As they cross the lawn toward the mayor's mansion it suddenly occurs to Emma to wonder if Regina expects Emma to carry her over the threshold. With a sleeping Henry cradled in Regina's arms that is all but impossible. Emma watches Henry enviously, she has been hallucinating about her own bed since the clock passed midnight a while ago. She has a hand at the small of Regina's back, and they haven't spoken since they slunk out the back door at Granny's, away from party-goers' eyes.
When she thinks about it, they've had far too little time to talk lately, and Emma suddenly realizes that she doesn't actually know what Regina's expectations for a wedding are. They've talked about living arrangements, about Henry, about whether either of them is capable of this kind of commitment, about Henry again (he's the one who not-so-subtly kept asking them about marriage, and as much as they were already dedicated to him and each other, he has been acting skittish ever since the curse started breaking, and they finally decided that such a tangible statement of commitment to each other and their family might benefit them all). They still need to talk about fairy tales and curses and crimes against humanity, and love, but they know they want to be here. And the day has been beautiful, their so-called friends and family, even if only Kathryn would ever be called Regina's friend, and any family Emma has is by blood only, have been surprisingly supportive in the weeks leading up to the event, insisting on both a grander ceremony and party than Emma and Regina had ever envisioned.
And it has led them here. Sneaking across the dew-wet lawn, Emma can feel the wetness seeping through her low-heeled white boots, her mind spinning from champagne and the excitement of the day, with a new wife and a child that is now legally hers (she is now an adoptive parent to her biological child), and the much-too-late realization that they never actually talked about what they wanted out of a wedding.
Emma has no memories of ever picturing her wedding. It never occurred to her that she would have one, and she supposes that might be why it never occurred to her to ask. But Regina comes from a land of fairy tales, happy endings, and true love. Surely the people there come complete with childhood wedding dreams.
“Did you want something special for our wedding?”
Regina's face twitches in surprise. “You're just now asking me that?”
Emma shrugs one shoulder. “I... I never thought to ask, everything happened so fast, and people were taking care of things, and I was happy with that, and there were so many other things to talk about...”
“The wedding was very nice.”
“Very nice?” Emma can't help the burst of laughter, but there's a sinking feeling in her gut.
“Compared to my first one, this one was infinitely better, how about that?”
“Emma. It's not the wedding that's important. It's life. You know that.”
They're at the door now, and Emma fumbles in Regina's clutch for the keys. They really should have left the light on. She gets the door open, and the moment comes back again when she thinks about carrying Regina over the threshold, but then Regina has stepped through, and it's too late. Emma turns on the lights for her so she can navigate the stairs with Henry, stopping in the kitchen to grab two glasses of water, before turning off the downstairs lights again and following Regina up the stairs.
Regina is taking off Henry's shoes when Emma leans against the doorway to his room. She waits as Regina takes off his bow tie and his not-so-little, anymore, tux jacket, finally unbuttoning the top buttons on his shirt. Emma would have expected him to have woken up by now, but he just makes a noise and scrunches up his nose without opening his eyes. He must be exhausted. Much like she is. Regina finally drapes a blanket over him, kisses his forehead, and Emma trades her the water glasses for her chance to kneel by the bed, lightly stroke Henry's hair, and kiss his forehead.
When she stands up and turns around, Regina is drinking from one of the glasses and has kicked off her shoes.
“Bring my shoes, please?” she says as she turns around and heads toward their bedroom.
Emma picks up the shoes by the thin straps, wondering how in the hell Regina has managed to stay on her feet in the stiletto heels all day, pulls Henry's door almost closed, and turns out the lights in the hallway.
Regina is waiting in the bedroom for her, standing still in the middle of the room. Emma drops the shoes by the closet, comes to a stop facing Regina, pulling her into a hug. Regina leans heavily against her, pressing her face to the crook of Emma's neck.
“Today was beautiful, but I'm glad it's over.”
Emma runs her hands up and down Regina's back, strokes the back of her neck. “God, I'm so tired.”
Regina turns them around, pushing Emma to sit on the side of the bed, kneeling to unlace Emma's boots, pulling them off, and then the socks underneath. Regular socks. Mary Margaret had opinions about that, but Emma vetoed everything involving nylon, and it's not like anyone except Regina would ever see it. Emma waggles her toes.
“I should shower.”
Emma ponders this for a moment. “I wanna get the make-up off, at least.”
She pulls Regina to her feet, guiding her to sit on the bed instead as Emma moves to kneel behind her, clumsily undoing what must be hundreds of little buttons in the back of Regina's dress. Emma's dress has a zipper. Regina pulls it down for her as she stands up, and Emma leaves the dress on the floor halfway across the room. She uses far too much make-up remover, but she wants it to go fast, feeling more than seeing Regina at some point beside her quickly brushing her teeth and splashing her face a few times.
Emma returns to the bedroom in time to see Regina hang both dresses on the closet door. Regina is in a white bra with matching panties, garter belt and stockings. She bends down to put the shoes on their proper shelf before padding back to the bed and sitting down heavily. Emma walks over, shedding her bra as she goes and grabbing a worn t-shirt from a chair. She kisses the top of Regina's head, and then it takes only a small push to the shoulder to make Regina fall backwards on the bed. Emma takes off the garter belt, rolling the stockings down with it, until she reaches Regina's feet where she digs her thumbs into the arches. Regina moans, and Emma spends a few minutes on each foot.
“I really don't understand how you can walk all day in shoes like that.”
“Too much practice.”
Emma finally drops a kiss on the inside of Regina's knee and goes to get Regina's nightgown. She hands it to her in exchange for the bra and waits for Regina to move enough so she can turn down the bed. When her head hits the pillow she wants to just keep sinking, sleep for a week.
Regina finds her hand, brings it up to kiss it. “I thought you had all these plans for tonight?” There's a teasing lilt in her voice, but it's ruined by a yawn.
“I'm so tired, Regina, I could sleep for a month.”
Regina smiles against her hand, reaches across to turn off the light on Emma's side, before doing the same on hers. “Me too.”
Emma barely hears it, sighs in contentment as Regina settles in a little closer to her.