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You can pretend all you want, but we know how you are! And who you will always be!

Those words echo like a bad taste in my mouth. No matter how hard I try, she will never see me as anything other than the Evil Queen. No matter how often I save her life, no matter how much humiliation I swallow, none of it matters. She will never trust me. Ever.


 

Regina Mills stood in the silence of her sons' room, a folded piece of parchment in her hand. Certain the Imp has poisoned Emma against her. Too much has happened. She is never going to let Henry come back. Even if she did, he wouldn't stay. A single tear escaped over her thick black lashes as she bent down and placed the folded note on the blue cotton covered pillow. In a cloud of purple smoke she was gone.


 

The crisp Maine air stung her skin as she rode. The rumble of the machine between her legs was deafening. It drowned out everything. All thoughts. Only one emotion, exhilaration. This was her freedom. That was something Lu had always wanted, but only ever got on her bike. Her heart skipped as she revs the engine to its limit and the bike lept forward. It was as if she were flying.

From her peripheral vision she saw a flash of red in a sea of green and black. She turned her head but at her speed she missed it. The red was completely out of place and her curiosity got the better of her. She slowed her bike and flipped around in a huge arc in the center of the highway. She made it back to where she thought she saw, what she thought she saw and there it was, red. Bright red, prone, sticking out of the ditch. She stopped her bike on the shoulder and killed the engine. She dropped the kick and pulled her helmet off setting it on the seat. Her riding boots clunked against the damp pavement as she walked over to the mysterious red. Fabric. It is fabric now that she was closer to it. Her heart caught in her chest as she recognized pale limbs poking from beneath the red fabric.

She pulled her phone out and called 911 before getting any closer to what was now revealed as an unconscious woman in a red business suit. She relayed her location to the operator, then, confident that an ambulance was on the way, she clicked closed her phone.

Her mobile was as simple as Lu preferred her life, if she didn't need it for work she wouldn't even have one. She settled down next to the still figure, bending on one leather clad knee, brushing a thick dark chocolate curl from the womans' face. She pressed her warm fingers into the cool flesh of the womans' neck a faint pulse was felt beating beneath her skin. Her skin was marked with dirt, scrapes and bruises, but Lu is immediately taken back by the womans' stunning beauty.

"Hey, hang in there, help is coming." She lifted the womans' pale hand and held it between her own. She heard sirens off in the distance, placing the chilled hand on the womans' own abdomen instead of back in the dirt where she found it, she stood, preparing to wave down the cavalry.

She answered the onslaught of questions the female EMT posed, she was obviously in charge of triage, and Lu answered as quickly as she could. She knew enough about emergency situations that this time was critical for the unknown woman. The lithe body was loaded into the back of the bus and Lu announced she would be traveling with her. She towered over both the EMTs and neither of them argued with the biker.

They headed back in the direction Lu had been riding from, the closest town was Dover. It was small, but obviously had a hospital.

She held the door to the back of the ambulance open for the duo as they rushed the unconscious brunette out and through the automatic doors of the building. A short redhead dressed in brightly colored scrubs, holding a clipboard, came up to her and inundated her with a slew of questions about the victim.

"I literally found her on the side of the road." Lu said.

"So you don't know who she is or anything about her condition?"

The cool blue tone in Lus' eyes answered the womans' idiotic question. "Alright then, Miss-?" The brunette chilled the stare she gave the woman several more degrees. "Lu." The nurse opened her mouth, then shut it once more. Looking up at the rather fearsome 5'9", leather clad, tattoo covered, yet feminine, biker towering over her, she steeled her small town sensibilities and continued. "Alright, Miss Lu, Jane is in safe hands. Thank you for bringing her in." She flicked her fire red mane as she turned on her heel to leave when Lu spoke up. "I'm not leaving her. I want to see the Doctor, I want updates on her condition and I want her put up in the best private room you've got in this… joint." The nurse turned, her bright green eyes squeezed into angry slits but before she could get a word in edgewise, Lu added, "I'll be covering her medical expenses and taking responsibility for her care." The nurse looked up and down at the brunette in shock, opening her mouth to no doubt question the competence of the biker standing before her. "Now." Lu enunciated the word for the girl and the ginger snapped her mouth shut, turned and wordlessly walked away.

Lu walked out the sliding glass doors and took her phone out. She flipped it open and dialed Cyndi.

"Yes Miss Minstros?"

"Cyn, I need a room in Dover, Maine. Could you please-?"

"Right away Ma'am. Email confirmation will be forwarded to you asap."

A half smile graced the womans lips. "Thank you." She clicked closed her phone as the notification of her email rang out.


Dr. Hopper stumbled into the loft of Mary Margaret, David, Emma and Henry. His best friend, Pongo greeted him feverishly at the door. Emma stood in utter shock, eyes bugged out of her head. "We thought you were… dead."

"It was Cora." Was his reply, more came out but Emmas' mind was spinning around the woman she accused of the non-existent crime. "Regina." She whispered.

"I knew it! I knew she was good! Emma! We need to find her! We need to tell her!" she snapped out of her own head and nodded at the kid.


Mary Margaret stood in the back of Mr. Golds' pawn shop, phone pressed to her ear listening to her daughter fall to pieces over the woman who has caused so much, pain, in her life. "Emma, we couldn't have known."

"I KNEW! I TRUSTED HER! I BELIEVED SHE HAD CHANGED! I KNEW MARY MARGARET AND I LET YOU AND DAVID PUT DOUBT IN MY HEART!" Emma shouted into her device. The kid cringed next to her in the bucket seat of her bug and she reigned in her anger at herself, at her parents, at the blood feud that caused this, this MESS. "I need to go find her, what if Cora hurt her?"

Her mother stood in silence at the question posed to her, looking down at the dying man lying on the cot in the back of his own shop. "Emma, I'm sorry." Was all she could say.

"Me too, mom." Emma hung up and threw the phone up on the dashboard of her bug, shifted into 4th gear and gunned it towards the mansion.

Mary Margaret caught the sight of the candle that was once given to her by the blue fairy, displayed in a glass covered cabinet. "Where did you—How-?" she shook her head not really wanting to know the answers. Mr. Gold flippantly answered anyway, "I keep that for a rainy day dearie." She stood silent as he explained his vile plan to use the candle to save his own skin once again, dooming Cora to his destined fate. He threw in the part of him being Henry's dear old grand-papa to cinch the deal. Snow grabbed the candle and headed out towards The Mills' Family mausoleum to retrieve Cora's heart.


 

Emma stood behind her son in the bedroom he grew up in, cool blues awash the furniture and decorations, stating plainly it was a little boys room. Her son sat on his bed holding the white folded paper with Regina's signature elegant writing. Two words.

I'm Sorry.

"We've got to find her, Emma." He reverted to using her name instead of the recently chosen 'Ma' he'd been sporting for the last few weeks. The change bit into her and she flinched. "We will kid. Where would she go if she was upset?" her mind was running a total blank.

"Her vault. She liked to talk to her father when she was sad." He looked down at the note, tears brimming his eyelids. "She was sad a lot."

Emma nodded. "Let's go get your mom kid." He tucked the note into his pocket and they left for the graveyard.

