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The Right to Choose

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Amber fluid spills in swirling currents from the vessel in her hand.  It sparkles in the light from the overhead bulbs, hypnotic circles caressing the sides of the crystal tumbler.  There is only a slight shake to Regina’s hand as she corks the remaining cider, eyes darting agitatedly toward the darkness beyond her veranda.

‘Experimental ’ Isaac had called it.

Slender fingers weave around the glass, gaze drawn back to the lazily drifting sediment.

As if my Happy Ending were some hypothesis to be proven.   Her lips press tighter, lifting then setting the glass back down when her shaking threatens its contents.

What right does he have to play God, this Author?  Regina’s eyes narrow, warmth building beneath her skin.  Why does he get to decide who’s a Hero or Villain?

Closing her eyes, the brunette sucks in a breath. Her head is pounding, partly from the quantity of alcohol she’s ingested, but mostly from ongoing emotional strain.  Discovering the truth about Zelena, what Snow and Charming did to remove Emma’s darkness, the fact that Maleficent has a daughter - a daughter who was Emma’s childhood friend.  

How close the Saviour had come to giving herself over to Darkness.

And how close Regina had come to another chance with Robin… only to have Fate interfere again.

This time the glass makes it to Regina’s mouth, its fortifying contents doing nothing to alleviate the haze across her vision or fire under her skin.  That’s why she’s still out here, even though Emma left over ten minutes ago.  The blond had no doubt seen how rattled Regina was by recent events, insisting that she remain until there were no more mundane excuses to stay.  The ex-Mayor and Evil Queen would never have openly admitted to feeling comforted by the Saviour’s presence, yet had been silently grateful for Emma’s attentiveness.

The blond’s glass is still sitting across from her, lip gloss smeared along the rim.  Regina’d been dressed more presentably then, not in her thin nightgown and lacy underwear, but she’d felt too warm to remain that way.  

Stifled.  

Her wardrobe change has not eliminated the discomfort, hence the reason she’s returned to this spot.  Outside the air is cool with a sweetness that makes it easier to release some of her frustration.  Numbing the angry, pitiful despair threatening to claw its way out of her chest.

Using Lily’s Darkness to fuel the quill is still hanging like a tantalizing spectre in Regina’s mind.  There’s a significant part of her eager to transport herself to the woman this very moment and extract what she requires to be happy - Regina holds no delusions that Maleficent's daughter will give it willingly.  But the other part of her, one that’s growing stronger as she fights to be Better, knows that doing so makes her no better than Snow and Charming.

The girl has had her whole life tainted by the will of others.

Which leaves her right back where she started.

Regina’s gaze locks on the glass at the opposite side of the table.  Remembering how Emma’s once bright green eyes had been so haunted. The only accomplishment Regina can attribute to today is how her snide remarks managed to restore some of that characteristic spark - the resulting pleasure based in her desire to repay her indebtedness to the Saviour. 

Rather than any other reason.  

It’s the least I could do after Emma risked so much -

Something firm grabs her around the middle, Regina’s brain taking one second too long to react.  The glass drops from between her fingers as a faintly scented cloth is thrust against her nose and mouth.  The sluggish heat in her mind melts beneath it, one weak struggle all she manages before her limbs become unresponsive.  A strong, warm body is pressed into her back, Regina fighting with what remains of her consciousness to maintain awareness.  She loses the battle when her world tips out from under her, eyelids falling as the night sky rushes down to meet her.

 




A sense of strangeness tugs her up to consciousness.  Her mind is thick with sleep - a deeply restorative kind Regina can’t recall having in quite some time.  She feels secure.  Protected.  Definitely not a state she’s used to.  It’s this, along with a distant scent of something oddly familiar, that has her pressing determinedly against the layers of sleep.

There’s the sound of crackling - fire? - and the distant rustle and creak of trees moving outside.  Another scent makes itself apparent, a muskiness akin to old wooden buildings.  Her nose crinkles, reaching to brush away the hint of dust tickling her nose.

That’s when she realises her hands are tied.

