Emma pulled into the cemetery where the Mills family mausoleum was prominently displayed along the back edge of the plot of land. She got out of her car and looked around as she walked toward Reginas' safe haven. The last time she had been there felt like a lifetime ago. She held a heart in her hand and felt the life of a woman get snuffed out then blow away through her fingers.
The life of that woman hadn't meant anything to her, in fact it was comeuppance due in Emmas' opinion, but yet it was still a life she was responsible for ending. How differently that day could have turned out she thought and shuddered.
She pushed on the door of the crypt and frowned to find it locked. She looked around nervously as she took a step back and kicked in the door. She shrugged at the hanging door jam and figured Regina could fix it with her magic, or hell show her how to fix it and she'd do it her damn self.
She pushed aside the sarcophagus that supposedly held the body of Henry Mills Sr. and descended down the stairs. She dared not call out for the woman, she didn't want Regina to poof out of there so she just walked slowly and quietly poking her head in side chambers looking for the woman she was searching for.
She came to the end of the long hall that housed countless beating hearts and where that thick oily feel of dark magic clung to the air, she saw immediately that the candles were lit and took it as a good sign that Regina was in fact around. As she entered the small antechamber she noticed that the wall to her right appeared to be a door that was just slightly a jar. Emma poked her head in the main room quickly and didn't see Regina so she turned and went towards the wall opening.
She pushed the door inward and stepped into a whole area she had no idea even existed. It was a bright white replica of Reginas' office at city hall with the exception of the dozens of mirrors that lined the walls. All shapes and sizes taking up every inch of wall real estate. She spotted the brunette sitting on the couch facing away from the door. Emma covered her mouth as she hadn't exactly thought what she would say if she found the woman, her body just jumped into 'find' mode and she ran off half cocked. Now, here she was and she was drawing a blank.
'Alright Swan, go get the girl.'
"Hi." Emma said as she walked around the couch and sat down next to the brunette who was still in her hospital gown. "This is a cool room, I didn't even know this was here."
"Secret rooms are meant to be secretive, Miss Swan." the brunette sassed.
Emma chuckled and nodded her head in agreement. "I guess so huh?" Regina flashed a look at the blonde through the side of her eyes and then huffed her response.
They sat there for several minutes, neither of them giving voice to the obvious tension that was in the room.
'She hasn't poofed somewhere else so… that's good right?'
"You want to talk about stuff?" Emma tried to get the ball rolling.
"No." Regina grumbled.
"Well okay, but I kinda want to."
"Of course you do!" Regina snapped and folded her arms across her chest defensively.
"So I take it you remember your time outside of Storybrooke?"
"Candy Striper Emma? Oh yes! Ha ha! Joke's on me Miss Swan!" she said angrily shaking her head.
"Joke?" Emma looked confused.
The dark pools of Reginas' eyes swirled with her signature purple magic as her anger grew. "Do not think you can play around with me Miss Swan!" she shouted at the perplexed blonde sitting wide eyed next to her.
'Oh god, she thinks I didn't mean any of it! Fuck! Fix this! Fix this NOW Swan!'
"I'm sorry Regina. I should have stood by you about Archie. Everything in my body screamed your innocence, but my brain overrode my heart and took control." Emma slipped off the couch and knelt before the queen getting right in her line of sight, holding her gaze, making her feel her sincerity. "I will never doubt you ever, ever again. I know how hard you have worked to change, I believe in it. I will spend the rest of my time on this earth making you feel supported. I promise you."
The anger Regina had been feeling melted away as the words the savior was saying, cracked through her armor.
"Cora had a glamour or something that made it look like you killed Archie, but even as I saw with my eyes you kill him, I knew in my heart you didn't." Emma swallowed the emotion that was trying to crash over her. "For as long as I live I will never be able to show you how sorry I am for doubting you."
Reginas' back snapped rigid, "Cora is here? Henry! He isn't safe!"
"It's okay, we found out and I ended up… handling it." Emma looked away from the scrutinizing gaze the brunette bore into her. "She wanted to kill Rumpelstiltskin and take his dark one power." Reginas' eyes watered up with emotion and she was speechless at the lengths her mother would go for power.
"I'm sorry Emma…"
Emma shushed the queen with a finger to the lips. "Don't you ever, ever apologize for that woman." Emmas' eyes grew painfully serious. "Not ever. She was a horrible person, a horrible mother and nothing that she did was ever for you. Nothing she did to you, was ever your fault. Do you understand me Regina Mills?" Regina swallowed thickly and quietly nodded, taken aback by the sternness and veracity of the blondes' passion regarding Cora and Regina quietly wondered what had taken place while she was away. The haunted look in the green eyes that studied her made her think she really didn't want to know.