Emma hated being there. It reminded her of Graham. That night she was pushed to her limit by the manipulative brunette and got a bruise across her temple and a dead boss for her trouble. She pushed open the slightly ajar front doors clicking on the flashlight to look around. The concrete slab that normally adorned the center of the small room was pushed to the side revealing a staircase that led to a lower chamber. Emma shuddered, but forced her feet to keep going.

"Regina?!" She called out into the darkness. The place was thick with magic, it clung to the air, it clung to Emma, she hated the sticky feeling of it.

"MOM?" Henry yelled into a side chamber. They walked through the hall that led to the back room, the walls on either side of the all too close corridor was lined with small red beating boxes. Drumming away, their owners long since forgotten or dead. It was seriously creepy and it made Henry cringe. "Grandma? What are you doing here?" Mary Margaret whipped around candle in one hand a glowing red orb in the other.

"MOM! What the actual fuck are you doing?" Emma demanded, obviously unaware of the language she tried to never use in front of her son flew out of her like it was the time of day. Snow White, tears in her eyes, stammered. "I have to stop Cora. She will kill Mr. Gold and become the Dark One. I can't let that happen." Emma still shocked at the discovery gaped open her mouth. "Is that-?"

"Cora's heart." Her mother finished. "What is with the—?" pointing at the candle. Snow explained the plan to save Mr. Gold by killing Cora.

"No." Henry shook his head in disbelief. His entire world was unravelling. "But you are Snow White. You are good." He enunciated the word good as if it would fix this whole messed up situation. "Give me that heart Mary Margaret." Emma demanded. "She killed my mother." Snow whispered.

"Give it to me. NOW!" Emma's voice boomed in the small stone room. Snow flinched and held out the heart to her daughter. Emma took the heart and squeezed it promptly until it was nothing but ash.

"Emma! NO!" both her mother and son screamed in unison.

What's done is done.

She dusted her hand of the ash and filth of that vile woman. "YOU," she pointed at her mother, "are not going to darken your heart over that woman." She turned to her son who was shaking visibly. "And you." Her tone softened. "Need to learn nothing is black, nothing is white. Everything is Gray. And that is ok." She opened her arms to hug him, but he hesitated. "What about Mr. Gold?" he said meekly.

"He-," she started then looked to her mother for support. She didn't want to tell the kid that they were most likely better off if his newly found grandfather were dead.

"We'll find another way." Snow finished brightly. The boy fell into his mothers' abdomen hugging her tightly. Emma looked at her own mother, Snows' eyes did not hold the hope of finding a way to save Henrys' grandfather. They both knew this is how it needed to be.

"So, " Henry said after a few minutes of holding his birth mother tight. "My Mom isn't here. Where is she?" Emma slid her fingers through his hair, "That is a good question kid." Turning to her mother, "Mom—" she started, knowing Snow cherished every time she used that title, "Could you take Henry to get some dinner. I'm going to go through some of this stuff see if I can figure out where Regina would go." The fair brunette smiled brightly, the warmth reached her olive eyes this time, "Sure thing sweetheart. Let's go champ, Granny's?" He reached out and grabbed his grandmothers' hand and they walked out of the vault.

Emma looked around at the Evil Queens' possessions. Her hands ran along the satin and silk of the costumes that hung regally in a trunk. She pushed them aside and found at the back there were drawers. She opened the first drawer and found a black leather bound book with a blue stone set in the center. Her fingers ran over the gem, caressing the leather, she reached under the book and lifted it out of the drawer. She opened the cover and dragged her fingers over the perfect smooth script of one Regina Mills.

'Her diary.' Emma thought to herself. She held her bottom lip between her teeth and looked around the empty crypt guiltily. 'I need to understand this woman if I'm going to find her.' She rationalized to herself. Decision made she flipped to the first page, sinking down to the cold stone of the floor as her eyes raked over the words written with pristine care.

Dear Diary,

This shall be my freedom. Father procured this beautiful book on his last trip to the Endros Kingdom. He knows me so well. It is a secret, he said. Never tell Mother. I know if she ever found this, she would use it to hurt me. Father knows too. He loves me, but he is powerless to stop her.

Emma flipped through the book, reading in detail Reginas' account of her relationship with her Mother. If you could call it a relationship, Regina was a means to an end. She would be Queen of all the land and Cora reminded the girl daily. Emma read painful entries of abuse, or as Regina had put it, 'Corrections.'

Burns, breaks, whippings.

Isolation, bondage, captivity, food and water deprivation.

Social isolation and mental abuse. She literally broke down the girl and created the Evil Queen from the ashes.

Emma spent hours forcing herself to read through Reginas' pain, she finally settled on a page that has been stained with liquid, Emma surmised the drops were tears of the young girl. The drops have smudged the script and hardened the parchment.

Dear Diary,

My beautiful Gabby, I just wanted to feel her soft lips on mine. I've wanted them for weeks. I knew she felt the same as I did, but she was afraid of Mother. As she should be. I thought Mother was away for another day! She caught us. She came home early, as it seems negotiations wrapped up quickly. That is her way of glossing over the fact that she ripped the heart out of the negotiator and forced him to agree to her terms. She inflicts so much pain on everyone around her. None so much more than on myself. We were in Gabby's family barn, high up in the loft. Her blonde hair so beautiful, her blue eyes so full and pure. She is innocence defined. Everything that I am not. She is beautiful and graceful and smart. Oh had she been born to another life, she would have been a grand scholar for certain. She can read and has borrowed every book I have in my library. I love her.

I loved… her.

I finally got the courage up to kiss her and she let me. Her lips were soft and sweet and when I touched her, my body was set a flame! I wanted her to touch me terribly, but before we got the chance, my Mother appeared in her usual red cloud and grabbed me with her magic. She threw Gabby across the barn. She could have killed her! She squeezed me too tight, she broke bones in my chest, my arms, my legs! The pain was unbearable and I lost consciousness.

When I woke I was home in my bed. The bones were healed by Mothers magic but the pain always persisted afterwards. Always. I've lost count of how many times she has done this and it would be safe to say she has broken every bone in my body at least once. Of course she always says I make her do it. My insolence forces her to lose control and she has to correct me. As I lay in my bed, in agony, I could hear her ranting at father. His soft words hurt more than her actions. He has never stood up for me. He said I have learned my lesson. I know he means it to placate Mother, but it sounds like he supports her in this decision. Does he agree with her? Am I disgusting for wanting to love my sweet Gabby? How can love, any love, be wrong? I have truly disappointed Mother this time. She kept me in the darkness for I don't know how long. Weeks maybe. Until I agreed with her. I lied. I needed water, she had withheld it longer than she ever has before and I am certain I would have perished had I not given in to her. I agreed to never see Gabby again. But I lied.

As it turns out it didn't matter. When I was trusted once again to roam freely upon our property, I ventured to Gabby's farm. She was beautiful as always. My little blonde sunshine. My Savior. As soon as her blue eyes met mine, the terror filled her features and I knew. I knew she would never be mine again. I didn't even speak with her, I just turned and ran back home. I am such a coward. Mother maybe right, I bring nothing but heartache to everyone around me.

Love is weakness, Mother says.

