calliopes_muse: (Default)
[personal profile] calliopes_muse
Title: Truth and Consequences
Fandom: OUAT/Swan Queen
Rating: soft R
Disclaimer: Not mine. If they were, Swan Queen wouldn’t have to be written about in fan fiction!
Summary: Regina hasn’t been seen since Cora died so Emma goes to check on her.


The noises around Emma were muffled like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons. She was sure Henry was talking about something incredibly important to his ten year old life – Spiderman, the plans he had with Neal for the weekend, or THE book. Whatever it was, Emma had zoned out long ago as she stared off into her bowl of soggy Cheerios. She wasn’t hungry for the homemade spaghetti David was fixing. Truth be told, she didn’t even want the Cheerios. She was more a Fruity Pebbles kind of girl after all, but Snow would give her a hard time about eating so unhealthy. She decided giving in was easier than fighting her mother.




David laughed heartily, and the sound made Emma glance up. His hand was gripping Henry’s shoulder in a fatherly way as Henry smiled up at him in adoration. She knew Henry wanted and needed this in his life, but Emma felt a rush of inexplicable irritation under her skin. She had been feeling like this for a few weeks now, from the moment Regina had been accused of Archie’s non-existent murder, and every day the feelings got stronger. Now she was easily irritated and depressed. All she wanted was to just finish off her cereal and crawl into bed. Behaviors and emotions from her family that should be welcome and heartwarming were having the opposite effect. She mentally chided herself for feeling this way. This was what she’d always wanted, right? A family to love and that loved her back?

She sighed and made a half-hearted attempt at lifting the spoon to her mouth, but a knock at the door stopped her in mid-motion. Snow dropped the silverware she was putting out on the dinner table with a clatter and raced to answer the door. The skip in her step and the secretive smile thrown over her shoulder made Emma’s stomach sink. Emma looked back to table behind her and saw two extra place settings.

“Shit,” Emma grumbled under her breath. But when Emma saw who was standing on the other side of the door, her spoon fell with a clang back to the bowl, splashing milk onto the counter.

Neal stepped through the doorway holding a bouquet of flowers. He looked over to Emma and smiled with a slight nod before handing the flowers to Snow and kissing her on the cheek. To make matters worse, Gold followed behind his son – a bottle of wine held out to Snow.

Snow took the bottle with a friendly but reserved smile and closed the door behind their guests. She smiled with far more fondness at Neal lifting Henry off his feet then play fighting him with fake punches to the stomach. Her glance up at her daughter though didn’t go unnoticed and Emma didn’t try to hide her frustration. She slid off the barstool and walked to get her coat from by the door.

Snow turned to her, realizing what her daughter was doing. “Where are you going?”

“Out,” Emma replied tersely.

Even though the two women had been separated by twenty eight years, Emma had no problem deciphering Snow’s disapproving glare, a look only a mother could give to her child. “But we have guests. It’s a family dinner.”

“You mean you have guests. I had no idea they were coming, and I’ve already eaten. I’m not hungry.” Emma slipped her arms in her coat and wrapped her red scarf around her neck.

“At least visit with them for a little while. It would mean a lot to Henry,” Snow insisted with a quiet growl.

Emma stood to her full height and looked down slightly at her mother. She knew she shouldn’t say the words sitting on the tip of her tongue, yet she couldn’t stop herself either. Emma’s disappointment with her mother, really her whole family but in particular her mother, sat like a stone on her chest.

Yesterday, Snow had absolved herself of any guilt by confessing to Emma what she had done to trick Regina into killing Cora. She saw a side of Snow that she didn’t knew existed and it was a side she didn’t like. It didn’t help that David and Henry both sided with Snow. David insisted that she was a good person still and was just protecting her family. Henry regurgitated his “good always does what’s right” mantra. Remembering the feelings of hearing that news and their reactions to it brought back a feeling of nausea and disgust to Emma. She had to leave…NOW!

She stepped back and looked for a long moment at her mother, and said the words she couldn’t hold back any longer, “Using Henry may have worked on Regina, but it won’t work on me.”

Snow’s mouth dropped open in shock. And before Snow could respond, Emma slipped out the door and jogged to her car. The faster she got away from there, the better.

