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30 November 2012 @ 08:52 pm
Hello all,

I have about 4 fics to complete but due to technical issues I'm a little behind. They will go up on AO3 over the next few days, though. Thank you!
 
 
05 November 2012 @ 04:00 am
All published stories will be on AO3 under the Pumpkin Spice Gifathon tag. Except for RPF prompts, which will be at my Tumblr.
 
 
16 October 2012 @ 07:42 pm
Borgen

I'm a sucker for Birgitte/Philip - pre-show timeline about how they met or before the kids were born? Or if they can get back together - how do they do it? What would have happened if Birgitte hadn't become PM, or one of the early attempts to oust her had been successful?

I'm also intrigued by Birgitte/Katrine - press & politicians mix wonderfully, and even if just as friends these two would have a lot to talk about, don't you think? Birgitte/Kasper is becoming a guilty little pleasure, all those late nights, private planes, stressful situations... well.


Friday Night Lights

I worship at the altar of Tami Taylor, so anything about her (including Eric) would be a sight for sore eyes. How do things pan out in Philadelphia? How do the Taylors cope when Julie finally gets around to getting married? What's the next offer that challenges that marriage or tempts them to pastures new?

I also love Riggins - does he finish the house? Who does he ask to live there with him? How does he get involved with Mindy and Milly and the many babies? What about Lyla or Tara - does he see them again? 

Then there's Jess, Coach's shadow - what does she do when he steps out of the way and she's the one in the spotlight. Anything about her is fantastic.


Homeland

I feel like angsty hate!sex with Carrie/Jessica has to be great, right? Or at least some bonding over Brody and loving him and what a clusterfuck that turned out to be.

I'm also fascinated by Carrie's backstory - how she kept her illness concealed, her earlier years in the Agency, how she decided on it in the first place. And Saul as her friend and mentor - a 5 times or some kind of through the years thing with them would be amazing.


Swingtown

Trina Decker appreciation life - I'd really want fic involving her most of all. I love the femslash potential of this show and it's a shame it didn't really get explored. But Trina/Susan or Trina/Janet works - perhaps all three with Trina teaching the other two something.

Besides the sex though, Trina's the most fascinating character. She comes from money, she's a free spirit but she still settled down, and her wrestling with potential motherhood are all fair game.

Oh, and I love Tom so I don't actually mind him and his moustache muscling in on the action.
Tags:
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
Lola's Big Gay Giftathon (Pumpkin Spice edition)

(pinched and adapted from the wonder that is ♥ magisterequitum ♥)

I hate those people who mention The Holidays before the end of November too, but I have a few commitments to juggle for the rest of the year, and then October got away from me with finding a new job. As a result I'm moving the ficathon to November, and will honour all dates already claimed, plus new ones. So please leave a comment with:

A date (from November 1st through November 30th)
A fandom
A character or pairing
A prompt


In return you get a fic of at least 300 words (though I rarely write anything that short). You all know what fandoms and pairings I'll write by now, but here's a timely reminder.

Once Upon a Time - Swan Queen, Mad Queen, Snow Queen, Red Swan Queen, Mad Swan Queen, Evil Charming, Evil Princess.
RPF: Morrilla
The Good Wife - Alicia/Kalinda, Alicia/Will, Will/Diane
Newsroom - Will/Mac
The West Wing - Toby/Andy, Toby/CJ, CJ/Kate
Suits - Harvey/Donna, Jessica/Harvey, Jessica/Donna
And though I probably won't write them on their own, you can crossover these shows with the above: Fringe, Castle, Boss, V, Veep, Rizzoli & Isles.


[Dates and Claims]
November 1   - adventurepants Swan Queen. A Very Charming Thanksgiving. & girlie_girl_23 BIRTHDAY FIC OF WONDER
November 2  - schwarmerei1 - Alicia/Kalinda "I'm flattered, really, but I'm married"
November 3   - madame_denna RPF, Lana/Jen, first time
November 4   - takethisstepSwan Queen, Father of the Bride 2 type fic- I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!
November 5   - Tumblr (anon) Snow Queen
November 6   - soaked_in_starsOctober 6, WyZs, a line from "Litany" of your choosing

November 7   - delayed posting of days 4 & 5
November 8   - thistle_chaserCJ and the guys, genfic. Pumpkins!
November 9   - tsubasa_011 - SQ Emma comes home early, Regina (missing her) is wearing her clothes

November 10  - teamregina - Regina and Jefferson actually enjoy each other's company
November 11 - filthyhalfblood - Swan Queen Christmas
November 12 - itzalAlicia/Kalinda, a glimpse into their first date
November 13 - magisterequitum The one where Selina is Andy's VP

November 14 - kath9567 - Swan Queen, Emma's birthday in FTL
November 15 - rayenna FTL; SQ, Masked ball
November 16  - london_fan - Will/Diane f'ship - quote trust/understanding
November 17 - thegrownupthingMorrilla: getting caught by the paps

November 18  - insane_onna Swan Queen - Only you can break me like this
November 19  -NO POSTS THIS DAY
November 20  - ciachick711 - Diane/Alicia buddyfic or Alicia/Will future!Zach graduation

November 21 - only_takes_oneMac is ranting again and Will has only ever known one effective way to shut her up.
November 22  - rachel452 - Swan Queen - nonchalant Regina

November 23 - fallon_ash - AU, Henry knew the FTL truth the whole time. Full Disclosure.
November 24 - jazwriterAlicia/Kalinda Their first kiss happens by accident. The second one is very much on purpose.
November 25 - NO POSTS THIS DAY
November 26 - NO POSTS THIS DAY
November 27 - randomizerAlicia/Kalinda. Alicia tells Kalinda that she never stopped caring about her.
November 28 - chilly_flame October 28, Swan Queen. Emma's Christmas stocking
November 29 - little_missmimiAlicia/Kalinda or Alicia/Will, After the war we said we'd fight together, / I guess we thought that's just what humans do
November 30 - masterpost published

 
 
Current Mood: dirtydirty
 
 
26 August 2012 @ 12:17 am

[Big Long List]

SWAN QUEEN

ONE-SHOTS

Long Shadows and Gunpowder Eyes ; Rating: NC-17
(Sympathy is) More Than Just a Way of Leaving ; Rating: NC-17
Like Chewing on Pearls ; Rating: NC-17
Hips Don't Lie ; Rating: PG-13 [en français]
Accidental Baby ; Rating: R
Who wears the pants? ; Rating: G
Don't kiss me when i'm sick ; Rating: PG
Food Fight (pre-SQ) ; Rating: PG
Vacations (angst); Rating: PG
First Kiss ; (Revival) Rating: PG
Emma Cooks Regina dinner ; Rating: G
You know where to find me (Emma masturbating, Regina as voyeur) ; Rating: NC17
Regina has a sinfully large bathtub ; Rating: Unknown
If We Live To See The Other Side of This ; Rating: NC17 [en français]
Spying ; Rating: G
Snowed in ; Rating: PG
Busted by Henry ; Rating: PG
Insomnia ; Rating: PG
Adjusting ; Rating: G (Snow POV)
Taking Care ; Rating: PG
The Fine Print ; Rating: PG13
Never kissed a woman ; Rating: PG13
Guessing Game ; Rating: R
My Broken House Behind Me; Rating: PG
Bad News; Rating: PG13
Like mother, Like daughter ; Rating: PG
Regina's trial in FTL ; Rating: PG13
Emma tries to buy Regina a birthday present ; Rating: PG
Regina's keys = Bluebeard ; Rating: PG13
Punctuality (FTL); Rating: R
First Aid ; Rating: R 
Regina allows Emma to see Henry's baby things ; Rating: G
Sparrows; Rating: PG
Chandelier ; Rating: PG
Drunk!Emma - Peanut butter ; Rating: PG
Henry Finds Out; Rating: PG
Emma and the saturn return ; Rating: G
Disney World ; Rating: G
Emma's 29th birthday ; Rating: G
Spooning ; Rating: G
All Change; Rating: PG
First date ; Rating: PG
Parent-teacher conference ; Rating: PG13 
Admission ; Rating: PG
Another Way (first meeting AU) ; Rating: G 
The Smoke Rises at Different Speeds ; Rating: NC-17 
Hostage Situation ; Rating: R
Remote Chances ; Rating: NC-17 
Kiss my boot ; Rating: NC-17 
Emma tries her hand at magic ; Rating: PG13 
Mom Swap ; Rating: PG 
Swan Queen are fighting and Regina hits a nerve on the topic of Henry's father ; Rating: PG
Singing ; Rating: G
Mary Margaret hears strange noises down the hall in the middle of the night ; Rating: PG13
Queen Emma ; Rating: PG
Things Said In The Dark; Rating: PG13
Henry brings his first girlfriend home ; Rating: PG
A Different Kind of Savior; Rating: PG13
FTL Family dinner, Emma brings Regina ; Rating: PG
Phone Sex ; Rating: R
Mary notices both Emma and Regina are sporting hick­eys ; Rating: G
Sharing The Damage; Rating: PG
Textuality; Rating: PG
Dreaming Is Free; Rating: NC17
Postscript and Aftermath; Rating: PG
Left and Leaving; Rating: PG
This Girl is Taking Bets; Rating: PG
Interlude; Rating: G
Last Night of Freedom; Rating: PG 
All The Fun of the Fair; Rating: G
All Up The Seething Coast; Rating: NC17 
Waiting for the Flash; (finale smut) Rating: NC17 
Night Windows; Rating: PG 
Where the Flashing Swords Gleam; Rating: NC17 (knifeplay; fisting) 
You Still Haven't Lost Him; Rating: PG (Mothers' Days) 
Believe in Solid Skies; Rating: G 
And I Am Telling You; Rating: PG 
In My Best Disguise; Rating: G 
Nothing Stays Buried; Rating: PG (with Regina/Daniel)
Tuxedos Are For Waiters; Rating: NC17 
Halfway Through The Wood; Rating: PG13 (character death) 
A Mostly Decent Proposal; Rating: PG 
Lay Me Down (and Say Something Pretty); Rating: PG 
A New Life (As Soon As We Run); Rating: G 
From Death She Casts Her Spell; Rating: PG13 (character death) 
The Little Bit of Faith We Had Once; Rating: NC17 
It Steals Into The Dawn; Rating: PG 
Big Smile For the Camera; Rating: R 
This House is Still a Lie; Rating: PG 

MULTI-CHAPTER (complete)

Loved For What You're Not ; Rating: NC-17
Constant Cravings (Pregnant Regina); Rating: PG13
Ocean Series (NC17, dub-con) 
Queens Die Proudly; Rating: R 
Waiting For Someone To Set The Scene; Rating: NC17 
Battle Towards Surrender; Rating: NC17

WIP

Emma, Interrupted ; Rating: PG-13
Telling Cora; Rating: PG13
Sheriff for Sale; Rating: PG13
Textual Series: Morning After; Rating: PG13



THREESOMES AND MORESOMES

One More For The Stars ; Rating: NC-17 [Red Swan Queen - Ruby/Emma/Regina]
Just Because It Feels Good; Rating: NC-17 [Mad Swan Queen - Jefferson/Emma/Regina] 
The Fog Has Lifted; Rating: NC17 [Hunter Swan Queen - Graham/Emma/Regina] 
It's Not a Party (If It Happens Every Night); Rating: NC17 [Mad Swan Queen - Jefferson/Emma/Regina] 

GEN

The Things They Want; Rating: PG13 (Regina, Snow, an AU of Stable Boy)
A Mother's Love; Rating: G (Henry misses Regina in FTL) 

MAD QUEEN

Here's To Us (Old Friends); Rating: PG13
Fuck This Time and Place; Rating: NC17 

EVIL CHARMING

Lasagna Series:

These Gestures That We Made; Rating: NC17
They Both End in Trouble (and Start with a Grin); Rating: NC17
The Places You Will Find Me Hiding; Rating: NC17 

EVIL PRINCESS

Starting Over; Rating: G
Friends Don't Destroy One Another; Rating: NC17 

BEAUTY QUEEN

Ringing in the Bones; Rating: R

RED SWAN

Telling Henry; Rating: G
A Warning From Granny; Rating: PG
Indiscreet; Rating: PG13
Milestone; Rating: R
Scale The Hidden Hills, Rating: R

SNOW QUEEN

How Snow Really Ruined Regina's Life (AU); Rating: PG13
A Nightly Visit; Rating: PG

RED SNOW

Good Girl Gone Bad, Rating: R

JEN/LANA RPF (don't judge)

Clothes Maketh The Woman; Rating: NC17
In Costume; Rating: PG
Volunteering; Rating: PG
Distraction; Rating: NC17
Snacktime; Rating: PG
Naughty Notes; Rating: R
Hate Sex; Rating: R
Wrap Party, Rating: R
How They Wound Up Together, Rating: NC17
Bowling in Brooklyn, Rating: R
Morrilla Meets Manhattan Part 1; Rating: PG
Part 2; Rating: NC17
It's In the Game; Rating: NC17

------------------------------------------

DEVIL WEARS PRADA

The Right Thing; Rating: NC17
Losing Miranda; Rating: NC17 
A Kitchen Emergency; Rating: R 
The Things You Miss; Rating: PG
Queen of Denial; Rating: NC17 
A Clean Break; Rating: NC17 
On Call; Rating: NC17 (unfinished) 
The Feeling of Being in Motion Again; Rating: NC17 
This Has Nothing To Do With Happiness; Rating: PG13 
Been This Way (Since The End of October); Rating: NC17 
We'll Buy You The Rice; Rating: G
Cinde-fuckin'-rella; Rating: NC17 (het warning: Miranda/Stephen too) 
I'll Let You Know if You Have to Come and Choose a Name; Rating: NC17 [Miranda/Andy/Nigel] Part One Part Two [Miranda/Andy]
Trapped; Rating: NC17 
Going Rogue; Rating: PG 
A Timely Interruption; Rating: PG 
On The Road; Rating: PG13 
Miranda Priestly Meets Abbey Bartlet; Rating: G
Andy interviews for Bartlet; Rating: G
Backrub, pre-relationship; Rating: PG
Miranda's Car; Rating: G
Cougars, Andy & twins; Rating: PG
Drunken Confession; Rating: PG
Pre-Board Meeting; Rating: NC17
Miranda Misses Andy; Rating: PG
Jealous Miranda; Rating: PG
Andy dressed as the Easter Bunny; Rating: PG13
Gone Dancing; Rating: PG13
Caught By Emily; Rating: PG13
Miranda is a Trekkie, G
Andy's Been Away; Rating: PG13
Domesticity, Rating: G
Andy in Therapy; Rating: PG
Lingerie Shopping, Rating: PG13
Soup Kitchen; Rating: G
Under Construction; Rating: PG
All's Fair; Rating: PG13 [Damages Crossover]
Andy Has a Nightmare; Rating: PG
Anniversary, Rating: PG13
Twins Off To College; Rating: PG
Haircut, PG
Shower; Rating: PG13
Game Night; Rating: PG
Evil Stepmother; Rating: PG
Andy Falls Down; Rating:  G
The Interview; Rating: NC17 [Damages crossover; Patty/Andy] 
Hide Behind Your Darker Side; Rating: NC17 [Damages crossover; Patty/Andy] 