Emma slammed the book closed, she is weeping openly, her heart breaking for Regina, who never had a chance at life because of that retched psychopath. The woman that gave her life, then spent every breath Regina took taking that life away. She had to get out of this tomb. She jumped up, grasping the book to her chest and ran out of the vault. Ran out into the fresh air, the cool air that didn't have magic weighing it down, or hearts drumming in the background. She ran and ran until her legs betrayed her and she stumbled, falling to the ground. She covered her face as she thought about her own experiences with abuse at the hands of someone who had all the power. As hard as it had been for Emma, Cora… brought control and manipulation and a whole lot of crazy to a new level.

'Every bone in her body… broken…'

Emma heaved as she gasped for air between sobs, burying her face in her arms, laying prone in the middle of the grave yard.

It seemed appropriate. She was mourning. She was mourning Reginas' innocence.

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The short doctor who entered the waiting room zeroed in on Lu, Valarie's description of the woman had been extensive and even if the waiting room wasn't empty, he would have known this was the woman he was looking for.

Lu stood, closing the distance between herself and the chubby doctor. "How is she?" before he could greet her properly. "Well…" he started, "She is dehydrated, and has a few bumps and bruises, but she is in a coma. We don't quite understand why. However, we did a full body X Ray of Ms. Doe." He looked up at her, his features changed dramatically, "There seems to be an extensive history of abuse." The woman who stood in front of him, shifted uneasily between her feet. "Recent?" was her question. "No. Looks like childhood, prepubescent, but-" he made eye contact with Lu. "It is the worst case of abuse I've ever witnessed in my 35 years of practicing medicine. The worst case I've ever even heard of." Lus' heart broke, right then in that moment. "May I see her?" he nodded and turned to walk back through the doors he came through. She followed him until he stopped at the open door that held the mysterious brunette with no name and a terrible past. Answers wouldn't be coming anytime soon. The doctor cleared his throat, "Visiting hours are 9 to 3:30, leave a number with Vivian at the front desk and we will notify you of any changes." She nodded and he left her alone in the room.

Lu sat down on the padded chair next to the bed. Her pale features cleaned of dirt, her head wrapped in gauze, her still form, reminded her of Sleeping Beauty. A brunette Sleeping Beauty. She picked up the womans hand, clasping it in her own, "Hey beauty. My name is Lucy. I'm the one who found you. What do you say you wake up and we'll go grab a coffee huh?" she chuckled to herself. "Listen, that's ok, you rest, beauty. I'll be back in the morning. I left my baby on the side of the road, I need to go pick her up before she thinks I left her for you. I will return though beauty." She patted the cool pale hand between her own warm tanned ones and headed out.

She retrieved the confirmation email from her secretary and gave the phone number for the motel to the desk clerk in the lobby of the small hospital and called a cab to take her to her baby. After retrieving her bike she rode back into town and checked into the room she had reserved for her.

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Emma had finished the heart wrenching diary. She never told a soul. Not even Henry. She was ashamed mostly, but also didn't want to expose Reginas' secrets to anyone else. It was bad enough she had pried. The journal was dark, it told of more than Coras' insane control over her daughter, it filled in Reginas' side of the fateful meeting between herself and Snow White. It lent to speculation that Cora had rigged it up to catch the eye of King Leopold, of course it did just that. It told of Reginas' heart break when Cora killed Daniel. Killed him! Snow had said he ran away. After everything she knew of Cora, she believed Reginas' account. Cora had accepted the Kings' proposal and Regina was devastated. She planned on running away with Daniel, until Snow White told on her, to Cora of all people. Once that entry was complete, the rest of the journal was dark. Reginas' accounts of life with Leopold were none better than the life she suffered in her childhood home. She no longer suffered broken bones, however her very vivid accounts of his sexual appetites made Emma actually vomit. Emmas' anger grew as Regina accounted how her Mother caged her within the castle unless the King accompanied her. The depths of hopelessness and trauma Regina lived with, sickened Emma. She kept on reading though, she read about her first time, how he had servants hold her legs open for him as he took her virginity while she cried. She was 17 years old. He was in his 60's. She wrote about how when he would visit her, he would hold her down, he would call out his dead wife's name and lock her back up in her room. She was nothing more than a possession to him and his actions made that fact clear to Regina. Regina wrote about learning magic from Rumpel, how she tried to revive her love, her Daniel, without success. Once that failure occurred, everything changed. The pinnacle of what the woman had been forged into was born. The Evil Queen was born.

The last entry was mere ramblings of a broken mind, ranting about vengeance and Snow White. Emma was thoroughly shaken. She understood Regina better than anyone else ever had, before she read the womans' personal diary, but now, now she understood, everything. She needed to find Regina, she needed to protect her the way no one has ever in her life.

We know how you are… who you will always be…

Her own words come back to haunt her. She ran into the bathroom and vomited.

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Emma spent the next two weeks scouring the, not as small as she used to think, town of Storybrooke. She looked everywhere. She assembled a search party that combed the vast woods that surrounded the town, careful not to let anyone go over the town line. At the end of the third week, she caught a break, they found one of Reginas' shoes deep in the woods, near the town line.

Emma stormed into Granny's, "Will this fairy tale crap ever end? Really? ONE of her shoes? Like friggen' Cinderella?" she looks over at Ella, the actual Cinderella, and huffed, "No offense Ella." Ella, who was bouncing her child on her knee used her infants' hand and waved at Emma and smiled. Snow sat down next to her daughter pushing a hot cocoa under her nose. She whispered into Emmas' ear, "It's an Irish Cocoa." Emma scooped it up and chugged it. The whipped cream giving her a mustache. Snow laughed and swiped the bit on the tip of Emmas' nose and licked it off her own finger. "Smooth Swan." She kidded her daughter. The warmth of the booze filled her in places the warmth of the cocoa never could. She relaxed a bit, licking the foam from her upper lip. "She left." Emma stated bluntly. She looked over at her son poking the food on his plate next to her father. "She left him." She sighed. "Because of me." Snow tried her best to cheer the blonde up, but she knew Emma wasn't ever going to stop blaming herself for this. "I never wanted him to know what I felt when I was a kid. I gave him up because they assured me they had a family for him. Then I come blundering into his life and rip that family away." Snow put her hand around her daughter, "You really want to play the blame game, Emma? If I hadn't spilled a secret, Reginas' love wouldn't have run away and none of us would be here."

Emma snorted, "Ran away? Cora fucking killed him Snow!" her anger completely unmasked before she could stop herself. Her mothers' eyes couldn't hide the confusion, "What?" Emma figured she was in it now, "Daniel. He didn't run away. Cora ripped his heart out in front of Regina and crushed it, killing him because she wanted to sell her 17 year old daughter to a 60 year old pedophile who happened to be King!" The pain that crossed her mothers' face when her daughter referred to her grandfather as a pedophile, was deep. "She was 17 Snow. 5 years older than Henry! And he raped her." Snow shook her head, "It was different Emma, they were married." Emma exploded, unable to keep it in any longer spurred on by her mothers' insistence that it was anything but what it had been. She lowered her voice and gritted her teeth as she spoke, "It makes me sick to think his blood runs through my veins," she felt herself start to lose control, "and I wish I hadn't killed Cora as quickly as I did. I wish I had made her suffer an ounce of what Regina suffered in her life. I wish I had looked into her eyes as the realization that she was going to die passed over them. HA! Evil Queen? Are you kidding me Snow? I would have killed Leopold too, and it wouldn't have been as merciful to give him poison to make the man have a heart attack in his sleep! There is only so much one person can endure before they break! The only innocent in this entire fucked up fairy tale is Regina fucking Mills!" Emma slammed her fist down on the counter, the formica splintered under the force. Her mothers' mouth was open, her face frozen in a shocked mask of terror at her daughters' outburst. Emma was shaking with anger visibly, she stood on shaky legs and dropped a 20 on the table, "Rubes bill me for the counter." Turned and walked out of the silent diner.