The yellow bug sputtered to life in the cold Maine air. Emma put the car in drive and pulled away, her hands gripping the steering wheel tightly. She wasn’t sure where she was going, but she couldn’t fight the urge to get away from her newfound family. When she found out that Snow and Charming were her parents, she never realized what that really meant. That made her a princess…royalty. She was far from any form of royalty. She was rough around the edges and hard to love. It hadn’t always been that way. At one time, she had dreamed of reuniting with her family and the joy it would give her. She had romanticized it, but reality always had a way of kicking her ass. And she never felt more bruised and battered than she did right now.

That was the problem with putting people on pedestals. Inevitably, they did something that disappointed you and that makes it hard to ever look at them the same way again.

Instinctively, she knew she shouldn’t feel that way. She had an ideal result that many foster and adoptive kids never get to experience. Her family is literally a bunch of fairy tale characters. But it didn’t feel right. It didn’t fit. From the moment she found out, something didn’t feel right about it.

She blamed this on the chaos that had surrounded the revelation. Getting sucked into Fairytale Land, fighting ogres and giants, and climbing bean stalks can make dealing with reality a little hard. The reality at the moment was that she had no idea who to trust anymore. The gut instincts she had relied on for so long were failing her. Or were they?

Emma pulled her car up to the curb and glanced out her window at the large white home where Regina lived. She swallowed hard thinking back through her interactions with the brunette. So much animosity and fighting. She squeezed her eyes shut and ran her fingers through her hair with a sigh. Why did the two women fight? What was the point? An old feud that seemed to go back further than even Regina and Snow’s falling out. Something that had been brewing perhaps long before Cora made her deal with Rumple. She had gotten bits and pieces of the story from her parents, but she still felt like there were huge gaps she was missing. Holes in the story that only Regina could fill.

Supposedly, Regina was now out to avenge her mother’s death and Snow feared for her life. Strangely though, no one had seen Regina since her mother’s death. The reign of terror the whole town was bracing for hadn’t happened. In fact, as far as she knew, Regina hadn’t left her house in over a week. For a moment, she wondered if the former mayor/evil queen was even in the massive house. A light on in an upstairs window though said differently.

Emma wasn’t sure why but she found herself walking up the path to Regina’s front door. Her hand shook slightly as she quickly knocked before she could talk herself out of it. Emma had no idea what she was going to say. Was there anything to say? What if Regina vaporized her on the spot? Adrenaline pumped through her veins as she heard slow but steady footsteps draw closer. She held her breath as the door swung open not sure what to expect.

***

After a week of solitude, Regina wasn’t sure who in the world would be at her door. Who would dare to show up? The list was incredibly short. Most people outright loathed her and others were happy to avoid her. The feeling was not surprisingly mutual. There weren’t many people in her made-up town that she’d bother having contact with. Henry was an obvious exception.

She slowly descended the stairs as she tried to not let her heart hope that Henry stood on the other side. Maybe her mother had the right idea. Just rip the useless organ out so it can’t get hurt anymore. She hesitated a little, remembering the recurring dream she has had of the town coming for her blood. She felt reassured that there wasn’t a glow of torches coming through the side lights or the low murmur of angry voices on the other side of the door.

Regina shook her head and gripped the door handle tightly before standing with unaffected pride as she swung the door open.

She tried to not let her relief and even surprise show. “Miss Swan,” she greeted coolly, her heart suddenly racing. Regina couldn’t help but chance a quick glance over the blonde’s shoulder, expecting to see a bloodthirsty mob behind her. Assured that Emma was alone, she confidently crossed her arms. “How may I help you?”

“I’m sorry,” Emma blurted out. Her hands were stuffed in her jean’s pockets as she rocked back and forth.

Regina’s jaw dropped a little. She hadn’t expected that. “For?”

Emma removed one hand from her pocket and waved it toward the interior of the house. “Can I come in?”

Assessing the situation quickly and realizing there was no reason not to do so, Regina nodded and stepped back allowing the other woman to enter the house. She watched Emma look around the foyer, eyebrows scrunched together in puzzlement. Regina closed the door and waited for the inevitable question.

Emma turned to her. “Where is everything?”

Regina couldn’t help but smirk a little. Fortunately, Emma wasn’t as dim-witted as her parents. “In storage.”

“Storage. Why?” Emma asked with a curious tilt of her head.

She couldn’t help the snort of amusement. Okay, maybe Emma had some dim-witted tendencies. “That’s what many people do when they’re moving out of town, Miss Swan. But you’ve lived out of a duffle bag and a car so I guess you wouldn’t understand that.”