------------------------------------------

DAMAGES - Patty/Ellen

Seeing Past the Conclusion; Rating: NC17
But My Love is Like a Dark Cloud (Full of Rain); Rating: R 
A Valuable Lesson; Rating: NC17 (dub-con) 
You Learn to Bid Them All Goodbye; Rating: PG13 (character death) 
Shoot With Both Hands; Rating: NC17 (gunplay) 
Women Beware Women; Rating: NC17 
Tit for Tat; Rating: PG13
Visiting Julia's Grave; Rating: PG (death, grief)
Michael Hits on Ellen; Rating: PG13
Dancing; Rating: PG
Different Teams; Rating: PG13
Saturday in IKEA With Patty: Rating: R
Peacocks in the Front Yard; Rating: R

------------------------------------------

THE WEST WING

From Way Out in Right Field; Rating: PG13 [Andy/Toby]
The Night Would Give You Up; Rating: PG [Andy/Toby] 
We May Be Better Strangers; Rating: NC17 [Andy/Toby]
All Exiles Are Distinguished; Rating: NC17 [Andy/Toby]
Watching; Rating: NC17 [Andy/Toby]
Pages Left Unturned; Rating: PG [Andy/Toby]
Safe; Rating: G [Andy/Toby] 
A Situation; Rating: R [Andy/Toby] - this is the ficlet that spawned Wyatt-Zieglers
How To Start a Sentence; Rating: G [Toby, gen, AU] 
Connection; Rating: G [Kate, gen] 
A Friend in Need; Rating: PG [Josh, Ainsley, gen] 
One Night Only; Rating: PG [Andy/Annabeth] 
The Oregon Trail; Rating: PG [Kate/Will] 
Doing Well on Television Has its Own Rewards; Rating: PG [CJ/Ainsley] 
Blood in the Clover; Rating: PG13 [Josh, gen, assassination] 
Middle Child Rebellion; Rating: PG [Ellie, gen] 
One Breath (AU); Rating: PG13 [CJ/Simon] 
Diamonds; Rating: PG [Josh/Amy, Donna/Josh] 
The End of the Conversation; Rating: PG [Sam/Laurie] 
Ladies Who Lunch; Rating: G [CJ, Ainsley, Donna, gen] 
Big Trouble in Little China; Rating: PG13 [CJ/Kate] 
The Sameness of Changes; Rating: NC17 [Andy/Toby/Sam] 

OTHER SORKIN:

Bible Camp; Rating: G [Harriet Hayes, gen]
Better At You; Rating: PG [CJ/Dana Whitaker] 

THE GOOD WIFE

Dancers May Disappear; Rating: NC17 [Will/Diane] 
You're Gonna Love Tomorrow; Rating: G [Will/Diane]
Willing Traffic Lights To Change; Rating: PG13 [Will/Diane]
I Won't Be A Gift To Her; Rating: R [Alicia/Celeste]
Keep Your Powder Dry; Rating: R [Alicia/Kalinda]  [en français]
(You Look Like) A Perfect Fit; Rating: PG [Alicia/Kalinda] [en français]
The Subjunctive Mood; Rating: NC17 [Alicia/Kalinda] [en français]
The Last To Know; Rating: PG [Alicia/Kalinda] [en français]
Another Word (I'm Never Certain How to Spell); Rating: PG13 [Alicia/Kalinda]
Shooting From the Hip; Rating: PG [Alicia/Kalinda, Owen]
My Own Sovereign Nation; Rating: G [Kalinda/Lana]
Mistaken for Strangers; Rating: PG [Kalinda, gen]
But Still You're Shaken; Rating: G [Diane, gen]
Delivery; Rating: G [Alicia/Will]
It's Christmas (So We'll Stop); Rating: PG [Alicia/Will]
I've Had My Doubts (But Not About You); Rating: G [Alicia/Will]

CASTLE

Bon Voyage; Rating: R [Castle/Jordan Shaw]
The Break Will Mend; Rating: PG [Castle/Beckett]
A Little Worse for Wear; Rating: PG13 [Beckett/Olivia Dunham] 
Raise The Curtain; Rating: G [Martha, gen]

RIZZOLI & ISLES

Something More Than Memory; Rating: NC17 [Maura Isles/Lainie Parish]
Recovery; Rating: PG [Jane/Maura] 

SPOOKS

We Will Always Be At War; Rating: PG [Ruth/Harry]
An Endless Symbolic War; Rating: G [Doctor Who crossover] 

GREY'S ANATOMY

When The Sun Was Bleeding All Over You; Rating: R [Teddy/Cristina]

GAME OF THRONES

We Would Leave More Footprints in the Snow; Rating: PG [Catelyn, gen]
Ned/Cat, Cop AU; Rating: PG

SWINGTOWN

Baby Names; Rating: PG [Tom/Trina/Janet]

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

More Than One Last Call; Rating: PG [Eric/Tami]
State, Rating: G [Jess, Eric, gen] 
Knight in Shining Armor; Rating: PG13 [Eric/Tami] 

HOUSE

They Faked Their Way Through Fairytale of New York; Rating: NC17 [House/Cuddy]
Good Intentions; Rating: G [House/Cuddy] 
The Long Ride Home; Rating: NC17  [House/Cuddy]
The Ex-Roommate Doesn't Ring Once; Rating: PG13 [House/Cuddy, Alvie]
Mathematics of Regret; Rating: NC17 [House/Cuddy]
It's Just Another Morning Here; Rating: PG13 [Cuddy, gen]
Midnight Coward; Rating: NC17 [House/Cuddy]
Catch Me, I'm Falling, Rating: NC17 [House/Cuddy]
Be Not Afraid; Rating: NC17 [House/Cuddy]
Habit, Rating: NC17 [House/Cuddy]
Girl in the War; Rating: NC17 [Thirteen/Cuddy]
Talking About Thirteen; Rating: PG13 [Cuddy/Cameron]
 

MISC

They'll Celebrate Our Deaths (With a National Parade); Rating: PG13 [Erica Evans/Olivia Dunham]
Permanence and Certainty; Rating: NC17 [Dana Scully/Olivia Dunham] 
Veridical Paradox; Rating: NC17 [River Song/Dana Scully] 
Someday We Won't Remember This; Rating: G [Erica Evans, gen]
Turn to the Aims and Desires of the World; Rating: NC17 [Erica/Jack]
Nothing of Consequence; Rating: NC17 [Erica/Hobbes]
Mama Who Bore Me; Rating: PG [Erica Evans, gen]
Not Letting Go; Rating: PG [Juliet/Sawyer]
Consultation: Rating: PG [House/Lie to Me crossover]



 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
03 July 2012 @ 11:04 am
Title: Battle Towards Surrender: Epilogue
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Rating: NC17 overall
Pairing: Emma/Regina - Swan Queen! (although it takes a little while to get there)
Spoilers: post s1-finale fic. Everything is fair game.
Disclaimer: Not mine! These characters belong to ABC/Disney, Horowitz and Kitsis. I'm just playing and no profit is being made.
Word Count: ~4500 (this part)
Warnings: Minor character deaths.

Summary: This is a collision of various prompts collected at Tumblr over the past month. It begins with Henry wondering about how they should feel about Regina now the curse is broken. From there, a plan is hatched which requires Regina and Emma to pose as lovers in order to have Regina admitted to the rabble roused to fight Rumpelstiltskin for control of Storybrooke. That's the premise, you'll have to read to find out the rest.

Prologue (Henry)  |  Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six



She’s putting away the last of the dishes when she hears the front door open and close. The slamming of it doesn’t narrow down who it might be, since apparently the inability to come and go in a civilized fashion is a genetic trait. Regina smiles briefly all the same, because if nothing else it’s pleasant to have a home where people want to announce their presence in it.


[Epilogue (Regina)]


She straightens up from putting away the last of the clean tupperware, and it makes her hip sing out in protest. Regina almost covers the hiss of pain, but Henry is in the kitchen doorway to hear it.



“You okay?” He asks, comic book rolled up in one hand and his backpack in the other. “Need me to call Dr. Whale?”



Regina opens her mouth to correct him on the name, but sighs and lets it go. Some people prefer their fresh starts, and after almost thirty years of keeping the old names from her tongue, it costs her nothing to forget the ones who wish to be forgotten.



“I’m fine,” she says, keeping the irritation from her voice. “How was school?”



“Eh,” Henry says, with a shrug. He moves into the kitchen and takes a seat at the counter, dropping the bag at his feet. “Is there any apple pie left from last night?”



“Barely,” Regina teases, moving towards the fridge with exaggerated ease, to show that she’s not in pain. “Somebody has a second helping to ‘mop up his ice cream’, as I recall.”



“I’m a growing boy,” Henry points out, unfurling his comic and smoothing it open on the counter. That much is certainly true, Regina notes. He’s shot up at least four or five inches in height since she got out of the hospital, and there’s a darkness around his upper lip and jaw that suggests her precious baby boy will soon be buying razors and other unthinkable things.



“Did you see her today?” Regina asks lightly, placing the plate with the pie in front of him, before fishing out a fork from the drawer. She spears a corner for herself first, handing over the fork when he pouts.



“Yeah,” Henry says, around a mouthful of pie. “We had lunch.”



***



“Hey,” Emma says as she slips in through the bedroom door. Her shoes and jacket are already missing, suggesting that tonight she does plan to stay. Regina gives her an appraising look from where she sits in front of the vanity, and returns to applying her night cream.



“I said ‘hey’,” Emma repeats as she bends over and rests her chin on Regina’s shoulder. “You gonna give me war paint again? I’m sure my skin is really dry, or whatever.”



“This lotion is too rich for you,” Regina says.



“Are you still pissed?” Emma asks. “Henry said you’ve been rattling around the house like Jacob Marley. So I figured you might be pissed.” She straightens up then, walking over to the bed. “I don’t want to have this conversation in the mirror, Regina.”



“I don’t know which conversation you mean,” Regina says, and she makes no attempt to keep the haughtiness from her voice. Sometimes, it’s quite liberating to be known as a Queen.



Emma flops back onto the bed, kicking her feet out like a restless child. Regina turns on the padded stool to watch her, to watch the rise and fall of her chest in that dark green shirt. The same shirt Emma wore only once in a year until Regina remarked that she liked it, and now it’s in the regular rotation. It might mean nothing, but in a world where they say so very little, Regina has learned to watch for the gestures instead.



“About the other day,” Emma says, spreading her arms out to the side like she can make a snow angel in the Egyptian cotton sheets. Regina sighs, stands up, and steps across to lean over Emma.



“I’d rather go to bed,” Regina says, and she’s being completely honest, for a change.



***



Emma doesn’t say anything else until the room is dark, and they’re lying side-by-side. Regina is too hot in her silk pajamas, but too stubborn to take them off. Emma, obnoxious to a fault, simply stripped off all her clothes before slipping, uninvited, beneath the sheets.



“Do you ever worry,” Emma asks, her voice barely a whisper, the words thick in her throat. “If he’s really gone?”



“Three bullets,” Regina says, hoping a lack of words will keep the lie about her own worries from her voice.



“Yeah,” Emma sighs. “You’re probably right.”



***



They actually sleep for an hour or so. Regina likes to think it’s bloody-mindedness, teaching Emma a lesson about showing up whenever she likes, but the truth lies more in how her residual pain medication makes Regina much more reliant on decent rest than she’s ever been before.



“I thought this would be easier, now,” Emma confesses, her hand on Regina’s hip.



“What, happily ever after?” Regina mocks, not quite trusting herself to turn around. “It would be easier if you didn’t reject me out of hand.”



“I didn’t reject you,” Emma grumbles. “I want to keep my own place a while longer. That’s not a lot to ask, Regina.”



“I asked you to move in here, and you said no,” Regina points out, irritated at the sheen of tears that blur her sight for a moment. She will not show that this matters, beyond winning the argument. “Henry wants you here, too.”



“Henry also wants a pony, and for you to make him an Iron Man suit from magic,” Emma says, and her point is reasonable, at least. Regina relents for a moment, rolling into Emma’s waiting embrace. “You know this stuff is hard,” Emma adds, kissing Regina on the eyebrow.



“We almost died,” Regina sighs, running her hand along Emma’s bare side. “I don’t know more what more you need. You certainly can’t seem to stay out of my bed.”



“Time,” Emma says bluntly. “I need time. And this,” she adds, kissing Regina quite sweetly on the mouth. “Is why I can’t stay gone for more than a night at a time.”



“That’s because you’re weak-willed,” Regina argues, but she’s threading her fingers through those unruly blonde curls, drawing Emma in for a much deeper kiss.



“Or maybe just stupid,” Emma sighs contentedly, as Regina starts kissing the most sensitive part of her neck. “And I didn’t say never,” she adds. “Just not yet, okay?”



“Okay,” Regina says.



***



Regina debates getting up once Emma falls asleep again, and eventually a craving for apple juice makes the decision for her.



It’s slow progress getting downstairs, her leg seizing up after the unexpected workout, and she’s limping by the time she makes it into the kitchen. So much for modern medicine, she grumbles to herself.



She has the fridge door open, before she notices Henry sitting at the counter, in the dark. He has a glass of milk and a flashlight that isn’t turned on. Regina blinks in the light spilling from the fridge, then looks back at her son.



“Nightmare?” She asks, quietly.



“Little bit,” Henry confirms.



“You’re not too old to come and wake me, you know,” Regina says.



“I know Emma stayed, so...” Henry shrugs off her concern.



“That doesn’t matter,” Regina states firmly. “If you don’t want to come into my room, just knock and I’ll come to you.”



“You’re a good mom,” Henry mumbles, but she hears it. It lights her up inside, she can feel it. It’s every bit as bright as the bulb that illuminates the giant fridge. “I’m sorry that I hated you,” he says, because in whatever this family is, they’re all a lot better at saying the mean parts out loud.



“You had every right,” Regina says, bringing the apple juice over and pouring a glass for herself. “I’m sorry I had to lie to you, Henry.”



“It’s weird,” Henry says, squinting at her in the dim light. “When you ran, at the hospital, I talked to Emma about you.”



“You did?” Regina asks, hesitant as she takes a sip from her glass.



