Actions

Work Header

Words Of Devotion

Chapter Text

~Two years later~

 

Thirty one year old Emma Swan slowly returned to the land of consciousness. With a groan and every bit reluctantly, she opened her eyes and forced herself to focus on the world around her. To say that she was groggy would definitely be an understatement. She was more than groggy. Truthfully, she probably could have slept until tomorrow morning, but she did not want to. She had decided to only sleep for an hour, and she reminded herself that she was grateful the alarm had woken her.

With a huff and a puff, she got out of bed. Left it unmade and told herself it was okay to do that. There was no reason to test gravity and potentially risking to face plant onto the bed. She was not in the mood for that.

She glanced at the alarm clock standing on the little bedside table and couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. It was five in the afternoon. She had been asleep for an hour. And Regina hadn’t come up to cuddle with her. The horror! Emma had a distinct memory of waiting for that before falling asleep. She wondered what Regina had been doing for the hour she had been asleep? Maybe she had been occupied with something else.

Emma took a look at herself in the mirror and cringed. Her hair was messy. She found a hairbrush and quickly ran it through the tangled locks. When she was done, she tied the hair back in a ponytail to get it away from her eyes and tried not to cringe too much as she looked at herself. She looked tired. And she could have sworn that her face was swollen from water retention or something. Maybe it was all in her head, but whatever. She stood from the chair by the mirror and brushed a hand over her clothes which had gotten crumpled after she had been sleeping in it. Damnit. Why had she fallen asleep?

Her intention had only been to rest her eyes for five minutes! But of course her body had called the quits. And now she missed an hour with Regina already. It would be dinner time in an hour, and they were having roast tonight. Meaning that Regina had been on kitchen duty all on her own. Double damnit.

Emma silently scolded herself as she looked down at herself. Wondered if she should change out of her sweatpants and into something a bit more interesting that did not make her look like a slob. But the thing was, she didn’t really want to change out of the sweatpants. They were sooooo comfortable. And honestly, changing her clothes was almost an acrobatic skill these days. She decided to keep wearing the sweatpants and tanktop. It was just her and Regina home. Henry was at Violet’s, and Neal was at David and Kathryn’s place for a couple of hours. The little tyke loved visiting his grandpa and ‘grandma’. A title he had come up with on his own, and one that had made Kathryn beam and pick him up and spin him around in the air until he giggled. She did not mind being his grandmother at all.

Emma ventured downstairs and was immediately greeted by the delicious scent of the roast cooking in the oven. Man, that smelled amazing! But wasn’t the house pretty quiet? Or was her ears just a bit stuffy from sleeping? Either way, she wanted to know where Regina was.

She went into the kitchen, but could not see Regina anywhere. Had she gone out? Emma was just about to call out to her when her question was answered. Regina emerged from the upstairs with a book wedged under her arm. She had clearly been in their little library in the tower room. She smiled when she saw Emma. “Hello, my love,” she softly greeted as she came over to Emma and pecked her lips gently. “And hello, my littlest love,” she continued as she crouched down and gently kissed Emma’s round belly. “How did we sleep?”

“Pretty good,” Emma said and chuckled when the baby started kicking the minute Regina kissed her belly. “Every time!”

Regina chuckled as she rose to her full height and then lightly caressed Emma’s belly.

The baby kicked again, and Emma laughed as she slipped a hand down and rested it on top of Regina’s for a moment. “Looks like someone else is awake.”

“Fortunately,” Regina said. “And tell me, my love... is the baby hungry?”

“Yes,” Emma said without skipping a beat. The baby was always hungry. Meaning that SHE was always hungry.

“Come,” Regina said warmly and took Emma’s hand. “I’ll fix you something.”

“I can make something myself,” Emma interjected.

Regina huffed. “You’re supposed to take it easy.”

“Yeah, but-“

“Emma.” Regina interrupted. “Please let me fix you something.”

“Okay, okay,” Emma surrendered, laughing. “I’ll let you.”

“Thank you!”

Emma yawned slightly as she followed Regina towards the living room.

“Good nap, was it?” Regina asked warmly.

“Mmm. Just a bit too long. And slightly lonely,” Emma said truthfully and couldn’t help but add: “You know, laying down in the middle of the afternoon is just so much more fun when you’re there. Sleep is nice and all, and especially these days, but I could think of a thing or two that’s way more fun to do in the bedroom, and the kids aren’t even home-“

“Emma, sweetheart,” Regina interrupted and chuckled while shaking her head slightly. “Please stop talking.”

“Whyyyyy?” Emma complained. “Don’t you like my suggestions? You usually do- oh.” She stopped talking abruptly. They had reached the living room, and sitting in the couch was Zelena. And judging by the smirk she was wearing, it was evident that she had heard every word coming out of Emma’s mouth. Oops.

“Sorry if my presence has robbed you of quality time,” she drawled and looked like she was trying mighty hard not to laugh.”

“Hi, Zelena,” Emma greeted a bit sheepishly. “I didn’t know you were here.”

“No, clearly not,” the redhead chuckled.

“She just came by to borrow a book for Robin,” Regina said, shooting her sister a fond gaze. “And suddenly, she wanted coffee. Then she wanted to talk, and now we’re here and I’m still not rid of her.”

“Cheeky,” Zelena huffed and took another sip of her coffee.

Regina rolled her eyes and then turned her attention back to Emma. “Sit down, darling. I don’t want you standing too long.”

Emma had not yet reached the state where her lower back ached, but she knew that she would sooner or later, and so she found it wisest to just to as Regina asked her to, but... she glumly eyed the couch. Why was it always so damn low? Why couldn’t it just have been a little bit taller? That would have made her life so much easier. She sighed. She always had these inner monologues with herself when it came to sitting down in the couch. She had been this pregnant for a while, and she still hadn’t found a way to sit down that didn’t require help from others.

And Regina knew that. She smiled warmly at Emma as she offered the blonde her hands for support.

Emma let out another little sigh as she turned around and took Regina’s hand and then walked backwards until the back of her knees collided with the couch. “Oh, god,” she half-grumbled.

“Don’t worry, darling. I’ve got you,” Regina assured.

“I KNOW you’ve got me,” Emma replied as she bent her knees and did her best to lower her ass onto the couch. “That’s not what I’m worried about!”

“You’ve nothing to worry about,” Regina said reassuringly and then hissed: “Zelena, move that pillow away. Now!”

Zelena didn’t dare doing anything except for what she was told to do.

Emma grunted and felt her face grow hot as she lowered her ass onto the couch. She was pretty sure the sound she made when she managed, was completely unladylike. But Regina didn’t seem to mind.
“There we are. Are you comfortable? Do you need an extra pillow?”

