. A princess shouldn’t be hanging around the likes of me.” Regina dripping in self deprecation triggers a caring response in Emma.

 

“Oh,I’m sure you’re not so bad,” Emma disputes automatically.

 

The queen puts on a show of a bit of broken laughter. The best lies are that ones that are true. “Oh I am. People don’t understand people like me. They rue me.”

 

“What if I said I was people like you?” Emma asks gently.

 

“Then you’d be lying,” Regina says not unkindly.

 

She takes Emma’s chin in her hand. Emma turns her head from this woman’s grasp, unable to met her eye. She takes a blonde strand in her hand, twisting it.  “You, my dear, are nothing like me.”

 

“You sound pretty sure of yourself on that fact,” Emma whispers her lips millimeters from the other woman.

 

“Little girls shouldn’t play with fire, lest they get burned,” Regina warns, deliberately speaking into the other woman’s lips.

 

“What if I told you, I’m a pyromaniac? I’m not afraid of a little heat,” Emma dares, her eyes dancing. It’s a glee she’s long since restrained.

 

Waiting a moment before leaning forward to close the distance, Emma captures the other woman’s lips in a searing kiss. It’s all lips and teeth, as Emma brings her hands up to tangle in dark hair. Regina pulls Emma’s bottom lip into her mouth sucking slightly, capturing Emma’s moan between her own lips.

 

Emma hands go digging, pulling up the back of the other woman’s thick skirt, searching through layers of tulle for skin. She needs to feel more of this woman whose lips are rekindling Emma’s senses, pulling her deep into a stupor of arousal induced haze, wreaking havoc on her system in way long sought by her own hands.

 

Emma finally finds skin, pulling the woman closer by the back of her thigh. The woman chuckles darkly against Emma’s lips, before Emma begins trailing her lips down the other woman’s throat capturing the movement with her teeth, licking and sucking as she cradles the woman’s neck. Regina’s head tilts back against the wall allowing the younger woman better access. Emma nipping rougher with the encouraging sounds dripping off the lips from the woman above her.

 

Regina’s hands trail up the long white sleeves of Emma’s white gown, suddenly bringing forth to Emma the reminder that she isn’t the pure princess her mother wanted. She will never be what her mother wants. Emma funnels that anger into attacking blood red lips. Regina responds in turn forcing her tongue into Emma’s mouth as her hands come up to cup Emma’s face, holding the woman to her tightly.

 

Emma grows bolder with the other woman’s tongue in her mouth. Her hand still underneath the dark tulle she slides her hand higher, cupping silky flesh.

 

“We should probably stop,” Regina pants, pulling away from Emma. Her hands holding the other woman gently at bay. “I refuse to be bedded in a storage room. I’m a bit more refined.”

 

Emma looks on with wild eyes.  “I’ll find you a bed,” Emma chirps breathlessly. “We have plenty.”

 

“And have your mother find you in a state of undress with a woman in a compromising position on the night of your ball. I’m sure she’d be just thrilled,” Regina sasses.

 

“Okay, right,” Emma agrees trying to think with her brain and failing miserably. But then she remembers what the woman had said. “Run away with me,” she asks impulsively.

 

The queen arches her brow. “We couldn’t do that. We can’t... Can we?”

 

“You’re right; it’s stupid,” Emma canters back in a huff. A denial that lasts about two seconds, before she tugs the other woman back close, brushing their lips together frantically before pulling back.

 

“How can I even trust you I’ve just met you?” Emma’s asks breathlessly as she recovers.

 

“Perhaps, darling, but I’ve been you,” the queen says simply.

 

Emma bites her lip in thought.

 

“But we shouldn’t,” the queen curtails definitively.

 

“Yes, we shouldn’t,” Emma agrees superficially, yet her body learns forward, yearning toward the other woman.

 

“You’re a smart girl,” the queen praises but it sounds more like chastising. “Don’t make a stupid mistake-“

 

“-Hey!” Emma interrupts. “Making a stupid mistake brought me the best thing in my life: my son! And I’ll be damned if I’ll let you or anyone else tell me what I can and cannot do! We’re running away!”

 

“This is a highly rash decision,” the queen cautions. Her good-cop-bad-cop routine working wonderfully. Emma is brash, exactly like she had thought. Telling her she  shouldn’t do something makes her want it all the more, just like any spoiled brat. “You can’t be serious,” the queen snorts incredulously, barely containing her glee.

 

“Yeah, I am,” Emma says simply.

 

“You don’t even know the first thing about me,” Regina snaps.

 

“I know, I want to see what you look like with my fingers inside you,” Emma quips.

 

“That’s quite a vulgar thing for a princess to say,” Regina comments.

 

“But not to do?” Emma gives back.

 

“You’re incorrigible,” Regina sighs.

 

“That’s not a no,” Emma points out. “Tell me to leave you alone and I will,” Emma affirms earnestly. “Or don’t, and I’ll go get some stuff and we can get out of here.”

 

“You know this is crazy right? Running away from a family that loves you, just to have sex with an attractive stranger.”

 

“Well if the sex is awful, I’ll come straight back,” Emma snarks.

 

“Oh, it won’t be,” Regina says darkly, as she trails a fingernail down Emma’s chest.