"My time with you as Erin, it wasn't a joke to me. I went against what everyone told me because I couldn't spend another moment not being near you. Do you understand?" The mayors' schooled features gave away nothing to the blonde and Emma sighed and sat back down on the couch. "Lu is super pissed at me for bringing you home, but she is going to be pretty happy you're okay."
"Does she know? I mean that I remember?"
"Oh yeah, her and the doc are at Granny's. I totally told them who we all are and they are way cool."
Before Regina could comment, Emmas' phone buzzed in her back pocket and she stood to fish it out.
"Hey kid. Yeah she's here." Emma listened for a moment watching the queen pout on the white couch and all she could think was how cute she looked.
My Regina. Emma thought to herself almost giddy on the inside as her son babbled on about wanting to meet her at the crypt.
"No no, it's cool. Just ask Gran to take you back to the apartment and Mom and I will come get you after dinner and bring you home okay?" She knew very well the brunette was listening and she could see the woman trying to piece together what that statement to their son meant. Henry said something to Emma that made Emma turn away from the brunette and focus all of her attention on their son and what he was saying to her.
"Yes we are bringing you home-home, no she isn't kid, not at you." Emma paused for a second then shook her head. "Buddy, remember I told you, this wasn't you. This was all me and I'm going to try to make it right and even if I can't…" she looked back at Regina who was now listening intently to this side of the conversation, her brown eyes fixed on the blondes' every movement. "She isn't mad at you pal, okay?"
Emma said her goodbyes and turned off the device putting it back in her pocket and sat down a little closer to the brunette.
"He thinks I'm mad at him?" the brunette asked softly.
"I think he needs to hear it from you, I've tried to explain how I messed up big time, but he was real broken up when you left." Emma put her hand down on the couch next to where Reginas' was resting, their pinky's pressed up against one another. "He wasn't the only one." Emma added softly.
"You came for me? Lucy looked for months for missing persons reports and found nothing."
"Well technically you weren't missing Regina, you left." Emma defended herself. "And honestly I was in 'find' mode and couldn't think of anything but finding you and bringing you home where you belong." She added sheepishly. "I was so worried about you lost in the woods alone, I searched everywhere here! You didn't bring your car or anything! What were you thinking?"
Regina sighed, "Honestly I wasn't sure what was going to happen once I crossed over the border. I thought I would just cease to exist."
Emma sniffed back the sob she felt welling up in her throat. "Well I for one am really glad that didn't happen. I don't know what I would do without you."
Regina hooked her pinky over Emmas' and sighed once more. Both women allowing the silence to build between them.
Emma rolled her eyes impatiently. "Can we talk about stuff now?" Emma asked hopefully.
"Do you think talking is going to change anything? I'm still the Evil Queen, you are still the Savior. Do you seriously have hope that whatever you thought you had with my alter ego could ever be carried over to what I am?" Regina huffed at the hope she saw in those green eyes and shook her head. "You are an idiot Miss Swan."
"Perhaps I am Regina, but I do have hope! I have hope that despite you being you and me being me that we have proven that when all that is boiled down we could have something real. Isn't that what you said to me?"
"But what about Henry?"
"Have you forgotten he climbed into bed with us this morning?" the shocked look in the brunettes' eyes told Emma that she had indeed forgotten. "He is fine with it. He knows how I feel about you and he keeps insisting you feel the same way about me and unless you're willing to call our son a liar…" Emma trailed off waiting for Regina to rebut their sons' assessment of Reginas' feelings. A rebuttal that never came as the queen switched gears.
"What about your parents?"
"They are very aware of how I feel and surprisingly enough I have their support, but even if I didn't, I don't care." Emma tossed her hand in the air. "This is our life and your guys' past lives mean very little to our future together.
"The people of Storybrooke are going to think I've done something to corrupt their precious savior, how are we going to…" Emma smothered the question with a passionate kiss. A kiss that Regina returned and when they finally broke Emma spoke into the small space between them, "I can't breathe without you Regina Mills, you are my truest love, my happy beginning, the answer to all my wishes. The fact that you happen to be my sons mother, well…" she kissed her once more to enunciate her love, "That's just gravy. What the town thinks or what my mom thinks or what Henry thinks, none of that matters to me as much as what you think. I choose you."
Regina pulled away, doubt in her eyes. "Emma I am not that girl you met in a bar in Boston."
"You think I don't know that?" Emma shook her head tears escaped over her cheeks in frustration. "I courted Erin sure, to get her to come here so I could have you back. It has always been about you Regina! I've only ever wanted you. All of you. Everything that you are Regina. The Queen, The Mayor, My sons' mother, my nemesis, my friend." Emma kissed her on the forehead and breathed in the brunettes' essence. "I want you."