Awareness slams into Regina, leaving her gasping for breath.  She pulls, then twists the bonds holding her hands behind her back but they hold fast.  Dark eyes flit alertly around the space she sensed, identifying a small, sparsely furnished cabin with table, chair, low burning fire and cot on which she’s resting.  Attempting to sit up reveals that her legs are also restrained, secured at the ankles.

What idiot thinks they can do this to me?

Gathering anger around her panic, Regina wills her magic to release the bonds that, while secure are not overly tight.  Escaping should be an easy feat.  Only when nothing happens does fear take root in her mind.

They’re… they’re blocking my magic!

A noise has her struggling into an upright position.  Something falls away from her shoulders as Regina squirms and shifts, teeth gritted in battle against gravity.  A force no match for the stubbornness of Regina Mills.  She’s keenly aware of how on display she is having attained a seated position.  The blanket over her shoulders has pooled at her waist, doing nothing to conceal her heaving chest in the low nightgown, or bare legs hanging over the cot’s side.

Terrifying memories and thoughts rush through her mind, none of them enough to unseat her determination to face this threat with a straight back.  Ready to fight.

The single door creaks open, admitting a person concealed beneath a hooded coat.  The cabin is dark beyond the firelight’s reach, Regina unable to make out any details as the door closes with a distinct click.

“What the hell am I doing here?!”  She demands, the stranger startling as they turn to face her.  A rush of relief causes the brunette to become light-headed.  “Emma!”

The blond lowers her hood, expression difficult to make out in the dim lighting.

“Seems like your skill for finding people has come in handy again,” Regina’s almost embarrassed by how happy she is to see the Saviour, but there’s something else niggling in the back of her mind.  Something that’s being fed by the fact that Emma still hasn’t moved toward her.

“Untie me and we’ll deal with whoever’s responsible for this.”  Regina shifts enough to show a glimpse of the ties binding her hands, eyes never leaving the woman still shrouded in darkness.

“I - I’m sorry for all this, Regina,” Emma’s voice is low, the brunette hearing barely a trace of the warmth to which she’s accustomed.  “I just… I needed to talk to you.”

Betrayal hits her barely a second after comprehension.  “You - you did this?!”

“It was the only way -.”

“What the hell is wrong with you?!”  Anger is raging through Regina’s body.  The Saviour - daughter of prince Charming and Snow White - kidnapped her?

I should have seen it coming.

“Is this some kind of twisted retribution for not letting you kill Lily?”  Regina’s voice is filling the small space, the blond motionless as the words strike her.  “Or did Gold put you up to this?”

Figures the vile snake would still have it in for her.

“I just want to talk,” Emma repeats, hands rising in a placating gesture.  Which further pisses Regina off.

“And kidnapping me seemed like the best way to accomplish that?”  She snaps.  “Tell me, Miss Swan, what exactly were we doing on my veranda earlier?  Playing Tiddlywinks?”

At last Emma steps forward, the action allowing Regina to see how hollow her eyes are.  “This is the only way I can say what needs to be said.”

The retort catches in Regina’s throat, something about the intensity of Emma’s gaze shifting the emotion tightening her chest.  “And what exactly is that?”

Green eyes flash, Regina’s body tensing as the blond slips out of her coat revealing only a while tank top and skinny jeans.  Dropping the article to the floor, Emma moves with predatory grace, toned biceps becoming more defined as she takes the sole chair to several feet across from Regina and sits down.

“We need to discuss our Happy Endings,” she states, eyes holding Regina’s.

“I fail to see how one has any correlation to the other.”  Regina tries her bonds again, still unable to get any play in the knots.  “Must we really have this conversation when I’m restrained?”

Something that could be shame flickers across Emma’s face but then it’s swallowed by the previous neutral facade.  “I’m sorry, I can’t risk you leaving before we’ve discussed this.”

“You know I’ll never forgive you for this.”  Regina’d meant the words to hold more bite but they come out tinged with regret.  Despite her efforts to avoid it, she’d come to trust this little blond Saviour - a trust that is now utterly broken.

“I don’t want you to.”

The response surprises Regina, unable to make sense of where Emma’s going with this.