“No, I’m good.”

“Excellent. Then I’ll just pop into the kitchen and fix you something. What do you want? Peanut butter sandwich?”

“Sounds great.”

“Wonderful. Coming right now!” Regina singsong’ed as she disappeared into the kitchen.

Emma adjusted slightly in the couch with some trouble. She huffed and tried not to sound like an old lady as she grabbed a pillow and stuffed it behind her back for support. Ahh. That was better.

“So, still no baby,” Zelena quipped.

“Nope,” Emma said, rubbing her belly. “Still no baby. But there is still a bit of time left before my due date.”

“That’s true,” Zelena nodded. “And you look great.”

Emma laughed. “Thanks, Zelena, that’s nice of you to say, but I think I’m pretty puffy all over.”

“You do not look puffy,” Zelena protested. “You look great. And the little one is thriving.”

“That’s true,” Emma agreed, rubbing her belly fondly and laughing when the baby kicked once more. “Thriving and very active as we speak.”

“Is she kicking?” Regina called from the kitchen.

“Yep, sure is!” Emma called back.

“Tell her to wait for me, please!”

Zelena chuckled as Emma rubbed her belly again. “Wait for your mom, kiddo. She wants to be a part of it.”

The baby just kept kicking, and Emma spoke softly to the little one using her bladder as a toy. They called her ‘she’, but actually they had no idea whether it was a boy or a girl. They didn’t want to know. Henry had complained about it, but Emma and Regina had chosen to keep it a secret. They wanted it to be a surprise. But both of them couldn’t help calling the baby ‘she’. Which was a bit funny because they literally hadn’t found a girl’s name yet. They had talked about Florian for a boy. Both of them really liked that name. It gave them fairytale vibes, but girls’ name was apparently more tricky. It wasn’t that they didn’t have ANY suggestions, but each and every one of them seemed to sound wrong after they had said it a few times. Henry had fought for the name Rose, and Neal, whose newest obsession happened to be Peter Pan, had insisted on ‘Wendy’ for the little Swan-Mills baby, but Emma and Regina hadn’t quite agreed with either of them. But they were not worried. They would find a suitable name sooner or later, and it wasn’t even sure that the baby was a girl, and if it wasn’t, well then that question didn’t even need answering. Then they would go with either Florian or Arthur or Edward or one of the many other names they had talked about. Emma wasn’t quite sure why they were so skittish around girls’ names. Maybe because they already had two boys and were a bit hesitant to really believe that it could be a girl.

“There we are,” Regina said, pulling Emma out of her thoughts as she came into the living room with a plate. “One peanut butter sandwich.”

“Thanks, beautiful,” Emma said gratefully as she took the plate from Regina and immediately took a large bite of the peanut butter sandwich. “Mmmhmmm! Fuck, this is really good!”

“Happy to hear that,” Regina said as Zelena laughed. That prompted Regina to turn her head and glare slightly at her older sister. “Don’t laugh at my wife.”

“I’m not,” Zelena assured. “I promise I’m not!”

“Could have fooled me,” Regina muttered.

“Yeah, don’t laugh at her wife, Zelena,” Emma agreed with Regina, knowing full well that she was entirely too happy about the sandwich. But she couldn’t help it. Peanut butter was just so fucking good!

The baby thought so too. She- or he- happily kicked as Emma ate, and even though it wouldn’t last long before Emma needed to go to the bathroom (again), she was still rather happy about her current situation.

“So? What did I miss out on?” she asked and gave herself a moment to silently complain that she had missed out on time with Regina. This was not the first time she had ended up napping for longer than expecting.

“Not that much, really,” Regina said as she sat down next to Emma in the couch. “I’ve just been watching television, to be honest.”

“Which show?”

“Great British Bake-Off.”

Emma groaned. “Oh no! Damnit, why did I have to fall asleep?”

Regina patted her knee. “Don’t worry, darling. We’ll watch it some other time.”

But Emma wasn’t satisfied. It was like the closer she got to her due date, the more zombie like she became. Constantly falling asleep and feeling sleepy at any given moment. Sometimes it could be quite annoying. She took another bite of her peanut butter sandwich and tried not to look too disgruntled while eating. But she WAS disgruntled. This was not the first time she had fallen asleep and missed out on quality time with her wife.

Regina did not seem to mind at all, though. She was smiling as she chitchatted with Zelena, and she still had her hand on Emma’s knee.

“Tell me,” Zelena said briskly, a smile lurking in the corner of her mouth. “Does Neal still want a dragon for Christmas?”

“Yes,” Regina replied and rolled her eyes. “I don’t know which stories Malena has told him, but I think she and I need to have a serious talk about the stories she tells him.”

“Planning to buy him a dragon, Zee?” Emma joked, leaning forward in the couch with some trouble. “You’ll have to shop quickly- Christmas is only two days away!”

Zelena laughed. “I don’t think I have access to a magical world where I can find a dragon, sorry.”

“And we have enough pets,” Emma grinned as she heard the familiar click-clack-click-clack from the stairs.

“Where have she been?” Regina muttered. “I did notice that she suddenly disappeared from the living room.”

“Well, she definitely hasn’t been in the bedroom. Let alone in the bed,” Emma said in her sweetest voice.

Regina narrowed her eyes. “Hasn’t she?”

“Lola!” Emma sing-songed as their brown Labrador mix with the floppy ears and the slightly fuzzy tail came trotting into the living room. She wagged said fuzzy tail, gave Emma’s hand a lick and then jumped onto the couch with no further ado.

“Excuse me?” Regina said, turning to the dog. “What are you doing up here, Lola? You know you’re not allowed to be on the couch.”

In response and exactly as if she understood what Regina said, Lola leaned into Regina’s shoulder, made that deep almost grumbling sound she always made when she was begging. Or was particularly happy. Then she (to Emma’s delight) stuck her wet nose inside Regina’s ear.

“Oh!” Regina exclaimed, drawing her shoulders up to her ears and giving Lola a slight nudge. “Don’t do that, Lola! It’s terrible!”

Emma and Zelena laughed.

Regina glared slightly at both of them. “You’re the ones teaching her this kind of behavior.”

“No, it’s not. She figured that out all on her own,” Emma said and felt very witty.

Regina kept up the scowl for a second and then her façade crumbled as she laughed and scratched behind Lola’s ear.

Lola rewarded her with a lick to her hand and then turned her attention to Emma. She sniffed at Emma’s belly as she always did. Emma had a feeling that Lola and the baby would have a very close relationship.

The baby kicked once more, and Emma quickly grabbed her wife’s hand and guided it to her enormous belly. Regina had to feel this.

“Someone’s happy tonight,” Regina said warmly and brought her other hand up to push a lock of hair behind Emma’s ear.