 

“You think mighty highly of yourself.” Her words causing the queen to throw a predatory smile that causes Emma’s brain to short circuit. “...Okay, so, I’m gonna go get a bag and my boy.” Emma dashes out of the small room.

 

Regina files her nails as she waits.

 

Emma returns out of breath with a carpet bag in one hand and baby on her opposite hip. “Let’s go.”

 

“If I point out that your willingness to run away with a stranger really points less to running towards someone and more towards running away from something, will you change your mind?” Regina challenges.

 

“Oh, you no longer want to have sex?” Emma asks seriously. “I could have sworn by your dilated pupils you were just as turned on as I was, but if you don’t want to, I’m sure I could find some other woman to tickle my pearl. Word on the street is that I’m pretty fair.”

 

“I can’t imagine why your parents don’t like you.” Regina rolls her eyes.

 

“All I care about right now is whether you like me.” Emma repeats Regina’s earlier moment of trailing her finger down the other woman’s chest seductively, causing Regina to shiver slightly.

 

“Welcome to the best night of your life.” Regina offers her hand to the other woman.

 

“What the fuc-dge was that!” Emma yells as they suddenly appear in a new room- a rather large bedroom to be exact.

 

“Figured it would be faster than walking,” the queen says matter-a-factly.

 

Emma sets her baby down, before turning back to the dark haired woman before her. “Now, where were we?” She smirks pulling her close into another heated kiss, her hands wandering, seeking searing skin.

 

“And people think I’m deranged-“ Regina huffs. “Get your hand out of my dress; there’s a child present! Go put him to bed in the next room,” she commands sternly. “I’ll be waiting.” She looks up darkly though her lashes. The suggestive lilt in her voice doing things to the blonde’s insides.

 

When Emma returns to the room what she finds instead is that the other woman had changed into a silky nightdress then promptly passed out on the bed. Regina really had no intention of sleeping with Emma.

 

“Great,” Emma sighs as she figures she might as well sleep here.

 

 

 

 

~0~

 

Emma awakes in a strange bed. She rubs the sleep from her eyes as she remembers the events of last night and dark mysterious woman. Emma turns to see dark hair fanned out on the pillow beside her. She looks peaceful.

 

Emma extricates her limbs from the other woman’s body, sitting up to get a better look. The woman is breath taking, with her strong jaw and high cheeks framing her lips still slightly stained from her thick lipstick.

 

As Emma stares down at the other woman it is at this point she realises where in fact she has seen her before. A feeling of repulsion grows in her stomach as she recognizes this woman she was spooning for who she must be. Her likeness an exact replica of the painting that used to hang in the east wing of the castle. A painting of the woman who had raised her mother only to cast her aside in favor of her own evil agenda, a woman who dastardly deeds speak for themselves, a woman for whom killing is second nature.

 

The queen who seems so much more petite that her legend would lead one to believe, seems so much less lethal and more almost human from this angle. With Emma looming over her sleeping form it would be so easy to just reach down and strangle the life from her throat. She would be helpless. Would her mother be happy? Proud? She doesn’t know so she shakes the vengeful thoughts from her head.

 

Emma tries to reckon the death toll of this woman before her and the woman who touched her so tenderly and spoke so candidly.

 

“You’re the Evil Queen!” Emma screams in the agony of what she only wishes was disbelief.

 

“Hell of a way to wake up,” the queen groggily rolls onto her back, propping herself up on her arms to face Emma properly.

 

“Regina, you tricked me!”

 

“That’s a little informal don’t you think?” The evil queen chastises.

 

“Informal was thrown out the window the minute you stuck your tongue down my throat!” Emma argues.

 

Regina chuckles darkly at that memory.

 

Emma shoots off the bed to begin pacing, yelling, “You knew who I was! You tried to seduce me! You were going to sleep with me!”

 

“Let me remind you whose hand was up whose skirt,” the queen chides. “Twice.”

 

Emma shirks back, slightly embarrassed as the pink rises on her ears. She wraps her hands protectively around her middle for just a moment before she regains her momentum. “You’re the Evil Queen!” Emma argues again.

 

“Well I’ve always found that to be a misnomer,” Regina quips. “People are always so afraid of things they don’t understand. Now isn’t that right, Em-muh?” Her lips pop as the name rolls off her tongue. She gives Emma a pointed look. “Now if I’m so evil, did I do anything to hurt you or your son? Did I do anything that you didn’t want to happen? Hmmm?”

 

Emma opens her mouth to respond but comes up blank upon beginning to speak and promptly closes it.

 

“Thought so,” Regina hums. “Now, I really must be getting ready for the day.” At this moment Regina stands from the bed and begins faux-innocently undressing from her nightgown giving Emma a glimpse of all she was missing.

 

Emma startles backwards at the sudden sight put on show before her. “Put some clothes on,” she commands haughtily thought poorly shielded eyes.

 

“You’re free to leave at anytime,” Regina yells back absentmindedly as she fingers through her closet. “I won’t keep you. But I will say it’s a long journey back. You and your boy should probably eat some breakfast before you go, lest I have Snow White seeking vengeance on me for your deaths.”

 

“Fine,” Emma grumbles, leaving the room.

 

“Nothing I told you was a lie,” the queen calls out to her retreating form.

 

...

 

Emma comes downstairs with Henry in tow. They settle in to the table and Regina sets out a pie.