“Part of me thinks it’d be better if we hated each other.”  Another sliver of emotion glides beneath the blond’s distant tone, green eyes directed to where Regina’s bare feet meet the floor.  “Because that’s how it’s supposed to be, isn’t it?”  A heavy bitter laugh.  “This Author has defined our parts for us, and deviation from them only causes pain.”

Regina swallows, taken aback by how in line Emma’s words are with her own thoughts.  Sure, they’d spoken about Isaac and getting him to write Regina a happy ending, but their own lack of agency in the bigger picture had not been addressed.

“Even before coming to Storybrooke, even in a world without magic, I was subject to his design.”  Dark creases are forming in Emma’s brow, her mouth turning into a thin line of frustration.  “I’d come to terms with the shittiness of my life.  At least the decisions had been mine; the fuck-ups and successes.”

The hands clasped before her tighten, knuckles steadily turning white.  “Now I’m just supposed to accept that none of that’s true - that really it doesn’t matter how I feel about anything because the road forward has already been paved?”

“It’s not pleasant, is it?”  Regina’s voice is crisp, at once sympathetic and annoyed by the Saviour’s self-indulgence.  “Apparently that’s what you get to be in a fairytale: controlled by others.”
Emma’s eyes whip up to meet hers, a shiver rippling beneath the brunette’s skin at the sudden connection.  “Do you love him?”

Although unsettled by the rapid change in subject Regina knows exactly who Emma’s referring to.  “Of course I do.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes I’m sure, Miss Swan!”  Anger seethes like hungry flames along her veins.  The audacity of this woman!  “He’s my soulmate!”

A corner of Emma’s mouth lifts, the expression looking more feral than cocky.  “So it’s by design.”

“As we’ve established, everything in our lives is,” Regina snaps, unable to contain the rage boiling within her.  How dare this woman treat her like this!  How dare she question her feelings!  “This Author has established him as my chance for happiness,” she growls, “once we’re allowed to be together it will work out.”

The blond leans back, frustratingly unmoved by Regina’s vehemence.  She looks contemplative, the prolonged stillness setting Regina more on edge.

Where’s the woman whose passion lit her from within?

Shaking aside the melancholic thought, Regina shimmies forward.  All too fed up with this absurd situation.

“I feel the same about Killian.”

Her anger flares hotter, tinted with a bitterness Regina refuses to acknowledge.  “Your desire for bad boys in leather has nothing to do with my soulmate.”

“There was an inevitability to it,” Emma continues, gaze moving slowly around the room.  “He was a villain who’d turned to help my family, someone trying to be Good and who wanted me.”

Regina catches the waver in Emma’s voice, her rage ebbing as another emotion responds to the Saviour.

“My mom kept dropping hints and him and dad got on well enough,” Emma’s eyes pause when they reach Regina’s knee.  “It was easy to fall into a relationship with him.”

Despite her desire to remain angry with Emma, the blond’s words stir Regina’s own misgivings.  Knowing Robin was her soulmate had made it easy to know how to proceed and after so few things in her life had been straightforward it was a relief.  He had a child - she loved children.  He was a good man, willing to fight for and protect her.

Well, until his once dead wife got in the way.

She wanted so desperately to be happy and he’d seemed the perfect answer. 

Destiny.

“But if there’s one thing I know for certain,” Emma’s voice snaps her back to the moment, dark eyes finding themselves caught in pale green, “it’s that nothing truly worthwhile comes easy.”

“As inspirational as this little talk is, Miss Swan, it seems to only underscore that our energy should be directed toward fighting for our Happy Endings.”  Regina struggles once more against the binds at her wrists, winching when the skin begins to suffer for her persistence.

“Regina - please.”

The softness in Emma’s tone causes her heartbeat to start pounding in her ears.  The Saviour has spoken her name with a myriad of vocal inflections - but Regina’s never heard it said with such tenderness.

Hesitantly, the brunette raises her gaze, throat drying at the brightness suddenly infusing Emma’s eyes.

“You, more than anyone, deserve a Happy Ending.”  Seemingly unable to contain herself Emma stands, the intensity of her look unwavering.  “You deserve someone devoted to you - able to support and protect you.  Give you love without condition every moment of every day.”  The fists hanging at Emma’s sides tighten with conviction.  “Willing to give up everything to be with you.”