It shouldn’t have, but that simple, tiny gesture did *things* to Emma. It made her remember all the thoughts she’d had when she went upstairs to lie down in the first place. How she had hoped that Regina would come and join her so they could have a little quality time when the kids weren’t home. Her sex-drive had taken a nose dive during the first trimester where she was fatigued and vomiting, but as her belly started growing, so did her sex-drive. It was funny, really. According to everything she had read about pregnancy (and that was a lot!) her sex-drive was supposed to decrease during the third trimester and then pretty much disappear the heavier she got, and the closer she got to her due date. But that hadn’t happened at all. Her sexual appetite was still very much there. All the time. Anywhere. If she wasn’t thinking about food, she was thinking about sex. It was all very distracting, but she wasn’t exactly dissatisfied.

Regina was still sort of playing with her hair in a kind of absentmindedly way. She clearly wasn’t putting any thoughts into the action, but the slight touch still had Emma’s hormones raising and her thoughts spinning in only one direction. She felt a flush creep up her neck and spread to her cheeks. It had another certain warmth rushing to her center, and her nipples puckering. Damn hormones. It literally took nothing to get her going. She didn’t go as far as clearing her throat, but the warmth boiling in her abdomen had her shifting slightly on the couch. Because she had to.

Regina raised an eyebrow. She was always hyper aware of Emma’s movements, and today was no exception. She turned slightly to look at Emma, and of course it did not take long before she noticed the telltale flush in Emma’s cheeks. Emma had become very prone to blushing ever since getting pregnant.

Emma smiled meekly at Regina. Yep, she was horny again. Put it in the goddamn newspaper!

“Zelena,” Regina said calmly. “Thank you for stopping by, but I have some potatoes that needs peeling and boiling.”

“Okay,” Zelena said and looked like she was trying very hard not to smirk. “I think I have an idea what’s going on here, and I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with potatoes-“

“Goodbye,” Regina interrupted, still completely calmly. “Thank you for stopping by. I hope the book will fall in Robin’s taste.”

“Kicked out by my little sister,” Zelena mock scoffed as she rose from the couch and gathered her things in her purse.

“If I didn’t kick you out you’d never leave,” Regina said, not unkindly in anyway. And still extremely focused on Emma.

“Fine, fine,” Zelena chuckled. “I can take a hint, sis. I’ll see you later. Text me when something baby-related happens!”

“Will do,” Emma said. She wasn’t capable of giving a more coherent answer right now. The hormones were racing around in her body.

After having petted Lola and instructed Emma and Regina to give her love to the kids, Zelena took her leave. The front door opened and closed and then they were alone again. Very uncharacteristically, Regina did not walk her out like she would have done otherwise.

“Okay,” Regina said lightly, and her voice dropped a delicious octave or two. “I have... forty five minutes before I actually have to peel those potatoes... Can you think of anything you’d want to do in the meantime?”

“Uhmm, yeah,” Emma squeaked. “I could... think of a thing or two.” Or three. Or four...

Regina chortled as she stood from the couch and extended a hand out to Emma. “Come on, darling. Let’s go upstairs.”

“Fuck yes!” Emma grabbed the offered hand and pulled slightly as she with some struggles stood from the couch. As usually, it took her a few seconds to shift her center of gravity, and while she waited for that, Regina didn’t move an inch. She merely waited patiently until Emma smiled to signalize that she was ready to continue.

“Come,” Regina hummed, turning around, and walking towards the staircase.

Emma followed behind her, shit-eating grin stretching from ear to ear and hormones racing around in her body. She was such a lucky woman! It was the middle of the afternoon, and here she was, on her way to bed with her wife. Seriously, how lucky could one single bastard even be? Two years of marriage had certainly not put a damper on anything. Emma loved their daily routines that provided stability in their every day life. She couldn’t get enough of their little family, and every day, she found herself falling more in love with her wife. She had heard about those who got bored in their marriage, but that was certainly not the case here at all. Feeling bored being married to Regina? Pff, what kind of nonsense was THAT? Regina was the goddamn best wife Emma ever could have imagined, and if she hadn’t popped by then, she couldn’t wait to celebrate their two year wedding anniversary in two days. She had already bought a gift for Regina, a beautiful silver bracelet with four charms in it. A storybook for Henry, a little owl for Neal, a swan for herself and a heart to symbolize their love. She had bought the bracelet in Robert Gold’s antique store, and the man had actually been quite forthcoming. The grumpy man he once had been was a mere memory.

They had made it to the upstairs corridor, and Regina’s sock clad feet skated quietly against the floor. She almost looked casual today. Almost. She was wearing blue slacks and a cream colored silk blouse with strings tied into a bow. Emma felt a bit underdressed- she was by no means a glamorous pregnant- but, she thought smugly to herself, in a moment, their clothes wouldn’t matter. And she knew that when Regina looked at her, she never noticed whether Emma looked ‘glamorous’ or not. No matter what Emma was wearing, Regina always looked at her in the same way. Like she was the answer to all her prayers. And ever since Emma had gotten pregnant, the look in Regina’s eyes had gone even softer, and she always, always greeted Emma in the same way. With a soft kiss, a hand on her belly and a loving: ‘And how are my loves feeling today?’.

Emma absolutely loved that. And she loved the way Regina gently tugged her into the bedroom with her just now. The door was closed behind them to prevent Lola to follow them into the bedroom (she had done that a few times), and then Regina turned her attention to Emma. She walked over to her, cupped her face lovingly in her hands, and just like that, Emma did not feel swollen or bloated or un-glamorous. She simply felt loved. And slightly anticipative. She leaned in and captured Regina’s perfect lips in a soft, sweet kiss, and as she building up their kiss and maneuvering it into something that was a bit more than just sweet, she felt Regina’s hands on her body. They glided down her front and nimble, knowing fingers grabbed onto the hem of Emma’s tanktop and started to ruck it up.

Emma smiled into the kiss. Regina was not wasting any time on this particular afternoon. Perfect! Emma’s body was so sensitive and full of hormones, buildup and foreplay mostly just was a source of frustration. To her. She had no problems with giving Regina all the foreplay she wanted. She knew how much Regina loved foreplay, and Emma would never dream of denying her wife that.

Regina broke the kiss and smiled at Emma. “Arms up,” she softly prompted.

Emma willingly lifted her arms and shivered slightly when Regina lifted the tanktop and gently pulled it over her head. Emma’s hair ended up in her face, and Regina chuckled slightly as she swept it to the side so Emma once again could see.