Emma ignored the biting remark as well as the sudden feel of panic taking over. “Why are you moving?”

With that, Regina truly did laugh with a touch of sadness and incredulity. She walked past Emma into her office and poured two glasses of cider. She offered a glass to Emma who took it and immediately sipped it. “Tell me Miss Swan, what exactly do I have to stay for?”

Regina slid regally down into her oversized chair and watched as Emma walked over to the couch and sat down. The blonde took a long swallow, seemingly bidding her time, before answering, “Well, Henry for one. You’re his mother.”

Regina chuckled sadly. “Oh, am I now? I seem to recall you saying differently right outside my front door not long ago. Your mother was also happy to inform me that I had no right to know anything about Henry when you took him across state lines without my permission. And even Henry doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. He said so himself. So, really, Miss Swan, is that the best you’ve got?”

“I...,” Emma opened her mouth to respond, having no idea what she was going to say, but Regina cut her off.

Leaning forward in her chair, Regina placed her glass on the table between them. “No, you don’t get to talk right now. You don’t get the right to jerk me around as it suits you. One minute claiming me as Henry’s mother to clear your conscience and then the next yanking that right away from me. Pick a side, Miss Swan. You can’t walk down the white line in the middle of the road without eventually getting hit by a car.”

“I’m on Henry’s side,” Emma stated defensively.

Regina stood at that and began to pace. “Oh, really. Is that why you took him off to New York with the Dark One?”

Emma dropped her gaze at the question. She knew it hadn’t been logical to do it at the time, but she felt better knowing Henry was with her. At least then she knew he was safe. “We were afraid you’d try to take him,” she muttered but it was half-hearted.

“Since when would I ever do anything to hurt Henry?” Regina’s voice cracked with hurt. “I’ll have you know that Henry never even had the flu while he lived with me.”

Emma raised her hands. “I’m not saying you’re not a good mother, Regina. I know you are.”

“Do you?” Regina stopped pacing and looked at Emma. “Because you seem to listen to what everyone else has to say about me. You even accepted the visions of a DOG!”

Those words got Emma to her feet because she couldn’t say what she needed to say without enough conviction from her position on the couch. “I’M SORRY!”

“Finally!” Regina threw up her hands. “It sure as hell took you long enough,” she growled out.

The two women stared at each other for a long moment. Emma broke the stalemate first. “I know. I should have apologized for that a long time ago.”

Regina breathed in deeply, calming her racing heart down. “Yes, you should have. Among many other things.”

Emma looked down and nodded her acceptance of that fact. There were many things she needed to apologize to Regina for, but never acknowledging her innocence in Archie’s supposed death was the biggest one. “I don’t know all that’s happened in the past, all that happened with my mother, what went on between you two. I just know that I don’t want to fight with you anymore. This has to stop.”

A long stretch of silence spread between them as Regina walked back over to the table to pick up her drink. She took a long gulp before walking to the large window that looked out over the front yard. Moonlight streamed down through the open curtains casting Regina in shadows. “Your mother tricked me into killing my own mother,” Regina said softly.

“She told me,” Emma admitted.

“She actually told you the truth?” Regina asked surprised.

Emma walked over closer to where Regina was standing, but stopped a few feet away and leaned against the bookcase. “She was pretty upset and mopped around for a few days before she told me.”

Regina chuckled sadly. “Ahhh, she felt guilty. Let me guess, she is back to her old self now.”

“Yeah, how did you know?”

Sighing, Regina spoke to Emma’s reflection in the window, “You forget, I’ve known your mother for a very long time.”

“You were her stepmother,” Emma confirmed.

Regina shook her head and laughed. “No. I was her father’s wife. Nothing more than an ornament for public consumption and a warm body for lonely nights. I was nothing close to a mother to Snow.”

“So, the whole evil stepmother thing…,” Emma started.

Regina turned to look her in the eyes. “The story is told by the victors, Miss Swan, and good always wins right. Maybe you shouldn’t believe everything you’ve read in Henry’s book.”

Looking away, Emma considered what Regina had said. She walked over to the couch and slumped down onto it. She took her drink back up and finished it off. This time Emma was going to do things different. This time she was going to listen to her instincts. “Tell me. All of it.”

Regina tossed back the remains of her cider, enjoying the burn down her throat. She walked over and refilled her glass. Emma stood and offered her glass for a refill which Regina did. “I’ll tell you everything as long as you help me pack.”