“I asked her if she didn’t think that maybe being evil was a kind of curse, too,” Henry says. “I asked her about Belle’s story.”



“And what did she say?” Regina presses.



“Just that it was okay to love you, pretty much,” Henry says. “I like that about her, don’t you? That even though her mind was blown, she told me I could still love my mom.”



“You still can,” Emma says from the doorway. She flicks on the light and strolls across to take a mouthful of juice straight from the bottle. Regina wrinkles her nose in disapproval. “Oh, come on,” Emma defends herself. “It’s almost done; I’ll finish the bottle.”



“Your Royal blood just shines through,” Regina mocks, and even Henry smirks at that. “Breaker of curses, savior of the people, and not a scrap of good manners to go with it.”



“Is being fussy a curse, too?” Emma teases. “Because I’d like to break that one next.”



“You think a lot of yourself,” Regina complains, as Emma steps in close to Regina’s breakfast stool and wraps an arm easily around Regina’s shoulders. Regina feels her arm wrap around Emma’s waist before she can stop herself. Henry lights up at the sight.



“You did it, Emma,” he says. “I really don’t think she’s evil anymore.”



“‘She’ has a name,” Regina grouses, and she closes her eyes to consider whether Henry’s words are true. There’s a relaxation about her, now, in this house arrest. She feels more at peace that she ever has before, and there’s a chance that by next month she’ll be allowed some of her old freedom back.



But what she can’t tell them is that deep inside her, the old hurts live on. Like scar tissue, they’re a part of her in a way she can’t even begin to erase. She can, however, suppress the urges to hurt and to destroy. She can smother the bitterness with the freely-given love that peppers her days, and enjoy the relenting at last of her hatred towards Snow. They’ve worked together, after a fashion, and while Regina will never love her (and never, ever trust her) she can at least tolerate Snow White. That’s more of a miracle than a victory, and they all know it.



“We should all get back to bed,” Emma says carefully. “The sun will be up soon, and I don’t want to hear a lot of bitching when you two can’t wake up properly.”



“Are you staying for breakfast?” Henry asks, draining his glass and getting up to leave it in the sink.



“I’m strongly considering it,” Emma says, and Regina feels herself exhaling; it feels like the first time in years that she breathes out the whole way.



So Emma won’t live here just yet, but in the morning they’ll squabble over how sugary the cereal is and why it’s not healthy to have bacon every morning. Emma will dress in clothes that Regina would rather burn than wear and then Emma will go off to her job of patrolling a disorganized and volatile town, with her father at her side. Regina has no job now, not while she’s still under arrest, but Snow is making a surprisingly adequate Mayor; her occasional emails with strange bureaucratic questions are about much contact as Regina can handle.



And Henry, still full of wild ideas and vivid imagination, will take himself off to school where the children who have their correct memories and the ability to age are proving to make much better friends. He’s far less lonely, and although Regina still misses his childish dependence on her, she’s willing to give more of him up to see him happy.



They all make their way back to the stairs, and Henry gives them each an awkward kiss on the cheek before bounding up the steps to his bedroom. Regina freezes for a moment, daunted at the thought of hauling herself up to the second floor again, cursing herself for not considering this in her quest for juice.



But Emma’s arm is back, this time around Regina’s waist, and she doesn’t even have to ask.



“You’re still healing,” Emma says softly. “Let me help.”



Regina leans into her gratefully, but she keeps her hand on the bannister, too.

 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
03 July 2012 @ 11:01 am
Title: Battle Towards Surrender: Part Six
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Rating: NC17 overall
Pairing: Emma/Regina - Swan Queen! (although it takes a little while to get there)
Spoilers: post s1-finale fic. Everything is fair game.
Disclaimer: Not mine! These characters belong to ABC/Disney, Horowitz and Kitsis. I'm just playing and no profit is being made.
Word Count: ~4500 (this part)
Warnings: Minor character deaths.

Summary: This is a collision of various prompts collected at Tumblr over the past month. It begins with Henry wondering about how they should feel about Regina now the curse is broken. From there, a plan is hatched which requires Regina and Emma to pose as lovers in order to have Regina admitted to the rabble roused to fight Rumpelstiltskin for control of Storybrooke. That's the premise, you'll have to read to find out the rest.

Prologue (Henry)  |  Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five



“Where is he?” Emma demands, relieved when she hears the noise of Regina moving behind her. Emma can’t risk taking her eyes off this bastard for a second. He’s hopping around, dressed like a creepy David Bowie ripoff, and the girl next to him looks dazed in her shapeless blue dress, hair scraped back in a rough bun.


[Part Six]


“Emma!” Henry cries out, and that’s when she sees the cage that’s carefully camouflaged in a corner of the floor. The cruelty of it, the complete lack of humanity in locking up a harmless kid like some rabid dog makes Emma see red, and she’s half a second from vaulting over the balcony to throttle Rumplestiltskin with her bare hands.



He saves her the trouble, then, with a high-pitched giggle and a flick of his hand. Emma feels the ground give way beneath her, the sudden absence of wood and concrete and standing, and it feels like a cartoon for just a second, until gravity pulls her down, too.



***



“Regina?” Emma cries out once the impact of her body meeting rubble passes over her like a ten-foot wave of dull, then searing agony. It’s like being punched from five different directions at once, and it’s either a miracle or sheer force of will that allows Emma to sit up and discover no part of her is actually broken.



“Henry!” Regina calls out, but there’s a horrible sob where the end of his name should be. Emma scrabbles across the broken masonry towards Regina, whose leg is bent at a really unpleasant angle.



“Shit!” Emma just has time to roll before a blast of... something comes right at her back. Regina, even though she looks completely drained of color and there are beads of sweat on her forehead, manages to do something swooshy that gives them some kind of protection. “Can you move?” Emma asks.



“Fuck,” Regina replies as she tries to shift her weight. She drops her head in a moment of defeat, and Emma reaches for her hand, trying not to feel much of anything when Regina pulls her hand away.



“You have to get Henry,” Regina says. “This won’t hold for long, and I can’t heal myself.”



“You can’t?” Emma asks. “What the hell is the point of magic?”



“Listen to me,” Regina spits, cautiously touching her broken leg and then biting back a groan. “The Blue Fairy left some... let’s call them notes, okay? Before you start with me. And if we want this to be done, there is a dagger somewhere here that controls Rumplestiltskin.”



“What the hell?” Emma groans. “Regina, you could have told me this on the way here.”



“I was planning to get it myself,” Regina points out, impatient to a fault. Some of her color is returning, Emma is pleased to note, before she risks a glance over her shoulder at where Henry is still caged, and Rumplestiltskin is hopping around while the brunette looks on..



“Where will it be?” Emma presses. “I’ll get it, and then we are taking Henry out of here.”



“Watch him,” Regina gasps. “Test where he doesn’t want you to go. You’re the bounty hunter, you can figure the rest out.”



“Christ, Regina,” Emma sighs. “One of these days you’re gonna actually make my life easy.”



“Be careful,” Regina says. “And give me one of your guns.”



Emma hands it over, with just a fleeting sense of panic that Regina might shoot her in the back and take Henry for herself. Sex is one thing, but trust is another thing entirely.



“You’ll need this,” Regina says then, flicking her wrist that’s already swollen and starting to bruise. A familiar gleam appears in the air in front of Emma, and she extends her hand on sheer gut instinct, catching her father’s sword by the handle.



***



The barrier, whatever it is, comes down a minute later and Emma feels more exposed than she’s ever been in her life.



“Now, Princess,” Rumplestiltskin says, in that voice that sounds like a drunken pre-schooler. “I believe we were making a deal.”



“I want my kid,” Emma says firmly, pressing her lips together as soon as the words are out to hide the tremble in her jaw.



“She wants him, too,” Rumplestiltskin replies, nodding towards Regina. “Don’t you, your Majesty?”



“Go. To. Hell,” Regina growls at him, and Emma thinks that puts the spotlight back on her. She’s wrong though, because Rumplestiltskin clenches his hand into a fist and then a second later Regina is hovering in mid-air.



Emma holds her breath and waits for whatever retribution Regina is about to let fly, but nothing comes. She looks up to see that Regina’s hands are pinned to her sides, like she’s strapped into invisible restraints. That would be scary enough on its own but Regina’s face is showing something that Emma can’t quite understand.



She saw Regina in pain a matter of moments ago, and it’s mostly like that but something much, much worse is in Regina’s eyes. She looks... broken. This is the only word that Emma can conjure up.



Lifting her sword, Emma moves to take a testing swing at their common enemy, but that just causes Rumplestiltskin to squeeze his fist harder, holding Emma in place with a wave of his other hand. She wants to ask Regina what to do, how to escape it, but any words are cut off by the sound of Regina crying out in anguish.



Emma’s never heard a sound quite like it before, but she thinks, if souls exist and it’s possible for them to die? It would sound nearly as horrible as that.



***



“Let me go!” Regina is kicking at the air now, sobbing each time the motion jars her injured leg. Her hands are pinned flat against her thighs and it looks like she can’t catch her breath at all. “Let me go! Let me!” She’s pleading now, sounding almost like a little girl, and Emma is stunned into silence by the desperation.



She hasn’t seen anything like this since her worst foster home, where the kids would take turns being the one to take their foster father’s beatings (he had a fondness for the smallest boy, Mikey, and Emma couldn’t stand by and let that happen).



Emma feels the pressure relent and suddenly she’s able to take steps again. Without hesitating she makes a run for Henry’s little prison, almost shouting for joy when the metal bars around him seem to evaporate.



But then Henry, too, is in the air. Emma reaches for him, but he’s too high for her to catch so much as an ankle, even when she jumps.



Which is a problem in its own right, one that Emma has no idea how to solve just yet, but then she hears the roar of pure rage that bursts out of Regina.



“You leave him alone! Put him down!” She’s snarling now, thrashing in the air like a woman possessed. “Don’t do that to him!”



“A boy needs to learn, Regina,” Rumplestiltskin scolds, as though he’s a teacher handing out detention. “He has to learn to be good, doesn’t he?”



“Stop it!” Regina is shrieking now, and her throat sounds completely raw. “Let go of my son,” she whines, voice almost giving out on her.



“He’s her son,” Rumplestiltskin mocks, nodding towards Emma.



“He’s our son,” Emma yells at him without thinking. “I’m warning you. Put him down or there’s no deal to be made.”



“What about her for him, hmm?” Rumplestiltskin asks. “Would you trade your Queen for your little prince?”



“Is that what you’re offering?” Emma hesitates, because she knows what her answer should be. What she doesn’t understand is why she isn’t saying ‘yes’. Regina would do the same if the roles were reversed.



“It’s not Wal-mart, Emma,” he scolds. “You don’t get to shop around.”



Emma can’t take much more of this, so she hefts her sword again and tries to charge the nasty little man.



“I wouldn’t,” Rumplestiltskin warns, easily stepping aside when Emma’s desperate charge reaches him. She doesn’t fall, but it’s close. She’s about to try again when she hears the screams of Regina and Henry mingling, and they look like they’re being crushed. “Drop the sword, dearie,” Rumplestiltskin commands, and Emma lets it fall with a clatter, just in time for Regina and Henry to take gasping breaths again.



“Don’t do this, not to him,” Regina whimpers. “I protected him.”



“I think your mother had the right idea,” Rumplestiltskin snaps. “In fact, I know she did!” His sing-song voice makes it sound like he’s talking about a beach holiday, not child abuse, and Emma feels her blood boiling all over again. “After all, who do you think taught her how to raise a wilful girl like you?”



“This shit ends now,” Emma yells, reaching for her sword again. To hell with truces and measured steps.



“I don’t think so, princess,” he says sweetly, before letting Henry and Regina fall to the floor, the impact sudden and hard. Emma’s sword narrowly misses scalping her as Rumplestiltskin sends it flying over her head. She’s scrabbling for her gun and trying to ignore the groans of agony from Regina. That fall can’t have helped her already battered body, and in that instant, despite any angry words Emma has ever said, she knows she’s not leaving here without Regina, not if Emma can help it.



“Stop this!” The brown-haired girl calls from behind a stack of books she was using for cover. “Rumplestiltskin, stop this, please.”



“I can’t, my wee darling,” he says, smiling broadly at her. Emma feels her stomach turn over again at the idea that this monster might love that poor girl, who looks like she needs some warm soup and maybe some kind of shelter. “They’d take my power from me, given half the chance.”



“And you can’t have that, can you?” The girl says sadly. “What can I do to help?”



“Take her weapons,” he orders, jerking his head towards Emma. “I’ll hold her still while you do.”



Emma feels the creeping sensation of her limbs turning to lead again, and she stands there awkwardly while the girl comes over to pull Emma’s gun from her hand. Turning out pockets gives up Emma’s knives, and Henry’s Iron Man, which the girl looks at for a long moment before walking across to Henry and handing it to him.



“Bring me the gun,” Rumplestiltskin barks, and he’s watching Regina warily for signs of movement, but she’s still laid out on her back, groaning quietly.



“Of course, my love,” the girl says, walking up behind him and cracking him hard across the back of the head with the handle.



***



“Who are you?” Emma asks, when Henry is safely behind her back.



“Belle,” she says quietly, closing her eyes to whatever painful memories her name is dredging up.



Emma can’t help it, she honestly can’t; she throws back her head and laughs.



***



“I know your story,” Emma says, not sure why it will help, but trying anyway. “It was my favorite, actually.”



“The stories are never right in my world,” Belle says. “I expect they leave things out here, too.”



“He’s... well, here we call him the Beast,” Emma continues.



“That much is true,” Belle says, nudging Regina’s shoulder with her shoe. With no small amount of difficulty, Regina forces herself into something like a sitting position.



“But you love him,” Regina mocks, still struggling to get her words out. There’s blood matted on the side of her head, and she looks like she’s one blink from passing out.



“Yes,” Belle admits. “I do. I probably always will. But I love the man he could be; all he wants is to be the Beast.”



“Power is seductive,” Regina says, and it almost sounds sympathetic. “It’s very hard to let it go, once you have it.”



“Would you give up yours, now?” Belle asks, and the way she speaks to Regina is far more familiar. “Would you become an ordinary woman?”



Regina winces, but she’s actually thinking about it. “If I could be safe? If I could be guaranteed protection for... well, for Henry and me, then yes. I wouldn’t need it anymore.”



“You would give it up,” Belle says. “For your son. That’s what he should have done. I don’t expect him to love me that much, but he should have done it for his son.”



Emma wants to argue, to point out to Belle that she shouldn’t simply take Regina’s word for it. But Emma watched Regina’s face as she spoke every word, and superpower or not, it sounded a hell of a lot like the truth.



“But here’s the problem, dear Belle,” Regina points out. “How can I ever trust that I would be safe? The world is such a dangerous place.”