Emma was not laughing. She was too busy feeling. She had taken off her bra when she came up here to take a nap. Then she had neglected to put it back on when she went downstairs. And regretted that decision when she found out that Zelena was there. Yes, Emma was aware that it was ‘only’ Zelena, but that didn’t meant that she wanted to look like a complete slob. But now she felt grateful that she hadn’t put her bra back on. That would only have meant more work for Regina.

Regina lowered her hands and gently cupped Emma’s breasts

Emma squirmed and arched her back, pushing her breasts further into Regina’s hands. Her breasts had always been fairly small, but oh boy how that had changed during the pregnancy. It hadn’t taken long before she had started spilling out of her usual bras and had to buy new ones. And some day during her second trimester, she and Regina were going on a date. The weather had still been fairly warm, so Emma had been wearing a slightly low cut dress on that particular night. Or, she THOUGHT the dress had only been slightly low cut. Until she came downstairs, and Regina had choked profusely on her coffee upon seeing her. Malena had shamelessly laughed, and Emma’s confidence had hit the ceiling.

“Mmmm,” she hummed and was brought out of her musings when Regina started toying with the strings in her sweatpants. In a matter of seconds, Regina had undone the strings and was pushing the sweatpants down Emma’s legs.

Emma grimaced slightly as she stepped out of them. Her panties were far from sexy. They were impossibly wide, went up to her belly button and the absolute polar opposite of seductive.

But as always, Regina didn’t see things the way Emma did. “Look at you,” she said softly as she took a step backwards as to get a good look at Emma. “You’re stunning. Ridiculously sexy!”

A wave of gratitude rushed over Emma. She currently didn’t FEEL very sexy (which was problematic given how ridiculously horny she was!), she felt bloated, sometimes cranky, had back aches, and then there were the stretch marks on her belly. Obviously, Emma had known that they would come, but it had still taken time to adjust to them. Regina fondly referred to them as tiger stripes, and the minute she found out that Emma was struggling a bit with accepting them, she promptly had taken Emma up to the bedroom and spent ages on kissing the stretch marks while muttering reasons why they were beautiful. Emma’s favorite was still ‘these lines are a symbol that you are carrying our baby. It shows that your incredible body is currently protecting and nurturing our child.’

Emma squirmed again when Regina’s soft fingers glided down her body and started toying with the waistband of her panties. Soon those fingers were hooking and gently pushing the panties down Emma’s legs. A shiver ran through her when the garment stopped at her ankles. She stepped out of them. Now she was naked while Regina was still fully dressed, and even though there was something distinctively sexy about that, Emma still pointed out: “you’re too dressed, beautiful.”

“Mmm,” Regina acknowledged and undid the bow in her blouse. Then she started toying with the buttons in her blouse, and Emma quickly came to her aid. Perhaps she was extremely drowsy and needed help with sitting down and getting up, but she was still damn well capable of undressing her wife, thank you very much!

Soon Regina was just as naked as Emma, and Emma could only repeat what Regina had just said: “ridiculously sexy!”

At thirty nine, Regina’s beauty was as pronounced as ever, and although she was by no means old (even though she claimed to be!), Emma could sense that Regina would be aging like fine wine. Her ebony colored hair was shiny and soft. Now cut so it covered the nape of her neck, which had been quite the change, but Emma loved it. Of course she did. Regina was the type of woman who could rock any hairstyle. She had considered to have it cut even shorter so her natural curls could get a chance to shine, and Emma could only applaud that idea. She had a feeling that Regina would look mighty sassy with curls.

“Come,” Regina said gently and took Emma’s hand to help her onto the bed. “Forty minutes until I have to peel the potatoes.”

Emma laughed as she accepted Regina’s help. She knew that Regina was only joking. She knew that she was Regina’s top priority. Exactly like Regina was hers.

“I’m not exactly sure how we’re actually supposed to do this,” Emma admitted as she adjusted on the bed. Her belly was huge and almost always in the way when it came to bedroom activities. She was no longer physically capable of hugging Regina close. Which of course was a great loss.

“Don’t worry,” Regina said softly. “Just sit down in the middle of the bed and let me handle the rest, darling.”

“Sit?” Emma repeated, slightly skeptically, but nevertheless willing. “Okay.” She did as requested and shuffled so she was sitting in the middle of the bed. Sitting down in this position wasn’t that uncomfortable. Laying down was another story. Almost ever position put pressure on her lower back, but this was good.

As soon as she was sitting in a comfortable position with her legs slightly parted, Regina joined her on the bed. The mattress creaked slightly as she crawled forward on her hands and knees. Which didn’t lessen Emma’s hormonal state at all! Soon Regina was sitting behind Emma and invited her to lean back.

Emma did just that, and she moaned in sheer delight when she felt Regina’s breasts press into her back.

“Are you comfortable, darling?” Regina murmured into her ear, and Emma felt a shiver run down her spine. Hair was brushed away from the side of her neck, and then it was kissed.

“Y-yeah,” Emma stuttered. ‘Comfortable’ was to put it lightly!

“Good,” Regina chuckled. “That’s what we’re aiming for.” with that she lowered her hands to Emma’s breasts and started tweaking the nipples gently.

Emma’s breasts were so sensitive, that very slight touch send a surge of wetness to her center, and she moaned throatily as she tossed one arm back to grip the back of Regina’s neck. Then she turned her head so she could capture Regina’s lips in a kiss. A bit of a messy one, but nevertheless a kiss. Regina’s fingers gently circled her nipples, and Emma could already feel the muscles between her legs tensing. God, she was so sensitive these days! She deepened the kiss and teasingly brushed her tongue against Regina’s. She was pretty sure she could feel Regina’s legs twitch, and that made her feel happy. She had feared that she had turned into some kind of ‘sex machine’ during this pregnancy, but Regina always happily accommodated all her suggestions about ‘down time’.

Now Regina’s fingers were strumming over her nipples in earnest, and Emma was really squirming. Wetness was emerging from her core, and she wasn’t sure how much longer she could do this. She arched back against upper body, thoroughly enjoying the sensation of Regina’s breasts pressing against her back. It drove her mad. Everything about this drove her mad.

And Regina knew that. She moved one hand away from Emma’s breast and trailed it down. Lingered on Emma’s round belly for a moment and gently caressed it. Then continued downwards.

Emma felt her thighs gently being parted just a little bit further, and then the breath exploded out her lungs when two of Regina’s fingers gently entered her. She was so wet she didn’t need to be ‘warmed up’ further. The sensation of Regina’s fingers inside her was so strong she had to pull out of the kiss and inhale shakily.

“Alright?” Regina murmured in her ear.

“Y-yeah,” Emma breathed. “More!”

Regina chuckled in her ear and her other hand left Emma’s breast to push hair away from her neck again. She started kissing Emma’s neck all the while moving her fingers inside her, and Emma released a guttural sound as she tightened her grip around the back of Regina’s neck. God, this felt absolutely amazing!