 

Baby Henry waves his hands oblivious to the tension in the room.

 

“How do I know it’s not poisoned?” Emma questions, her hands posed on hip defensively.

 

Regina sticks her middle finger in the pie, swirling it around, eventually pulling out her finger and licking it clean while moaning, not before she lets some drip down her chin and lazily licks that away too.

 

“Well, that was just unnecessary,” Emma chastises as her heart beats faster and she tires to ignore all the images her mind is supplying.

 

“Satisfied?” the queen probes. When Emma remains speechless she spells it out, “Was that enough for you to believe that the pie is safe to eat?”

 

“Yep,” Emma tightlips as the queen serves out plates.

 

After that Regina eats the rest of the pie daintily with a fork and only the occasional moan of delight.

 

As they finish their slices, Regina hums to herself something about growing boys need their vitamins and suddenly a bowl of oranges appear on the table. “Want me to test these too?” Regina smirks as she asks.

 

Emma wants to sink into her chair, but at the same time she does need to know and she nods.

 

Regina magically slices the orange in half before plunging two fingers into the centre. Emma groans as she shifts uncomfortably in her chair, watching aptly as Regina works the orange, like gazing upon the site of horrible carnage. She doesn’t want to see, yet curiosity won’t let her look away.

 

Emma swallows drily. She needs to suppress and destroy these lustful feelings bubbling up about her mother’s evil nemesis.

 

After Regina brings the orange up to her mouth and drinks, she hands the mangled flesh over to Emma. “Seems safe to me.”

 

Emma takes the fruit aimlessly as her mind runs wild. When Emma remains dazed, Regina magically peels and pulls apart the other half before sending it over to Henry’s plate. Henry clapping gleefully at the magic.

 

Regina clears her throat to draw Emma’s attention away from the fact that she had been starring at the queen’s chest for the past five minutes while they ate. “You should really get your bag, if you want to make it any amount of distance before nightfall.”

 

“Right, right,” Emma agrees distractedly as she stands pushing in her chair at the table.

 

...

 

As Emma proceeds down the stairs she sees Regina holding her son and before she can yell for her to put him down and leave him alone, Emma notices she’s playing peek-a-boo with him and he’s laughing and clapping. Emma smiles despite herself.

 

Emma approaches them, clearing her throat to make herself known.

 

“Sorry, I was just-“ Regina begins.

 

“Playing with a baby,” Emma finishes with a smile.

 

The queen suddenly shy at being called out on her less than evil behaviour, hands the boy over to his mother. “You should really be going.”

 

“I never thought I’d see murders getting their kicks out of playing with babies,” Emma says wistfully.

 

“Oh, I’m sure you already have. Your parents aren’t saints,” Regina gives back.

 

Emma doesn’t want to dignify that with a response. She crosses her arms skeptically.

 

“Regardless,” Regina continues, “I’m sure they are worried about you. You should be getting back.”

 

“What I still don’t get is, why didn’t you kill me? I was sound asleep in your bed and lived to tell the tale. Wouldn’t that be the best revenge on my mother?” Emma suggests.

 

“I’m complicated,” Regina snorts defensively, with a shrug.

 

“You didn’t sleep with me either and you so could have, why?” Emma presses.

 

“So suddenly I’m suspicious, because I don’t sleep with or kill a drunk horny princess?”  Regina snaps incredulous.

 

“I was not that-“ Emma begins to argue.

 

“Dear, you had your hand in skirt before you knew my name,” Regina reminds. “Perhaps the reason for my inaction was I just didn’t find you attractive,” Regina suggests.

 

“Well that’s a lie,” Emma snorts.

 

“You think you’re irresistible?” the queen proses, taunting.

 

“Oh, come off it! I felt your attraction dripping down your thigh while my hand was in your skirt before I knew your name,” Emma retorts exasperated.     

 

The queen steps dangerously close to Emma. “Well I’m sure if I checked right now, I wouldn’t find a desert,” the queen snips back.

 

Emma throws free hand up in the air. “We’re going home!”

 

“To what?” Regina chortles.

 

Emma puts Henry down behind her.  “That’s enough! I’ve had quite enough of your games!” Emma shoves the queen against the wall violently. “My parents love me!”

 

“It’s easy to love someone you don’t know, isn’t it? You can just fill in the blanks with whatever makes you happiest- Loving an ideal and not a real person. I suppose it’s also easy to do the opposite: assume people have every quality you hate so you have an excuse to despise them...”

 

“They- they aren’t like that,” Emma retorts but her heart isn’t in it and it comes off more as a broken attempt to convince herself.

 

The queen sidesteps Emma, extricating herself from the feeble grasp. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry they don’t,” Regina replies sombrely.

 

“You’re a bitch, you know that?” Emma provokes.

 

“Really? I’m so intrigued to hear how you came up with that,” the queen drawls sarcastically.

 

“I was fine!” Emma yells. “I was fine with how things were.” Tears are welling in Emma’s eyes.

 

“Yes, I’m sure jumping strangers in closets is perfect behaviour for someone who is satisfied with their life,” Regina quips sardonically.

 

Emma shoves her back against the wall, slamming her head hard, as she presses their lips together. “I loathe you,” she grunts between kisses.