Belle’s face contorts at that. Emma doesn’t see the darkness in her expression until just a moment too late. The gun is moving, and Regina doesn’t even see it happening.



There’s a shot, the dull thud of impact, and the ghost of a scream.



***



Emma can’t look. Regina’s on her back again, and Emma doesn’t dare look to see if Regina’s chest is still rising and falling.



Emma’s face is wet. She prods uselessly at her cheek, before reaching for Henry, to stop him from seeing what Emma can’t look at.



“Emma!” He’s yelling at her, but it sounds so very far away. She tries to say his name, tries to form the simple word on her tongue, but then the noise comes back, all at once.



It feels like her shoulder is gonna explode, she thinks. Which is pretty weird.



She can taste metal in her mouth.



***



Henry is kneeling in front of her when Emma opens her eyes. She’s propped against some piece of furniture and her entire left side is throbbing so hard it feels like a giant is squeezing her. She smiles weakly at Henry, not sure if her mouth actually moves. It takes a shake of her head to feel clear again.



Belle. Surrounded by books. Well, Emma thinks to herself, where the hell is the talking cutlery when you need it?



Belle’s standing over Regina, who’s sitting up again, but horror-stricken.



“Emma!” Regina croaks. “Are you okay?”



“What happened?” Emma manages to say through gritted teeth. Talking, it turns out, doesn’t exactly help with the pain.



“She shot you,” Henry says, and although it sounds sweet and helpful, the kid looks about three seconds away from peeing his pants. Emma looks nervously towards where Rumplestiltskin is still slumped on the floor, before trying to look at the damage to her shoulder.



That makes her dizzy, sick and really freaking determined to not do that again.



***



“Why the hell did you shoot me?” Emma asks, when she feels able to talk without passing out. “I was being nice to you.”



Belle shrugs. “You’re very angry at Rumplestiltskin, but I’m just as angry at your Queen. She deserves to suffer, too.”



“Well, not to point out the obvious, but why not shoot her?” Emma presses.



“Hey!” Regina grumbles, but Emma ignores it.



“Trust me,” Emma says. “By doing this to me, you’re probably doing her a favor.”



“What?” Belle snaps, that scary look back on her face. Emma tries not to show fear, but it’s creeping her the hell out. “Oh. Oh, you don’t see it, do you? The way she looks at you. You’re important to her, Emma.”



“You really are crazy,” Emma mutters, before she can stop herself.



“Let them go,” Regina interrupts. “You can take me. Or leave me here for your little boyfriend to deal with when he wakes up.”



“Regina--” Emma tries to interrupt.



“No arguments,” Regina insists. “We came here for Henry. So long as he walks out of here with at least one parent, it’s mission accomplished.”



“Yeah, but more like the way George Bush said it,” Emma retorts.



“He must have a plan for taking us back to the Forest,” Regina says, quite calmly. “Even if he doesn’t, he probably knows how to do it. I should stay. Take Henry and get the hell out.”



“Mom, no,” Henry pleads, watching Belle warily before stepping closer to Regina.



“I won’t hurt you, Henry,” Belle says, and in that moment she looks almost as young as he does. “I’m sorry that Rumplestiltskin did.”



“Stay with Emma!” Regina barks. “Don’t trust her,” she adds, pointing at Belle. “She just admitted she wants to hurt me through the people I love.”



Emma tries not to react to what has to be a slip on Regina’s part, but the impact hits her heart like another bullet. She drops her head for a long moment, hoping no one notices her reaction.



“Why do you want to hurt my mom?” Henry asks, his defiance the perfect blend of Emma’s genes and Regina’s parenting.



“She told a lie about me, once,” Belle sighs. “Oh, she did other things, too. Cost me the man I loved, locked me up in this horrible town for twenty-eight years, but it’s the lie that did the real damage.”



“You had prisoners here?” Emma’s head snaps back up, her reaction replaced with blind rage.



“It was... necessary,” Regina says quite calmly. She pats the bag that’s resting against her hip. “I told you, I always have leverage.”



“You couldn’t leave one life unfucked, could you?” Emma groans.



“Watch your language,” Regina snaps, nodding towards Henry.



“Are you fucking kidding me right now?” Emma fires back. “Death, destruction and a lifetime’s worth of nightmares, but oh, let’s protect Henry from the naughty words.”



“I’ve heard cursing before,” Henry chimes in helpfully. “But Emma, we need to get you to a doctor. You too, Mom.”



“She’s going nowhere!” Belle shouts. “I’m not done here.”



“Then shoot me, if you must,” Regina drawls. “Because frankly, dear, it’s just getting a little dull otherwise."



Belle raises the gun, one more time.



***



Emma Swan is kind of an idiot, sometimes. She knows this fact about herself, just like she knows that her hair is, in fact, naturally blonde and that she really can’t throw with her left arm.



So that’s probably why she launches herself, weak from blood loss and shot in the shoulder, straight at the legs of a madwoman with a gun. Still, she would feel a lot more like an idiot if it hadn’t actually worked.



Emma’s sobbing as each rolling wave of pain hits her, but Belle is on the ground beneath her, and the gun went flying off somewhere in the piles of books. That’s a victory, right there. If Emma can fight off the fuzzy blackness at the edge of her vision, it’s going to be fine.



“Let me go,” Belle whimpers, and Emma feels herself fade out.



***



Emma comes to, and spits out the blood that’s pooling under her tongue. It doesn’t seem too bad, this latest hit.



When she opens her eyes fully she sees Regina, standing unsteadily and with all her weight on her uninjured leg.



“Protect Henry,” Regina says. “I don’t want him to see this.” She takes the glowing red heart from her bag and leans over Belle, who’s propped up like Emma is.



“Don’t kill her,” Emma groans. “Enough people have died already.”



“She’s not going to kill her,” Henry whispers as he presses into Emma’s side, thankfully not the one she got shot in.



“Look away, Henry,” Regina commands softly, and he presses his face against Emma’s arm obediently. “This is going to hurt,” Regina says, and she looks honest-to-God crazy with the wild eyes and the blood on her face. But Emma can’t look away, she won’t let herself.



With a trembling hand, Regina presses the heart against Belle’s chest, and Belle offers no resistance. Emma wonders how long she was out, what they’ve discussed to go from wielding guns to offering up hearts.



“Hold still,” Regina says, and it actually sounds kind. “Close your eyes.”



Belle closes her eyes and Regina pushes. Emma tells herself that this is not the weirdest thing she’s ever seen, but her brain is having a hard time believing that as a hand disappears inside another body and comes back out without a mark.



Emma’s waiting for something horrible to happen, or maybe for Belle to disappear in a flash of light. Instead she starts, very slowly, to smile.



“Oh,” she says, a laugh tripping out over her words. “I can feel. I can feel everything.”



“Yes,” Regina says, moving away. “But be warned, the bad will come too.”



“I can take it,” Belle says dreamily. “Oh, I wondered why I felt so awful. I thought I’d never be happy again.”



“What did you do?” Emma asks, still not quite trusting herself. Maybe she’s still unconscious on the floor; maybe this really is just a trippy dream.



“I’m making amends,” Regina says. “Or trying to.”



“Oh,” Emma says, and Henry lifts his head to watch the little scene.



“Uh, Mom?” Henry says. “I think Rumplestiltskin just made a noise.”



Emma turns along with Regina, and sure enough another little groan escapes the man on the floor.



“Shit,” Emma groans. Regina doesn’t correct her this time.



“You have to decide,” Regina says firmly, addressing Belle again. “What do you want? Will you stay with him?”



There’s a loud crack as the walls begin to tremble. Well, that’s not a good sign, Emma thinks.



“I don’t want to stay with him,” Belle tells them, her lower lip trembling. “And even if we can go back? I don’t want to go there, either.”



“You want to run,” Emma says softly.



“Yes,” Belle drops her chin to her chest for a moment. “I want a fresh start, where nobody can lock me up or tell me what to do.”



“It’s not always that easy,” Emma presses. “But if you run far enough, you’ll find somewhere to stop eventually.”



“Just tell me where,” Regina sighs, and she looks incredibly weak. “And I’ll send you.”



“I read a book here,” Belle replies. “About Hawaii. It seemed nice.”



“Very well,” Regina says with a shrug. “But you have to go now.”



Belle nods and reaches for the hand that Regina offers. In a flash and a cloud of black smoke, Belle is gone.



***



“We should go,” Emma warns as the walls shake again. Whatever is happening as Rumplestiltskin starts to wake up, it is not even close to good.



“We have to find the dagger,” Regina points out, but she looks like she’s going to collapse at any moment.



“Help me up, kid,” Emma asks, and he wraps her arm around his shoulders to do exactly that. Emma moves in to take Regina’s arm, relieved when there’s no resistance. “There’s no time, Regina. Let’s just go.”



“But if we kill him with his dagger, we retain his magic,” Regina explains, her eyes wide with something like excitement. “Combined with my own, it will get us back to the Forest, I’m sure of it.”



“That doesn’t matter,” Emma pleads. “Nothing will if we’re dead.”



“Then you two go,” Regina snaps. “I’ve already told you.”



“You know standing around discussing it is usually how the bad guys get thwarted in movies,” Emma jokes weakly.



Rumplestiltskin groans again, his legs twitching. It makes books start flying off the shelves, and somewhere overhead glass is cracking.



Emma acts on instinct. She pulls her spare gun from Regina’s waistband and points it at him.



“You know what?” Emma says with sudden, perfect clarity. This is what she does, she’s the White Knight, after all. It feels like picking up a bat and knowing that the first hit is going to sail right over the fence. “To hell with daggers, and magic, and all that crap. This ends right here, right now.”



It’s awkward, having to point the gun with her left hand, but Emma steps closer to the twitching monster on the floor, figuring a lack of distance will make up for the rest.



“No, stay with Henry,” Regina instructs, nodding for Henry to help her complete the same few steps Emma just did. “I’ll do it. I’ve already killed enough people. You don’t want any more on your conscience.”



“Let me do it,” Emma argues. “I’m the White Knight, aren’t I? And the Sheriff, to boot. It should be me.”



“I don’t need you to save me,” Regina says sadly. “Every time I did, no one came. I can save myself.”



“Okay,” Emma says, because whatever protective urge she feels right now, it’s more important that Regina get her fucked up version of a happy ending. If that means killing the guy who took the real kind away, then so be it.



She hands over the gun, and pulls Henry in close so he can’t see. But Emma leaves her hand on Regina’s shoulder as she aims the gun.



***



Regina nods, sighs, and fires three rounds into Rumpelstiltskin’s head and chest.



***



Emma panics, at first, when the building starts to crumble.



But then Regina is holding on to her, pistol still in hand, and Henry is squashed between them as they dissolve. It feels like sand has been poured over her, Emma realizes, and just when it feels too weird to handle, she’s solid again, and they’re standing outside the library, watching it fall.



It’s loud, is her first thought. And there’s dust everywhere. Henry is shaking as he grips her around the waist, and Regina’s resting her head on Emma’s shoulder in a way that screams exhaustion more than anything like tenderness.



But then the noise isn’t stone and glass anymore. There are voices, loud and tumbling over each other and full of noises Emma can’t even begin to understand. She looks at the ground, remembering the Wolf she killed, seeing nothing but a stain of red that’s rapidly disappearing as the dust cloud settles.



“You got us all out,” Emma mumbles against the side of Regina’s face.



“That’s the point of magic,” Regina retorts, sounding half-asleep. “My kingdom for a painkiller,” she adds.



Henry wriggles out from between them, and Emma just wraps her good arm around Regina a little tighter, pulling her close. They smell like sweat and dust and burning, a little, but Emma can’t let her go, not now.



“Everyone’s here!” Henry squeals, running towards the noise. “Grandma! Grandpa!”



Emma wants to look up. She will, in a minute. Just a little longer, just like this.



***



“What I said earlier,” Emma continues as they sway slightly in the middle of the street. Those voices are getting louder and louder.



“S’okay,” Regina says, and it’s only then that Emma realizes Regina’s hand is gripping Emma’s injured shoulder. Which, surprisingly, is not making Emma scream in protest.



“What are you doing?” Emma asks, and she feels the aches in her back and legs lessen, too.



“Healing,” Regina explains, without lifting her head. She pulls her hand away and a crumpled bullet bounces across the tarmac of the road with a dull tinkling noise.



“Nice trick,” Emma concedes. “Can you really not do yourself?”



“Doctor,” Regina says, slumping against Emma a little more. Feeling stronger, renewed really, Emma bends at the knee and picks Regina up as carefully as she can.



“Ruby!” Henry yells. Emma winces at the name, turns to explain to him that Ruby isn’t going to be in the swarming crowd of people, but instead Emma in confronted with the sight of Ruby herself.



There’s a patch of blood on Ruby’s shirt, right over her heart, but she’s walking and smiling and hugging Henry so hard it picks him clear off the ground.



“How are you...” Emma starts to ask, almost dropping Regina as her arms go slack with shock.



“Magic is unpredictable here,” Regina answers, her words muffled against Emma’s chest.



“Guess so,” Ruby shrugs. “What happened in there?”



“That,” Emma says, “is one hell of a long story.”



***



She gets lost, for a minute, in the sensation of hands on her arms, patting her back, talking at her in words she barely understands. Emma’s starting to panic, that familiar tightness in her chest that says it’s time to run, time to get away from all these people demanding things she doesn’t know how to give.



But then her father is there, with his serious blue eyes and strong arms.



“Let me take her,” he says. “The doctor is right here.”



Emma does, and when the weight of Regina is lifted out of her hands it’s like stepping off of a landmine. It all comes pouring out in tears and sobbed words and feelings, right into the waiting arms of her mother, who knows exactly how to hug it all better without Emma even needing to ask.



Snow is stroking Emma’s hair, murmuring that she’s safe, and for maybe the first time in her life that’s true.



“I need to go with her,” Emma says when she gets her breath back. “I need to.”



“Of course,” Snow says, smiling with just the slightest hint of sadness. “Is he really gone?”



“Dead,” Emma confirms. “Saw it with my own eyes. I don’t think we can get back to, you know, the Forest without him, though.”



“Doesn’t matter,” Snow sighs, though the tears shimmering in her eyes suggest otherwise. “Here, there, it doesn’t matter. We just need to be together.”



“Emma!” Henry calls out, and with the pressure of her tears released she feels able to be a mother again, to be everything he needs her to be. “They’re taking Mom to the hospital, can we go?”



“Of course, kid,” she says, taking his hand as they jog after David. It’s only a couple of blocks to the hospital, and they catch up with him easily enough.



“Hey,” Emma says, watching Regina for signs of a reaction.



“You’re sticking around?” Regina says, not opening her eyes.



“Yeah,” Emma replies. “I suppose I am.”