After a moment, Regina stopped kissing her neck and began whispering things in her ear instead. Absolutely deliciously naughty, sinful things that made Emma feel like the goddamn sexiest woman on the planet. That was just the kind of skill Regina had. One look from her, and Emma could go from having a shit day and to feel like the most precious thing ever. One word, and she would go from feeling bloaty and extremely pregnant to feeling like the sexiest goddess on earth. Regina was amazing at making her feel her very best. She was once again gliding her lips up and down Emma’s neck. Her fingers were gently pumping inside Emma, hitting her g-spot with each thrust.

Emma felt her inner walls clench, and she moaned sharply as to warn Regina. She was definitely on the verge of coming!

“That’s it,” Regina murmured in her ear, free hand massaging Emma’s breasts once again. “Come for me, my beautiful Emma. That’s it, just let go!”

And of course Emma did. With a sharp cry and her hand landing heavily on top of Regina’s, she came undone and immediately slumped back against Regina who gently stroked her neck and whispered words of love in her ear.

“Oh my god,” she panted as soon as she regained the ability to speak. “That was fucking amazing!”

Behind her, Regina chuckled. “Why yes. Yes, it was.” she kissed Emma’s neck again and wiggled her fingers inside her. “Do you want more?”

God, that was one hell of a tempting offer! It was too easy to be greedy, but Emma pulled herself together and remembered that her wife was A: naked. And B: right behind her. She turned her head and made eye contact with Regina. “I think I’d rather want to... do you.”

“Eloquently put,” Regina half-joked but then immediately got serious again. “Are you sure you feel up for it? You don’t have to, you know. If you feel tired-“

“You’re so damn considerate and I love you for it,” Emma interrupted with a grin. “But I feel VERY up for it. If you do. Obviously.” She hadn’t needed asking. She could feel Regina’s hard nipples press into her back. They were most definitely on the same page.

“Move,” Emma drawled. She felt awfully smug after that magnificent orgasm. “And let me do... things.” Okay, so she was still struggling a bit with stringing words together, but that was to be expected. She always reacted in a certain way after sex with Regina. And especially since her hormones had become whack.

Regina laughed at her in the sweetest way as she gently withdrew her fingers from within Emma. Then she moved so she was in front of Emma rather than behind her. Emma looked at her wife’s gloriously naked body. Her mind was swimming with ideas of what to do first. Honestly, she wanted to do everything at once, but she had to start somewhere, right?

“Lie down!” she prompted, eagerly and excited and grinning like a bit of a maniac. Another ‘side effect’ of having sex.

Regina willingly lied down, but Emma was certain she could see just the faintest hint of skepticism in her eyes. Emma couldn’t blame her. Her big belly made many things difficult and close to impossible. Like... going down. That had gotten rather difficult ever since her belly had started growing. Laying on top of Regina was out of the question too. She feared that she would end up squishing Regina. And quite possibly the baby too.

“Ooookay,” Emma said and grimaced slightly. This might be a bit more difficult than she had expected. And she was getting annoyed because there was nothing she wanted to do more than having sex with her wife, damnit!

“Straddle me,” Regina said simply.

Emma did as instructed, and when Regina asked her to move, she did that too. She had some concerns regarding how heavy she was, but Regina insisted that she was not, and when she started rolling her hips and moaning, Emma sort of forgot everything...

 

It happened sometimes- by no means always- but once in a while, Regina happened to fall asleep after sex. And today was one of those days.

Emma too wished that she could sleep, but her bladder bid her to get out of bed and go to the bathroom. And when she came back, she was wide awake. Because the baby was active and bouncing around inside of her. It was impossible to sleep when the baby was this active. So instead, Emma simply laid in the bed, awake and content. Next to her, Regina was fast asleep, and in her sleep, she rolled towards Emma, spooned up against her and placed a protective hand on her belly. She always did that. Whether she was awake or asleep. Always the need to feel close to the baby. Emma had the same need. She gently rested her hand on top of Regina’s and felt the baby kick inside of her. She loved when the baby kick. She loved receiving confirmation of the little life growing inside of her. The baby was so incredibly loved. And she- or he- had been long on the way.

Six months after coming home from their amazing honeymoon in Paris, they had started the fertility process. Both of them had been through a medical checkup, and when they had gotten green light to continue, they had found a suitable donor. One with green eyes and blonde hair. One that resemblance Emma quite a bit.
Regina had gone through the whole process with maturing the eggs and then having them collected. Emma had been as nervous as a mother hen during the ‘eggstraction’, and when Regina came home from the hospital, a bit sore and tired, Emma had fussed endlessly over her, brought her food and beverage, and installed her on the couch in the living room in front of the television so she could keep an eye on her.

The process with having the eggs transferred into her uterus hadn’t been that bad, and once the procedure was over with, both of them had been incredibly excited. Perhaps Emma had been a tad naïve, but she had hoped for a ‘fairytale ending’ to the baby-tale too.

But that hadn’t happened. She had not gotten pregnant.

They had been disappointed, but it hadn’t taken them long to decide that they wanted to try again. Try again and hope for the best.

But Emma hadn’t gotten pregnant the second time either. The disappointment had been slightly more raw the second time around, and they had decided to wait for six months until they tried again. Just to heal a bit from the devastating disappointment.

Once the six months were up, they had tried again. None of them had dared hoping, and when the waiting time was up and Emma was confronted with a negative pregnancy test, they had looked at each other, and that night they had had a long and serious talk about the future. The hormone treatment was a long and tiresome process. It took a toll of them, Emma was worried about what it did to Regina’s body, and Regina had been worried about what it did to Emma’s body. Both of them had been properly upset by the time the conversation was over. But they had of course reached an understanding. That they would wait until the new year and try one last time. And if the result was negative once again.... Then they would have to look into other options to get a baby. Emma had been devastated. Her head had been full of grim thoughts. Thoughts like... There had been a time where she hadn’t been the slightest bit interested in ever having children, and maybe this was karmas way of biting her in the ass.

Regina had been upset because she thought the problem was her eggs. That they weren’t working properly.

But of course they had talked about it. One night, a week after they had made the decision of waiting until the next year to make one last attempt, they had told each other about their fears. Regina had held Emma close and assured her that her previous disinterest in having children had absolutely nothing to do with the current situation. And in vice versa, Emma had done everything in her power to convince Regina that there was nothing wrong with her eggs.

Safe to say that both of them sort of had lost all hope when they tried again in April. But this time, when the doctor took a blood test fourteen days later, the level of HGG- the “pregnancy hormone”- was heightened. Emma and Regina had barely been able to believe it. None of them had dared to be optimistic.

