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SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

Emma was snoring softly, lying in the bed next to Regina. Regina had been watching Emma sleep for the past several minutes without shame. She was taking the time to enjoy the blonde's beauty without interruption. Since their first night together Regina has enjoyed waking up before her champion and simply watching her sleep, and then slowly come re-enter the land of the living. She had such smooth skin and her athletic body was just... Regina sighed. Even asleep, Emma managed somehow to get her wet. She had an arm across her stomach and the other tucked under the pillow next to the one she was currently on.

Sitting up a little more, the aroused woman gently pushed the sheets away to expose more of Emma's torso. Regina ran her fingers along the blonde's impressive abs. As she caressed them, flashbacks of the previous night came back to her—watching the amazing abs tighten and jump beneath pale skin, as Emma worked her body like a finely tuned instrument.

Emma shifted, but she was still oblivious to the world around her. Regina's hand made its way past Emma's belly button and grasped the blonde's member, it was semi-hard but nowhere near as hard as the previous night. Regina smirked, feeling her own pussy throb as more images from the night before continued playing over and over in her mind. As she began to coax Emma's cock awake, she leaned down and took a rosy nipple between her lips, feeling it immediately pucker under her manipulating tongue. Emma took a deep breath but she didn't wake up, and Regina didn't stop.

The Dark Queen continued her ministrations for a few more minutes, then she released Emma's nipples and moved the covers down and away from the blonde's body completely. Gingerly, Regina moved to straddle Emma; knees on either side of the younger woman's narrow hips. Regina was in no mood for teasing, she awoke aroused and Emma was going to satisfy her—whether she was awake or not. Sitting up on her knees, Regina reached between her own legs with her free hand and slid in a finger or two surprised by how wet and hot she was...She'd never been this ready so quickly before.

Before getting too carried away, Regina withdrew her fingers and gingerly coated her juices around the throbbing cock trapped in her other hand. Carefully, she re-positioned herself, and lowered herself onto Emma's lap... enjoying every single glorious centimeter entering her needy, lust-filled core. Green eyes snapped open, and pale hands were on her waist a split second after halting her movements. Emma ignored Regina's frustrated growl and death glare, "Regina?" her voice was raspy and full of sleep, and it did nothing to help Regina's burning desire. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Shut up and enjoy the ride Emma." Regina pushed Emma's hands away, and took the last few inches on the blonde's appendage, both women moaning at the same time. Regina was still for a moment or two, simply enjoying how deep Emma was and allowing her body to stretch around her beautiful lover. The blonde opened her eyes again when she felt Regina's hips start to move against hers. She was curious as to why Regina woke up so frisky, but she wasn't going to question it—right now she was going to enjoy her ladies not-so-subtle advances. She reached up and groped the brunette's full breasts with her calloused hands, feeling the woman's hard nipples poking into the palm of her hand. Regina could feel her orgasm approaching quickly as Emma's shaft hit her g-spot perfectly as she moved up and down on her lover. Emma could feel more juice running out of Regina and her body tightening around her; she knew the brunette was close.

Reluctantly releasing the woman's breast, Emma sat up with one hand placed behind her under the pillows, and the other at the Queen's lower back; over a small sheet of sweat. Emma began meeting Regina's thrusts as she started to move up and down, faster and harder. Regina was getting louder and louder as her orgasm neared. She was trying not to alarm the guards outside her door, but Emma felt so damn good inside of her, and when she took control and started thrusting into her, Emma made it hard for her to keep her blissful cries of ecstasy in. Regina threw her head back, eyes closed and she tended to her own nipples, pinching and pulling them roughly. Emma could see that the Queen was struggling, so she moved her hand to her hip and pulled her forward, forcing the woman to grind down on her...her clit pressed against Emma's hard lower abs.

Regina shot forward to hug the blonde tight and she kissed Emma fiercely as her body shook violently, and she screamed her release into the blonde's mouth. Emma held the Dark Queen tightly, their chests heaving up and down simultaneously, each woman struggling to catch her breath. Suddenly, Regina found herself on her back with Emma hovering over her, and still inside of her. Emma had the Evil Queen's hands pinned above her head with one hand, and the other was holding her up. Regina tried to remove herself from Emma's grip, but the Dark Knight wasn't having it, and she began to push herself in and out of the beautiful woman squirming beneath her. She was so close, and Regina trying in vain to get free was making this all the more sweet.