 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
Title: Battle Towards Surrender: Part Five
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Rating: NC17 overall
Pairing: Emma/Regina - Swan Queen! (although it takes a little while to get there)
Spoilers: post s1-finale fic. Everything is fair game.
Disclaimer: Not mine! These characters belong to ABC/Disney, Horowitz and Kitsis. I'm just playing and no profit is being made.
Word Count: ~4500 (this part)
Warnings: Minor character deaths.

Summary: This is a collision of various prompts collected at Tumblr over the past month. It begins with Henry wondering about how they should feel about Regina now the curse is broken. From there, a plan is hatched which requires Regina and Emma to pose as lovers in order to have Regina admitted to the rabble roused to fight Rumpelstiltskin for control of Storybrooke. That's the premise, you'll have to read to find out the rest.

Prologue (Henry)  |  Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four


Emma stares at their needlessly tidy bedroom, empty backpack in her hand. She can’t quite make herself go back outside and ask Regina what to take, and the raised voices have already moved off down the corridor anyway.


[Part Five]

It’s only when she reaches for her phone on the nightstand that Emma is spurred into real action, because the slightly scraped handset is resting on top of one of Henry’s comic books. With the experience born of too many middle-of-the-night escapes, Emma throws some underwear, easily-layered tops and a couple of pairs of pants on the bed, before rooting around in the bottom of the room’s only closet for her second gun and extra ammo, handcuffs and the probably pointless weapons of police nightstick and a couple of switchblades that, well, she’s never quite managed to part with. She dresses in yesterday’s clothes, pulling things on with rough hands that won’t quite stop shaking.



The rest is easy enough, and by the time Ruby appears in the doorway with her own small bag, Emma feels like she’s packed about as well as she can, considering. She shoves the comic book under her pillow, even though the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach says she won’t be coming back to this room again.



“Hold these,” Emma says as she hands the bags off to Ruby, pushing past her friend to re-enter Henry’s room next door. She tries very hard not to look at the bed, because her earlier sweep confirmed some drops of blood on the blanket. Emma reminds herself to ask Regina if Henry is prone to nosebleeds, and then in the next moment she vows to say nothing at all.



Wondering won’t do anyone any good.



She looks in the drawers quickly, unearthing Henry’s book that seems somehow essential even though the curse is broken and the stories say nothing about how to defeat their mortal enemy. Henry would want her to bring it, Emma tells herself. She’s walking back out when she spies his Iron Man toy in the corner. It only takes an extra couple of steps to pick it up and jam it in her pocket.



She leans against the door jamb, resisting some latent urge to pray; she has no idea what she’d even be praying to. All she wants, in this last moment of quiet, is to get the chance to give Henry back his toy.



***



“Do you know what Regina wants you to do?” Emma asks Ruby as they stand in a corner of the Great Hall and watch Emma’s parents corral the remaining unhappy citizens into something like order. Subjects, Emma corrects herself. Citizens live in a democracy, not under a Royal Family. She remembers seeing that on the History Channel, once.



“I think I do, yeah,” Ruby says, and the way she squares her jaw deters Emma from asking anything else. She’ll know, soon enough.



“It’s weird, how everyone just... does what they’re told,” Emma says instead. “That my parents are the ones who get to boss everyone around.”



“It’s in their best interests,” Regina says as she appears next to them in a cloud of black smoke.



Emma rolls her eyes and hopes nobody noticed how she just squealed in fright. Regina’s already stepping up the special effects, and somehow that comforts Emma. There’s something bigger than her and her Glock on their side, and that’s pretty much the only reason Emma can breathe in and out right now.



“Shouldn’t you be saving the magic for later?” Emma asks, resisting the urge to take Regina’s hand.



“There’s no time to waste,” Regina answers, looking at the crowd once more. “I need to give them some final instructions. And then we leave.”



Regina strides across the room, and Emma scurries to follow, realizing this is her chance to say some kind of goodbye to her family. As she watches Regina part the restless crowd, Emma wonders how there was ever a time she didn’t recognize this woman as a Queen.



***



Emma thinks she can make it out of there without anyone crying. It doesn’t surprise her though, that James is the first to break.



“I’ll be okay,” she murmurs as he hugs her close, Snow forming the other side of the smushed up triangle that the hug becomes. “Dad,” she whispers as she kisses him awkwardly on the cheek. “Mom,” she says, her voice catching as Snow kisses Emma on her cheek in turn.



“Find him,” Snow says, squeezing Emma so hard that maybe nobody can breathe. “That’s what we do.”



***



Ruby falls in step behind Regina and Emma as they march across the damp grass towards the convent gate and the edge of their magical protection. Emma feels the chill in the air through the clothing she threw on carelessly, and wonders how many magical quests begin with a so-called hero wondering if they can stop to add an extra layer.



***



“Red,” Regina says, and her voice is so kind that Emma wonders for a moment if Henry has somehow appeared. “Have you guessed already?”



“I have,” Ruby says, squaring her shoulders and trying very obviously to avoid looking at Emma. “And I understand. It’s okay.”



“Wait a minute!” Emma cries, lost already. She can feel the crackle in the air where magic is holding them in, see the deserted street on the other side as though it’s frozen in time. “If this is some kind of human sacrifice--”



“No,” Ruby answers. “It’s not like that, Emma.”



“I need Red to transform,” Regina starts to explain. “I need a truly magical being to breach the defenses Gold will have in place.”



“Transform?” Emma says. “You mean, into a, um...”



“Yes,” Regina says. “It’s the only way.”



“But it’s not even a full moon,” Emma says, gesturing vainly at the cloudy sky.



“Don’t worry about it,” Ruby says firmly. “Where to, Regina?”



It’s an act of staggering defiance for Ruby--Emma knows that much at least--to call her former Queen by her first name. Regina flinches, but the small smile she gives Ruby seems genuine, at least.



“We need help from another Henry,” Regina says.



***



Ruby refuses to come inside the vault, and Emma’s glad of it.



Their progress across town has been stilted and silent, Regina waving her hands at things and eventually directing them towards the creepiest place possible. Emma would have been surprised if it weren’t so entirely predictable.



She remembers being inside this building with Graham, feverish and babbling. This time she reads the inscription - Henry Mills - and it’s enough to make her throw up in the corner.



Emma expects Regina to take offense, to throw her out into the cold to wait with Ruby, but instead Regina steps in and absent-mindedly rubs Emma’s back.



“I know,” Regina says, shattering the silence as Emma stays hunched over, willing her stomach to settle. “I’m sorry I had to bring you here.”



“It’s for Henry,” Emma manages to gasp. She doesn’t spill the contents of her head though, about the father Regina murdered to bring them here or poor, sweet Graham, killed to keep the curse intact. Emma knows these truths now, and she knew them when she took Regina into her bed. It’s being confronted with this reminder, this exposed nerve that was obscured by the bandage of war mentality, that has sent Emma into a tailspin.



“It’s not easy, is it?” Regina asks. “Being confronted with the real me, after all this.”



Emma shakes her head, and straightens up slowly.



“I can’t change it,” Regina adds, her jaw lifted in defiance.



“Let’s just get whatever you need, okay? Henry’s waiting.”



***



It looks like one of Henry’s toys, Emma thinks. Glowing red, almost like plastic.



Part of her wants to touch, she even raises her hand, but Regina pulls the heart away.



“No,” Regina is firm, her eyes dark with that terrifying depth that makes Emma back slowly towards the stairs. “This is the last bit of leverage I have. This stays with me.”



***



“So where’s Gold?” Emma asks when they step back out into the night air, but she’s careful not to look either woman in the eye. This is rapidly approaching too-fucking-much territory and there’s a little voice in the back of her head saying there’s still a chance she can pull this off by herself if she can just strike the right bargain with Gold; it’s terrifying that she knows that includes trading herself for the kid.



When that happened, Emma doesn’t know, but she suspects that’s why her kisses suddenly started Lazarus-ing people.



If there’s a time when all of this won’t be weird, Emma wishes it would hurry up and get here.



***



The library, Emma is unhappy to see, still stands looking as shuttered but as undisturbed as ever. This is what she considers the point of no return, more so than Regina’s reluctant confession or Henry lying motionless in a hospital bed. Something shifts, something permanent, when you ride down in an elevator to slay a dragon.



“This is his base?” Emma asks, unconvinced. “Not some underground lair, not even his own big fancy house?”



“Yeah,” Ruby confirms. “You really want to trust me on this,” she adds, hitting her nose with her finger with a silly grin that makes Emma want to giggle, just for a second. There isn’t going to be enough tequila in the world to make them forget this day.



“So... do we just knock?” Emma presses, feeling ridiculous as they crouch inside a boarded up dry cleaners’ store. Regina is keeping her distance, as she stands and peers through a gap between boards.



“This is where it gets... complicated,” Regina starts to explain, and that is apparently what it takes for Emma to finally lose it.



“Oh God,” she gasps, her laughter already on the verge of full-blown hysterics. “But... this? Complicated? Jesus fucking Christ, what has it been before now?”



She slumps down against the boards until she’s sitting on the floor, clutching her aching ribs and feeling cool, dusty wood against her cheek. It’s Regina who comes over, crouches beside her and gently (well, not too gently) slaps Emma’s face.



“Ow!” Emma yelps, sobering in a second flat.



“This isn’t a bad dream, Emma,” Regina lectures. “I need you to stay with me now, because I can’t get Henry alone.”



“Fine,” Emma grumbles, sitting up and holding her face. “You didn’t have to hit me.”



“Can we get on with it?” Ruby asks, dropping her backpack over by the counter. “I don’t want to chicken out.”



Regina looks alarmed at that, and she’s standing again in an instant.



“Wait,” Emma says, getting back to her feet, too. “So you’re... what? Going to cast a spell and make her a wolf? Won’t she--no offense, Rubes--you know, eat us?”



“Red will be outside when the incantation takes effect,” Regina says, pinching the bridge of her nose.



“And how do we stop her eating Henry? How do we turn her back?” Emma’s getting pretty pissed off with this fairytale shorthand and always being the last to know what the hell is going on. She’s got as much chance of being vaporized by lightning bolts or whatever the hell they’re facing, and this half-telling her can’t go on.



“She can’t,” Ruby says, taking her necklace off and shoving it in her backpack. She starts stripping, one item at a time until Emma’s pointed look makes Ruby explain a little further. “There’s no point in ruining the clothes when I change.”



“So how long until the moon changes and you turn back by yourself?” Emma presses and she can almost taste it, the sense of her own stupidity as the words fall from her lips. There’s a reason nobody told her the whole story, and she doesn’t want to finish the thought.



“It won’t work like that,” Regina says. She’s pacing back and forth, the boots which actually belong to Emma are squeaking on the floor. The jeans are Regina’s own, but it occurs to Emma that she’s never seen her wear anything like this before. Maybe Emma just expected Regina to stare down the end of the world in a shift dress and four-inch heels.



“Which is why you need this,” Ruby says, pulling something from the jeans she just took off and flicking it at Emma. It’s a silver bullet, and Emma is almost too stunned to catch it, but her hand moves and flexes without conscious thought on her part.



“This is the ammo for my Glock,” Emma says, her tongue too thick for her mouth all of a sudden. “Oh, Ruby, no. No, no, no.”



“It’s the only way to walk through his enchantments without giving him advance warning,” Regina says. “I can explain to you the layering of magic performed on already magical beings, but we don’t have that kind of time. Ruby breaks the barrier, and we follow her. It’s our only chance at getting through unharmed.”



“And then we just shoot her?” Emma squeaks. “Like, in the foot?”



“Oh, Emma,” Ruby sighs. “You put it in my heart, or you’re all dead.”



Emma wishes she had anything left in her stomach to throw up.



***



“Only an hour until sun up,” Regina says as she watches Ruby walk across the street. “This had better work.”



“I hate this,” Emma whispers. “I hate you for this.”



Regina looks at her then, wounded but not even slightly surprised.



***



“Once we find Henry,” Regina explains, her fingers already swiping at the air to work magic on Ruby. “Your only job--do you hear me--your only job is to get him back here alive, understood? Don’t engage, don’t fight, just pick him up and get. him. out.”



“What about--”



“I’ll handle the rest,” Regina says, pursing her lips as she performs a final flourish with her hand. “There,” she breathes, and Emma can’t help but look back towards the street.



Ruby doesn’t look scared, Emma thinks. She looks so young though, and so impossibly alone. For a moment, Emma thinks Regina’s masterplan isn’t working, and that they’ll have to take their chances with kicking down doors and other tactics more suited to this world.



But then Ruby tips her head back and howls; Emma thinks it sounds more like a scream.



***



The running feels good, at least, even over such a short distance. It’s the burst of adrenalin Emma needs to clear her head, to stop panicking and just focus on Henry, and getting him back. She wonders if this is how her parents felt in those few hours between giving her up and forgetting she existed (Snow tried to tell her the story a hundred times, but Emma has had enough of stories and so only a few scattered details have been shared in conversation). She wonders if their panic and loss tasted like metal on their tongues.



Ruby--not Ruby, the Wolf--is snarling as it sniffs the air. Emma feels herself freeze up as Regina fits her old skeleton key in the library’s lock.



The magic barrier must have broken, though Emma felt no evidence of it. She wonders if there might be another deception here, another heartbreaking trick, but even confronted with Regina at her most evil, Emma can’t seem to help trusting what she says.



Gold, after all, has form when it comes to tricking them all. And he’s the one who might be hurting Henry. So when the choice is down to this? It isn’t really a choice at all, Emma knows.



The Wolf is pacing on the street, pawing at the ground. Emma thinks that maybe--just maybe--it won’t notice them, or that Ruby will somehow be able to exert some control. Emma blinks away sudden, scalding tears at the thought of Ruby, who’s probably gone forever now, even if they can get safely inside without harming her.



Regina shoves at the door finally, and Emma tries to rush inside with her.



“Wait!” Regina snaps, nodding back at the Wolf who’s already turning towards them. “You still have to shoot her.”



“But we’re in!” Emma hisses. “Come on!”



“Emma!” Regina warns, because the Wolf is crouching now. “Do you want it to go wandering off into the woods?”



Emma thinks about her family, about the people she suspects she’ll never see again, and how she needs them to provide a safe home for Henry if she dies here, tonight. In that moment she reaches for the gun at her hip and fires the most accurate shot of her life.



She turns around before the body falls to the ground; there’s nothing she can do to shut out the noise the Wolf makes as it dies.



***



The library appears untouched from the night when Henry died. Emma knows that the chair in front of her is the one she found Regina tied to, and the discarded duct tape on the floor bears that out. Emma’s overwhelmed, again, by the sense that this could all be wrong; the last fragments of her confidence spiraling out of her with the bullet that killed one of the few dear friends she’s ever had.



