Dreadful. That’s how Regina’s day was going. Between having to reshuffle the town budget for repairs after the latest magical blunder rendered two roads completely unusable and dangerous, having to defend her position as mayor to the council again because they questioned why they hadn’t had an election yet since the curse broke, and dodging the small gang of teenagers that suddenly decided they wanted to be journalists and opened up an online news platform for Storybrooke, the former queen and current mayor was nothing short of drained.
Her neck hurt, her feet were sore from having to stand in her heels for an hour at the council meeting earlier, and she couldn’t feel her butt from sitting in her chair for so long trying to make sense of the budget report that was sitting in front of her. She tried not to curse her girlfriend, she really did. It was just her luck that Emma picked that particularly frustrating moment to walk into her office.
“Hey babe.” she said. “Ready to go?”
“Go where?” Regina said, pulling off her glasses and rubbing her tired eyes.
“Lunch.” Emma shrugged.
“Right.” she sighed. “Emma...I can’t. I’m sorry.”
“Oh come on, you look like you could use a break anyway.” Emma said.
“While I agree with you, I’m afraid it’s going to have to wait.” she said. “I have way too much work to do.”
Emma rolled her eyes. “You always have too much work to do.”
“Yes well, I’m sorry the town has decided that it would be stubborn and refuse to run itself.” Regina sighed. “We’ll have lunch another time.”
“You’ll probably be busy then to.” Emma muttered under her breath.
“Maybe I will be.” Regina snapped. “Maybe I’ll be busy. Maybe I’ll be tired. Maybe I’ll be resisting the urge to strangle you for handing in another barely legible budget report when I have asked you many times over to stick to a particular format because that’s how it’s supposed to be reported!”
“So this is my fault now?” Emma said defensively.
“No, Emma, it’s not your fault. Contrary to what you may think not everything I’m angry about is your fault. But it is one of the many straws that is weighing the camel down. I’m trying to get through my work day fast enough to be home in time to have dinner with my family and you standing there making snide remarks is not helping!”
“Whatever. Don’t bother with worrying about dinner. Henry’s at a sleepover tonight remember?” Emma said.
“Well then you and I can-” Regina tried to suggest gently.
“Like I said, don’t bother.” Emma said, turning on her heel and walking out, slamming the door behind her and leaving Regina feeling even more dejected than ever.
“Your usual?” Ruby said as she stepped up to Emma at her booth.
“Sure.” Emma said. “Throw in a beer too.”
“Oooh, day drinking are we?” Ruby teased. “Should I get Regina’s ready too?”
“Nope.” Emma scoffed. “She’s busy. ”
“Oh.” Ruby frowned. “I feel bad for her sometimes.”
“I do too, and then she throws it in my face.” Emma rolled her eyes.
“Uh oh.” Ruby raised a brow. “Trouble in paradise?”
“I don’t even know.” Emma sighed. “I get that she’s busy and shit but sometimes it feels like...I don’t know. I can’t talk to her when she’s like this.”
“Like what?” Ruby asked.
“Like...all grumpy. And frustrated about everything.” Emma shrugged.
Ruby put her notepad away and leaned on one arm on the table, the other curled to rest on her hip as she raised a brow at Emma.
“So you’re saying...You can’t be there for your girlfriend when she’s exhausted after a long day at work...because she’s not the happy soul who’s giving you attention and showering you with love?” Ruby asked.
“Well...when you put it like that it sounds like…” Emma rolled her eyes.
“Like you’re acting like a dick?” Ruby said.
“Newsflash, Emma. You are. ” the werewolf said. “You said she was grumpy and frustrated. What happened at the office.”
“She said she couldn’t come to lunch cause she was busy.”
“How’d you respond?”
“That she’s always busy.”
“Because that doesn’t sound like you’re blaming her for anything.” Ruby rolled her eyes. “What was the last thing you said to her before you left the office?”
“Well she said she wanted to try and make it home by dinner time so she could have dinner with me and Henry.” Emma said. “I told her that Henry was at a sleepover tonight and…”
Emma sighed, dropping her forehead on the table. “To not bother.”