Regina’s lips part, somehow unable to get enough air in a space feeling progressively smaller.

“I’ve never known someone to feel as deeply as you do.  Who fights so fiercely.”  The blond takes a step closer - Regina instinctively standing to meet her.  “Who’s sacrificed and fought to save someone they love.”

They’re barely a foot apart now, Emma’s breathing coming almost as fast as Regina’s.  The look they’re sharing halfway between the glares once exchanged over Henry and the moments of unity more common now.

It’s also something entirely new.

The focus required to keep herself standing prevents Regina from making any quick movements, but it doesn’t stop her from missing how Emma’s arms twitch when she sways more heavily to one side.  As though wanting to reach for her.

“What… is this about, Emma?”  Her voice is gentle, recognising the look of vulnerability lurking beneath the hollow expression.

“I think you know.”  The blond responds, her tone low with a hint of huskiness.

The lump she tries to swallow gets caught, a strange warm energy rippling along Regina’s nerves.  It’s not unlike the feel of magic coursing beneath her skin - except this energy comes wrapped with fear, disbelief, desire and the faintest glimmer of hope.  Fear steadily overtakes the others and, like the reliable old friend it is, anger surges up to offer protection.

“So you kidnapped and brought me to this cabin to fulfill some perverted fantasy?”  She sneers, tightening her muscles in an effort to reduce her body’s trembling.

For a moment she sees the spark of fire in Emma’s eyes - bright and fierce and familiar - but then her head lowers and she’s stepping back.  Leaving Regina teetering precariously in open space.

“I want to come clean with you, Regina.”  Extending her arms slightly to either side Emma stands - blond hair cascading over her shoulders, slim, strong body in a posture of openness.  Eyes once more meeting nervous brown.  “We’ve come too far to keep secrets from each other.”

Panic bubbles up in Regina’s belly, every inch of her aching with the desire to flee.  But she remains rooted, chin raised proudly against the threat that this moment presents.  The way it could change everything.  

Because deep down, Regina suspects she knows what secrets Emma’s referring to.

“What we have, this confidence that the other will always be there to back us up, it’s been hard won,” a sound caught between chuckle and sigh escapes the blond.  “Hell, I think we’re still fighting for it.”

One of Regina’s eyebrows raise incredulously, Emma’s shoulders rising in a movement that’s so characteristic of her it temporarily makes the brunette forget her fear.

“I’ve never been able to rely on anyone - and what you did for me today.”  Her voice falters and Regina suddenly realises Emma’s shaking.  “You know what Darkness is like.”  She leans forward, Regina becoming aware of an unnamed power gradually building against her senses.  “How it whispers and promises.”  

Her head turns, blond hair obscuring her face.  “You know what I’m capable of.”  The words are almost a snarl.  “No one else could have stopped me from killing her.”

Pale hands bury in her own hair, tugging it backward.  Revealing a face torn in anger and pain.  “You deserve so much more than a man who wants you to simply be a good wife.”

‘You must be a good wife for the King.’

Regina gasps, chest burning as horror erupts alongside the agonising memory.

Robin is nothing like -

“You are so Incredible, Regina.”

The raw sincerity in Emma’s words draws Regina back from the ready anger. Finding that, despite what this woman’s done, her heart craves Emma’s words.

“You deserve the right to Choose,” The blond moves closer, hands hovering near Regina’s elbows.  “You… you deserve someone who’s Whole.”  Emma’s eyes shimmer, their depths fathomless pools of dark fire.  “Not broken.”

That stubborn glimmer of hope causes a heady and extremely unpleasant dizziness.  Perhaps it’s this mix of emotions that prompts what happens next.  Perhaps it’s the power now hovering like a thick mist around them.  Or perhaps she knows the Saviour well enough to expect a certain kind of reaction.

Whether it’s instinct or calculated the brunette cannot say, but she releases the iron hold on her control.  Watching, as though in slow motion, the blond’s eyes widen.