Basically, they went home and continued their life as they had up until that point, they had attended David and Kathryn’s wedding where Emma discreetly had avoided drinking any alcohol, but apart from that, nothing had really changed.

But six weeks later, when Emma started to get sick in the morning and her breasts started to feel tender too, it dawned on both of them that she was in fact pregnant. Emma would never ever forget the look on Regina’s face when the pregnancy test finally showed a beautiful little ‘+’ instead of the devastating two lines. They had told Henry after a week. It didn’t seem fair to keep things from him, but they had waited until Emma had passed the twelve week mark before they told the rest of the family.

Zelena had squealed and hugged both of them. She had been following their process from the sideline, and she had been wonderful at offering her support every time the result was negative.

David had smiled widely while proclaiming how much he looked forward to becoming a grandfather again. Kathryn had clapped her hands at the thought of becoming a grandmother.

Ella, who still lived in Toronto had screamed so loudly that the microphone on Emma’s laptop had made a high pitched noise. She had jumped up and down on the screen and had threatened to climb right through it so she could hug her.

Ruby had smashed a glass, on accident of course, when she was told the good news. Then she had yelled for her grandmother until Granny came barreling through the door and asked where the fire was.

There was no fire, but Granny had fist pumped the air when Emma and Regina revealed the good news.

Malena’s reaction had perhaps been the best one of them. Her eyes had shone with delight, and on the day they told her, she had actually shed a tear or two. And she hadn’t even been remotely embarrassed about it.

Emma had officially been ‘upgraded’. From just being hugged, to also receiving a kiss on the cheek. Up until that point, the kiss on the cheek had always only been for Regina, but that changed that night. Malena had kissed her cheek, and she had been doing it ever since. Now she greeted Emma and Regina in exactly the same way. With a simple ‘dear’, and a kiss on the cheek. Essentially Malena. And so very telling. Sometimes family really were the people you chose and not the people you were related to by blood.

Emma smiled softly as she looked down at her round belly. It had been a long journey, but here she was at last, highly, highly pregnant, and as ready for delivery as she would ever be. Her due date was only a few days away, and everything was prepared. The crib in the corner of the bedroom, the baby’s room for when she- or he- grew older (Emma and Regina had decided to keep her/him in the bedroom for now), she had gone to every single Lamaze class, learned everything about how to breathe properly. She had gone through the hell that was morning sickness. Regina had held her hair every single time, and she had worked her way through any kind of craving. The normal ones and the slightly weird ones. She’d had a baby shower just last week and had received an ocean of gifts. And she had been surrounded by her friends and family, which had been the most important thing.

“Now there’s just one more thing missing,” Emma said softly and caressed her big belly. “You, kiddo.”

As on cue, the baby kicked against her hand. Perhaps she/he was impatient too.

Emma turned her head and looked at her wife. Regina was still peacefully asleep with her mouth slightly open and her dark hair fanning out on the pillow. She looked so beautiful and satisfied, and the thought of her having to wake up to peel those stupid potatoes broke Emma’s heart.

“You know what,” Emma mumbled as she quietly slid out of bed and put her clothes back on. “I’ll be peeling those potatoes.”

Regina did not wake up when Emma went downstairs.

 

Yes, standing up did put quite a bit of pressure on her back, but Emma firmly ignored it as she peeled the potatoes. Regina had done so much for her lately, and she wanted to give back a little. And NOT just in the bedroom.

It was actually quite cozy, peeling the potatoes. Emma had her earbuds in and was listening to Christmas tunes while looking out at the snow falling. Steveston was covered in the powdery snow, and Neal had been very excited when he left this morning, because David and Kathryn had promised to take him sledding. The dream scenario for a four year old boy who loved spending time outdoors.

Emma softly hummed to herself as she peeled the potatoes. She was looking forward to another wonderful Christmas with Regina and the kids. She wasn’t sure whether she hoped that the baby would come before or after Christmas. In one way, it would be an amazing Christmas present to give the family, but on the other hand, maybe it would be better if the big day was over with by the time it was time for her to give birth.

“What do you think, Lola?” Emma asked as the dog came trotting into the kitchen.

Lola did not answer. But after some consideration, she licked Emma’s bare foot, making Emma laugh. “Lola,” she scolded mildly. “Stop it, please.”

At that, Lola looked up and sniffed.

“No, I’m not giving you any potatoes,” Emma said firmly. “You might as well stop begging, pretty girl. Henry is the one who taught you that!”

Lola didn’t even look chastened. She just sat down on her butt next to Emma, and Emma laughed because she knew that the dog wouldn’t move until all the potatoes had been peeled. Lola was quite the stubborn lady.

She let another freshly peeled potato plunk into the pot and sniffed in. The entire kitchen smelled wonderfully of the roast cooking in the oven. Regina was still the goddamn best cook on this earth. She had been cooking a lot lately, Emma acknowledged with a twinge of guilty conscience. Regina had never once said that she had anything against it, quite the contrary, it was obvious that she enjoyed cooking for Emma and generally fussing over her, but it had never been Emma’s intention to keep Regina in the kitchen all the damn time. Pregnant or not, she wanted things to be even between them.

She decided that she would be making tacos tomorrow. With extra spice. Regina loved that.

Emma absentmindedly sang along on ‘Last Christmas’, completely unaware that she was being watched by anyone except Lola until she suddenly felt arms gently wrap around her waist, and soft hands climb up to rest on her belly.

“You know, we’ve talked about that, my love,” Regina said softly as she pushed Emma’s hair to the side. “You’re not supposed to do strenuous activities.”

“It’s just potatoes,” Emma defended. “It’s not strenuous at all. And you looked so cute asleep. I didn’t have the heart to wake you.”

Regina chuckled. “What am I going to do with you?”

“I think you already did something with me,” Emma innocently pointed out.

Regina scoffed in her famous ‘that is not funny’-manner and kissed Emma’s cheek.

Just then, Lola barked, reminding them that she was still there.

“Hello, Lola,” Regina greeted as Emma laughed. “Are you hungry? Hmm? Are you?”

Lola barked again and did an excited little dance.

“Okay, come on,” Regina singsong’ed and disappeared to go to the utility room where they kept Lola’s food.

Lola promptly followed her, and Emma was willing to swear on her life that there was nothing funnier than when Regina spoke to their dog in a high pitched ‘baby’ voice. Sometimes she also spoke Spanish to Lola. For what reason, Emma still didn’t know, but Lola always threw a fit when Regina did it. She started barking and whining in excitement and nearly jumped on top of Regina. That too was mighty entertaining!