Emma pulled back, searching the clouded dark eyes, there was pain in those eyes, so much pain, but behind all of that, that little glimmer she saw die out in the face of lost faith, the glimmer of hope, was back.
It was the queens' turn to shed tears, she wrapped her arms around Emmas' neck and cried freely, she was safe. Emma was her safe place.
"Come here." Emma said pulling the woman up onto her lap and Regina wrapped her legs around the savior. Emma instinctively slid her hands up smooth sculpted thighs under the gown Regina still wore. "I'm not saying it is going to be easy, and I'm still going to be a royal pain in your butt at times." Regina rolled her eyes and chuckled. "I'm just saying I want this more than I've ever wanted anything." Emmas' intense green eyes studied Regina, she felt anxious about everyone being wrong about everything and she was laying it all out on the line for the first time in her life. "Tell me you want to try. Don't think about anyone other than you and what you really want."
Regina sat for a moment and let her hands slide over the blondes' shoulders and she remembered the last couple days she had spent with Emma Swan. How Emma had made her feel like she was the only girl in the entire world. How safe she felt when the blonde was near, even in their life before all of this. How when Emma had been sucked into Jeffersons' hat and she thought in that instant that she would never see the blonde again, she hadn't felt the relief she thought she ought to feel. It was anguish she felt. Anguish over the thought that she would never see the woman again and then utter relief when she found out there wasn't a vortex of nothing that the blonde had fallen into, but an actual land, a land she could come back from. That night she had left Henry with David and gone home and drank heavily and cried herself to sleep. The next morning she got up early and stopped at nothing to help Emma and, consequently, Snow return home.
Reginas' fingers ran up Emmas' pale neck and danced along her jawbone as she considered how she felt. How she really truly felt. This was the first time in her entire life she had the option to choose her destiny. The first time either of them had the choice and despite everything that she had done, the blonde still chose her.
"How could you possibly expect to love me Miss Swan?" Regina pulled her brows in tight expecting the woman to think about the situation for mere seconds before realizing the queen was right and walk out of her life.
"I don't expect to Regina, I just...I do." Emmas' hands rubbed up and down the length of Reginas' back as she spoke. "You are a complex woman, Madam Mayor. Nothing you've ever done has ever been unprovoked. I may forgive you for things that happened so long ago it no longer matters, but you are the one who has to live with those things. And you do, every day. You deal with it and you still strive to be better." Emma shrugged her shoulders, "You may do it for Henry, frankly I don't care the why. You are the strongest woman I've ever met in my life and the fact that you can turn yourself around after everything just makes me admire you. I love you though, for who you are. All the little things that make you, you." Regina raised a perfectly sculpted eyebrow in response and Emma rolled her eyes. "The patience you have with our son, for one. You put him above everything and you always have. The way you carry yourself, I just get chills." Emma plastered a sly grin across her face, "The way you call me Miss Swan that sounds oh so sexy even when you are angry, drives me completely wild."
"Miss Swan…" Regina warned instinctively.
"Yeah just like that." Emma chuckled and pulled the brunettes' hips closer to her own abdomen.
"Emma!" the brunette exclaimed in mock surprise, but pushed herself closer to the blonde beneath her. Reginas' breath hitched as Emmas' hands slid around her curvy ass to help hold her close.
The intensity of Emmas' gaze captivated the queen for several moments and she was completely lost in their unspoken bond. Regina finally blinked back to reality and pushed her hands against Emmas' chest to get some distance between them but Emma held strong. "This is right. Can't you feel it?"
"I can." Regina replied honestly. "But I'm scared Emma."
"I know you are. You haven't had a lot go right, and honestly neither have I, but I trust in what we could be and I think we could be awesome."
Regina considered that for a moment then tentatively placed her hands on Emmas' cheeks and held the blonde just so as she searched her eyes for doubt. She didn't find any. She leaned in and kissed the blonde as if it were the first time, soft and uncertain. Emma met her embrace and allowed the queen to get comfortable with her feelings as she saw fit and when the brunette deepened her kiss Emma opened her mouth a little to take in more, and more is what Regina gave.
Hands moved over territory that was both strange and familiar at the same time and even though neither woman made the attempt to heat the embrace past what was comfortable for either of them, it was still in its' own way intimate.
"I have fallen in love with you." Emma whispered.
"I choose you Emma." Reginas' voice quivered with emotion and then she chuckled at the pure joy and relief she saw cross the blondes' face.
"Come on let's go get our kid and go home."