Then Regina does something she hasn’t done since the day Daniel died.

She lets herself Fall.

It feels like the scariest risk she’s ever taken and when Emma’s arms enfold her - strong and sure and warm - relief rushes like a wave beneath her skin.  The transition from catch to embrace is seamless, the blond’s arms snaking around Regina’s back and pressing her close.  Instead of bristling, Regina tucks her head against a shoulder.  Every breath bringing the scent of heady physicality that is Emma.  Not a word is spoken, as though acknowledging what’s happening will destroy it.

She feels… Comfortable.  How strange.  The vulnerable intimacy goes against everything Regina’s lived by for most of her life.  Despite Emma’s words there’s real danger to the unpredictable woman whose arms surround her.  Regina does not know what the blond’s newly fledged darkness is capable of.  The Saviour has, after all, abducted her.  Yet she remains limp, nose pressing to the steady pulse in the woman’s neck.

Because this is still Emma.  And this feels like a long held breath finally released.

It’s natural that she’d compare the experience to one with Robin, the only other person she’s been close to in a very long time.  Although the position is somewhat awkward - Regina’s full weight leaning against the blond - she finds there’s no urgency to part.  No attack of nerves or desperation.  It’s just Them.  Her and Emma.  The assurance of one another somehow more satisfying than anything she’s ever felt with Robin.

Emma knows who I am.  Her lips quirk in a half-hearted smile.  There’s no pretending between us.

At least, not anymore.

One of Emma’s fingers travel lightly down the back of Regina’s bare arm, a frisson of heat catching her off guard.  That single motion causes the energy between them to shift.  Growing from gentle warmth to eager fire.  Suddenly she’s aware of every place their bodies touch, the searing sensation of skin on skin.  How Emma is a mix of hard and soft - sturdy muscles and firm breasts - the awareness prompting her face to flush.

Is this… why we’ve never let ourselves be close?

Kindling the other’s passionate spirit is something they’ve always done.  Yet now - as she feels Emma’s breath ghost past her ear, the woman’s rapid heartbeat raising the pace of her own - Regina realises it’s more than a potential for darkness that makes the Saviour a threat to her.  The possibility of Emma is like a forbidden spell whispering at the edges of her mind.  

Perhaps she’s always known.  She’s certainly been careful to avoid the chance for a moment like this, where the pull of what they could be is undeniable.

The blond is right: Robin had been safe - scripted.  Easy.

But Emma… what they’ve never named between them could turn every part of her to flame.  A risk that, if taken, might very well destroy what of herself Regina’s managed to reclaim.

 “...you think we could be happy?”  She asks, the unspoken ‘together’ hanging between them.

Emma’s head shifts, chin pressing lightly to Regina’s forehead.  “I know it sounds crazy,” there’s a self-consciousness to her voice, an image of the blond smiling shyly in her vault blazing into Regina’s mind.  “It’s just that… when I think of the future I want -.”  Emma’s hand slides along her arm again, Regina barely resisting a shiver.  “I know I want it to be with you and Henry.”

Her heart constricts, a ridiculous disappointment massing in her chest.

“You’ll always have us.”  Tilting her head causes lips to brush Emma’s neck, the brunette experiencing a surge of pleasure at the resulting tremor.

The arms around her tighten.  “I want more than that.”  Emma holds her steady as she moves back, green orbs alight with simmering fire.  “I want you to be mine , Regina.”

The words, spoken with tender conviction, knock the air from Regina’s chest.  A hand raises, half-shielding.  Eyes widening when she finds her arms and legs are no longer restrained.

Lowering her gaze, Emma takes another step back, arms falling to her sides.  “Don’t sell yourself short.”  The blond’s voice is tight.  “Pursue the happiness you want.”  Restless hands ball into fists.  “I’ll fight for it with you, whatever you choose.”

For the second time this evening Regina acts without thinking.  One gesture has Emma pinned against the closest wall, the blond’s body tensing in shock.  Striding forward with deliberate purpose, she grasps the Saviour’s jaw firmly between two fingers.  Dark eyes alight with fearsome power.  The woman’s gaze meets hers directly, the energy that never dissipated around them seeming to purr at the clash of two such strong women.