As Emma's own orgasm approached she let Regina's hands go and laid her body down on the brunette's without breaking rhythm. Regina ran her hands all over the blonde's back, as she wrapped one leg around Emma's thigh. She was still prickling with excitement and she wanted more, and Emma was all too happy to give it to her. The Evil Queen dug her nails into Emma's tight derriere and that was it, Emma dropped her face into the pillow next to Regina's head and screamed into it as she exploded inside of her lover, while Regina climaxed for the second time that morning; twitching slightly as the orgasm washed over her body.

They remained like that for several more minutes before Emma slipped out of Regina and rolled over, throwing an arm over her eyes. She was red in the face and slightly sweaty from the exertion. When she finally caught her breath, she chuckled. "Wow."

Regina smirked, licking her lips closing her eyes as well. By the way the sun was shining into her bed chambers, she knew she should be up by now, but the sated queen just wanted to enjoy this moment a while longer with Emma. "Wow indeed dear."

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

The White Kingdom was in panic, their Queen had been missing for a week now, and their champion's life was hanging in the balance by merely a thread. Charming refused to believe the rumors that were spreading like wildfire about Snow being dead—that the dark champion, his very own flesh and blood, took her own mother's head...but the more days that passed and no word from the Evil Queen or his wife...his resolve was beginning to weaken. Whether he wanted to admit it or not...this kingdom wasn't run by a King and Queen in equals. Snow White ruled her kingdom alone, and Charming was just there—like a trophy on her arm, not the other way around.

He had a 5 year old son who continuously asked him questions; questions he had no sort of answer to. He had their number one warrior on her death bed, and the healers couldn't tell him how she was even alive—and they didn't know if she was going to make it because they couldn't read her body. And the White Kingdom's people were panicking and they were getting out of control. More drunks were appearing and no one was showing up for work. The Evil Queen had finally won...Mayhem was ensuing and the White Kingdom was falling and there were no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Henry and Red stuck by Mulan's side, and even moved into her room. Charming didn't have a clue as to how to comfort them; because in reality, he couldn't even comfort himself. Everything around him was falling apart and the only thing Charming did was sit on his throne in the throne room, day and night...trying to ignore the world crumbling around him.

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

Later that day, well into nightfall...

Emma stood between Pocahontas and Lancelot on the hill that looked over the White Kingdom's west wing—it's weakest side.

Pocahontas crossed her arms, "I don't see anything but crops and a market."

"Exactly." Emma nodded, hands on her hips. "We set the west wing on fire and go in through the front door...and kill all of those who won't join the Evil Queen."

Lancelot looked at Emma, smirking. "After all this time, I doubt anyone is going to be shifting alliances anytime soon."

Emma chuckled, glancing at the ground in amusement as she rocked on her heels. "I am still going to ask for the hell of it. The Dark Queen wants no survivors."

"Hmm," Lancelot nodded, "The three of us can take care of it tonight. What do you say?"

Emma blinked, her night-seeing, viridescent eyes scanning the White Kingdom's west wing. Lancelot was correct, the three of them could indeed take the White Kingdom by force...with just a simple crop fire that would send the remaining Snow White followers in a state of panic.

Emma; however, knew the three of them would not be able to cover all of the exits to make sure no one escaped. Emma also knew that she could use her shadow magic and simply conjure up some shadow soldiers to assist...but she was also aware that the Dark Kingdom's army hadn't had any real fun for quite some time, so she decided to just humor them...There was only one person she was interested in anyhow. Emma took a subconscious step forward, the muscles in her back tensing...fingers twitching.

"Emma?" Pocahontas called, looking at their commanding officer worriedly. The blonde seemed to be in some sort of stare-off with one of the towers. "Do you see something?"

Lancelot frowned at his wife's ludicrous question. "It's pitch black Lieutenant, what is there possibly to see?" from Lancelot's point of view, only the torches from the White Kingdom could be seen...and even that was a stretch from their position.

Emma blinked and did an about-face, startling both of them. "I'm fine, you two should head back and let the Queen know that we found a way in."