“You couldn’t have been more of a dick if you were wearing an inflatable penis costume, Emma.” Ruby said. “Did you even make sure she was actually going to eat or did you just storm out like a brat?”
“...I’m fully aware that I suck.”
“As long as you’re aware.” Ruby rolled her eyes. “Are you going to try and fix it or just wallow in your own bullshit misery?”
“How do I fix it?” Emma looked up at her with pleading, puppy-like eyes. Ruby shook her head.
“You’re so lucky you have me.” she said. “I’ll put in an order for her usual and put it on your bill.”
“Throw in a rootbeer!” Emma said. “She loves those when she needs to unwind.”
“There you go.” Ruby said, pulling out her notepad again and scribbling something down. “You, in the meantime. Go, buy wine, buy whatever you need for dinner, go on the internet and find out how to properly cook things without killing anyone.”
“Why?” Emma asked.
“Dumbass.” Ruby rolled her eyes. “You’re going to make her dinner. Then you’re going to run her a hot bath. Does she have like...essential oils and shit?”
“I think so.” Emma said.
“Good. And don’t cheap out on the wine. Get the good stuff. Give her a massage. And the most important thing is…” Ruby stopped to look her right in the eyes and pointed at her with her pen. “Expect nothing in return. This is you pampering your girl cause she had a tough day and you didn’t exactly make it any easier.”
“Should I text her and apologise?” Emma said.
“I’ll do you one better.” Ruby ripped out the page she was writing on and folded it away before handing Emma the notepad. “Write a note. Say you’re sorry. Say something heartfelt. Something that makes me gag, so you know it’s cheesy and romantic. Doodle a heart on it or something. No genitalia. Then hop over to the florist next door and pick a nice flower. I’ll deliver it to her secretary so she doesn’t see me and won’t suspect I’m in on it.”
“Granny doesn’t do deliveries and you only ever do it as a special favour to me. She’s going to know.” Emma said.
“Then she’ll know!” Ruby shrugged. “Big whoop you show your friends you actually love and care about your girl, Emma!”
“Okay. Geez.” Emma said. “Go away, I need to think about my note.”
“There! That’s the attitude I’m looking for.”
“Since when did you become such a romantic?”
“Just because I curse and drink like a sailor doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings.” Ruby said. “Also...since Belle. Now shut up and write!”
“Aye aye captain lovepants.” Emma teased.
“Mayor Mills?” Regina’s secretary spoke over the intercom.
“Yes Stephanie?” Regina spoke into the intercom. “If anyone’s here to see me I can’t talk right now. Ask them to schedule an appointment.”
“No one’s here to see you madam mayor. But your lunch order is here.” Stephanie said.
“I didn’t make a lunch order, Stephanie.” Regina corrected her.
“I know Mayor Mills.” Stephanie said. “Your girlfriend seems to have made it for you. Shall I bring it in?”
“My…” Regina froze. “...Yes, please bring it in.”
There was no response from the intercom, but a minute later, Stephanie knocked twice on the office door before she walked into the office, smiling at her as she brought in a paper bag bearing Granny’s logo, and a small bouquet of flowers. She put them gently on the desk in front of a baffled brunette.
“What’s all this?” Regina asked.
“Like I said Mayor Mills, they were delivered here for you. The girl delivering them said I should tell you they were from Emma.” Stephanie answered. “There’s a note attached to the bag, but don’t worry. I didn’t read it.”
“Thank you.” Regina said, reaching for the bag and pulling off the note, opening it up to read it.
You deserve to be treated like a queen and nothing less. I’m sorry I fell short of that today. Enjoy your lunch, I’ll see you at home. ♥
She didn’t hear the click of her secretary closing the door, nor did she realise that Stephanie had seen the smile that formed on her previously pursed lips.
She was very much stuck in her own head. But she was glad that Stephanie had left when she found herself pressing the note to her lips on impulse as a tear rolled down her cheek.