She doesn’t wait for instruction, doesn’t listen to Regina’s muttered words, but instead strides forward and starts kicking the shit out of the disused library counter. So much for flying under the radar, because either Gold is here and knows they’re here (like he knows everything else, the lying kidnapping son of a motherfucker) or they’re wasting time in an abandoned building while God knows what is happening to Emma’s kid.



“Stop it!” Emma hears from behind her, but she kicks and slams her fist against the wood until Regina has to bodily drag her from it. Regina’s arms around her waist is the contact that lets the tears finally fall, and Emma is squirming to break free as though that will stop all these feelings pouring out of her. She had gotten so good at holding all of this in, after years of learning to cry silently and then not cry at all. Since Henry showed up she’s been dangerously vulnerable, feeling things she doesn’t even recognize, let alone understand.



“Sorry,” Emma sighs when the fight leaves her body, and only then does Regina let go.



“You’re lucky I could silence the worst of it,” Regina snaps, and Emma doesn’t need to turn around to see the pissy little frown. “You need to calm down.”



“Calm down?” Emma gasps, reeling around to face Regina, who’s got her arms folded over her black leather jacket. “I just shot my friend in cold blood. Henry could be dead by now, and my only hope is the witch that I’m somehow crazy enough to be screwing in between magical fucking wars. Which bit should I be calm about, Regina? Hmm?”



“Boo hoo,” Regina says, her voice cold and mocking. “You’re just like your parents: you honestly believe you’re the only one who’s suffering. Well, this is what being a mother is, Emma Swan. It’s doing anything--anything--to keep your little boy safe. We are his best chance.”



“Don’t you dare lecture me,” Emma spits. “I won’t deny what you’ve done for Henry, but you also turned out to be the actual Evil Freaking Queen.”



“And you turned out to be a princess,” Regina counters. “I’m tired of this,” she adds. “Let’s do what we came here to do.”



“Fine,” Emma agrees. “But once we get Henry out of here? You and I are done.”



“I thought we already were,” Regina throws back over her shoulder as she leads the way down a darkened hallway.



***



Emma doesn’t mean it, is the worst part.



Every angry word comes out so easily, and then she’s jogging after Regina and wishing she could take it all back. The risk is, of course, that if Emma has already wounded Regina too much, there’s no way she’s going to forgive it. The last time someone broke her heart, well, Emma is still trying to process all of that. Not to mention that she’s pretty sure she has no claim over Regina’s heart at all, though it has been fun claiming other parts of her night after night.



She’s about to ask Regina if they’re even in the right place when the corridor opens up into a grand library, the likes of which Emma has only seen in Disney movies. The light flickers in a strange way, almost as if what she’s seeing isn’t fully there. They’re standing on some kind of balcony, and there are no books up here, just dusty furniture and discarded sheets.



Emma leans on the railing as they look out over what feels like miles and miles of books, alert to the slightest sign of movement, for any sign of Henry.



The door they came through slams shut behind them in a sudden gust of wind, and Emma feels a trickle of something like ice roll down her spine.



The laughter, when it starts, seems to come from everywhere at once. Emma reaches for her gun again, seeing Regina raise her hands in some kind of defensive posture. There’s no sign of anyone, but the bag Regina has strapped across her chest is giving a stronger red glow now, making it visible through the black canvas.



“I don’t think so, dearie,” says the echoing voice. Emma turns in time to see sparks crackle at the end of Regina’s fingers, but they fizzle out as Regina is lifted up and slammed against the wall behind them. The impact is loud, sickening, and Emma can feel the air rush from her own body as loudly as Regina’s.



Only when Regina is a crumpled heap on the floor does Gold--Rumplestiltskin--step into view. There’s a dark-haired woman at his side, and noise from the stacks of books suggest they’re not the only two in the room.



“I’ve come for Henry,” Emma says, sounding a hell of a lot braver than she feels.



“Of course you have,” he shouts across the room at her. “Looks like it’s time for us to make another deal.”


Part Six --->
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
03 July 2012 @ 02:15 am
Title: Overcompensating
Pairing: RPF - Jennifer Morrison/Lana Parrilla 
Rating: NC17 
Spoilers: post upfronts, which I am apparently happy to write and rewrite. 

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of FICTION. No knowledge of these people is claimed or implied. This is fiction based on public persona alone and no harm is intended. It is particularly important that nobody be crazy enough to tweet links etc at any of the people involved. I have no relationship with any of the people mentioned, and do not believe that any of this is in any way true.


"You might wanna tone it down," Lana says through gritted teeeth.


"Tone what down?" Jen snaps, moving even closer to the car window, until she's actually got her arm pressed against it.


[Overcompensating]

"So many hot men," Lana mocks in a high-pitched voice. "The guys are all so hot, oh, I'm just so attracted to all these men."


"I didn't say that," Jen is trying to shut this down, but this is why she's been avoiding Lana for months: the woman is insanely persistent. Which of course means the studio sticking them in the same car for upfronts; Jen cannot catch a break. "And this is hardly the place for--"


"Oh, like there's any place you'll ever discuss this," Lana fires back. "I make a comment in passing about you staring at my lips, and you've been acting like I'm invisible since the start of the year."


"You just assume the whole world is in love with you," Jen argues. "Your ego is not my problem, lady."


"I was trying to help you," Lana says. "You're obviously not happy, and there's no need to be miserable."


Jen rolls her eyes.


"Just because you've found some Canadian to keep you warm at night, doesn't mean the rest of us need your pearls of wisdom," Jen snarks, staring at the gray leather of the divider, wishing the driver had left it down. Maybe then her most irritating co-star could be shamed into shutting up.


"Careful," Lana warns. "I might start thinking you're jealous."


"He's not that cute," Jen counters.


"I meant jealous of him," Lana sighs.


Jen opens her mouth to shoot down the ridiculous notion but--there it is again, dammit to hell--there’s that familiar trickle of dread down her spine as she’s confronted with the uncomfortable truth. She doesn’t want to ever have to say these things out loud, has no designs on becoming a poster girl for anything, and every other day it’s so easy to ignore what she really wants, who she (maybe) really is.


There’s only one person who can rock the boat so thoroughly that it feels a lot like goddamn drowning.


“Hey,” Lana says as the awkward silence stretches on. And then--no, come on--she’s reaching for Jen’s hand, and then Lana is holding it between both of her own. She runs a thumb over Jen’s palm, and it’s the first non-scripted contact between them since before Christmas, maybe, when Lana had hugged Jen and made that stupid fucking crack about staring at Lana’s mouth in half the takes. “It’s okay.”


“I don’t need your fucking permission,” Jen growls, trying to pull her hand back. But there it is again, that fucking persistence. “Let go of me.”


“Is that really what you want?” Lana asks softly, staring intently at their joined hands.


“I...” Jen can’t make herself deny it, not like this. She drops her head back against the seat, her eyes closing as she fights back tears. “I’ve worked so hard to build up this... I don’t want to lose it all to make some kind of point.”


“So, what?” Lana asks. “You’ll keep faking it with understanding guys? Keep lying to every reporter who shoves a mic in your face?”


“I don’t want it to be true,” Jen whispers, still not looking. It’s easier, just a little bit, to have this conversation with her eyes closed. Manhattan traffic is certainly doing its best to give them the time to bash it all out. “The lie would be so much easier.”


“Just like it would be easier if I didn’t care,” Lana says simply. “If I could just focus on the fact that a nice guy wants to date me, introduce me to his kids... but there you are, every time I let myself think about it.” She sighs, and Jen wonders if Lana even meant to tell her this much. “I have no problem with being attracted to women, you know that by now, but I don’t want to be this invested in you finally getting your shit together.”


“Nobody asked you to be,” Jen points out. “And you still haven’t let go of my hand.” She opens her eyes then, to find Lana watching her intently. It’s every bit as unsettling as it is on set; those dark eyes are just impossible to hide from.


“You’re not letting go either,” Lana says. She takes a deep breath and leans in close. “You want me to stop this, too?”


“No,” Jen practically squeaks. “Fuck,” she adds as Lana’s lips close in on her own.


She isn’t breathing when their mouths meet for the first kiss. Lana wasn’t wrong about all the times she caught Jen staring, and it turns out those damn lips are every bit as kissable as her subconscious has been torturing her with. The first contact is soft but fleeting, giving Jen another opportunity to stop it (one she desperately needs, and yet can’t force herself to take). The second and the third are longer and longer again, the firm pressure of impossibly soft lips making Jen’s mouth tingle, and probably making her stroke trembling fingers over Lana’s poker-straight hair.


“I hate you,” she whimpers when Lana pauses to take a breath.


“No, you don’t,” Lana reminds her, soft lips back on Jen’s before she can argue. “You like me, Jennifer,” Lana continues, between breathless kisses. “And it’s okay to like me.”


“I’m not--”


“It’s okay,” Lana repeats. Jen rests her fingers on the back of Lana’s neck, the warmth of it beneath her own cool, clammy fingertips is a like the first glass of red after a really long day.


“Yeah?” Jen asks, but the question is for herself more than Lana, and kissing her again takes away the need for an answer. This time Jen takes the lead, tentative in pressing her tongue past Lana’s parted lips, tasting mint and the fading hints of champagne. Trust Lana to have no problem with bubbly at lunch, Jen thinks, before drawing that plump bottom lip into her mouth and sucking on it.


Jen feels the moan bubbling in her throat, hears her own pulse pounding in her ears and realizes: this is the difference; this is what not pretending feels like.


Of course, the car slows down then, just as Jen is gripping the arm rest for dear life and Lana’s hand is edging beneath the hem of Jen’s dress.


“Are you kidding me?” Jen whines, the words dissolving into a sigh as Lana kisses beneath her ear.


“We’re staying in the same hotel,” Lana says with a shrug, with a teasing flick of her tongue at Jen’s earlobe before pulling away and smoothing out her black-and-silver dress. “Didn’t you know that?”


“Oh,” Jen says. “Well, that uh...”


“Oh God,” Lana sighs as the driver opens the door for them. “Come on,” she says, jerking her head towards the doors.


“I, uh,” Jen starts to say again as the elevator doors close behind them. The walk across the lobby felt like trekking to the North Pole, but now they’re hidden from prying eyes again, and all Jen can think about is reaching across the limited space and squeezing Lana’s ass.


“I’m in 1013,” Lana says calmly. “Go think about whatever you need to think about, and then if you decide you want to do this, come by my room.”


“Why are you being so cool about this?” Jen asks, as the elevator begins to slow.


“Because you’re not the only one who wants this,” Lana whispers before the doors slide open and she’s heading off in the direction of her room.


Jen presses the button for the 14th floor again, waiting for the doors to close. They’re halfway shut when she realizes that her mind is already made up, and so she quickly sticks out her arm and when the doors bounce back, Jen takes off in hot pursuit.


The room door is closing when Jen stumbles up to it in her ridiculously high heels. She knocks, because it’s only polite, and waits for Lana to turn around and pull the door open again.


“That was quick,” she says, breaking into one of those thousand-watt grins that drive Jen completely insane.


“Turns out,” Jen says, stepping inside and backing Lana against the wall. “I was just waiting for the right offer.”


“Oh,” Lana breathes. “Good reason.”


“Shut up,” Jen says, kissing Lana’s neck this time, pressing soft kiss after kiss down that elegant, inviting line. Jen takes the same path in reverse, only this time with the tip of her tongue, sighing happily at the happy little moan that draws from Lana’s mouth.


Jen knew this would be good, if it ever happened. She knows she’s going to live and die with every sigh, every groan, every flex and twitch of Lana’s body, and she’s finally, finally okay with that. They’ve been on this collision course for months, Lana invading personal space at every opportunity, Jen silently panicking that every take will show how interested she is, how her body is reacting to Lana’s proximity, even in the cold and lashing rain, under layers and layers of clothing.


She’s reacting right now, as she feels Lana’s hand pulling the zipper on her dress. Jen retaliates by pushing her thigh between Lana’s, and when their lips meet in another slightly frantic kiss, they’re both smiling into it.


“I should--” Jen starts to say, and she doesn’t really know the end of the thought.


“No should,” Lana cuts her off, as she pushes Jen’s dress towards the floor. “Damn, you were worth the wait.”


“You’ve been waiting for me?” Jen gasps as Lana sucks gently on her collarbone. They’re turning now, Lana’s hands firm on Jen’s nearly-bare hips, and the wallpaper is cool against her back when Lana steers Jen into position.


“Let me,” Lana says with another wicked grin, and her mouth is warm and wet and insistent as she kisses Jen’s breasts, treating the lace of her bra like some kind of boundary, at first. But then Lana’s fingers are pressed between Jen’s back and the wall, and there’s no more bra to worry about, just the warm pressure of lips and tongue teasing sensitive flesh until Lana is sucking hard on a nipple and Jen is practically short-circuited from that alone.


She might not survive this, but damn, what a way to go.


Lana’s thumbs are already tugging at the waistband of Jen’s thong, rubbing firmly over hipbones until pushing the little bit of fabric down and out of the way. Jen knows she’s wet (soaked, really, embarrassingly so) but if she thought that she was turned on already, if she thought she understood being aroused, that’s nothing compared to the first moment when Lana’s fingers press against wet, overheated flesh.


Oh, fuck.


So maybe it’s not exactly choreographed and polished. So maybe Jen digs her nails into Lana’s shoulders hard enough to make her hiss (Jen’s going to kiss that better, she is) and maybe it’s not exactly dignified to come, sobbing, a few short minutes later with two of Lana’s fingers inside her and Lana’s thumb on her clit, but Jen is so far past giving a fuck that it’s kind of amazing. Her knees buckle, but Lana holds her up as Jen kicks off her heels at last.


They make it to the bed, and Jen thinks maybe she’s dragging Lana at one point, but they both seem pretty happy about it when they hit the mattress. Jen watches through heavy-lidded eyes as Lana sucks her fingers clean, and she can’t resist the urge to take Lana by the wrist and take a turn at sucking on those fingers, too. It’s unusual, tasting herself on another person, and it’s a big part of the things Jen doesn’t want to say out loud right now.


About how she’s never done this with another woman while sober, or with a woman who knows who she is, or how Lana’s made her come more in ten minutes than some of her exes did in an entire relationship. All of these things are true, but it feels good to not be a neurotic ball of issues for a change. Lana doesn’t make Jen feel like they should be striking magazine-worthy poses, or making inane dirty talk that’s actually more crude than arousing. Although, Jen’s starting to suspect that Lana’s voice could make just about anything sound sexy.