Lancelot nodded, turning to jog back down the hill where the two brown horses were waiting patiently, despite being knee deep in the snow. Pocahontas stayed behind, still not convinced Emma was as "fine" as she had claimed herself to be. "Are you sure you're alright?"

Emma smiled at the native woman, crossing her arms and kicking at the snow gently. "I can use the fresh air, and if the Queen needs me...She can find me in the Shadow Realm."

Pocahontas wasn't exactly sure what that meant, but she promised to deliver the message anyway. Reluctantly, the wary lieutenant left Emma alone on top of the hill and rode back to the Dark Kingdom with her husband.

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

Emma took one last look at the highest tower before entering the shadow world, breathing in deeply. It was always a rush for her, walking along an invisible platform that was set between the portals that were being cast from the shadows all over the Enchanted Forest. This was a bigger part of Dead Man's Land...She no longer felt like a guest, but she felt as if she were at home; simply strolling around aimlessly. Though if Emma were to be perfectly honest with herself...She was looking for someone in particular. At the moment, Emma was inside the White Castle...looking through the many windows its shadows provided for her prying eyes...and yet, she found nothing of interest. No one of interest.

Emma stopped, tilting her head. She immediately sensed that she was no longer alone. Turning—she found the Dark Queen standing there in her night gown and robe...Though one wouldn't think she was a Queen, wearing something so thin and short. Regina was carrying a torch, seeing as she didn't have night vision like Emma, and she didn't look too happy at the moment. Emma almost regretted showing the woman how to enter the shadow world without getting lost forever—she didn't want her to know that Mulan's survival really ruffled her feathers, and she was caught in the White Castle attempting to finish the job—underhandedly no less.

The brunette pursed her lips, sighing. "Do you have any idea what time it is?"

Emma sighed, leaning back against an invisible wall. She ran both hands over her face in exasperation. "I can't sleep with a troubled mind."

"I see..." Regina mused, feeling Emma's body heat as she stepped into the blonde's personal space. Regina had no idea what possessed her to leave the comfort of her warm bed to find Emma in the cold depths of the shadow realm. "Are you sure you're not just looking for Mulan to finish the job, dear?"

Emma sighed again, "I...I just have to be sure. I just..." Emma shook her head, "I don't know. I feel like I failed you when she didn't die...and I don't like failure."

Regina studied her champion closely, while examining her own emotions. Regina hadn't felt so benevolent toward anyone since Daniel. Emma was warming her heart faster than Daniel had when they first met, and it had taken several riding sessions before Regina and Daniel were on first name basis...and as painful as it was to admit, Regina knew that she and Emma connected on a much deeper level.

"I'm sorry"

Emma's unexpected and unjust apology broke Regina from her thoughts and left her confused. "Pardon?"

"I said I'm sorry."

"What for dear? You've done nothing wrong beside force me to leave the comfort of my bed to come looking for you." Regina's bark, however, was louder than her bite.

"I'm sorry about that too...but I was apologizing for what Snow said earlier. About you not being able to have children..."

Regina tensed and her gaze shifted to a window that led straight into the dark Enchanted Forest. "It was my own doing, Lady Swan. Nothing more, nothing less."

Emma's brows furrowed as she pushed off the invisible wall and took Regina's free hand in her own, leaving no space between their bodies. "Why would you do such a thing?"

Regina sighed, she wondered how much she should tell Emma. If she should tell her at all...It was none of her concern, and yet here she was...contemplating what she should and shouldn't say, and why? Because deep down inside, in such a short period of time, she valued what Emma had to say and what Emma thought...specifically what she thought of her. It was hard for a woman with her reputation to trust another, especially since she usually has to take their heart out to ensure their loyalty, and allow them to bed her...and stay when they were finished.

Though their stories are very different in some aspects, their resulted emotions are parallel. It wasn't just about the magic...but Emma warmed Regina's blackened heart, not just her bed. Somehow, someway the young blonde warrior was getting past the Evil Queen's defenses without trying.

"You don't have to tell me if it makes you uncomfortable. I'm just trying to understand you Regina." The brunette's silence stretched too long for Emma's liking.

Brown eyes met green, Regina lowered her torch a bit. "Dear, don't waste your time. There is absolutely nothing to understand about me. I'm the Evil Queen, that should be self-explanatory."

Emma shrugged lazily, holding Regina's hand tighter. "There's a woman behind the title as well. I remember you telling me once that nothing is to be feared, only understood."