Then Regina falls into the trap of looking at Emma’s lips.

Before leaning forward to Claim them.

They both gasp - as though in mutual surprise - then Emma’s fingers are raking through Regina’s hair.  The brunette not caring how her magic had been circumvented.  Strong hands cup the back of Regina’s head, the hold gentle yet firm.  Their lips move with ardent desperation, teeth clipping as each woman assaults reddening flesh.  Regina tastes a hint of cider on Emma’s tongue, the feel of a hand moving to grip her behind causing a throaty moan to escape her.  The blond’s body goes stiff.

Suddenly they’re on the cot, its size larger than the brunette remembers, and Emma’s atop her.  Sharp teeth and skilled tongue trailing fire down Regina’s neck.

“Tell me - if you want me to -.”

“No - don’t stop.”

Their breathless voices turn to pleased exultations, Emma’s tinged with triumph as she pulls a thinly veiled nipple between her lips.  Regina arches into the hot mouth, nails scoring down Emma’s back - dark gaze tied irrevocably to piercing green.

“You - beneath me,” the blond pants, rough fingers pinching Regina’s second breast, “feels Perfect.”  There’s a growl in her voice as she nips soft flesh.  Eager hands steadily traveling silky fabric.

One of the brunette’s hands twists a fistful of golden hair, yanking the woman up from her chest.  “Don’t think you won’t get yours.”  She smirks, mildly impressed by her smooth delivery.  The show of control is all the resistance she’s able to muster.  Every inch of her aching for the Saviour’s touch.  Molten energy consuming her in a wild frenzy.

Yes, Emma is so very Dangerous.

The blond grins, her expression akin to a cat toying with its prey.  In one fluid motion she lifts her weight from Regina and pulls the nightgown up the prone woman’s body.  The brunette gasps, the sudden vulnerability of exposure overshadowed by the blatant look of hunger as Emma’s gaze worships her naked form.

“God, Regina -.”  Their eyes meet again, somehow even hotter, and then their lips smash together and every one of their limbs is wrapping around the other.  Straining and pressing in a desperate attempt to bring them closer.  The supple firmness of Emma’s thigh at her core tears a moan from Regina, the blond’s body wracking with a shiver before her head turns.  Sharp teeth sinking deep into the tender skin of Regina’s neck.

The act is base and possessive and should ignite the full force of her ire.  Instead, Regina tilts her head to offer better access.  A tremor of pleasure and trepidation prompting a low whine past her lips.  That strange power pulses around them, its nebulous form undulating with rapidly shifting colours.  Emma’s hands grip and trail and tease, Regina’s digging into denim and cotton as their bodies grind together.  The sensations are almost painfully intense, the brunette’s gaze hazing as involuntary moans urge the blond onward.

The Evil Queen has taken lovers, but none elicited the riotous frenzy of Storybrooke’s Saviour.
Managing to pull Emma’s tank up to her pits rewards Regina with the burn of skin on skin.  The blond purrs, slick tongue lapping across peaked mounds.  Groaning, Regina’s fingers tangle in glowing locks, preparing to force the woman back to her hungry mouth.  

That’s when two of Emma’s fingers plunge inside her.

Regina’s body goes rigid - a strange mewling sound escaping her.

And then she’s crying.  

The volatility of her emotions is legendary but never, in all her years, has Regina cried during sex.  The pleasure is astonishing, yet alongside it comes a despair so debilitating that a whimper breaks from her throat.

Emma stills above her, able fingers withdrawing from her depths.  “Regina,” she asks, face wavering before the brunette’s teary gaze, “did... did I hurt you?”

A despondent sob is all she manages at first.  “No, Emma,” she replies brokenly, “but I’m - going to hurt you.”

Although she cannot see the other woman clearly, Regina distinguishes enough to know Emma is perplexed.  “What do you mean?”

“I mean,” she sucks in a breath, “that, inevitably, I will corrupt you.  Hurt you.  Drag you into the Darkness that’s haunted my life.”

Her words bring the weight she’s carried for so long down upon her shoulders.  Everyone she’s ever loved has suffered.  Any one who’s dared to protect her has paid a price.