She needed to clear her head, she needed to find Regina.

'She left you Swan.' Her thoughts taunted her. 'She left you, she left Henry.'

Emma walked up the street and climbed into her bug. She revved the engine and peeled out, flipping the little car around 180 degrees and headed up the hill towards the mansion.

She had Henry's keys to Reginas' home and let herself in. She ran up the staircase, two stairs at a time, and burst into Reginas' bedroom. This wasn't the first time she had been in the womans' private domain since Regina disappeared, the kid had taken to sleeping in his mothers' bed, and Emma, often joined him. She opened the woman's closet and ran her fingers over rows and rows of suit jackets and satin button up shirts. She pressed her face into the fabric. Reginas' light perfume still clung to the clothing and Emma breathed it in. As soon as she did she collapsed into uncontrollable sobs. She missed this woman terribly, and she may have lost her forever.

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Lu had been staying in Dover, Maine for the last two weeks. She stayed at a little motel on the outskirts of town. She had long since shipped her motorcycle, her baby, back to Boston where she lived and rented a car that she used sparingly. The bulk of her time she spent at the hospital with Jane Doe, she ate at the hospital cafeteria and really only used the room to sleep and shower. The staff had made concessions about visiting hours and she was allowed to stay past the 3:30 cut off, which she took advantage of daily.

She walked through the familiar sliding glass doors, two coffees in her hands and a wide smile on her face. She stopped by the front desk where Viv usually sat and placed one of the coffees down in front of the keyboard. The bubbly woman was not in the immediate area so she just kept going up to where the nurses station was. She peeked her head around the corner into the nurses lounge, still no sign of Valarie. She shrugged her shoulders and turned to leave the coffee on the counter, "Val" written in big red letters on the side when she ran right into the woman she was looking for. The little redhead was startled and gasped out in surprise. "You scared the daylights outta me Luie!" Lu smiled her little pirate smile and shrugged. "Sorry." She handed the coffee to the head nurse. "You are a god send, you know that girl? Speaking of god send, guess who's up?" Lus' features dropped and her blue eyes snapped wide, "She's awake!?" Valerie nodded, before she could say another word Lu was jogging up the hallway towards the familiar little room she spent so much time in over the past two weeks. She stopped short outside of the door suddenly nervous for some reason.

'Don't be stupid Lu. Just go in there and introduce yourself.' She paced back and forth until Valerie came up behind her, putting a freckled hand on her arm, "Come on hun," she followed the redhead into the room.

The brunette was sitting up in her bed, poking at what Lu can only assume to be bland oatmeal for her breakfast. Her dark lashes flicked up and Lu flinched when she met the womans' caramel eyes. Valerie spoke to the girl, "Jane, this is Lu, she is the one who found you." Lus' gaze fell to the floor, she was never comfortable with being put on the spot. Jane dropped her spoon and wiped her hand on a paper napkin from her tray, extending her hand towards her savior. Lu smiled her half smile and scooted from behind Val and took the brunettes hand. The brunette smiled herself, "Thank you." She said simply. Her raspy voice hung in the air and punctured all of Lus' senses at once. Val headed towards the door, "If you need anything else Jane, buzz me." She nodded encouragement towards Lu, who took her normal seat next to the bed.

Lu raked her fingers through her raven hair, "So your name is actually Jane?" Her name had been something Lucy had been curious about. The brunette pushed aside the breakfast tray and straightened herself up in the bed. She had impeccable posture. "No, I'm afraid not." Lu nodded in understanding.

"So you found me?" her caramel orbs fixated on the clear blue eyes that studied her. "I, uh did, yes. I was out for a ride on highway 453 in the middle of the woods and saw you, well actually I saw a flash of red and didn't know what it was, the curiosity got the better of me and I went back to check it out."

The brunette smiled, "Lucky for me I suppose. So you live around here?" the younger brunette inquired. Lus' eyes dropped at the admission, "No actually, I was on vacation in Newfoundland and was riding back home to Boston actually."

Confusion crossed the womans face, "They said I'd been in a coma for almost two weeks—" A light flush colored Lus' face, "I extended my vacation." She hesitantly added, "I wanted to make sure you were alright."

A polite smile graced Janes' face, "It looks like I'm fine as can be—um I'm sorry, what was your name?" Lu bit the inside of her cheek, "Lucy, but my buddies call me Lu." Jane smiled, "I like Lucy. It is much better than Jane. I don't really feel like a Jane." Lucy's lips curled up and suggested she chose her own name.

"I imagined your name was Erin. Erin has the body of a goddess and the brains of a genius." the admission fell from her lips before she could stop it, "I-I don't remember where I heard that, but it is definitely a thing." Lucy smiled wide as the young woman laughed. "Well then, who can argue with that? Erin is much more fitting." Her long dark eyelashes batted mindlessly and a soft rose color flushed her cheeks.

"Indeed." Lucy agreed.

"Now that you are awake, Erin, what will you do?" Lucy asked, the younger brunette shook her head slowly, Lucy's ice blue eyes were captivating and she was having difficulty focusing. Erin cleared her throat to focus herself on the question posed. "I have no idea. I don't know what I was doing out in the middle of the woods, I don't know anyone, or even have a wallet." Fear crept into Erins' eyes as she spoke and Lucys' heart broke for her. "Well, and go ahead and say no, but I'd like to help you find your family. Someone ought to be looking for you."

The brunette smiled, "Thank you Lucy. My own personal Hero." She hesitated, "Don't you have to get home though? I'm sure you have a life you can most certainly remember to get back to."

Lucy chuckled at the attempt to cover the womans fear of being abandoned with levity. "Yes, well, yes, but I'm my own boss, and the boss has given me as much vacation time as I need."

"What is it that you do, Lucy?"

"I am a defense attorney." Lucy looked down at the floor, not wanting to see the doubt she sees in everyone elses' eyes, when she discloses her profession for the first time. When she does look up the brunettes eyes holds only curiosity. "That is fascinating, Lucy! You must tell me all about it!" Lucy laughed and nodded, promising to share as much as she could with the woman. "So what do you think I was doing out in the middle of the wilderness in a power suit and no shoes? I heard some of the nurses talking earlier this morning, one of them thinks I had been kidnapped from my family and was brought out into the wilderness to be some sort of sex slave! Another one said I was trafficked into the US through Canada and sold into prostitution."

"Wow, the hens are really focused on sex slaves huh?" Lucy rebutted. Erin blushed at the notion.