"Why does it matter to you?" Regina's heart fluttered at the prospect that Emma could be feeling their connection as much as she has, but she wasn't ready to let her guard down. Not yet...she wasn't even sure if she even knew how anymore. Everything she's ever loved and cared for was taken away from her—leaving her all alone with nothing but anger and despair. Who is to say Emma won't be taken from her as well? Whether by her own free will...or by another force all together. It was a heartache Regina wasn't sure she wanted to go through again.

Emma could see the turmoil in Regina's intense brown orbs, and it pulled at her heart a little. Emma wanted to answer Regina but she wasn't sure if she should—or even how to. She wasn't sure if she'd be pushing the woman too far too soon—pushing herself too far too soon. She wasn't even ready to say what she was thinking aloud and Emma knew for a fact Regina wouldn't be ready to hear it. "I just care enough to try." Emma said it anyway, "People like us—with dark powers...we don't have anyone. So why not just look out for each other?" By the frown on Regina's face, she was sure she wasn't making much sense—or the Dark Queen wasn't on the same page as Emma.

Regina's heart began to beat double for a few moments upon discovering that Emma was feeling their connection and welcomed it. Seeing as the woman literally gave up her birthright and every ounce of light in her body for the darkness...Regina was certain that love wasn't in Emma's vocabulary, and yet here the blonde was; reaching out to Regina, admitting that she at least cared for Regina. Then... The brunette looked down and her brown eyes caught her Coat of Arms insignia on Emma's uniform and was forcibly reminded that it was Emma's job to care for her, to protect her...to do what she told her—including warming her bed. It wasn't real, it was an illusion. Love is weakness, her mother's voice caressed her mind...and it burned.

The Dark Queen frowned and took a step back, clearing her throat. Emma saw the Evil Queen waking up and straightened her spine, she saw the change as if she were watching storm clouds forming before a torrential downpour began. She wondered if it was something she had said, or maybe if it was something she had done. She wasn't sure, but she no longer had anything to say...She wasn't fond of being choked and didn't wish to relive those moments.

"Lady Swan, please carry on with whatever it was that you were doing here. Just remember court is tomorrow and we do have lunch with my pundit and the Captain and Lieutenant. Try and get some rest. Goodnight." The Dark Queen turned on her heel and began to walk back the way she came.

Emma was confused now and followed after Regina, no longer wishing to seek out Mulan. "You don't want my company anymore? Isn't that why you came down here? Because you want me to-"

Regina stopped, looking over her shoulder. "Exactly dear. You're a want, not a need. Goodnight." the Evil Queen waved her free hand and she was gone in an instant, leaving behind a stunned and vexed Emma in the shadow realm.

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

Emma sniffed indignantly, though not one tear was allowed to escape from her beautiful green eyes. She reluctantly went to another part of the Enchanted Forest and stepped out of one of the portals, taking a deep breath. Sometimes she wished she could travel the different worlds just by using the shadow realm; unfortunately it was limited to what world one was in.

Emma reached down and scooped up a handful of snow and tossed it at a nearby tree, enjoying the way the frozen ice crystals exploded against the cold bark. She repeated this redundant process several times until she grew bored of it, and was no longer irritated enough to have her fingers fall off because she wasn't wearing the proper hand gear to play in the snow...especially so late at night.

Deciding to take Regina's 'advice' she turned to walk back into the shadow realm, opting to walk than travel by cloud. Emma stopped dead in her tracks, white orbs were several inches away from her own. Emma took a step back and assessed the situation...There was a floating shadow with white eyes staring at her. It made not a sound and simply floated and stared at her.

Emma stared right back, prepared for anything. It wouldn't be the first time she has come across a rogue shadow, and it certainly wouldn't be the first hostile one either. Then the shadow simply bowed, and turned gesturing for Emma to follow. Despite her raised neck hairs, Emma cautiously followed the contour. She wasn't sure how long she was walking through the shadow realm, but she was beginning to notice that the longer they walked, the fewer the gateways. Finally, her mysterious companion stopped and drifted to the side, gesturing for Emma to walk through the single gateway before disappearing. Emma observed the stone room from the safety of the shadow realm, weighing her options. She could turn away and just forget this ever happened, or she could simply investigate why a contour would request her to follow it—because it never happened to her before. Whether or not it was the prudent choice, Emma sighed and stepped through the gateway.