“If you’re with me,” her throat tightens until only a whisper is possible, “you’re going to suffer.”

More than you already have.

“No - no matter how hard I fight,” the despair gathers inside her, its mass eating her from the inside.  “I - I only cause… pain.”

I don’t want that to be your Future.

Sobs rack her naked frame, the security of Emma’s closeness unmoving.  Through the waves of despair Regina feels gentle kisses land intermittently against her heated flesh, a swell of gratitude warming the cold that’s slithered into her veins.  She snuggles closer to the blond, even as part of her wishes she was far away.

Only once her tears have subsided into sniffles does Emma break the heavy silence.  “You’re not going to corrupt me, Regina.”  She smiles, the expression surprisingly comforting, “yes you have Darkness inside you.  But so do I.”

Emma tilts her head, Regina’s gaze following hers up to the magic swirling around them.  The sight akin to dappled sunlight shifting in a breeze.

“We also both have Light.”  She asserts, arms tightening around the other woman.  “It’s that unity within us that this ‘Author’ won’t be able to stand against.”  Emma leans in, nuzzling beneath Regina’s ear.  “The Storybook depicts a world that’s Black and White.”  Her nose tickles beneath the brunette’s chin, “neither of us are that.”

Sitting up on her elbows, Emma gazes down at Regina, her verdant eyes fathomless.  “Neither of us are Victim or Saviour here, Regina.”  

Her breath catches at the fire blazing in Emma’s eyes.  

“We are whatever we Choose to be.”  Each hand extends, lacing their fingers together.  “And if being with you means I’ll need to fight more battles,” her brows crease in resolution, “then I say bring them on.  Because nothing can stop us, Regina.”  Thin lips curve into an undeniably wicked grin.  “Nothing is going to stand between us.”

Fragile feeling - like a flame just lit - flutters upward from Regina’s chest.  She wants to scoff at the blond’s naivety - how like a Charming - but she can’t deny that those words are true.  Nothing’s been able to stand against them.  Whether it’s because of their magic, knowledge, or plain stubbornness they’ve overcome every challenge together.  And with the woman that means more than she can say declaring her determination to fight for her… well, Regina finds the world looks a little bit brighter.

“You’re such a Hero,” she chides, tone invoking more playfulness than reproach.

The blond’s head tilts, teeth glinting in the low light.  “Your Hero.”

What remains of Regina’s dour mood dissolves, the fact that she’s naked with a very attractive woman astride her once more becoming the primary focus.  “Then I have a task of utmost importance for you.”  A wry grin spreads across her features.  “There’s a fire that needs quenching, Ms. Swan.”  Her hips raise ever so slightly.  “Think you can handle it?”

Emma’s darkening eyes cause Regina’s breath to hitch.  “Fuck yes.”

There’s a surge of energy as the woman’s lips connect once more with hers.  A vibrant cascade of roiling emotion overtakes them, wisps separating from then rejoining the lingering fog of magic like fish leaping through a rushing stream.  

Regina’s body shakes with the force of her feelings, nails digging into pale flesh.  The blond’s form is vibrating above her, a low rumble humming between their flesh as Emma’s fingers skirt her core - a gentle nibble at Regina’s lips her wordless request for confirmation.  The brunette’s half-pleading, half-chastising utterance of ‘Emma’ prompts two firm fingers to plunge into her heat.

Vulnerability lingers at the edges of her awareness but no despair accompanies it, the brunette’s mind in complete alignment with her lusting body.  Emma’s fingers curve inside her, rough thumb sending a violent bolt along her nerves.  Regina gasps then whines, the muscled arm she’s admired beginning a steady pumping - despite the vice-like grip of her inner walls.  She clings to Emma, the blond growling as her teeth sink repeatedly into Regina.

There’s a strange timber to the pleasure of sex mixed with dominance.  Regina’s wielded it for her own satisfaction but never before has she let another wield it over her.  Yet, as Emma’s possessive bites and merciless thrusts drive her ever closer to an apex, she knows that she will let the Saviour do this to her again.  And again - and Again.