 

“I’m sure you do,” Regina says into her lips, before going in for a deeper kiss, her hands skimming up Emma’s back pulling the blonde closer.

 

Emma slips her tongue into the mix and Regina moans in appreciating as she bites down lightly. Emma holds her more forcefully to the wall, her hands digging into Regina’s shoulders.

 

Emma slips her thigh between the other woman’s legs, capturing the the surprised puff of air in a searing kiss.

 

Emma drags her bottom lip down Regina’s throat, slowly, while Regina peels herself from the wall to gain more friction against Emma. Emma bites down on Regina’s neck, before continuing her descent, kissing lightly the exposed cleavage, causing Regina to basically whimper. Emma smirks to herself.

 

When suddenly the sound Henry babbling behind them draws Emma’s attention and she slips away from Regina’s grasp seamlessly.

 

Emma goes over and scoops up the toddler. “We should go,” Emma says with absolutely no conviction.

 

“Right,” Regina replies just as breathless, her chest still heaving from the exchange. But suddenly feeling very vulnerable she straightens her clothing and hair.

 

Emma looks out the window, squinting as if searching for something. “It’s gotten a bit late in the day,” she says casually. “Maybe this day’s a wash. We could leave tomorrow,” she suggests hopefully.

 

“I though you loathed me,” Regina repeats with a small smile. “But you’re welcome to stay,” Regina attempts to sound neutral as if the decision matters not to her.

 

“I should put Henry down for his nap.”

 

“I’m sure you have no ulterior motives for that,” Regina snarks.

 

Emma turns back from the steps to wink.

 

~0~

 

 

When Emma returns back, she doesn’t find Regina where she had left her. So she wanders around the house looking until she sees a door ajar and follows the sunlight outside. She finds Regina in the garden sitting by a fountain, her gaze blankly unfocused on the distance.

 

Emma sits down beside the queen who violently startles at the intrusion to her quiet thoughts.

 

“What are you even doing here?”  Regina words approach a whine of disbelief, her eyes unable to meet Emma’s. She skims her hand though the water, watching how quickly it falls though her fingers.

 

She turns to look at Emma, waiting for a response. She steadies herself momentarily stunned by how the sun seems to frame Emma’s head like a halo.

 

“I was just looking for you,” Emma responds.

 

Regina rolls her eyes. “I’m asking a much biggest question than why are you in my garden.”

 

“My answer remains the same. Well maybe not you exactly but someone like you. Someone like me,” Emma praddles on.

 

“I see,” Regina states cautiously, as she props herself up by her hands, her eyes turned back to the water.

 

Emma takes that moment to cover Regina’s hand with her own.

 

Regina’s wide eyes instantly dart down to the tender motion, so unsure if it really was intentional. Why would someone treat her with such simple affection? Emma rubs her thumb unconsciously across the expanse of the top of Regina’s hand as they sit there in silence. This wasn’t the afternoon Emma had expected but she’s sensing a pattern that Regina doesn’t seem to stay in the same mood when left alone.

 

She hates the havoc this woman is dealing her heart. She feels like she’s doesn’t even know herself, yet she feels more alive than she has in years.

 

They stay like that.

 

“It’s probably time for Henry to eat,” mumbles Regina to herself breaking the silence. “And I have business to attend to. Eat whatever you find,” Regina waves off as she stands abruptly leaving Emma in her wake. Trying hard not to focus on the feelings simple affection sent brewing within her.

 

 

~0~

 

Regina stalks off to the opposite side of her castle, peaching herself at the vanity. “I see you’ve throughly had the princess,” Sidney surmises from inside the mirror, a hint of disgust appearing in his voice.

 

“Hardly,” Regina bristles, “but that’s the point. You see. You were right. She is very easy to manipulate. The intelligence you gleamed from spying on her has paid off beautifully.” Regina intones as she does up her makeup.

 

“Acting like a piece of meat attracts a starving dog, how novel,” he says unamused.

 

“Don’t be so glib. This is working. I will break Snow’s heart without even touching it!” She begins to cackle.

 

A grin rises upon Sidney’s face to match.

 

 

~0~

 

Regina returns downstairs, her dress trailing behind her as she throws a disdainful glance towards the table and Emma’s ‘meal.’ She goes to the icebox and pulls out some vegetables to prepare herself something to eat.

 

“This cant be fun for him,” Regina announces after she begins eating, her fork pointing at Henry.

 

“He’s a toddler. He’ll live. It’s not like  he lives a vibrant life back home.”

 

“But surely he has many toys and people to fuss over him,” Regina assumes.

 

“Why are you so concerned?” Emma prods.

 

“I’m not,” Regina replies instantly defensive.

 

Emma goes back to stirring her porridge aimlessly. “You’re sure taking your sweet time killing me,” Emma mumbles mostly to herself.

 

“You’re sure taking your sweet time leaving, for someone who supposedly values your life,” Regina counters. “Unless you don’t,” she supplies gingerly.

 

“My life is great. Thanks for asking,” Emma huffs as she angrily shovels the mush into her mouth.

 

Regina stands coming behind Emma and as she does the blonde tenses. “You seem stressed,” Regina cooes. “Let me help.”

 

Before Emma can flinch away Regina’s fingers and digging into her shoulders, kneading and into the muscles throughly. Emma flinches crying out sharply when Regina presses into something tender, then moans when the queen relaxes it away.