Emma continued the potato peeling-process and switched off the music. She removed her earbuds and caught herself humming a song which had played during the end credits of a movie they had watched with Neal the other night. ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’, the movie was called. And maybe Neal technically had been a tad too young to watch it, they had let him anyway. He hadn’t gotten scared, and he had refused to leave the room because Henry had been there too. It had been a family-Christmas-movie night. Emma furrowed her brow as she tried to remember the name of the main character in the movie, but when she came up empty (perhaps it was pregnancy brain?), there was only one thing to do.

“Hey, babe?” she called towards the utility room.

“Yes?”

“What was the name of the girl from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms?” Emma asked. There was nothing more annoying than not being able to remember something.

“Clara,” came the answer from the utility room, and Emma immediately found herself repeating the name.

“Clara,” she softly murmured. “Clara. Cla-ra.” She grinned. The name tasted good somehow. She turned her head and called towards the utility room again: “you know, the name ‘Clara’ isn’t so bad for Lil’ Sprout!”

It didn’t even take ten seconds before Regina appeared in the doorway. Her dark eyes sparkled. “Clara,” she said softly. “Clara Swan-Mills.”

“It’s got style,” Emma grinned.

And just like that, they had at last found a suitable name if the baby was a girl..

 

 

Two days later, on an ice cold and snowy Christmas Day, a baby- a tiny girl with a head full of dark hair- was brought into this world. The birth lasted ‘forever’, and before the time was up, Emma Swan-Mills had cussed at the midwife and at the nurses. At the machines whirring softly. At the person walking too briskly in the hallway outside of her hospital room.

But there was one person she did not cuss or shout at. Not even once. Later, both the midwife and the nurses would comment several times on how unusual it was that Emma had not cussed at her wife.
‘Most women in labor blames their partner at some point during the birth,’ they had said.

To which Emma groggily had answered: “I never shout at my wife. Not even when I’m pushing out a kid.”

Said kid- Clara Swan-Mills- was as happy as could be. She came into this world with a wail and her little hands tightly clenched. She was a champion at nursing, and seven hours after the birth, and after a well-deserved nap, Emma and Clara was released from the hospital and was allowed to go home.

Emma had gone into labor the day before Christmas. It had started out as nothing but a slight nipping sensation during the night that later had turned into an uncomfortable pinching. Regina had taken it all in strides. Had been extremely calm when she called Nova, their midwife and asked her to come so Emma could be checked out. Nova was very professional and after having tended to Emma, she assured the couple that everything was fine, and that Emma only needed to come to the hospital after her water had broken.

Once Nova had left, Regina had ran Emma a bath, and while Emma relaxed in the bathtub, she had called Zelena who had come to take Neal. The four year old hadn’t minded spending time with his aunt.

Henry had stayed. The fourteen year old had insisted. And Emma and Regina hadn’t minded. He had been an excellent help through it all.

As time had progressed, the nipping sensation had started to get worse and worse, and during one of her many walks up and down the kitchen floor, Emma’s water had broken. Once again, Regina had been extremely calm about everything. She had gotten Emma bundled up and ‘loaded’ her into the car. Henry had come along, and he had been very good at holding his mom’s hand while his other mom was driving. The only one they had left at home was Lola. And she hadn’t minded.

All the while Emma had been in labor, Regina had not slept. She had been right there by Emma’s side through it all. Had held Emma’s hand. Stroked her forehead and kissed her temple when Emma was crying out in pain. Rubbed her lower back when the pain became too much. And not once had Emma cussed at her wife. It hadn’t even occurred to her. The thought alone was ridiculous. Instead she had leaned heavily on her wife. Both metaphorically and literally. At some point her arms had been wrapped around Regina’s neck while Regina gently swayed her back and forward to relieve the pain some.

Giving birth was absolutely excruciatingly painful. No doubt about that. But it was also absolutely worth it. Hearing Clara’s first, life-affirming cry had been one of the best things to ever happen in Emma’s life. Having her on her chest and seeing the unbridled joy in Regina’s eyes was another. Regina had bawled when Clara was born. So had Emma, and when Henry came inside the hospital room, his eyes too showed signs of mistiness. He had immediately fallen head over heels in love with his new baby sister, and watching him hold Clara for the first time had brought a fresh round of tears to Emma’s eyes.

Clara was born at 11:11. A time that both the midwife and nurses paid attention to and found to be a bit special.

So did Emma and Regina. But it made perfect sense that their daughter had been born at such a special time. She was a beautiful, healthy baby with big eyes and an impressive amount of dark hair. Emma hoped that it would stay that way. She did like the idea of Clara having inherited Regina’s hair.

 

Coming home from the hospital, Emma had straight up been ‘banished’ to the bedroom. She needed to rest. Which she did. For a few hours. Then she couldn’t keep away any longer and tiptoed into the kitchen with Clara in her arms. In there she had found her wife asleep with her head resting against the table. Emma had taken a nap in the hospital before going home. So had Clara. But Emma suspected that Regina had not slept at all. And now she had fallen asleep right by the kitchen table, poor thing.

Emma adjusted the sleeping Clara in her arms as she walked over to Regina. With one hand she held on to her daughter, and with the other, she reached out and gently touched the top of Regina’s shoulder.

Regina’s head immediately shot up. “What?” she blurted.

“Hi, honey,” Emma chuckled.

Regina groggily turned her head. “No,” she said croakily. “No, no, no. Back to bed, darling. You’re supposed to have it easy after the birth, so just..” she made a weak movement with her hand.

“So you can keep sleeping with your nose pressed into the table?” Emma joked. “I don’t think so. Come to bed, beautiful.”

Regina shook her head. “I have some things I need to do take care of, darling. The place is a bit of a mess because we left right in the middle of-“

“Regina,” Emma gently interrupted. “You haven’t slept in 48 hours. You need to rest, okay?”

“But I-“

“Clara thinks so too,” Emma said, interrupting again and showing off their sleeping little bundle for emphasis. “Look. She just told me that she misses her mommy and wants her to come upstairs and hang out with her. She doesn’t want her mommy to collapse from exhaustion.”

“Fine,” Regina surrendered, chuckling. “I’ll come upstairs.”

“Anything for Clara, huh?” Emma joked as she turned around.

She could feel Regina following closely behind her, and soon they were back in the bedroom. Emma carefully climbed into bed, Regina followed suit, and once both of them were sitting comfortably, Emma gently laid Clara down on the blankets. The baby squirmed slightly, and her little mouth twisted, but she did not wake up, just twitched a bit as she laid there in her yellow sleeper.

Regina gently ran her fingers through her soft baby hair. “Hello, miss Clara,” she softly cooed. “You are beautiful!”

“We make pretty babies,” Emma quipped as she leaned into her wife’s shoulder.

“We sure do,” Regina agreed. “How are you feeling?”