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

The room was small and windowless. It was cold and a little damp, and the only lighting in the room was a torch set up by the door, but that flame was barely staying alive. Emma looked around the dimly lit room and spotted something huddled in the corner...then she realized it wasn't a something, but a someone—who was now getting to their feet.

"W-who are you?" the teenage boy asked. Emma saw that he was slightly taller than she was with long, but well-maintained brown hair, green eyes and rather odd, large ears for such a stature as his. Emma saw that he was dressed for winter but his clothes were doing him no good in this chamber—this chamber she was slowly coming to realize as a holding cell. "Who are you?" the boy repeated, bringing Emma out of her musings.

"My name is Emma." she was keeping her voice low, she wasn't sure if there was a guard outside the door and she would rather not cause any trouble, at least not before discovering why she had been led to this place.

"Did my shadow bring you here?" He came a little closer to Emma, hugging himself tightly. The blonde could see that the boy was a little malnourished and was freezing.

Emma blinked taken back, "Your shadow? Uh, yeah...He did. Lucky for you I had nothing better to do, so I humored him, and here we are." Despite his weak state and situation, he smirked and Emma returned it. "Got yourself into quite the pickle didn't you Kid?"

The lanky boy laughed lightly, "I haven't been a kid for a long time Emma."

Green eyes narrowed in suspicion, her hackles raised, Emma took a half step back. "Who are you?"

"Oh did I forget to introduce myself? I'm Peter...Peter Pan."

Emma raised a brow, "Interesting name." Then she gestured to the small room around them. "Interesting situation. Is there an interesting story as well?"

Peter grinned, "Would you happen to be familiar with a man by the name of Rumpelstiltskin?"

"By name only." Emma leaned back, not quite touching the door, and crossed her arms. Partially because she'd rather not get mold on her clothing, and also that she might hear if someone was drawing near to the cell. "Is he the one who locked you in here?"

Peter Pan nodded, "I've been here for a week now...You're a hard woman to track Emma, do you know that?"

"How did you end up here in Rumpelstiltskin's cells?"

"He captured me in one of the villages below the mountains. Seems the Dark One isn't capable of weaving immortality into his treacherous deals..."

Emma shrugged, shaking her head; not following. "What does that have to do with you?"

"I created Neverland. It is a fantastical place where Lost Boys and Girls can run away to and they will never grow up. My blood, it's magically immortal. He is using it to create the perfect potions for his twisted games."

Neverland rang a bell in Emma's mind, from the stories her mother told her before bedtime—briefly, but she told Emma about it. According to Snow White...Neverland was built on the premise of evil—not that Emma ever believed that. Emma knew of Neverland, but not the people that occupied it.

"And the shadow? Brought me here to what...rescue you? I guess it's pretty obvious you practice shadow magic, but you're limited. Which is why you haven't walked through that" Emma gestured towards the gateway between her and Pan, "yet."

Peter, still shivering, grinned. "I'd rather have me as an ally than an enemy."

Emma pushed off the wall no longer smiling, "Threaten me again Boy, and Rumpelstiltskin will be the least of your worries. I make what that imp calls hurt and pain, seem to be nothing but child's play."

Peter Pan, however, didn't back down. It was as if Emma was amusing him, "You've got fire. I like fire."

Emma frowned but she heard footsteps quickly approaching, and she reached out and grabbed the freezing boy's upper arm. "You owe me Peter Pan."

"If there is one thing I know about making deals with the devil...They always come to collect."

Emma took that cryptic answer as a yes, and pushed Pan into the gateway and quickly followed after; narrowly missing something thrown at her backside. Both Peter Pan and Emma heard Rumpelstiltskin swearing his revenge. Neither were worried about him, but Emma was worried about the Evil Queen's reaction when she learns that she went about meddling and stirred Rumpelstiltskin's ire.

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

Once Emma deemed them far enough away, she guided Peter Pan back into the Enchanted Forest and far away from Rumpelstiltskin's small castle. The sun was high in the air, high enough for Emma to know that she was late for court...extremely late—though she hadn't realized how long she was gone. Putting that off for a while, she looked at Pan who was still shivering but at least the sun was warming him up somewhat and he didn't look as pasty as before...sort of.

