Emma entered Granny's diner smiling in anticipation. She would meet Regina, of course, but that was pretty much the only thing she knew would happen this evening. Two months ago, they had agreed to date but they never seemed to be able to agree on what to do together. Eating was something they could agree on but Emma would suggest Granny's while Regina would rather try the restaurant with the French chef that had opened a couple of months ago. It had never been so difficult for the two women to plan some kind of entertainment. So Emma had suggested, and Regina had agreed, that they would not plan, they would just do. That's why they would meet at the diner whenever they could both make it, maybe eat something, maybe not and then just go from there. They had taken a romantic stroll on the beach one night, they had ended up at Emma's and necked on the couch in front of a fire, they had stopped at the bar and played pool - Emma instructing Regina until she noticed that Regina was quite the hustler.
Emma looked around the room, smiling at people. She knew where Regina would sit, she could already see the back of her head out of the corner of her eyes, sitting in their regular booth. She was on her way over when she noticed the woman Ruby was talking to over the counter, the woman she was laughing with, actually. And it had been so long that Emma heard her friend laugh like this that she knew instantly who that other woman was.
"Belle," she exclaimed.
Belle turned and smiled easily at her.
"Emma, hey." She slipped from her stool.
Emma walked over and hugged her.
"It's good to see you again. Where've you been?"
"Ah, you know, here and there. I'll tell if you really wanna know and have a little time," Belle said.
Emma looked around at the table where Regina sat waiting, her eyes already on her, an eyebrow raised in challenge.
Ruby picked up on Emma's dilemma.
"Your date is waiting, Emma," she said.
Belle looked back at Ruby. "Date?"
Ruby nodded in the direction of the booth Regina occupied.
"You're dating the mayor?" Belle asked after following Ruby's nod.
Emma just grinned.
"Well, I'd love to hear everything about your newest adventures but not tonight. Why don't you come by the sheriff's office one of these days. I usually got some time... whenever."
"Yeah, sure, I'll drop by. Have a nice evening," Belle said, but her face seemed puzzled. Emma didn't know whether it was because she was dating Regina or simply another woman. Some people in Storybrooke seemed to have a problem with either or both these facts. She wouldn't have thought that Belle would be one of those people, though.
"You too," she gave back before she went over to Regina. She kissed the other woman's cheek before she slipped onto the bench across form her. "You look lovely."
"Thank you, dear. I like the shirt," Regina smiled at Emma flirtingly.
"Of course you do, you gave it to me for Christmas." Emma reached over the table and took one of Regina's hands. She held it loosely. "Are you hungry?"
"Not very. Are you?"
Emma shook her head. "Let's get out of here then." She slipped out of the booth again. She turned to the counter to wave at Ruby. "Catch yah later," she called as Regina joined her.
"Bye, girls," Ruby gave back and grinned widely as Regina lifted an eyebrow at her.
"I'm thinking of raising the property tax on eating places and I should probably get a health inspector in here sometime soon," Regina murmured as she left the diner in front of Emma.
"She's just trying to be friendly, Regina. There's nothing wrong with that," she said, laughing, as she put her arm around her.
"Hm, I don't know. I always thought that she would have liked to get very friendly with you."
"Are you jealous?"
"No," Regina answered a little too quickly.
They walked arm in arm down Main Street now, the air was mild, the sky clear. It was a perfect evening for a walk.
"Believe me, there's someone else Ruby has her eyes on and it's not me."
"Really? Who?" Regina asked curiously.
"You really don't know?" Emma asked surprised, it had always been obvious to her.
"Not Snow, right?"
"Oh, God, no. Belle, of course," Emma said.
"Oh. No, I guess, I didn't see that."
They walked in silence for awhile. Emma pulled her arm from around Regina's shoulders as they crossed the street and entwined their fingers.
"What is Henry doing tonight?" she asked.
"Knowing our son, he's probably mirror-skyping with the princess," Regina answered with a roll of her eyes.
"She has a name, you know."
"I know. You usually growl it whenever we talk about her," Regina said and smiled at Emma.
"Yeah, well. I still don't think that giving him that mirror-thingy was a good idea. He seems to spend an awful lot of time talking to her through it."
"It's simply a mirror, Emma, and I apologized that I didn't talk to you about it before I gave it to him. I just... I just wanted to take his mind off of the idea of moving to the Enchanted Forest for a while," Regina argued.
Emma pulled Regina to a stop. She sighed. "I know. It's just that I thought that we could spend his next vacation together, the three of us as a family for the first time. But he's already making plans with Snow and David to go visit them and we know what that means. He'll be out to meet with Doria all the time."
"I don't like this any more than you do, Emma. But he's 16 and he's got... a girlfriend." Regina stepped into Emma's personal space and lay her head against her shoulder.
Emma put her arms around Regina. "You don't wanna go back to my parents' just now, do you?"
Regina shook her head.
"Where would you like to go?"
"Well, it's not like I can just up and leave whenever Henry's got a school break, and you can't either. I guess we could go somewhere for a long weekend but not for a week."
"Or we could just stay in. That is, at my place and..." She looked into Regina's caramel-colored eyes, seemingly drowning in them.
"And?" Regina asked sexily.
The low vibration of her voice hit Emma in all the right places. She leaned forward and simply kissed Regina in answer.
They stood there for awhile, kissing each other, holding each other, not caring who might see them. They had tried to keep a low profile, but the town which was so used to routines noticed quickly that something was going on. Gossip had spread before their first date had even been over and now it was common knowledge that the mayor and the sheriff, the evil queen and the savior, Regina and Emma were an item. Not everybody liked it, not everybody disliked it. It was more a matter of coming to terms with the fact that there were all kinds of minorities living in Storybrooke now, and not all of them originated in a fairy tale.
"Would you like to come to my place?"
"Yes," Regina answered as Emma stepped back a little. She took both of Regina's hands in hers.
"Would you like to spend the night at my place?" Emma asked nervously, biting her lip.
"Yes," Regina said again.
Emma smiled. "Really?" She stepped closer again so that their faces were already touching. Emma kissed Regina at the corner of her smiling mouth.
"I already told Henry that I might," Regina whispered.
"What did he say?" Emma put her hands to Regina's cheeks, caressing her face softly.
"He said: 'Oh... Okay.' Then he looked me up and down and asked: 'Is that what you're gonna wear?' and I said, yes. And he said: 'Keep it simple,' and I went back to my bedroom and changed," Regina told Emma.
"What were you wearing before?"
"Hmmm. You know I like you in jeans," Emma said as she looked down at her, drinking in the worn denim Regina was wearing. "I also like you in a dress.. even if it takes me an hour to get you out of it," she continued with a mischievous smile.
"It won't take you an hour to get me out of these," Regina whispered close to Emma's ear, close to Emma's body.
Emma sighed. "Unless I want it to," she whispered back and pulled Regina to her.
Their bodies met and passion overtook them. They were kissing deeply, hungrily, pulling each other as close as possible – until a honk close by pushed them apart. They both looked at the offending vehicle, it had the sheriff's insignia on the door.
Emma crouched to look through the window. "Deputy Tinkerbell," she said.
"Oh, it's you sheriff. I thought it was just some teenagers steaming up the windows of the library," the fairy grinned.
"Very funny, deputy. I suggest you get back to your job," Emma said a little testily, but then she smiled.
"Well, I suggest you two get a room," Tink answered and then quickly rode away.
Regina laughed at Emma's dumbfounded expression. "I couldn't agree more," she said as she took Emma's hand and they made their way toward Emma's home.