"Well, I have done some searching while you were— napping— looking through missing persons reports for Maine, stretching back a few years, I haven't hit anything." She paused to judge Erins' reaction, the steel mask of indifference was Mayor Mills trademark, and apparently her face had muscle memory where her brain did not. Not seeing an adverse reaction Lucy continued, "A few days ago, I opened up the search to include the tri-state area. I am still going through reports though, it is slow going."

Erin felt uneasy about whether or not her family would be looking for her. Somehow she knew they weren't. As if she wasn't worth the time to submit a documented report. She worried her bottom lip and then asked the question, "Why—I mean, you don't know me—Why are you, putting your life on hold and staying with me here, I mean, just why? I'm grateful, I really am, I mean— when I heard your voice, it felt like, home—I don't know why, but as soon as you walked in here behind that nurse, I felt at ease with you. I don't know you, do I?"

Lucy thought about this before she spoke, she stood and walked over to the windows that lined the far wall of Erins' private room, "The easy answer is no. I really did just stumble across you. Your doctor said that talking to you, while you were napping, would help you, maybe that's why I feel familiar?" she paused as she turned around to walk back towards the woman sitting straight backed in the hospital bed, "When I found you, I had this all-consuming feeling, that I was supposed to protect you." She shrugged as if that wasn't a big deal, "So I did. And will, as long as you want me to." Erins' chocolate eyes filled up with thick tears, she hid her face from Lucy who was all but panicking at the sight of emotion from the woman. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, do you want me to go?"

Erin shook her head no, but the orange that was lodged in her throat wouldn't let her speak the word. She covered her face with her hands and her body shook with silent sobs. Lucy stood next to her bed, her eyes wide completely at a loss for what to do, she sat down on the edge of the womans' bed and rested her hand just below Erin's knee. Non-threatening comfort. That is what they say is best for trauma victims. Erin sniffled and wiped at her face with the back of her hands trying to calm herself. Lucy stood and went into the bathroom and retrieved a Kleenex box, setting it down on the breakfast tray at Erins' side. Erin took several tissues and blew her nose daintily. It was the cutest thing Lucy had ever witnessed and she chuckled at the prim and proper sight of it. Erin looked up at her, "What?" Lucy smiled a wide pearly white smile, "That is the cutest thing I've ever seen." Erin rolled her eyes, "I'm just blowing my nose." Lucy crinkled her nose, "Yeah, but you are doing it in the most adorable way possible." At that, Erin joined Lucy and both women laughed.


After a couple of days, Lucy continued to spend her days with Erin, they walked and talked, mostly about Lucy of course. Hospital gossip with Vivian was something they looked forward to in the afternoons, then dinners of bland hospital food in Erins' private room. Erins' doctor stopped by during their last dinner in the hospital to inform the women that Erin was in complete recovery, physically, and he would be discharging her. "I have some information about state run wards that will take your mental status into consideration, Erin. I have no reason to keep you on here, I'm sorry." Lucy looked a little panicked at the news, even though it wasn't really a surprise, she knew very well Erin was healthy and wouldn't be staying here forever. They just hadn't discussed what she was doing, and she was hoping they would have a lead on Erins' family by now. "Does she have to… I mean… is the facility mandatory for her recovery?" Lucy asked. "No, I suggested it because well, Valarie said you two have been searching for her family, but haven't had much luck. The ward is better suited to help trauma victims than let's say a women's shelter, or other public works facilities." He tried to be delicate about the whole thing, but his years as a doctor had instilled him with professional detachment that halted just short of delicate. "So, if we were to find her family, or something, that would be better?" Lucy prodded.

"Yes. It would be much better for her to be in a safe and trustworthy environment. If you need the ward information, Vivian has it at the front desk for you." He returned his attention back to Erin, "I'll be discharging you in the morning." He turned and walked out of the room. "I'll be right back." Lucy said and left Erin alone to think things over.

Lucy was pacing in front of the nurses station, she was raking her ebony hair back out of her face, she wore it down today, at Erin's request, otherwise she wore it up and out of her face. It was a terrible nuisance down, it was long and thick and pin straight. The only way she controlled it is in a bun or a braid. Today, however, today it was a hot mess and extra annoying. She paced and thought and panicked. She didn't want to let the girl go. She wanted to—care for her. That initial feeling she felt that day she found her was back, with a vengeance. It surrounded her, it flowed through her, it was deafening as it controlled her thoughts. "Ok, ok ok ok!" she chastised herself. "Just do it Lu."

Erin saw the look in Lucy's eyes and it troubled her. She knew full well she couldn't stay here forever, and she knew they wouldn't find her family before tomorrow morning.

What would the ward be like? Some institution where they put garbage found on the side of the road that has no other place they belong? No one who cares enough about them to look for them when they go missing? This was a nightmare.

Erin didn't want to cry about this, the last time she cried in front of Lucy, the woman was like a deer in headlights! Just as the first tear broke over the rim of her eyelid, Lucy returned to the room. She didn't have the paperwork Erin had been expecting in her hands, the paperwork on the ward. "Come with me to Boston." Lucy said. It wasn't a question, it was an offer. "What?" Erin was shocked. "I have a guest bedroom and a huge apartment, you can stay till we find your family or till you don't want to anymore." Lucy had moved from the doorway back over to her chair next to Erin's bed. "You've done so much for me already, Lucy. How could I repay such generosity?" Lucy looked hopeful, that wasn't a No. "It's really no big thing, I've got the room and I couldn't live with myself if I left you here to become some ward of the state. We can keep searching for your family, you can do whatever you want, we'll find you someone who can help you remember maybe and—" she trailed off, her piercing blue eyes searching Erins' melted chocolate orbs for something, anything positive to the suggestion. Erin simply nodded, and held out her hand to her savior, her knight in shining armor, who has repeatedly saved her. Lucy took Erin's hand and squeezed both her hand and pursed her lips together trying to hold back the utter elation she felt. Her eyes betrayed her and a single tear of joy ran over her cheekbone.

Chapter Text

Emmas' internet search came up with a few possibilities. She was looking for Amnesia patients found in the last month. It gnawed at her that she didn't have an exact date when Regina had left Storybrooke, however she had narrowed it down to the span of a few days. There were three candidates of brunette amnesiacs within the state, it would have been helpful if the reports she pulled had more detail to how they were found, or really anything more than their physical description, which wasn't specific. There were no pictures with the reports.

God damned Hobunk fucking towns.

The most likely candidate, in Emmas mind, was housed in the psyche ward up state. The woman in question was highly irritable and apparently harmed the EMTs who were trying to help her. If that didn't scream Regina, nothing did. So she took the other two potentials information down, just in case and went back upstairs to pack her bag. She'd leave today.

Henry was curled into a ball on the center of Reginas' bed. "Henry," Emma said tentatively as she poked her head in the room, "I need you to pack a bag, you'll be staying with grandma and grandpa for a little bit. I've got to go out of town to check something out." She returned to the guest room and finished packing her bag, which basically consisted of her toiletries, two pair of jeans, 3 pairs of clean underwear, a hoodie, and two tank tops. Both white.