She doesn’t wait to find out, though, instead Jen moves into place behind Lana. Unzipping the McQueen takes just a second (Jen thinks maybe she’ll relent on having the publicity people monopolized; Lana’s going to need the help over the next few seasons when it comes to public appearances). Lana’s shoes went somewhere between the door and the bed, and in just a simple black bra and panties she’s breathtaking.


“Wait,” Jen says when Lana attempts to turn around. “I want um, everywhere,” she tries to explain, running her fingertips lightly over Lana’s back and enjoying the shiver. Jen unhooks the bra and this time she skims Lana’s back with just a hint of her nails, not enough to cause any pain.


Jen lays down next to Lana, hand on her hip as Jen kisses the angry red marks she left on Lana’s shoulder, soothing them with her tongue. “Sorry,” she whispers.


“Don’t be,” Lana assures her, and this time when she turns around Jen doesn’t try to stop her. Jen expects it to be awkward, somehow, both naked and so close to each other, but it’s not any more intimate than the loaded exchanges on set. When Lana lays a hand on Jen’s cheek and kisses her, though, it’s certainly a hell of a lot more fun.


Jen lets her hands wander, cupping Lana’s breasts as they kiss slowly. It would feel almost lazy if the urgent thrum of more-more-more wasn’t leaving Jen a little dizzy. She circles each nipple in turn, feeling them harden under her touch. The little noises catching in Lana’s throat urge Jen on, and soon she’s rolling and pinching until Lana’s arching into every touch, breathless between kisses.


“Yes,” Lana sighs when Jen moves one hand lower. “Fuck, yes,” she adds when Jen pulls Lana’s leg over Jen’s hip and then runs her fingers through the wetness she’s uncovered.


“You really want this?” Jen asks, as Lana whimpers against Jen’s shoulder. She isn’t really expecting an answer, and so she circles two fingertips firmly over Lana’s clit, reveling in the excited moan (of course she’s vocal, of course she is).


“Inside,” Lana gasps after a few minutes, her body taut with tension, and Jen thinks she must be pretty close to coming, judging by the shallow, distracted kisses and the way Lana’s eyes keep slipping closed.


“Okay,” Jen says, biting down on her bottom lip as she presses one experimental finger inside. A second joins after a few thrusts, and then she’s a woman possessed, rolling Lana onto her back and easing a third finger in on the next thrust. Kneeling over her like this means Jen gets to suck on those perfect nipples, teasing with her tongue and then flashing just a hint of teeth.


That’s what does it, apparently. Jen doesn’t slow her fingers as Lana slams into her climax, because if Jen is finally fucking a woman and acknowledging the fact, she is damn well going to do it right. Lana seems surprised that Jen keeps up the pace, but she comes again, hard, when Jen presses her thumb down on Lana’s clit. This time, Lana grabs Jen’s wrist, a silent sign that she’s more than satisfied for now.


Jen collapses next to Lana for a moment before getting up and pulling at the sheets until they can both wriggle beneath them, the room chilly now to their overheated bodies.


“This doesn’t have to change anything,” Lana says, running her fingertips along Jen’s arm as they lie cuddled together in the mess of rumpled sheets. “I mean, I don’t expect to see you marching in any parades this summer.”


“I’m great at parades,” Jen says, stifling a yawn. “Just gimme a baton.”


“I didn’t mean to...” Lana trails off, and Jen feels a little dread pooling in her stomach. It’s not like she expects them to run off to Vermont and then start double-dating with Ellen and Portia, but all the goddamn talking and caring made her think that it might be good for more than a one-time thing. Fuck.


“What I’m saying,” Lana corrects herself. “Is that this isn’t some dare for me. I’m not here just to prove a point. I wanted this.”


“Yeah, your body kind of gave you away on that one,” Jen points out, but she can’t stop herself tensing up, pulling out of the lazy embrace they’re lying in.


“Come back,” Lana insists, reaching for her with warm hands. “I’m saying, I don’t want this to stop whenever you walk out of that door.”


“I don’t think I can walk right now, anyway,” Jen says, but she feels the dread wash away in something that might be happiness. “And yeah, I don’t want that either.”


“Then that’s something,” Lana says, and she’s the one yawning now. “Do we have anything this afternoon?”


“I was gonna shop,” Jen admits. “But that will keep.”


“Yeah,” Lana agrees, her head on Jen’s chest and her breath warm against Jen’s skin. “It’ll keep.”

 
 
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
 
 
Title: Battle Towards Surrender: Part Four
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Rating: NC17 this chapter
Pairing: Emma/Regina - Swan Queen! (although it takes a little while to get there)
Spoilers: post s1-finale fic. Everything is fair game.
Disclaimer: Not mine! These characters belong to ABC/Disney, Horowitz and Kitsis. I'm just playing and no profit is being made.
Word Count: ~4500 (this part)
Warnings: Minor character deaths.

Summary: This is a collision of various prompts collected at Tumblr over the past month. It begins with Henry wondering about how they should feel about Regina now the curse is broken. From there, a plan is hatched which requires Regina and Emma to pose as lovers in order to have Regina admitted to the rabble roused to fight Rumpelstiltskin for control of Storybrooke. That's the premise, you'll have to read to find out the rest.

Prologue (Henry)  |  Part One | Part Two | Part Three


Regina is a hesitant kisser, at first, and that surprises Emma when she considers the bossy confidence Regina approaches everything else with.

“C’mere,” Emma says, propping herself up on one elbow and then pulling Regina up to a sitting position with her. “This might make it a bit easier.”


“Since when are you interested in easier?” Regina teases, but this time she’s the one pressing her palm against the back of Emma’s neck, drawing her into a deeper kiss that leaves them both breathless.


[Part Four]

Emma is struggling to tamp down the arousal that’s coursing through her, her nipples already hard without a single touch and her head already swimming. She’s torn between the urge to throw Regina down and make her scream and this new, curious urge to take her time and explore every last inch. There’s the unspoken threat in the air that this is probably a one-time deal, and like someone finding an oasis in the desert, Emma isn’t sure she’ll be able to pace herself.


It seems Regina is fighting a similar battle, because her hands are already slipping beneath the washed-out cotton of Emma’s tank top, perfectly soft against Emma’s already overheated skin.


“Oh,” Regina says softly. She bites down on her lip as she watches her own hands travel up to cup Emma’s breasts beneath the cotton. “How did we get to this?”


“Who cares?” Emma replies, seizing the initiative and latching her mouth onto the hollow at the base of Regina’s throat. It provokes the happy hiss that Emma hoped for, and she draws out more reaction with a flash of teeth and the soothing pressure of her tongue. It only takes a few, fumbling seconds to get rid of Regina’s top, and when faced with more bare skin, Emma finds herself greedy and just a little frantic.


Regina’s touch is unrelenting, too. She flicks and then pulls on Emma’s nipples, making her cry out against Regina’s skin. That edge they both have, that familiarity with pain is creeping in, and Emma’s not surprised to feel herself getting even wetter at the thought. When her mouth reaches Regina’s nipple she’s careful to give as good as she gets, nipping with teeth and sucking hard enough to make Regina moan in that stuttering, sighing way that’s already driving Emma crazy.


The rest of their clothing is tugged off, limbs tangling as they press together, seeking out more kisses, hands stroking every newly exposed inch of skin.


“I want--” Regina says, over and over. Unable or unwilling to finish the thought, she’s the most gorgeous thing Emma has ever seen with her face flushed, eyes closed and head tilted back in invitation. “I want,” she repeats, and Emma kisses the end of the sentence against her lips.


It doesn’t take much to have Regina straddling Emma’s crossed legs so they’re facing each other, and Regina wraps her arms around Emma’s neck in agreement at the new position. Regina’s legs are spread, an invitation Emma can’t resist as she runs one testing finger between Regina’s thighs, groaning at the slickness she encounters.


“You do want this,” Emma murmurs, her mouth charting a course over Regina’s breasts again. “You want me,” she adds, and any other time it might sound mocking, even cruel. But they’re being quiet here, in their convent room (and wouldn’t the nuns Emma hated for three years in upstate New York get a kick out of that) and Emma doesn’t want to break anymore than has already been broken.


“Yes,” Regina whispers against Emma’s forehead, and that’s enough. Emma responds by sliding two fingers inside and Regina sounds like she might melt when she sighs in something like relief.


Using her thighs for leverage and her left hand to steady Regina, Emma starts working those fingers in and out in a steady rhythm, relishing every little moan and the way Regina rocks herself into every touch. They kiss, lazily, and Emma moves that steadying hand to pluck each of Regina’s nipples in turn, increasing the pitch of her excited sighs and the pace of her hips as she thrusts down on Emma’s fingers.


A third finger is a formality, and Regina’s practically sobbing by the time Emma starts circling her thumb against Regina’s clit. It would be hell on her wrist to keep this up too long, but Regina’s already starting to clench around Emma’s fingers and she can’t help wondering how long it’s been since Regina had some meaningful kind of release. Emma’s been taking care of basic needs in the shower every few days, but it strikes her that Regina doesn’t seem the type; then again, Regina didn’t seem the type to get fucked while straddling Emma’s lap in the dark, so maybe Emma doesn’t know the first thing about it. Maybe it’s safer that she doesn’t.


“Emma,” Regina almost chokes on the word, the last thing she says before coming around Emma’s hand, riding out every last second before slumping. With her head on Emma’s shoulder, Regina presses fluttering, distracted kisses against the column of Emma’s neck. “Mmm,” is her only comment, but Emma can feel the way that the tension has seeped out of Regina’s body, their warm, damp skin pressed against each other as Regina comes back to herself.


“You’re okay?” Emma asks, still a little terrified of all the damage they brought into the room. Regina kisses Emma soundly on the mouth in response, bolder with her tongue now as she explores and teases. Gradually, Regina wriggles her way out of Emma’s lap, moving around behind her and pulling Emma’s hair aside to lavish the attention of lips and tongue on the back of Emma’s neck and the lines of her shoulders.


Emma’s never mentioned that her back is especially sensitive, but Regina’s already tracing patterns with her fingertips that set Emma’s nerve endings crackling, and when she repeats the trick with her nails, Emma can’t help the gasp that escapes her. There’s some defiant streak left from months of warring with Regina, a part of Emma that wants to make Regina really fucking work for it, but Emma’s already as wet as a river between her legs, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be long before Regina discovers that for herself.


Regina’s scraping her nails over Emma’s ass now, and sure enough slides her fingers over Emma’s cunt just moments later.


“Well,” Regina says, and Emma can see the goddamned smirk without even looking around. “Seems I’m not the only one who wants something.” She strokes her fingers along Emma’s slit with a teasing pressure, and Emma tilts back into her touch without thinking twice about it.


“Don’t think you can make me beg,” Emma says, in a final attempt at defiance.


“Don’t give me ideas,” Regina warns, withdrawing her hand. But a moment later Emma hears a sucking sound and turns to see Regina licking the taste of Emma from her fingers, eyes closed in apparent enjoyment.


Oh, hell.


Emma is about to shove Regina down on the mattress and have her way with her all over again, but Regina reacts first. She presses herself against Emma’s back once more, wrapping an arm around Emma’s chest to hold her in place. Emma arches her neck, turning enough to kiss Regina who greets her with open-mouthed kisses that are just shallow enough to leave Emma closer to begging than she wants to be. Meanwhile, Regina’s other hand is stroking down over Emma’s belly, skimming the neat strip of curls until two fingertips are rubbing gently on Emma’s clit.


Regina relinquishes Emma’s mouth, but she’s sucking and biting on Emma’s shoulder as her fingers work. Regina’s other hand is tangled in Emma’s hair now, tipping her head back to get access to her neck, and Emma lets her own hands play with her nipples until she’s shuddering under the combined touches and coming with a cry that she doesn’t expect to be so loud.


She leans back against Regina, pleasantly surprised when Regina wraps both arms around her in something like a hug. It doesn’t last though, because the buzz starts to wear off and Emma starts to freak out quietly at the intimacy of it. This is not what she signed up for, this is not what they’re supposed to be.


With not very much elegance, Emma shuffles out of Regina’s embrace and collapses on the wrong side of the bed, mashing her face into Regina’s pillow.


“Tired,” she mumbles, hoping Regina can make out the word, but her sigh certainly suggests that she does.


They don’t say goodnight, but Regina takes her place on what used to be Emma’s side of the bed and pulls the sheets up over both of them.


***


Emma wakes at the first hint of sunrise through the improperly closed curtains. When she squints towards the window, she sees Regina sitting on the wide sill, arms wrapped around her knees.


Maybe the right thing to do is to say something, to ask if Regina’s alright. But Emma’s always been a reluctant hero, and right now she has no idea how to help.


She closes her eyes and tries not to call herself a coward.


***


Emma holds her breath and waits for awkward. She shouldn’t have rushed out of their room this morning, but Regina seemed intent on sleeping in and Emma’s stomach was already growling in protest. She can’t even convince herself of that, given how many meals she’s skipped in her life: willingly or not.


So she scoops more cereal into her mouth and waits for Regina to ignore her.


Instead, Regina takes the seat next to Emma and smiles broadly across the table at Henry. She seems relaxed, in a way Emma would never have expected.


“Pass the honey?” Regina asks, and Emma realizes that the jar is right by her wrist. She hands it over, not meeting Regina’s eye when she does.


“You know,” Regina leans in to whisper. “I never had you pegged for the shy type.”


“I’m not!” Emma says, just the hint of a pout creeping in. “I just wasn’t sure if we--”


“What is up with you two?” Henry pipes up. “You’re worse than Grace and Gretel, whispering all the time.”


“Eat your breakfast, kid,” Emma snaps, before softening it a little with a smile. “And not every conversation is for your ears, okay?”


“I think I liked it better when you two hated each other,” Henry grumbles.


Regina’s squeezes Emma’s thigh beneath the table at that, and she finds herself letting go of the restlessness that’s been plaguing her all morning. She doesn’t need to run, Emma tells herself. She hasn’t screwed it all up by sleeping with someone. Regina’s not freaking out or openly plotting Emma’s downfall, and in fact she seems almost... happy.


Despite the fact that in the past month Emma has had to deal with fairytales being real, discovering that she’s a secret princess and that one of her best friend’s turns into a wolf instead of just getting cramps every month, this might actually be the weirdest revelation of all.


She squeezes Regina’s hand where it’s resting on Emma’s thigh, and exhales.


***


Regina adapts--quickly--and she just expects Emma to come along for the ride. They don’t talk about what it means, or give a name to what’s happened between them, they just carry on in much the same way as they have since Regina got there, right down to the sniping and pointless arguments.


If Regina was reluctant to put her hands on Emma when it was all for show, that has evaporated in the face of what they’re now doing in bed every night. (And in the orchard, and in the showers, and hey, morning and afternoon are perfectly valid times too, it turns out). Emma’s just glad that Henry is mostly self-sufficient and that there’s a small army of people to look out for him when his mothers are otherwise engaged.