 

“I didn’t know evil queens give such good back rubs,” Emma gives back, as tilts her head to the side to offer better access.

 

“I’ll put it in my next advertisement, don’t you worry, dear,” Regina deadpans as she presses purposely harder to make Emma squirm. “But I assure you they are just the prelude.”

 

...

 

 

~0~ later that night

 

“You looked so harmless like that human even: sweat dripping down, running between your breasts as you are perched on all fours, getting throughly fucked.”

 

“Harmless,” the queen laughs. “There’s a box in the top of my closet that can prove otherwise,” she retorts sharply with an sultry edge that makes Emma nervous.

 

“What’s in there? Still beating hearts?” Emma quips, unsure if she’s joking on not. She knows the woman really is dangerous, but that’s what makes it so thrilling and addictive and a completely compelling argument that this should stop.

 

“No, dear, those are in my crypt. The box is full of—- other items more suited to particular activities,” the words drawled out.

 

“I see.” Emma audibly swallows.

 

“Perhaps if you stick around, you might get to really see,” Regina replies wickedly. Emma feels a renewed wetness clinging to her thighs as she imagines the contents. But no, she’s leaving. This was a one time deal. Now it’s out of her system and she can go back home and marry some prick and make her mother happy and forget all about those dark eyes that dance with too much emotion and the way those dusky nipples feel on her lips, the way her rich voice husks when she comes undone, the way she pulls Emma closer always closer, the way she nibbles on Emma’s earlobe as her fingers drip and twist.

 

Emma breathing hard again just thinking about what she is leaving behind.

 

Regina stretches out lazily on the bed, pulling her arms above her head. Emma can’t help but greedily grab those perfect breasts thrusted upwards at her. Emma kneads and prods. Regina moans as Emma pinches the taught peaks. And just before something gets started again Henry begins wailing in the next room.

 

Emma pulls herself up off the other woman’s hips and throws back on her under-slip dress to go check on Henry.

 

As she walks across the hall she thinks to herself how she should really leave in the morning and should definitely never let that happen again.

 

 

~0~

 

Emma doesn’t leave the next day. Or the next day.  Or the day after that.

 

She’s stalling.  Everyday a new excuse. Today’s too hot. Well that looks like rain. Aren’t Sundays a day of rest?

 

Maybe she likes where things are headed. Maybe she likes watching the queen play with Henry when she thinks no one is watching. Maybe she came a little undone when the queen tapped a dollop of cream to her nose with her pointer finger.

 

Maybe by some bizarre domesticity this feels better than being treated so distantly at home. Her parents always expecting her to behave a certain way talk like a lady, sit like a lady, “After all you’re a mother now,” Snow’s words ring though her head. No one really concerned at digging too deep to discover her happiness. Maybe she’s damn tired of worrying so much about what she ‘should’ do  and should focus instead on what she wants to do: Regina over and over, a toxic drug she’s beginning to love.

 

Maybe the novelty of someone so forbidden has worn off, but in it’s place Emma begins to see a person behind the murderer and that’s a scary thought. She sees how her hair frizzes in the morning, in cute little whispy wings that make Emma just want to run her fingers though those dark tresses. She really should leave before she sees more.

 

And for how so supposedly evil she is, Emma hasn’t seen her do anything so horrible.

 

 

~0~

 

 

“You know you’re really not so bad. I think evil might be a misnomer,” Emma admits out of the blue.

 

Regina laughs coily. “Well I wasn’t the one who smacked evil in from of my name. But it really makes you wonder why they did, doesn’t it?” Regina proses with a twinkle in her eye.

 

“I heard it was because you slaughtered a whole village,” Emma supplies.

 

“Ha! No more than a dozen people and they deserved it. Tell me the next story!” Regina bubbles with excitement.

 

“Killed a man on his wedding day then bedded his wife?”

 

“Only half true and not that part that I wish was,” Regina replies almost bitterly.

 

“You eat children?”

 

Regina grins like Cheshire Cat at that one. “No dear, but I would happily eat you.”

 

It takes a moment for Emma to compose herself after that flabbergasting turn of events.

“I think you talk a big game, your majesty.”

 

“Call me that in bed and I’ll show you it’s not a game,” Regina dares.

 

Emma blushes turning her gaze downward unable to meet the eyes of the queen.

 

Regina grabs Emma’s chin between two fingers and tilts it upward to match their gaze. “You know I slaughter villages off whims,” Regina bluntly informs her of the reality, trying to frighten her away. The push and pull the cat and mouse and she’s been letting Emma get too close for comfort.

 

“Maybe today, but that’s who you are,” Emma replies wistfully. “But I’ve seen you for who you can be.”

 

“You silly, foolish little girl,” Regina cautions. “I’d just as soon crush your heart if you looked at me the wrong way on a bad day.”

 

Emma ponders this. “No, I don’t think so,” she comes to her conclusion.

 

This frustrates Regina so she stomps off.

 

 

~0~

 

“It seems you and the princess are getting close,” Sidney suggests knowingly. Particular images of them walking arm and arm and standing close close to each other as they walk though the garden comes to mind, among other things, so unlike how she would seduce loyalty from other’s before.

 

“I suppose,” Regina sighs, feigning disinterest. She studies her nails.