Henry rolled over to the edge of the bed and hung his feet off. He looked down at the floor for a moment before scooching forward to drop his feet to the beige carpeting. He happened to glance toward the wall next to the bed when his brown eyes noticed something behind the end table. It was tan and out of place. He stood and pulled the table forward, bent down and picked up the item. It was a book. It was his mothers' book. His fingers traced over the tanned leather binding and small lock on the front. Her diary. His cheeks flushed with embarrassment, he should put it back. It was an invasion of privacy, he just missed her so much. He decided he wouldn't read it, he would just take it to keep it close. He tucked it under his arm and went into his bedroom to pack a bag. The first thing in that bag was the new found piece of his mother.

Emma opened the door to Reginas room and saw that Henry wasn't on the bed anymore. She walked over to the dresser, Reginas' dresser, and opened Regina's pajama drawer, dragging her fingers over the silken tops she pulled out a steel blue set. She has seen Regina wear this color before. It was amazing on her. Emma stuffed the set in her bag, closed the drawer and went to fetch her son.

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Once Erin was discharged and Lucy paid up for each of their stays, they hit the road back towards Lucys' home of Boston Mass. They traveled the coast, at Erins request, the ocean seemed to calm her. They played car games and took their time as there was no rush to get back. Lucy started this little game where she would make up Erins' back story as they saw things that interested her. So far, Erin was the daughter of a steel mill mogul who refused her fathers money to make it out on her own. She lived in a cottage by the sea in Nantucket, loved gardening and taught kindergarten at the local school. Erin had joined Lucy's fantasy history lesson by adding she had never married and was a self-imposed cat lady. "I'm more of a dog person." Lucy said, "Cats couldn't care less about you." Erin laughed. "That is true, no one is ever happier to see you come home than a dog."

Lucy laughed. "Sounds like you've had dogs before. That is a good sign, keep it up and your memories will come flooding back."

Erin shifted uncomfortably in her seat, "Yeah, maybe."

They stayed overnight at a seaside motel, even though the drive wouldn't have taken that long to reach Lucy's home. Lucy wanted to enjoy the ocean side just a little bit longer, and hoped Erin would appreciate it as well. She of course did, immensely. They had dinner at a local diner then took an early evening stroll out along the beach. Lucy watched as Erin collected shells off the sand as they walked. "Oh! Lu! Look!" she held up a sand dollar, it was chipped but it was intact. "That is beautiful Erin! Good find!" Erin had placed the delicate treasure on top of the few shells she collected. She had un-tucked her tee shirt and used it to hold the sandy pieces of shell like a hammock. The bold letters across the front spelled out 'MAINE', it was a little baggy on the womans small frame, but Lucy hadn't known her size when she bought the few garments for her. The sun had finally set below the oceans' edge and Lucy held out her hand to Erin, who took it without hesitation or question, and they walked in an easy silence back to their room.

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It had taken Emma 48 hours to reach the hospital where the first brunette amnesiac had been housed. She had been hopeful as she started her journey, but then her car broke down forcing her to stay over -night in some scuzzy motel in the middle of nowhere. When she finally reached the hospital, she was in a bad mood, the coffee maker had been broken in the lobby of the motel and the only place in that god forsaken town that had coffee had been closed due to fire the previous week. She had a headache from caffeine withdrawal and hadn't slept well due to what she could only imagine to be 'critters' scratching and gnawing within the walls of her motel. "I should have taken Ginas' Benz." The thought brightened her demeanor a little thinking about how angry Regina would be if she had.

"You will never drive my baby Miss Swan!"

Her smile deepened as she climbed the stairs that led into the building before her.

Regina had zero pictures of herself in her mansion. None with her and Henry. Not one. She had plenty of the boy himself, school pictures, him standing in front of school, kite flying in a field, but none of her. She knew the woman didn't like getting her picture taken, but hadn't realized there would be absolutely none in existence. However she should have. Contrary to her stunning beauty, Regina had no self esteem, let alone self worth. Her mother saw to that. Emma raged about Cora.

For weeks, the answer to that fateful question, "How did you get like this?' had been far more horrible than the sheriff could have ever imagined. It gave Emma nightmares. Proper honest to goodness, wake up in a puddle of your own sweat, heart racing, breath panting, scream yourself awake, nightmares. Her heart ached at the last thing she said to the brunette, "We all know what you are, you're a monster, you'll never change." Emma remembered the light of hope flicker out behind those cocoa eyes as the harsh thoughtless words tumbled from the blondes' mouth. It made her ill to think she, herself, added to the destruction that Cora instilled in her daughter. The fact that she so obviously loathed herself enough to destroy even images of herself spoke volumes.

Whenever Emma had taken a snap of the woman with her phone, Regina would instantly confiscate it and delete it. "You never get my good side Miss Swan." Would be her only response to 'What the hell Regina?' that would grace Emmas' lips as the brunette would snatch the phone from her grasp. She never understood why she had such a hard on for images of herself, but now, she imagined she knew all too well. The only picture she had of Regina Mills was on Emmas lock screen of her phone, it was cropped from an image she had taken from a party of her parents. Regina and Henry were in the background sitting in a booth. Henry was reading from his book and his mother was pointing out characters in the diner. She was smiling at her son as he looked on in wonder. It was a snippet of truth caught by way of accident, and Emma cherished it. She had cropped it and blew it up, cleaning it up as much as she could to make it her background on her phone, months ago. Before Regina went missing.

Her family.

Now that was all she had, a blurry picture of the woman she knew she loved and the son they both adored.

The desk clerk at the hospital had irritated any good feelings she had mustered on her way up the stairs right back out of her. She was indifferent and not very helpful. "I can't give you any information unless you are her family member."

"Well she is my—" Emma paused, 'Son's mother?' 'Frienemy?' 'Mother's evil step-mother?' 'uh…..' her brain shorted out.

"Girlfriend." She settled on. It was familyish, right?

"That doesn't give you family rights Hon." The sarcastic tone pushed through Emma and rubbed her the wrong way.

"She's my fiancée…" Emma lied. "We just haven't made it official. We have a kid together. We are a family." The chubby face of the clerk smirked at her but turned and pulled out a thick file. "She's been here for some time." The clerk opened the file and started flipping through the charts. Emma felt the need to justify herself. "I, well, we had a fight, I thought she just needed time to cool off, but then she never came back. I've been looking…"

'Why are you lying to this woman Swan? Shut the hell up man!'

"She has been sedated in isolation." Emmas face streaked with panic, memories of Cora filled her and she had to dig her nails into the palm of her hand to regain focus. She held out her phone, the photo of Regina and Henry displayed. "Is this her?" she asked hopeful. Blue eyes looked at the phone then back at the blonde. "I have no idea. I'll call the doctor for you. Have a seat in the waiting room. It will be a while." Emma sighed deeply at her dissatisfaction and slumped her shoulders as she walked over to the rows of chairs to wait on the doctor.

"JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!" Emma screamed out once back in her car. She slammed her palms against the steering wheel and screamed out her frustration. "FOUR FUCKING HOURS TO FIND OUT IT WASN'T EVEN HER!" She screamed to no one. She rested her head on the steering wheel and succumbed to her emotions. The next hospital on the list was on the other side of the state. It was going to take forever to get there. "FUUUUUUUUUCK!" She knew better than to get her hopes up.