James looks away, embarrassed, every time Regina wraps an arm around Emma’s waist or takes her hand at dinner. Snow watches, her eyes dancing with curiosity, and Emma makes a point of never being cornered alone. Whatever is happening she doesn’t want to actually discuss it with anyone, least of all her best friend-turned-mom.


It’s supposed to be Emma and Regina’s turn to make dinner, but Regina gleefully enchants the knives and pots to cook for them, giving Emma the trippiest Beauty & the Beast flashback she’s ever experienced. That leaves an hour alone in an otherwise empty kitchen, and Emma does not have the restraint to stop herself reacting to Regina licking cream from her fingertip.


“This is probably in violation of some health codes,” Emma mutters as Regina lifts her onto the worktop, tugging Emma’s jeans down in the process. Any other sarcastic comments short-circuit at the feeling of Regina’s mouth against her, tongue swirling against wet flesh as Emma clutches at the edge of the counter and Regina’s hair in a desperate bid not to completely lose her mind.


Emma comes the first time from the sensation of what Regina’s doing to her, but she suspects the second is more about the way Regina moans against Emma’s cunt, giving away that she’s been fingering herself this whole time. They climax almost in tandem, then, and Emma thinks that maybe she’s going to pass out.


They’re kissing again, and Emma has Regina’s gray dress unzipped, when Snow White walks in on them. Emma blushes redder than the pasta sauce that’s cooking on the stove, and fumbles for some kind of apology. Her mother stares at Emma and Regina in open-mouthed shock, before turning and practically running back out of the kitchen.


***


“Do we need to talk?” Emma asks, when she next bumps into Snow. Emma says it while staring at the floor and wondering if it’s not too late to flee to Boston and beyond, but she makes the effort anyway.


“No,” Snow says quite firmly. “It’s your life, Emma.”


“Right,” Emma says, trying to sound for a second like she knows what the hell she’s doing. “Thanks.”


“Emma?” Snow calls out as they go their separate ways.


“Yeah?” Emma sighs, feeling like the reprimanded teenager again.


“Be careful,” Snow warns, echoing the words she said weeks ago. Emma doesn’t have the heart to tell her that--in every way that matters--it’s way too late for careful.


***


“You’re taking the wrong approach!” Regina snaps, slamming her fist on the table to make the point. Granny and Grumpy tense, ready to subdue Regina if she acts out, but Emma’s hand on her shoulder is enough to calm her. “Speak to your parents,” Regina hisses. “I am tired of wasting my breath.”


“Snow, James,” Emma begins. “What Regina is saying makes sense. Shouldn’t we focus on getting out of Storybrooke instead of picking a fight with the one guy we probably can’t take down?”


“If we leave Storybrooke, it will be for the Enchanted Forest,” Snow says firmly. “And we will not be safe to do that until--”


“Wait a minute!” Jefferson is the one to speak up from the benches. Emma still tenses at the sight of him, and she doesn’t miss the cruel smile that tugs at the corners of Regina’s mouth. “Who says we want to go back there?” He’s holding Grace’s hand as he speaks, and she looks every bit as determined as he does.


“Of course we have to go back,” James says, sounding every bit the King for once. “It’s our home.”


“I think the point Jefferson is making,” Regina interrupts. “Is that not everyone has such a charmed life in the Enchanted Forest. I’m in no hurry to return there.”


Emma tries (and temporarily fails) to look stunned at the news. Ruby catches her eye across the table, and Emma forces herself to look down. Even now, she doesn’t feel comfortable with being known.


“The Queen is right,” Frederick chimes in next. “I have no desire to return to a world where I don’t have the status to marry the woman I love.”


“Obviously, there would be changes,” Snow tries to placate them. “We’ve all learned something from being in this world.”


“Like your kid growing up to be a dyke?” Grumpy says, finally putting his glass down long enough to comment. The room falls silent at the outburst, and Emma can barely look at Snow, the betrayal on her face is so obvious, so horrible.


“I suggest you keep your counsel,” James says in a low, dangerous voice. “You’ve been a great friend to us, but that does not permit this--”


“What? We risked our lives to get you two together. To save your kid. And then we wake up to discover she’s sleeping with the enemy?” Grumpy gets to his feet, swaying again. Emma feels a pang of sympathy in the midst of her familiar red mist. It’s taking every last scrap of willpower not to walk right over there and kick his ass.


“Enough!” Snow has recovered now. “Go upstairs and sleep it off. Now!”


“I don’t know what happened to you, sister,” Grumpy says, staring her down. “But I remember all too well when you were ready to put a poison arrow through that bitch’s heart.”


There’s a ripple around the room at that, apparently Emma isn’t the only one who doesn’t know the whole story. Regina stiffens beside her, and Emma takes her hand on sheer instinct.


“I think we should take a break,” James says, not waiting for argument. “We’ll revisit this tomorrow, about going back to the Enchanted Forest.”


Emma looks around assembled faces, and sees a lot of discontent coming back at her.


***


It takes another three days, but they wake up on Saturday to discover a group has packed up and fled in the night. Snow takes it personally, wringing her hands as they work out the missing faces.


Emma hangs back in the corner, watching Regina explain something quietly to Henry. Emma’s relieved when Ruby comes charging into the room, red coat draped on her shoulders.


“You didn’t go,” Emma says, pulling Ruby into a hug that surprises both of them.


“Of course not,” Ruby says. “Snow’s almost as much my family as she is yours.”


***


It’s raining as they lie in bed, Regina’s fingers running restlessly through Emma’s hair. It would be peaceful, maybe, with someone else, but Emma is on guard. Even sex hasn’t done much to reduce the tension, though at one point Emma was concerned Regina might fuck her through the mattress.


“I was thinking,” Emma says, after a while. “I don’t know if I want to go back, either.”


“We can’t stay like this forever,” Regina counters, and Emma assumes that doesn’t just refer to being naked and a little sweaty in the middle of the afternoon. “Something has to change.”


“I suppose so,” Emma says. “I hate waiting.”


Regina presses an absent-minded kiss to the top of her head.


“Sometimes, that’s all there is,” Regina says, but it doesn’t sound as sad as it might.



***

Something else, inevitably, has to go wrong.


***


Regina’s back in bed for the night when the building shakes. Emma stumbles to her feet at the first booming noise, grabbing her gun even before her eyes are open. She’s lived through hurricanes, felt an earthquake beneath her feet, but this is somehow worse. It feels like the air itself is breaking apart, and she reaches for Regina on blind instinct as they stumble towards the bedroom door.


“Henry!” Regina shouts, but Emma is already pulling them both towards his door. The doorknob is icy cold beneath her palm, so Emma lets go and kicks the door open instead.


There’s a flash. There’s another booming sound that doesn’t quite cover a scream.


They’re too late.


***


Emma shakes her head, but it won’t stop the ringing in her ears. She can feel a hand on her upper arm--Ruby is there, saying something Emma can’t hear--and she looks down to see that the pocket of her shorts has been torn all the way down. They’re her favorite shorts, if she had to pick a favorite, and now they’re ruined.


The gray cotton is in Regina’s hand, so she must have torn the fabric. Emma wants to be angry about that, but she can’t quite make herself say it.


Regina shrieks, from where she’s kneeling on the floor, and Emma feels the world come rushing back in.


***


“Emma! Emma!” There’s more than one voice calling to her, but she’s crouching down to wrap her arms around Regina. Regina is shaking so hard Emma feels herself vibrating from even the slightest contact, so she hugs Regina a little closer. Even though it’s awkward, and Emma doesn’t really know what she’s doing, it seems to work at least a little.


“Henry,” Regina whispers against Emma’s chest. “Henry.”


“Where is he?” Emma asks, and she doesn’t recognize her own voice. “What happened?” She’s looking at the hole where the wall used to be, taking in the shattered glass and the purple smoke rising from the few remaining bricks. Henry’s bed is snapped in two, its middle sinking towards the floor in a disjointed ‘m’ shape. Emma doesn’t understand why there are sheets, and a comic book, but no eleven year-old boy.


“Emma!” Someone is touching her shoulder, and Emma instinctively wriggles away from the heavy hand. But when she looks up she sees her father standing beside her, his eyes panicked as he surveys the scene, but the set of his jaw is determined in a way that Emma recognizes. “Rumpelstiltskin did this,” he says evenly, finally vocalizing the thoughts that Emma’s shocked brain won’t allow her to put together.


She breathes out then.


This is a clearly-defined problem; when they know the problem is, then they can solve it. All she needs is for Regina to snap out of it too, to get her thoughts in order and tell them exactly how they’re going to get Henry back. Emma pulls back from Regina, tries to shake her a little, just enough to get her moving.


As Regina covers her face with her hands, Emma feels the pity give way to sudden, gut-churning rage.


***


It’s Snow who pulls Emma away, in the end.


James is too stunned by the sudden, slapping, yelling outburst to react. Regina remains on her knees, only now her arms are up over her head, deflecting blows that are no longer landing.



***


“This is her fault,” Emma rages, pacing back and forth in the narrow corridor, pausing only to kick out at the battered, badly-painted baseboards. “What was I thinking? Bringing her here? I might as well have painted a fucking target on Henry’s back.”


“Emma,” Snow interrupts, reaching for Emma’s arm, but she shrugs it off. Being touched just amps up the anger, and she can’t make exceptions just because she’s had a mommy for five minutes.


“We throw her out, tonight,” Emma orders. “Let her crawl back to her mansion.”


“How do we get Henry back?” Ruby asks. “Won’t we need her?”


“I’ll get Henry back,” Emma says. “I’ll go to Gold and tell him to see sense. He doesn’t want to hurt me, he wants to hurt Regina.”


“Emma, no,” James protests. “That’s a terrible plan.”


“It’s not so different to your plan from yesterday,” Emma says, crossing her arms over her chest. It’s the easiest way to hide that her hands are shaking. “And I can handle myself, magic potions or not.”


“You’re an idiot,” comes the cool voice from the doorway of the shattered bedroom. Nobody stayed to check on Regina, Emma realizes. Her anger starts the cold slide into something like shame.


“Don’t you dare talk to me,” Emma says. She has to stand her ground. This is too important, there’s too much at stake; she can feel shitty about it later. “You don’t get to talk.”


“Emma!” Snow is the one to caution her, which stuns everyone in the hallway. “Be reasonable.”


“Reasonable?” Emma spits. “You know what’s been going on this whole time. You know what she did to all of us to get back at you. And you’re telling me to... what? Be nice to her?”


“It’s a terrible thing to lose your child,” Snow says, reaching for her husband’s hand. “I wouldn’t wish that on anyone; not even Regina.”


“You’re too nice for your own good, Snow White,” Emma can feel the nagging sickness in the pit of her stomach that tells her to stop this, that tells her to stop lashing out, but the anger still has her in its grip. This is the rage that made her smash windows in her final foster home the night she ran away, it’s the blind, wordless panic that made her steal a car the night she first experienced false labor with Henry.


“Emma,” Regina steps across the hallway now, brushing past Red and James, ignoring the curious look from Snow (she presumably hasn’t heard Regina say that name much either). “I understand,” Regina says calmly. “I’m the only person who does, remember?”


Emma tries to think of their talk in the garden a few days ago, tries to think of anything but the fact that she can still taste Regina on her lips and feel the stickiness of what they’ve done against her skin. Regina’s getting closer, and the air is crackling again in that way it does whenever they get close (since before magic, since the first time they met).


“You did this,” Emma cries out, but her voice breaks. “You did this,” she’s crying now, her eyes feel like a hundred hot needles are pricking them, and it’s more painful than she thought possible.


“No,” Regina says, and she’s close enough now to grab Emma’s wrists, to back her into the pale green wall. “I didn’t do this, Emma. You didn’t do this. We know who did this.”


“He did,” Emma says.


“Yes,” Regina nods, her eyes darker than Emma ever remembers seeing them, almost completely black now. “And we’re going to kill him for it.”


“Yeah?” Emma asks.


“Yes,” Regina repeats, and then her hands are on Emma’s face, in her hair and she’s kissing Emma hard on the lips. It’s not even close to the time or the place, but Emma ignores the surprised ‘oh!’s from over by the door and kisses Regina back. She spells out her panic and fear and failure into the motion of her mouth against Regina’s, taking comfort from the warmth of it, of how strong and how alive Regina feels against her.


“You don’t get to leave me,” Regina gasps when they part. She’s clutching Emma almost hard enough for it to hurt. “You don’t get to leave me over this, okay? You don’t get to run.”


“I’m not running,” Emma promises, stunned at how easy it is to say, at how much she means it. “I’m right here.”


Regina relaxes for a second at that, resting her forehead against Emma’s. There’s a stifled sob, and then the Queen’s mask is right back in place. Regina wraps an arm around Emma’s shoulder and turns back to face the other people in the corridor.


“I don’t want to hear talk of you assembling an army,” Regina warns. “I won’t risk Henry’s life on your boyish enthusiasm, Charming.”


“He’s my grandson!” Charming shouts back at her, instinctively reaching for the sword at his waist. “You’re not Queen anymore, you don’t get to call the shots.”


“Snow, control your little puppy,” Regina snaps, and Emma shivers at the coolness of the words.


“How is this helping?” Snow sighs, already exasperated. “As Henry’s parents, we will of course defer to both of you. But you have to know we want to help.”


“Red,” Regina says. “Your help, I will need. Will you do it?”


“For Henry?” Ruby says. “Of course I will.”


“Don’t you want to know what I need?” Regina says, and there’s something like admiration in her voice. Emma supposes she’s not used to people for agreeing to things without some ulterior motive; Emma can understand that, at least.


“Doesn’t matter,” Ruby says. “Emma, are you okay?”


“I won’t be until we get our kid back,” Emma says firmly. “And that means we listen to Regina, okay?”


“Well said, dear,” Regina says, flexing her arms, causing everyone but Emma to draw back instinctively. “Pack our things - one bag each, essentials only. Red, you should do the same.”


“We’re coming with you,” Snow says.


“No, you’re not,” Regina replies coolly. “You have people here, and you’re going to take them out to the woods, out to the old well. It’s the only safe place I can think of.”


“Emma, Red, get going,” Regina commands. Emma finds herself stumbling back to their room on some kind of auto-pilot. Regina can fill her in as they go. She has to trust something right now, and her gut says Regina is that thing.


“What are you doing?” James questions as Emma ducks into the bedroom.


“I need to trace the magic,” Regina says. “And then we can begin. You two had better go tend to your subjects.”


“Regina?” Snow says, and her tone stops Emma in her tracks. “You get my grandson back, do you hear me?”


“He’s my son,” Regina says simply. “What else can I do?”


Part Five --->
 
 
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