 

“An outside observer may even think you’re smitten with the girl,” he goads.

 

The evil queen laughs. “Oh Sidney,” she cooes. “You of all people should know how I good I am at making people think I care about them.”

 

His face falls for a moment, before she reaches up and caresses it though the mirror.

 

“I’ll have her eating out of the palm of my hand soon enough, just you wait. Willing to do anything for me. She’ll kill her own mother just because I asked her to.”

 

“You are evil,” Sidney smirks.

Regina crackles excited with her coming victory, but something within feels hallow, so she pushes that deep down

 

It weighs on her. Sidney’s words echo in Regina’s head. She requires distance. She needs to put distance between herself and Emma, so she exiles herself telling Emma she has business to attend to and not to bother her.

 

Emma wants to trust Regina but part of her wonders what mayhem Regina is taking part in. She almost wills herself to leave by the third day. She is sooner glad she didn’t, for Regina comes storming down and determinedly shoves Emma to the wall, kissing her roughly. An action that quickly escalates.

 

...

 

“Fuck me! Make me yours!“ Emma cries, as she writhes in bed.

 

“You were mine the moment I met you,” Regina purrs. Before sobering slightly, “You’ll ruin me.”

 

“Ill ruin you again and again,” Emma replies breathlessly.

 

Regina growls.

 

 

 

~0~

 

 

Regina finally spends some time spying on the White Castle though her magic mirror, when Queen Snow approaches the mirror her visage severe. “Emma is missing and I haven’t heard anything from her and she didn’t even tell me she was leaving. That’s not like her,” Snow babbles and whines. It all sounds very trite to Regina.

 

“Regina she’s gone. I know you have her. This is a warning. We are coming,” Snows words suddenly sobered and direct. Oh the diplomat tone. Regina chuckles, Snow really be thinking she would feel threatened by those words. Pathetic.

 

But Regina does still request Emma send a letter home that explains how she is doing well, just so it can break Snow’s heart.

 

Once Emma’s letter arrives to her mother she reads it stricken with a look of utter disgust on her face. “What is this bullshit!” she yells holding the letter up to the mirror for Regina to see. “Regina, I don’t know if you listening but there’s no way Emma would consent to this, so if you’ve touched my daughter I will kill you. That’s the line in the sand. I will rescue her and leave nothing left of you,” Snow fervently vows.

 

Emma’s brushing her hair at the vanity, when suddenly Sidney appears to her from inside the mirror.

 

This starlets Emma and she jumps back confusing and instantly confrontational.

 

“Relax, princess. I can’t hurt you in here. I’m in a mirror,” he states dismissively annoyed that he has to lay everything out for Emma. “ I’m not the one you should be worried about.”

 

“What do you mean?” Emma replies  skeptically.

 

“She’s the Evil Queen, even her name is a harbinger, yet you just can’t seem to leave. Can you? You just willingly let yourself be used for your mother’s own destruction.”

 

“She’s not using me,” Emma snaps, taking a step away, sure in her convictions.

 

“If you truly believe that then I’m sorry to have to show you this,” Sidney says entirely not sorry.

 

He replays Emma a snippet of his earlier conversation with the queen, where she says, “I’ll have her eating out of the palm of my hand soon enough, just you wait. Willing to do anything for me. She’ll kill her own mother just because I asked her to.”

 

Emma backs away from the mirror. Her hands shaking as she covers her mouth. “No, no, that’s not true. That can’t be true. She’s not- she wouldn’t,” Emma decries.

 

“Oh but she is and she would,” Sidney corrects smugly.

 

“No, no, you’re wrong! You just like messing with me,” Emma tries to convince herself. “She really might love me?” The words come out before Emma makes that choice.

 

Sidney waits patiently for Emma to process. “You’re pathetic you know that,” Emma snaps. “Telling me lies like this-“ Sidney wants this to finish faster so he shows the clip of the Regina caressing his face to throw her over the edge. Emma tears her face from the mirror. She poops down on the floor remaining silent for a few minutes.

 

“Do you think she could feel something for me if I did things differently?” Emma suddenly asks, her eyes hopeful.

 

“What do you think?” Sidney replies pointedly.

 

Emma breaks down into tears, finally loosing  her last thread.

 

“I’m sorry,” Sidney masks the lie sombrely.

 

Emma scrubs the tears from her face, huffing, “it’s fine I’m better off without her.” She gathers her skirt and marches off.

 

She is slamming all her stuff back into her bag.

 

Regina comes waltzing in from the clomping noises. “What are you doing?” she asks seriously.

 

“Your boy toy spilled the beans,” Emma spits without looking up from her packing. Her back remains towards Regina.

 

Regina flinches. “My boy toy?” she scoffs. “What the hell are you talking about?”

 

“Oh god, how many do you have?” Emma moans, running her hands over her face. “How could I be so obtuse?”

 

“You couldn’t honestly believe that weasel?” Regina goads approaches Emma’s space.

 

“No. No. Step away. I don’t want to be near you right now. You were using me to the fuck with my mother. No you were fucking me to fuck with my mother! How could you?!” Emma bellows, hurt and angry tear forming without her consent.

 

Regina does as she is told, like a dog with its tale between its legs. She looks down at her hands. “Okay,” she breaks the monotony of Emma’s packing. “It was true in the beginning, but then then it wasn’t.”