"Okay Swan, buck up." She took a deep breath in and let it out slowly.

She started the engine of her yellow bug and pulled out of the parking spot towards the 50/50 shot of finding Regina.

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Henry sat on his birth mothers bed in the spare room of his grandparents loft. He looked at the tan leather bound locked book on his lap. When he packed the book he promised he wouldn't open it. He wouldn't read it, but it had been so long since he saw her. He missed his mom. He flipped the paper clip he secretly stole from his grandmother's briefcase, between his fingers as he contemplated doing what he knew he was going to do.

He bent the clip and slipped it into the lock, popping it open easily. He hesitated one last time before opening the book. His mothers' beautiful script adorns the inside cover.

Regina Mills ~ Life in Storybrooke

He flipped to the last page covered in black ink, then backtracked to the start of her last entry and read her words.

Dear Diary,

This is the last time I will be writing to you. You have been a great comfort to me over the last year. The loss of my son to his birth mother and the curses inevitable breaking, has left me alone with nothing but my regret and sorrow. I know I've said I wished that I could turn back time to before the savior was brought into my life, back to when my prince looked only to me. I know I've said that I wished I'd killed her. At the time, I may have actually meant it. I no longer feel that way. I enacted the curse that brought us all here out of desperation, longing for vengeance to satisfy the emptiness I felt in my soul. I do not regret the curse for it brought me Henry.

And Emma.

For just a moment I knew what it was like to be a part of a real family. To know safety and trust.

And love.

Even if for just a fleeting moment, I had felt it. It was real.

Now it is gone. I would have been better off never having known what I was missing all of my life.

Dr. Hopper has been murdered. The look in Emmas' eyes when she accused me of killing him, it snuffed out the last bit of hope I had at redemption. I did not murder that insect. If I had no one would have ever found a single clue, let alone the stunningly obvious trail that led the sheriff straight to my doorstep. I was set up, and she believes it. Henry believes it. After everything, he just... He will never love me again, they will never trust me, no matter what I do, and I cannot continue this way. I've decided to leave Storybrooke. I'm not sure what will happen once I've crossed the town line, if I will lose all of my memories or if I will simply die. Either way I will finally be at peace. Henry will be safe with Emma, they will both live much better without me. I always hurt the ones I love, I've hurt them enough.

~R

Henry closed the book, replacing the lock and slid it under Emmas pillow as he laid down his head, his hand still on the soft leather of the cover as he closed his eyes and silently cried himself to sleep.

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Emma pushed the bug through the night and showed up at the address of the second name on her list. Hope securely stowed, she walked into the sterile building. This time her answer came quickly, the woman in question had regained her memories and was released into her family's care.

'Damn.' She cringed as she cursed the strangers' good fortune. She looked down at the last name. It was a hospital in Dover Maine. She wouldn't be able to make it there before morning and she already drove straight through to get to this dead end town. She needed sleep and she knew it. She pulled up trusty google, "The Google" her father called it, and searched for a motel she could catch a few hours and a shower at, pulled the address up on maps and headed out. "Man I hope this one is better than the last place."

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Lucy and Erin made it home and settled into domesticated bliss. Erin discovered she was an excellent cook, much to Lucys' surprise and gratitude. Lucy could, and has, burned boiling water, her mother was more of a free spirit and didn't bog herself down with things like cooking and cleaning so Lucy never really learned. While Erin was in the kitchen making dinner. Lucy was on her laptop in the living room looking through missing persons reports for Vermont. Erin wiped her hands off on the tea towel and flipped it over her shoulder. She lifted the casserole dish she had been working on and slid it into the oven. She set the timer and went out to join Lucy in the search.

"So, I was looking at doctors here who have experience in dealing with memory loss. There wasn't a lot to choose from to be honest." Erin said. Lucy looked up from the screen from the opposite side of the couch. "Hmhmm?" Erin repeated herself, "There doesn't seem to be a big need for shrinks with trauma induced amnesia experience in the Boston area." Lucy nodded, "Yeah well, you only need one." her lip curved up at her own joke. "Besides, most times the memories come back on their own. You already found that you can cook, which by the way, I couldn't be happier. The rest, well, it will hinge on finding your… roots." She chose the word carefully knowing Erin always flinched at the term "Family", whether she realized it or not. Lucy was certain the girls memories were there, just under the surface, waiting to be pulled out.

"Yes dear, well this is something I can do something about. I've made an appointment to see a Doctor Parker tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow is okay, yes?" Erin looked nervously at her friend. Friend? Yes, they've spent much time together, as far as Erin had known, Lucy was the only person on the planet who cared. She did care. She couldn't hide the emotion from creeping into her ice blue eyes when she spoke to Erin. Yes, in the short time they knew each other, Lucy had become more than just her savior, she has become her friend. "Whatever you think is best doll." The term of endearment warmed Erins heart.

"So I was thinking—" Lucy looked up once more, her undivided attention intently laid upon Erin. "When are you going to take me for a ride?" the questioning brunette smiled devilishly.

"You want to go out on my bike?" the older brunette asked and Erin nodded. Lucy smiled brightly. "How about tomorrow after your—thingie?" she thought about it for a moment then added, "We can go out for dinner. As much as I love your cooking, you deserve a break from having to do it."

"Oh, I don't mind, I mean, dinner would be lovely, but I rather enjoy cooking for you. It feels good to take care of you for a change."

Lucy blushed and snickered, "Yes well, what is a knight in shining chrome without her princess to save?"

Erin scoffed, "Princess? Please! I'm a Queen!" she joked.

"Oh! I'm sorry your majesty, my mistake." Lucy raised her hand in surrender.

"Don't be sorry Lucy, just improve." Erin sneered jokingly and the women laughed.

Chapter Text

Emma pulled into the Dover medical facility and parked the bug. She walked in through the glass doors and straight up to the young blonde behind the desk. "Hi, um…. Traci?" Emma noted her name tag, rolling her eyes at the spelling, "I'm looking for someone. You have a woman who was admitted over a month ago, with amnesia?" the blonde behind the counter looked up with dark brown eyes, she couldn't' have been older than 19 years old Emma thought, maybe she could just point to where an adult was so Emma could find her answers. "I'm sorry, um, who are you?"

Emma huffed, "I'm looking for my fiancée," Emma went straight for the lie, learning from the last two places she'd looked. "She is missing and this hospital submitted a report about a woman matching Reginas' description who had amnesia." The teen rolled her eyes, "Well I'm sorry I can't help you."

Seriously?

"Fine, can you get on your little phone there Traci and call an adult to come down and do your job for you?" the girl was stunned into silence, then picked up the phone and dialed the nurses station. "Val, there is some lady here asking questions about a patient. Ok, thanks!" she hung up the phone and pointed to the waiting room, "Have a seat." Without a word Emma spun around on her heel and walked out into the empty room full of chairs. She didn't sit, she paced, and waited for this 'Val' to come and tell her this was a dead end. Emma was frightened that Regina never made it out of the woods, who knows what memories she would have once she crossed the town line of Storybrooke, would she remember how to talk? Would she be reduced to infancy? She could be dead out in the wilderness and Emma would never know what happened to her. Emma had decided at the start of this, she would never give up the search. Not till she knew.