Slowly, Emma nodded. “Okay.”

“To the truth,” Regina toasted and clinked their glasses together.

***

She followed Regina up the stairs in the direction of the bedrooms. Passing Henry’s room she noticed it was completely empty of anything personal. All that was left were two dressers and a bed stripped of its linens.

“I had to do his first. It was the hardest.”

Emma glanced up at Regina’s voice. The other woman stood in the doorway of her own bedroom. When their eyes met, both noted the sadness in them. Regina looked away first, but Emma felt like she was seeing her for the first time.

“Come on, let’s get started,” Regina said, breaking the awkward moment, as she turned to walk into the room.

Emma followed her. She’d never seen Regina’s bedroom, and it turned out to be exactly as she imagined. Clean and neat, yet strangely ornate - lamps with fancy filigrees and designs; art that dotted the walls that were elegant but not gaudy. It was classy yet had an air of cool distance. As she glanced over at Regina, she realized that the room was a reflection of the woman next to her. On the surface, it was all calm repose, but underneath…

“Where should we start?” Emma asked, but it didn’t look like there was much to pack.

Regina shrugged, her mind on the conversation promised downstairs. “At the beginning?”

Emma couldn’t stop her smile. “I meant with the room.”

“Oh, right.” Regina blushed at her misunderstanding but tried to quickly recover by tucking some hair behind her ear and walking over to the closet door. “This is probably the best place.”

She swung the door open and Emma stared in shock. The walk-in closet was an absolute disaster area. Clothes were stacked and stuffed in all kinds of imaginable and unimaginable ways. Some were even in the shoe cubbies against one wall. Emma couldn’t help the snicker that bubbled up and out of her.

“What?” Regina asked defensively, having a good idea of what Emma was thinking.

Emma shook her head and tried to stop laughing. “It looks like Hurricane Regina came through here, that’s all. I never imagined you would have anything that looked THIS trashed.”

“Well, I have been a little distracted lately, dear. I haven’t had a chance to clean up.” Regina defended and cocked an eyebrow up.

“Uh, huh,” Emma muttered but she finally realized that this room truly was indicative of Regina – cool and regal on the surface, but a hot mess underneath.

Feeling utterly exposed in front of Emma, Regina quickly flicked her wrist. The contents in the closet moved back instantly to their rightful places on hangars and into their cubby holes. The shirts even looked freshly pressed.

Emma’s mouth hung open. “You could make a killing as a maid. Do you do the whole Fantasia like thing with the mops and brooms?”

Regina smirked at her. “I could, but what’s the fun in that?”

“There’s nothing fun about manually cleaning anything!” Emma disagreed.

Regina shrugged and snapped her fingers producing a medium-sized box. “I find it oddly relaxing.”

“You’re crazy then!”

Regina huffed, “So I’ve been told.”

Emma quickly realized she’d probably said something wrong. “I didn’t mean…”

“Forget it. Maybe I am. Who wouldn’t be?” For a moment, Regina let that question hang there before handing the box over to Emma and producing another one. “Start with the pants. I’ll get the shoes on this side.”

Emma nodded and moved to the other end of the closet. The closet was several racks deep, but she didn’t notice that until she was inside. “You sure have a lot of clothes!”

“Twenty eight years in one house and that’ll happen,” Regina remarked as she sat on the floor and began sorting through her fairly substantial collection of heels.

Emma walked to the last rack in the back and started taking pants off of the hangars, folding them neatly and then placing them in the box. “So, I’ve always wanted to ask this.” She waited for acknowledgement.

“Go ahead, Miss Swan.”

Emma became side-tracked from her question. “You know, Regina, I’m in your closet touching your pants, I think you can call me Emma now.”

She heard a soft gasp and then a chuckle. “Very well…Emma. What’s your question?”

Emma bit her lip a little nervous to be opening these doors with Regina, but if the other woman was packing to leave, the opportunity to get answers was quickly dwindling. She barreled forward in her question, “Why did you curse everyone to here? And why your whole kingdom? Why not just curse my mom and dad?”

Regina laughed lightly. “You’ve been holding that in for a while now, haven’t you, dear?” Then she sighed, “Several reasons really. Part of it was that I wanted to witness the effect of the curse on your mom and dad. I wanted to know that it worked. That’s what I told myself anyway, and it worked for a time.”

Emma paused as she reached for a hangar, her heart sinking at the words. She didn’t want to imagine Regina getting pleasure out of another’s suffering. “What were your other reasons?”