 

“That’s a load of bull if I ever heard one,” Emma snaps.

 

“No, no, it’s true,” Regina pleads. She takes a step closer grabbing Emma’s hands only for them to be pulled away.  “You must believe me,” she begs.

 

“All you’ve ever done is lie,” Emma says defeated. “I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”

 

Regina retreats, but turns back as she approaches the threshold of the room. “I won’t keep you and I certainly don’t deserve you,” Regina says truthfully. “But please whatever you do don’t give her the satisfaction of killing me if you ever even cared about me a little, if you ever thought any of this was real don’t let it be her, if it must be done. I want it to be you.”

 

Sweet Emma confused. Yes she wants Regina to hurt and pay for her betrayal but, “Why why would-?”

 

“Because of what you’ll tell them. They will abandon you if you tell them what really happened- what you chose- who you are.”

 

Emma remains rigid, rightfully closed off and upset.

 

“You’re right I used you and manipulated you but now right now I’m begging you to believe I’m not. This is in your best interest. Lie.  And go back to your cosy life and find a nice prince and settle down.”

 

“But I don’t want any of that,” Emma cries out.

 

“But you want a family,” Regina speaks knowingly, “and that’s the way to keep them. “

 

 

~0~

 

Regina bides her time pacing, but all too soon Emma comes knocking on her door. An army echoing in the distance, bows pointed at her from all angles, Snow at the helm.

 

“Regina, I don’t want to do this,” Emma cries.

 

“You need to not care about me!” Regina musters up all the anger she  doesn’t feel. She must not let Emma see her cry. Emma can’t know how much she- she can’t. But with her dying breath she will secure Emma’s further and keep Emma’s secret. “Emma, I need you to do this,” Regina grunts.

 

“I’m not strong enough,” Emma retains.

 

 

 

“You’re so much more than you’ll ever know, my sunshine girl,” Regina tries to keep the emotion out of her voice as it clumps in her throat. That’s as close as she’ll ever get to saying what she wants to say to Emma. She can’t make this harder on her.

 

This is her redemption, her punishment. How it always was supposed to end. She can’t be saved, but Emma. Heroes, she scoffs in her mind, that’s what they do save others no matter the cost. And maybe just maybe she’d like to die as Regina, good and kind- the person Daniel wanted to run away with. She blinks the tears back from her eyes. She welcomes death an old friend. After sending so many to their grave this should be just another day in her life.

 

“I’m going to turn around then count to three then run your sword right through me,” Regina states calmly with resolute. Her head titled back towards the sky and as she does a ray of sun breaks through the clouds, illuminating her dark visage. Almost peaceful.

 

She turns. One. Two. Three. Regina feels the blade pierce through her intestines. Then it all moves too fast.

 

.

.

.

 

Regina sits up suddenly in bed soaked in sweat with horrible stomach cramps. She brushes the clumps of hair from her brow, and wanders downstairs to make a bit of tea to calm the unshakable feelings raging within her. She notices Henry had left the tv on and  she reaches over to grab the remote to shut it off as she passes.

 

She can’t sleep the rest of the night. Her hands instinctively resting on her stomach, a previous nervous gesture that takes on new meaning as she constantly checks for her own wholeness. Breathing though her nose to calm the beating in heart. She wants to call Emma. Emma would understand. But she can’t bring herself to. It’s late. She’s probably curled up with her pirate right now and she just can’t get that picture out of her mind.

 

Maybe in the morning she’ll say something if she doesn’t think better of it. She not trying to downplay Emma vision of the figure in hood running her through with a sword but the similarities are striking.

 

She slumps into the chair in her study. It was strange to feel all the evil queen’s emotions. Again. All the hurt she must be feeling without Regina’s love. The fate she cursed her other half to. Herself to. She runs a hand though her hair trying to grapple with her new depths of understanding. She summons a drink to her hand.

 

Eventually she passes out from exhaustion and achol into a dreamless sleep.

 

...

 

The first ray of sun brings her to. She feels stiff from her odd sleeping position and still so exhausted from her brain on overdrive. She needs to process everything without alcohol. God her head is throbbing how much did she drink she wonders. She dons sunglasses and and her peacoat as she decides to head out for the day maybe some fresh air to clear her mind of rubble.

 

She passes the spot where Emma slashed the queen and she feels herself falter. Before she shakes the thoughts from her mind. She finds her feet have brought her to the office of Archie. Figures, she rolls her eyes.

 

Her hands twist within themselves as she lingers outside the door unsure if she really wants to head in. Unsure if she really wants to involve more people. Burden more people. She doesn’t deserve his help. She sighs, bribing her hand up to knock.

 

A friendly voice from inside yells back, “it’s open.”

 

Regina steps in, standing still right inside the threshold, silently.

 

Archie is looking at papers down on his desk. He announces, “I’ll be right with you,” before turning and poorly concealing his surprise at seeing Regina.

 

“Good morning, Regina. What can I do for you?”

 

“I - uh-,” Regina hesitates on t he verge of panic and leaving.

 

“You can sit down, if it would make you more comfortable,” he offers gently, sensing her inner struggle.

 

“I’d rather not,” she affirms, as she heads over to the window, looking out at the grass below. “So I had this dream...”