"Where do you plan on going from here Pan?"

Peter looked around, taking in his surroundings and looking thoughtful. "I can hear the cries of orphans from here..." Emma raised a brow, but Pan didn't elaborate. He looked back at Emma with those green eyes, and smirked. "Was it worth it for you?"

"What?"

Peter Pan held up his right hand and Emma saw that he had a similar diagonal faded cut just like she had on her right hand. "Was it worth it? Did you get what you asked for?"

Realization dawned on Emma and she was a bit shocked, Rulf mentioned that it had been years since anyone was worthy of asking The Land for anything and apparently...Pan was one of the survivors. Emma smiled faintly, "It was more than worth it. I had something good...but I got something better. What about you?"

Peter Pan lowered his hand back to his side slowly, "I gave up everything...yet it was nothing. It was worth giving up...and easy."

Emma understood that all too well, "I see. How long do you think you'll stay in the Enchanted Forest?"

Pan shrugged, raising a thick eyebrow. "Until nightfall." Emma nodded, and Pan regarded her for a moment then pulled out something from his worn brown satchel sitting on the right of his hip. It was a small armband, the twin on the one he was wearing now. Emma took, confused.

"Um, thanks?"

"If you ever visit Neverland...this will help you navigate...or if you need me. It works both ways."

"Why are you giving this to me? You hardly know me...I can kill you right here and now...and no one will care. I...won't care."

"Dead Man's Land didn't choose me to be it's successor."

Emma slipped the band on her pale wrist, shaking her head and not really processing what Pan had just told her. She could practically feel the Evil Queen's anger and she was nowhere near the Dark Kingdom. "Just stay out of trouble Pan...and thanks." Emma flicked her wrist and was engulfed in thick black smoke, and then she was gone.

Peter Pan smirked, staring at the spot where Emma was previously standing. He knew she'd have questions later, and she would come seek him out when she was ready. Until then...he had vulnerable children to snatch, and an angry dark lord to avoid until he was recharged.

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

Emma would never admit it, but she was nervous as she entered her bed chambers. She half-expected Regina to be waiting in there for her, ready to choke her and throw her back in the dungeons for missing court. Thankfully it wasn't lunch time yet, she still had a little bit of time, so Emma went into her bathroom and decided to wash up. Her mind being completely void of anything that had occurred in the past few hours.

Emma decided not to make her presence known until it was lunch time, undoubtedly an idiotic move, but she wanted to enjoy her peace and freedom before facing the wrath of the Evil Queen that she was sure about to come down on her. Fresh, and back in her armor, Emma walked down to the dining hall while the guards at the door gave her a sympathetic look—like all the others she has passed on her way down.

"What?" Emma finally snapped.

One of the knights shook his head, trying not to smirk as he and his companion opened the double doors for her. Emma growled under her breath and walked in. She saw Regina sitting next to another brunette with Lancelot and Pocahontas seated across from them. It didn't escape Emma's notice that there was not a fifth chair put out. As Emma approached the table, she ignored the sympathy looks from the two high-ranked knights. The Dark Queen barely spared her Dark Knight a glance as she unfolded her napkin. "Lady Swan, how nice of you to grace us with your presence."

Emma stood close to the table, where her chair should have been and crossed her arms. "I figured I'd actually be needed here." It was a low, and petty, comment but Emma just couldn't help herself. "Where is my chair?"

Regina sniffed snobbishly, and gestured for everyone sitting at the table to eat. Tensely, the three seated dug in...just to have something to do other than look between the two women awkwardly. "You can stand there and listen."

Emma scoffed, "I'm hungry, I'm not going to just stand here."

Regina sighed harshly, settling her piercing glare on the blonde. Emma felt as if Regina's glare would melt her on the spot, if possible. Those brown eyes held so much fire that Emma feigned having something in her eye just to look away, it sent chills down her spine. "Are you disobeying an order from your Queen? Again?"

Emma pursued her lips, and shook her head tightly. "No my Queen, I apologize."