“Oh, you know, a bit tired, a bit sore here and there,” Emma replied. “I’m looking forward to taking a shower tomorrow. If I can get someone to watch Clara, that is.”

“I think you might have a candidate for that,” Regina softly chuckled, once again running her fingers through Clara’s hair. “Isn’t that right, Clara?”

Clara did not react to that in any way. She just flailed her little arms slightly in her sleep, making both of her mothers chuckle lightly.

“I think we’re gonna have so much fun with her,” Emma predicted and turned her head slightly to look at Regina. “The next chapter, am I right?”

“The next chapter indeed,” Regina agreed with her. “You, me, the boys and Clara.”

“Clara,” Emma softly repeated and looked down at her sleeping daughter. “It took you a while to get here, kiddo, but you are worth all the trouble.”

“Truly and completely,” Regina added. “I would do it a hundred times again.”

“A hundred times, huh?” Emma grinned. “Well, you DO want a whole nest of babies, so...”

“I’m never gonna live that one down, am I?” Regina mock-sighed. “You know what, I think it’s quite enough with her. She completes us in a way. She’s the curl our story needed.”

“I like that expression,” Emma praised. “I might use it in a story.”

“A story? Are you already planning on writing something new?”

“Yep. And it’ll be called... ‘Clara and The Great Wide World.”

They both laughed at that, and not long after, all three of them drifted to sleep. Emma and Regina cuddled together, and Clara on Emma’s chest...

 

The following morning, Neal arrived back home from Zelena’s place. He was a very good boy who immediately understood exactly who Clara was and that he had to be very careful. It was extremely touching, seeing him come over and almost reverently kiss the top of Clara’s head, then saying: “hi, Clara. I’m Neal, your brother. I’ve been waiting for you!”

Obviously, Zelena just had to stay for a moment and fawn over the new baby, but it didn’t take long before Regina gently but firmly ‘kicked’ her out of the house, informing her sister that Emma and Clara needed peace and quiet. Today was not for fawning. But next weekend, Zelena was invited over to their place along with Chad and Robyn, Malena and Ursula and David and Kathryn. Next weekend, all of them would be meeting Clara formally.

But this quiet morning only belonged to the Swan-Mills family. After having breakfast, all of them headed into the living room. Neal went to sit on the floor so he could pet Lola while Regina, Emma and Henry all sat in the couch.

“How did she sleep last night?” Henry asked, eyes shining as he looked down at his sleeping sister in Regina’s arms.

“Oh, she was only awake six times,” Emma half-chuckled. “Isn’t that right, Clara?”

Clara cooed softly in Regina’s arms. In many ways, this was deja-vu to the time where Regina had been holding a very tiny Neal in her arms. Now Neal was four years old, a big boy, while Clara was a brand-new little person.

“Oh man, I can’t believe that we actually created her,” Emma said and shook her head slightly. “It almost seems impossible.”

“She’s quite real, my love,” Regina hummed. She didn’t take her eyes off Clara for a second.

“She’s amazing,” Henry said, as usually hitting the head on the nail in a very simple manner.

“We have to take care of her,” Neal spontaneously added from his position on the floor. “Really good care. To make sure she’s okay all the time!”

“That’s right, we have to take really good care of Clara,” Regina agreed. “You’re such a good boy, Neal.”

“Hooh,” Neal said solemnly to Lola, and Lola tilted her head slightly in response and them pressed her nose to Neal’s like she always did.

Emma and Regina exchanged a glance. There was a good chance that their youngest son wouldn’t ever stop hooting. But that was totally okay.

Clara cooed in Regina’s arms, and Henry reached out so he could stroke her soft, dark hair. That prompted Clara to lift a tiny hand, and Regina chuckled. “What are you grabbing for, little one?”

Clara soon showed her, and Regina chuckled again. “Goodness me,” she cooed as Clara grabbed her finger with her tiny hand. “I feel so loved!”

“You are, babe,” Emma murmured and leaned into her shoulder. “You are.”

And in Regina’s arms, Clara cooed softly and grabbed her mother’s finger a little tighter and thereby cemented that she very much was home.

Emma looked at her family. Neal on the floor still hooting softly at Lola and laughing every time the dog tilted her head in response. Henry next to them on the couch still running his fingers gently through Clara’s soft hair. Emma felt a surge of love for her two boys. Henry, now fourteen and almost towering over his mother, and Neal, four years old and smarter and more into birds and dragons than ever. Her brilliant boys. And her wife who was smiling in a way that took her breath away as she looked down at the little bundle in her arms.

Their newborn daughter. Their Clara, who was still grabbing Regina’s finger tightly in a way that indicated that she might never let go. She cooed softly, and Emma smiled. One day she would tell this tiny girl the story of how an ugly duckling found home solely by chance. Because of a beautiful woman tapping her shoulder in a train. Yes, someday, Emma would tell Clara a story full of love, patience, and the nine little words that started it all. ‘Excuse me, but I think you’re in my seat.’ Who knew that those nine little words would be the beginning of an epic, beautiful love story?

“Penny for your thoughts, my love?” Regina asked. Her voice was soft not to wake up Clara.

“I just...” Emma shook her head a little and tried not to sound too overly emotional as she finished the sentence: “I just r-realized that I have everything.” Damnit. Her voice just broke!

Regina turned her head and leaned in so she could kiss Emma on the cheek. “So have I, my love. So have I. With you and the kids... I have everything I could possibly wish for.”

“Guys, come on,” Henry half-chuckled. “You’re going mushy!”

“Yeah, I guess we are,” Emma agreed. “And you know what, kid? Sometimes that’s totally okay.”

Yes, it was totally okay to go mushy when the snow was falling softly outside, promising another cold day while the house was warm and full of love. When Neal and Lola got enough of the floor and climbed onto the couch, it meant that every member of the Swan-Mills family officially were on the couch which was almost too small for all of them, but that was okay too. Days like these were meant for cuddling close together.

And no family made a too small couch seem big enough for everyone as the Swan-Mills family did.

Emma leaned her cheek against Regina’s shoulder and breathed in her familiar, safe apple-y scent. This was it. This was home. And the beginning of a brand-new chapter with her boys, her wife and tiny Clara.

Of course it was impossible to know exactly what the future held, but Emma had a feeling that there were more beautiful things waiting for them just around the next corner.

More adventures. More laughter. More love. And she absolutely could not wait!

“Happy?” Regina asked her.

Emma looked into those dark eyes that had told her so many truths over the years. “More happy than I had ever imagined I could be,” she said as Clara cooed in Regina’s arms and Henry and Neal laughed because Lola was tilting her head at the sound. “So, so happy!”

And truer words had never been spoken.

 

The End.