Because everything Emma said is encapsulated perfectly in this moment.  Despite being entirely at the woman’s mercy, all her vulnerabilities laid bare, Regina feels Powerful.

Safe.

As her head tilts back, eyes losing focus amid the burgeoning storm inside her, the assurance of what’s between them takes hold deep in her chest.  

Yes, they are Evil Queen and Saviour, just as the Author wrote.

They are also Regina and Emma, two women capable of transcending worlds and doing whatever it takes to be together.

To be a Family.

“Emma -!”  Regina keens.  Bracing, and then succumbing in agonisingly exquisite palpitations.  Every part of her shuts down, waves crashing over her until she can only tremble.  Through half-closed eyes she sees the magic thick around them, glinting like edges of sun-kissed glass.  Emma’s presence surrounds her, creating a full contentedness Regina’s never known with any man.

At some point she remembers how to breathe, the scent of her and Emma causing another, just as intense, swell of emotion to flow over her.  The blond’s now gentle strokes lengthen the pleasure, ardent kisses slowly moving down her body until Regina’s taken off-guard by the soft yet insistent press of a tongue lapping at her entrance.

Humming her approval of the sensation, as well as the eroticism of the act, Regina finds herself smiling.  The expression tinged with wonder and a growing amount of wickedness.

“Mmmm, you’re not half bad, Saviour,” one finger forcibly lifts the woman’s chin so their eyes meet, “I wonder what Snow White would say if she knew her daughter licked the Evil Queen so eagerly.”

The comment causes Emma to stop, brows dipping, a delightful scowl appearing on her face.  “I’m willing to overlook the fact that you just brought my mother into this because you’re too damned hot for anything else to matter.”

Regina blushes - which is a ridiculous reaction -, her smile completing the transformation to devilish grin.  It takes less than a second for Emma to once more encompass her body, the Saviour’s desire-laden gaze returning butterflies to Regina’s stomach.

“But I wouldn’t try my luck with that too many times, Madam Mayor.”

A shiver courses over Regina’s flesh, both hands latching securely onto Emma’s waist.  “Does it - worry you?”  The question comes without her bidding.  “What your parents will say?”

“About us?”  Emma scoffs.  “No.  I mean, I want them to be on board, but if they’re not that’s their problem.”

Regina’s heart expands, one hand raising to caress Emma’s face.  “And what about… Henry?”

The bond smiles, the expression so soft it deepens the ache in her chest.  “Henry wants us both to be happy.”  She speaks with a finality Regina believes.  “Honestly I think he may have wanted us to get together for a while.”

This surprises the brunette and she makes a mental note to inquire about it later.  Right now there’s another more pressing matter.  “Are you going to leave Hook?”  She doesn’t realise she’s holding her breath.

“Already have, actually.”  Emma’s smile is so infuriatingly smug and adorable Regina can’t decide whether to throttle or kiss her.  “Poofed to the Jolly Roger after drinking with you.”  Emma’s grin turns feral.  “Had to throw the bastard overboard when he said some foul things about you.”

A flicker of indignation accompanies the delight Regina experiences at obtaining this information.  “So sure your little stockholm venture would succeed?”

As though sensing Regina’s hovering anger the grin falls from Emma’s face.  An uncharacteristically fragile expression taking its place.  “Not in the slightest.”

The green eyes which dropped to gaze at Regina’s collar gradually travel up until they’re looking steadily into brown.  “But I had to stop lying to myself.  Whatever happened once I’d told you, I needed us both to know I was willing to give my all to this.”  Emma’s arms tighten around her.  “That I wasn’t going to hide from it.”

The hand at Emma’s cheek curves.  Fingers moving tenderly across smooth skin.  “I’m very glad to hear that, Miss Swan.”

There’s a rush of air and suddenly Emma’s strung across the mattress, arms and legs securely anchored to the bed.  Regina takes enormous satisfaction from the shock plastered on the Saviour’s face, but finds the overall spectacle of Emma prone and now bare before her even more stimulating.

“Now,” she purrs, leaning forward to drag her tongue along the curve of an ear, “I do believe some payback is in order…”