Clearing her throat, Regina continued. Talking to Emma separated by racks of clothes, like a confessional, made it easy to share the story. “All I knew was our world, being the Queen, and ruling my subjects. If I didn’t have that, then who was I? It’s hard to explain.”

Emma came around the corner with her first box full and dropped it next to Regina. “Try,” she encouraged gently.

For a long moment, Regina contemplated her thoughts before snapping her fingers to bring a new box into existence. “It’s easier to tell you without looking at you.”

“Okay.” Emma nodded in understanding and took the box, heading back to her spot out of view.

“It was my home. I didn’t know anything else or anyone else,” Regina’s voice trailed off at the last part.

Emma paused in folding the pants she was holding, a realization taking hold. She had to ask, but it came out more like a statement than a question, “You didn’t want to be alone.”

“Funny, it still didn’t work out that way,” Regina’s voice was soft and…sad.

Emma could hear it and something about it pulled at her. She swallowed to push down the tears that threatened. Being fear of always being alone, it was an emotion she understood all too well until recently. “Why?”

Regina cleared her throat again. “When I cursed the kingdom and took away their happiness, it took away mine as well. Contrary to popular opinion, controlling and ruling everyone wasn’t what made me happy.” She looked up as Emma came around the corner, her eyebrows furrowed and her hands empty of the box she was supposed to be filling.

“What would make you happy, Regina?” Emma asked. Her body shook from an emotion she couldn’t place.

Regina was slow in responding as her jaw clenched to hold back the tears that threatened to fall. Opening up to Emma probably wasn’t the smartest option. She had been here before with others and paid the price. Always having hope ripped from her hands. What did it matter though now? She was leaving. Certainly she could offer the truth as recompense for all the pain she had caused.

She let out a long, slow breath and looked up at Emma sadly. “Love. That’s all I ever wanted.”

Emma knelt down and eventually slid to her knees, waiting for Regina to say more. She didn’t have to wait long.

“I tried to force love. To make people stay out of fear or necessity. Then I just gave up and took their hearts to control them.” Regina spoke but her eyes were far away now. Remembering a time long past. “I was so alone, Emma. Can you imagine day after day, year after year, of the same thing? It wasn’t any better here. The only good part was that they had no clue who I really was. It was like being anonymous. Safe, but boring.” Regina smiled a little and looked up at Emma. “Until you showed up.”

Emma laughed a little. She shrugged much like she did that first night they met. “Sorry?”

“No you’re not,” Regina countered with a full and true smile.

“Okay, not sorry,” Emma muttered and smirked at the older woman. The bright smile on Regina’s face made Emma wonder what she was like as a young girl before she went to the dark side, if she was ever really dark. “I asked you once what made you this way. You never answered that.”

With a sad sigh, Regina tapped the full boxes around her causing them to disappear. She stood and then reached her hand out to Emma who took it after only a short moment of hesitation. “I’m sure you’ve heard about Daniel.”

Emma licked her lips and tucked her hands back in her pockets. All she knew was what Snow had told her, and now she wondered how limited that view could be. “I want to hear it from you.”

Regina considered the open and curious look on Emma’s face and made a decision. “In that case, I think we need another drink. I’ll be right back.”

Emma followed her out of the closet and watched as Regina left the room to go downstairs. She sat on the end of the bed and ran her hand over the old quilt that protected the comforter. She closed her eyes and felt the intricacies of the woven fabric when something like an electric shock flew up her arm and an image flashed behind her eyes. She jerked her eyes open and pulled her hand back as if she’d been burned.

“Are you okay?” Regina questioned from the doorway. The spooked look on Emma’s face told her all she needed even if she hadn’t seen the soft cloud of red magic puffing from around Emma’s hand.

“Yeah,” Emma practically yelped. She wasn’t about to confess that she’s just seen Regina naked in that very same bed touching herself. When Regina came closer, she reached greedily for the cider and took a large gulp. She had to get her mind off of what she’d seen fast. “So, Daniel…tell me about him.”

Regina couldn’t help the amused smirk on her face. She made a mental note to come back to what had Emma looking everywhere but in her eyes. “So, yes, Daniel. My first love.”

“Not your last?” Emma stood from the bed as Regina settled down next to her. “What about Graham?”