Regina waved off her Dark Knight's apology, "Be quiet, we have business to conduct." Emma's eye twitched but she dared not comment. It was embarrassing, but she knew she deserved it for missing court...She also knew she would be getting it much worse if Regina ever found out that she crossed Rumpelstiltskin...and didn't say anything. Emma rolled her eyes slightly, Regina told her to 'be quiet' so she was doing just that. Emma was so caught up in her thoughts she didn't notice that Regina was watching her from the corner of her eyes, as she tried to make it seem as if Emma was unimportant when actually, it was quite the opposite.

The Evil Queen had tossed and turned for the remainder of the night after she left Emma in the shadow realm. She had uncharacteristically wanted to go find the woman again, to...to make up for what she said and to somehow explain some things, but she just couldn't. When Emma didn't show up for court, Regina was worried and she was upset at the same time, and she just didn't understand why. Why this blonde woman—The woman that was produced by the two people that have been the bane of her existence—brought out so many of her emotions, emotions she has buried a very long time ago. Emotions that she didn't even know she was capable of feeling—not even with Daniel had she felt so impassioned.

"My Queen?" the Evil Queen's adviser, Belle, touched her arm gently.

"What?" Regina sounded harsher than she had intended, but she didn't like being startled out of her thoughts.

Belle smiled apologetically, removing her hand. "Sorry, but I was just asking if it would be alright if we could actually get Lady Swan's input."

"She is going to lead us through the raid." Pocahontas quickly threw in, seeing the Dark Queens glare being directed at Belle. The young brunette actually had a point, it would be beneficial to have the Champion participating rather than standing there mute.

However, both suggestions went ignored by the Evil Queen. "I will speak for The Champion." Her tone left no room for argument. She quietly fixed her plate with a light lunch before speaking again, "Were you all able to find a compromised or weak point of entry into the White Castle?"

Lancelot glanced at Emma, who was staring down at her boots. "Yes Your Highness, the west wing. There are crops back there that we can set on fire and cause a panic; to draw everyone out."

"We figured that with everyone going to the west wing to put out the fires...We would be able to enter through the front quite easily."

"The sooner you finish what you started, the less chance of a rebellion building in the near future." Belle added as an afterthought. "Avoids conflict with kingdoms that the White Kingdom has been associated with. If they send protection and we kill them, it could be war. The sooner the better."

Pocahontas nodded, "No one knows anything yet, we sent out a few archers to kill anyone and anything that leaves the White Kingdom."

Regina took in this information, idly placing a hand over her stomach as she felt something stirring beneath her belly button. The gesture went unnoticed by most of the occupants at the table, but Emma noticed it from the corner of her eye. Emma was hungry, but she would last for a while before she resorted to just going out and getting her own food. She felt like a child being reprimanded as she just stood there and listened. She was barely listening to the strategizing being thrown around...the weight of her blatant disrespect was starting to weigh down on her. Emma looked up when chairs scraped against hardwood floor, the quiet woman saw that Lancelot and Pocahontas were long gone, and Belle was the last to leave. Once she was gone, and Regina cleared the table with a simple wave of her hand. She looked up at Emma. "Sit."

Emma pulled out Belle's chair and sat down, facing Regina. "I'm sorry."

"When you swore yourself to me, you swore obedience and homage. You didn't just miss court Emma, you blatantly disrespected me. As a result of your ignorance, you will not be participating in the raid. You will stay here and you will guard your kingdom and your Queen."

Emma bit her tongue, and tried not to argue. It was obvious that Regina knew this would upset Emma; because she knew that Emma wanted to be the one bring down the White Kingdom and taking that away from her...This was just cruel—and that is why Regina did it. Emma would have argued and thrown a tantrum had she not acknowledged to herself earlier that whatever the Evil Queen dished out—it was well deserved. It still bothered her. "Fine. Is that all?"

Regina pursed her lips, carefully picking her next words. "I believe something has happened in the past couple of weeks—something impossible."

Emma raised a brow, confused and still angry. "Like?"

"Our magic has been...mingling since our first night together dear. I believe I am starting to understand it's side effects."

Emma shook her head, her emotions building. "Life threatening?"

"Life altering." Regina countered curtly, still not believing the words that were about to come out of her mouth next, she turned to face Emma, fully cutting off whatever the blonde was going to say with two words. "I'm pregnant." The Evil Queen watched as all of Emma's anger, confusion, and tension literally melted out of her body...As she slipped to the floor like running water, hitting the cold wood with a solid thud.

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