Regina walked into her house, the small bouquet cradled in her arms carefully. The lights were dim, but not off completely, and she was greeted by the delicious scent of food coming from the kitchen.
“Emma?” she said, walking slowly towards the kitchen and looking around for the blonde.
“One sec.” Emma said. Regina leaned against the side of the kitchen entryway, unable to stop the smile that appeared on her face when she saw Emma, wearing an apron, and looking into the oven. She watched as the blonde poked whatever was cooking with a fork to check the consistency before closing the over door and turning around to see the way Regina was looking at her. “Hey babe.”
“Hey.” Regina smiled at her, standing straight to walk towards her and wrap and arm tightly around her neck, giving her a kiss on the cheek.
“You got the flowers.” Emma said.
“And my lunch.” Regina smiled at her. “And you’re making dinner.”
“And...you should go upstairs and take a look in your bathroom.” Emma smiled at her.
“Oh, should I?” Regina gave her a small smirk.
“I’ll follow you up in a minute.” the blonde said, kissing her forehead. “Go on.”
“Hmm.” Regina narrowed her eyes at her with a smile, but said nothing else as she followed the Sheriff’s instructions and went upstairs. She left her flowers to sit on the dresser for now, with a mental note to put them in some water later. She left her purse on her bed and kicked off her heels as she walked into the bathroom. When she opened the door, she was surprised to see steam filling up the room. Stepping further inside she could see her bathtub was full of water which was heavenly scented of chamomile, mint, and lavender, with just a hint of apples. Rose petals floated at the water’s surface and the bath was surrounded by lit candles except in the spot where Regina had to climb over. Set aside, she saw an ice bucket with a bottle of her favourite brand of rose wine sitting inside and a glass chilling beside it.
Her robe and two towels were sitting, neatly folded on top of the counter near the sink, with her slippers directly beneath them on the floor, dutifully waiting for her and definitely more inviting than her stiletto pumps.
“Dinner’s waiting for you in the oven when you’re ready.” Emma said. “But you should relax first.”
She turned around, smiling at the blonde, her heart so full of love it could burst. “Why did you do all this?”
“Because I was an ass. And you’re stressed out and tired and you deserve to be pampered.” Emma said. Regina stepped up to her, wrapping her arms around Emma’s neck and pressing a kiss to her lips.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.” Emma said. “I’m sorry that I acted like such an entitled jerk earlier.”
“You’re forgiven.” Regina said. “I should get in the tub before the water runs cold.”
“It’s enchanted to stay warm. It may be hot when you get in, but it’ll adjust to your body temperature.”
“How did you-”
“Belle has some old spell books in the shop, I asked if she could help me find one.” Emma shrugged. “In case you got home later than I expected.”
“No one’s ever done anything like this for me.” Regina said.
“Well it’s about damn time someone did then huh?” Emma smirked at her, hugging her tightly and feeling the stiff muscles in her shoulders. “Get in the tub and I’ll give you a massage.”
“Oh, you really do want to have sex tonight don’t you?”
“Nope.” Emma said. “Not unless you want it.”
Regina almost pulled back in shock. “You mean that?”
“You need a break, some time to relax without owing anything back to anyone. This is what tonight’s about.” Emma shrugged.
“Valentine’s day isn’t for a few more weeks dear.”
“I don’t need a day to tell me when to pamper my queen.” Emma smiled and kissed her cheek. “Come on, your shoulders are tense.”
“It was a rough day.” Regina sighed.
“You can tell me all about it while I rub your shoulders...and your feet.” Emma shrugged. “Or you could just sit and relax in silence, whatever you want. Tonight’s all about you.”
“You are so getting laid.”
“You don’t have to Regina.”
“Oh I know.” Regina smirked at her. “But being treated like a queen turns me on.”
“Well in that case, your bath awaits, your majesty.” Emma joked.
“I love you Emma.” Regina said before kissing her deeply.
Emma smiled and whispered against her lips “I love you too, Regina.”