This time when Regina laughed it was the type that reminded Emma of when she’d first met the woman – cool, distant, even cruel. “Graham wasn’t about love. He filled a void. I was lonely, Emma. Graham was the only one that wasn’t afraid to be near me so…”

“I see,” she was quite relieved to hear that.

“Daniel though,” Regina continued, “was an ideal. He loved me completely and I think he would have loved me no matter what I would have become. Though I doubt I would have become…what I did…if he had lived.”

“And he died?” Emma added.

Regina visibly swallowed, and got that far away look again. “He was murdered.”

This part she hadn’t heard about. “Oh.”

“By my mother,” Regina ground out the words through clenched teeth.

“And you forgave her?” Emma was incredulous. She had set her drink glass down, the liquor all but forgotten. What she was hearing was incomprehensible.

Regina shook her head and squeezed her eyes shut tight. “Never. But she was my mother and I loved her just the same.”

“But that was horrible! How could you…” The question Emma wanted to posed dangled in the air before being cut off.

“It’s complicated, dear. More than anyone else. More than even Daniel. I wanted my mother’s love and approval.” She sighed and rubbed at her forehead, where a headache was manifesting. “There was no way for me to get it than to be what she wanted.”

Emma couldn’t quite process the motivation between Regina and her mother. She walked over and sat back down on the bed next to the other woman. “She wanted you to become the Evil Queen?”

Regina shook her head and chuckled sadly. “She didn’t want me to become her. She fought so hard to not be the Miller’s daughter, turning on love herself, ripped out her own heart so she wouldn’t feel love and could give herself completely to her quest for power. Ironically, I still became her. I’m no better and I know I don’t deserve anything more than death. Honestly, it would be a reprieve.”

“No,” Emma declared. “You don’t deserve your mother’s fate. You know what’s happening and you know how to stop it. You know you just need to change.”

Regina laughed fully at Emma’s naivete, something she inherits from her mother. “Easier said than done, my dear.”

Emma shook her head, something finally beginning to make sense in the madness her life had recently become. “No, it is easy. You just need someone to believe in you. You need to be loved again.”

Regina stood and scoffed at the younger woman, looking down at her as if the blonde had no idea how the real world worked. “And that’s why I have to leave. There’s no hope for that here. I have no one here anymore. There’s no love for me here. No hope. It’s best for all of us if I just leave and start over. I can’t do magic out there. I can’t hurt anyone. So, maybe I have a chance to find someone and move on. You all can too. Henry can finally be free of me.”

Before Regina could turn and leave, Emma was on her feet and reaching for her. She grabbed her wrist and spun her around. “No! It doesn’t have to be this way, Regina. You can have it here. You can have all of it. You just have to prove yourself, and you can. I know you can. I believe in you.”

Again, Regina shook her head and chuckled in disbelief. She tried to pull her wrist free of Emma’s grasp, but the other woman held on tight. “Let me go, Emma.”

“No, I won’t,” Emma insisted and pulled her closer. She wasn’t sure what compelled her, but she wrapped an arm around Regina’s waist and pulled her in for a hug. “I believe in you,” she whispered close to Regina’s ear.

Regina shuttered at the touch, freely given, and the words, spoken without coercion. Tears spilled down her face as she gave over to the emotion and feel of mattering to someone else. As Emma’s arms wrapped around her securely, she let her body relax, feeling the contours and warmth. She dropped her forehead to Emma’s shoulder, hiding her face in Emma’s neck, and finally, after years of pain and loneliness, let the tears go that held her back for so long. She dropped her guard and let Emma in.

“I’ve got you,” Emma whispered as she twined her fingers in Regina’s dark hair. Now this, right here, felt right. She instinctively brushed her lips over Regina’s hair then down to her tear-stained cheek. She pulled Regina back just enough to look into her eyes and there she saw a softness that she’d never witnessed before.

“Promise?” Regina whispered the word close to Emma’s lips.

Emma nodded gently. “Promise,” before closing the gap.

The kiss was tentative and tender at first until Emma tilted her head. Regina lost any pretense of control and kissed her deeply, letting her tongue discover the unique taste and feel of the woman in her arms. Emma responded with a soft moan. The next morning neither would recall how they ended up on the bed, legs intertwined, barely coming up to breath. At the moment, that didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. All that mattered was the feel of skin against skin, fingers and mouths questing and seeking every inch of naked flesh beneath and above them. Nothing mattered except that they had found each other and at long last they’d found their truth in each other’s arms.
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