 

And she recounts the entire narrative to the patient doctor. And at some point she must have laid down on the sofa for she sits up there when finished, and asks desperately, “What should I do?” She feels so small, but she’s at such a loss.

 

“Far be it from me to tell you what to do or how to feel about this,” he smiles. “That dream must have been very traumatic bringing up lots of old feelings.”

 

“Yes,” Regina agrees looking down at her hands.

 

“You know you don’t have to risk your life to be forgiven, to be seen as a hero, as redeemed? To be worthy of love and happiness. You don’t have to change yourself to be afforded these things. You are already kind. You are already forgiven by all here in Storybrooke, besides one person.”

 

“Who is that?” Regina asks eagerly.

 

“Yourself,” he replies pointedly.

 

“Oh.” Regina’s face falls.

 

“And that’s okay self love is a hefty process. It takes time. What you went though as a young girl no one should ever have to experience. Deep down you feel like a gaping wound and at that time the only way you could find to fill that void was anger. Hurt people hurt people and act on impulse unable to see past their pain. But now you know what you did was wrong. You’re striving to be better. And you are making emends the best you can. That’s a wonderful thing. You should look into yourself and forgive your scared hurt little girl. We have.”

 

Regina hung on every word only pausing her rapt attention to descretely wipe a tear from her cheek.

 

“Your work now is to understand the difference between acute pain that necissates attention and old pain that throbs out of habit. There is a difference between knowing yourself and nursing old wounds, especially if used to distract from the feelings of the here and now. Is there something you wish to talk about?” His words pointed as he speaks. His mind reminiscing on a blonde laying right where Regina is now defiantly saying, “I don’t want to talk about Regina,” after spilling too many bottled truths about the brunette the last time they spoke.

 

He knows better than to meddle. He learned that at the spite of his parents. He brushes those thoughts from his mind before continuing. “Infinite patience is not a virtue, you know? Not if you’re haunted by all things you did not say, did not do. Love is a delicate violent process of finding truths two people can share.”

 

“What are you implying?” Regina questions, defensive. Narrowing her eyes in intimidation, trying to see though the psychiatrist.

 

“Nothing specific, Madam Mayor,” the cricket flinches, wriggling under her harsh gaze. “Only that you don’t always have to sacrifice for everyone else’s happiness. There’s a difference between being selfish and self assured. I know people say that love is sacrifice and they’re not wrong, but if what you’re doing is only hurting yourself maybe it’s time to try things a new way.”

 

“I see,” Regina hums still skeptical.

 

...

 

The cricket’s words weigh on her mind all day and even into the night as she falls into a fitful sleep.

 

But in the morning comes some clarity of what she should do.

 

~0~

 

“Emma, how are things with Hook?” Regina asks casually as she circles the edge of her glass with her finger.

 

“Good,” Emma squeaks much too fast.

 

Regina covers Emma’s hand with her own. “I’m glad to hear it,” she lies politely. It kills her inside.

 

“Why- why do you ask?” Emma can barely contain how nervous she is.

 

“Just making conversation,” Regina admits innocently.

 

She can’t do it now, if Emma really wants this to work with Hook, who is she to stand in the way? So Regina pretends to look at her watch and makes up an excuse to leave.

 

She gets all the way to the door before she really breathes and as she does the nerve she thought she lost is back.

 

She turns around, “Actually, there is something I wanted to tell you,” Regina begins reclaiming her seat  on the sofa next to Emma.

 

“Okay,” Emma replies slightly concerned at where this could be headed.

 

“I’m - I’m not straight,” Regina’s words coming out on a single exhale.

 

“I see,” Emma intones. After a moment. “Why are you telling me this?” she asks afraid of the answer.

 

“Emma, I think you know why,” Regina replies ruefully.

 

Emma studies her face carefully, but says nothing. So many thoughts bounce through her head.

 

Regina takes her silence as a bad sign and gathers herself to leave. She stands and straightens her skirt about five times before she holds herself strong as she walks to the door.

 

“Regina?” Emma calls.

 

“Yes?” Regina tries to keep her voice neutral.

 

“Thank you for trusting me,” Emma says with wonderment.

 

“We’re friends, Emma,” Regina says by way of explanation as she desperately hopes they were more.

 

When Regina is safely on the other side of the door she slumps against it, the emotional toll too high. She takes a series of rapid breaths to keep the tears at bay and after a moment she walks away.

 

...

 

A knock on the door pulls Regina from her rumination. “Emma.” A tone of surprise. “What are you doing here?”

 

And Emma just dives right on crashing her lips into Regina’s. Regina stands still in shock a moment before kissing her back. When they finally separate breathless with only eyes for each other suddenly Regina sobers, “What about Hook?”

 

“We’re through. He’s probably drinking his sorrows at the Wild Goat right now- No don’t go and gloat,” Emma warns.

 

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Regina replies innocently, but the gleam in her eye says differently.

 

Emma approaches Regina taking the smaller woman’s arms in her hands. “You know I promised, I’d bring you your happy ending,” Emma smiles her eyes gleaming as she looks upon Regina.

 

“I fucking hate endings,” Regina replies as she turns her face downward to hide the tears welling in them.

 

Emma slides her hands up wiping them away and cupping her cheeks as she leans in for their very happy start.