Val came through the double doors and headed towards the blonde that was pacing in the lobby. "Hello? How can I help you Miss?" Emma's eyes met the red head walking towards her, "Hi, my name is Emma Swan, I'm looking for my fiancée. I was told this hospital is treating a woman with amnesia, would I be able to see a picture or see her or something?" Valarie squinted her eyes at the anxious blonde, and shook her head, "Our Jane Doe was discharged well over a week ago." Emma closed her eyes, the tears fell from beneath her blonde lashes. "She got her memories back?" Emma whispered. "Well, no." Emma raised an eyebrow and turned on her phone, "Was this the woman?" Valerie looked shocked, "Yes, actually." Emma surprised them both and hugged Valerie. She pulled her back from the unexpected embrace, "Where is she? What was her condition?" Valerie shook her head, "I don't know where she is now, she was discharged into the care of the person who saved her life." Emma snapped to attention. "What?"

Val repeated herself, "Someone found her in the woods, they rescued her and stayed with her while she was in a coma. When Jane, er… Erin, she goes by, woke up, we discovered she had trauma induced retrograde amnesia."

"Who was it that took her?"

Val bit her lip, "Her name is Lu, but we don't have any other information about her. I know she wasn't a Dover native, and she rode a motorcycle." Emma shifted on her feet as her mind spun, "Ok. Um... Biker Lu, does she have a last name?" Val looked unamused, "I'm sure she does, but like I said, we don't have any records for her. She paid Erins' stay here in cash."

Emma narrowed her eyes, "Regina. Her name is Regina." Emma knew her anger was coming from worry and frustration over the last month and had nothing to do with the redhead in front of her, but she couldn't help herself. Valerie took a deep breath and pressed her lips together, most likely to stop herself from saying something she would regret. Emma sighed and sat down on the nearest chair. "I'm sorry. I've been going crazy looking for her and every time I think I'm close it seems like it just gets more complicated." Valerie put her hand on the blondes shoulder. "I'm sorry I couldn't be more help."

Emma got a physical description of the biker and then got back into her car and drove in the direction of Storybrooke, she would be there in under an hour.

"Of course it was the closest place to Storybrooke, she was on foot how the hell did you think she'd get up to fucking northern Maine for fuck sakes? Now she could be anywhere. With a biker named LU? Seriously? What the actual fuck?" she chastised herself.

'She is alive Swan. That is what matters. The nurse made it seem like the biker would care for her until you can find them. And… she's alive.'

She hated having to go home empty handed, Henry would be crushed.

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Lucy was waiting outside of Dr. Parkers office, leaning against her bike. She was dressed in full leathers, including her chaps, her HD motorcycle jacket and black leather boots. Her hair was pulled back in a long thick braid down the center of her back. She had on a red bandana around her forehead and dark black sunglasses. Her bike was gleaming in the sun, polished chrome sparkled. Her custom purple tank freshly waxed so well you could see your reflection. The leather seats conditioned and polished to a deep pearl luster. Her baby looked immaculate for this first ride. Erin came out of the office, her shoulder length hair pulled back in a clip, she stopped when she saw Lucy waiting for her across the street and her lips spread to a wide grin. She slowed her pace as she sauntered across the pavement of the side street. Even dressed in jeans and a tee-shirt, Erins' walk was predatory and sexy as hell. Lucy's mouth dropped as Erin came closer. "Going my way?" she purred. Lucy was a loss for words as she watched Erin circle around the back of the bike dragging her finger around the back seat. "She is beautiful." Erin commented. Lucy nodded then breathlessly whispered, "Indeed." The younger brunette laughed heartily. She knew Lucy was attracted to her, she could feel it, the way the woman looked at her when she thought Erin wasn't looking. It surprised her that it didn't make her feel uncomfortable, she trusted the woman. She knew Lucy would never act on those feelings, not unless Erin initiated. It was just far too complicated, but that didn't mean Erin couldn't flirt. She smiled as she stared at the leather clad woman, "Where we off to?" Lucy stood and pulled out a thin leather jacket and a beanie helmet and handed them to Erin. "Just a ride out down the beach." Lucy smiled as Erins eyes lit up at the mention of the ocean. She put her own helmet on and swung her leg over the bike, it was an old school kick start 1975 vintage sportster, two kicks and her baby purred alive. She revved the engine and straightened the bike up then motioned for Erin to get on. Erin did so ungracefully which made Lucy chuckle. The brunette settled herself on the back, wrapping her arms around Lucy's midsection and pulled herself tight against her back. "Are you afraid?" Lucy asked. Erin shook her head, "I trust you." Erin rested her head against the strong leather covered back of her savior and breathed in the rich spicy scent of the woman. They pulled away with a loud roar of the engine and guttural pops of the tail pipe echoing off the brownstones in their wake.

They rode up the coast for about an hour, the sun was starting to set and Lucy slowed and pulled into a parking spot at the edge of the sandy beach. She kicked the stand and powered down the bike. Erin felt numb from the vibrations of the machine, her legs were rubber and she almost fell when she tried to lift herself off the bike. Lucys hand darted out instantly to steady her, "Careful now, your Majesty."

Erin laughed. "My legs are jelly."

They pulled off their helmets and stowed them in the side bags, Lucy locking them down tight. "Can I put my shoes in there too?" Erin asked, "I want to feel the sand between my toes." Lucy nodded, "Sure thing." opening the side bag back up. They both took their shoes off and stowed them away.

They walked down the beach, Lucy stayed clear of the water, but Erin had rolled up her jeans and walked just close enough for the tide to bite the sides of her feet with the chill of the ocean. "So how was your first session?" Lucy asked.

"Dr. Parker is," she paused searching for the right adjective to describe the strange little man with a lisp. "interesting." She finished. This got an eyebrow raise from her companion, "How so?" Erin shrugged, "He is just odd. I mean I'm sure it'll be fine and everything, but he just has some strange quirks." Seeing that she would have to explain herself fully she continued. "Like, he definitely has some form of OCD, he does this hand drumming thing on the desk and he keeps these identical pens in a row on the edge all perfectly aligned and not touching. It's just odd. You'd think a psychiatrist would be able to fix himself."

Lucy laughed, "You would think that!"

"Yeah well, he wants to try hypnotherapy with me." Lucy pursed her lips together in contemplation. Then raised her eyebrow, "How does that make you feel?" she jested. Erin swatted at her arm and laughed. "I don't know, nervous. Maybe there is a reason I can't remember. Maybe I'm happier now." She looked into Lucys' eyes, the sunset coloring her normal blue, a deep purple. Lucy took the girls hand, "Or maybe, you have kids and a husband somewhere." Erin looked shocked and a little disgusted. "I don't have children, Nurse Valerie said when they did a physical exam of my, " she circled her hand around her hip area, "stuff," she continued with a light pink flooding her cheeks, "That I had never given birth." She bent down and picked up a smooth piece of glass shaped by the ocean. "Besides, when you found me, I wasn't wearing a ring." They continued to walk until the sun slipped below the edge of the waterline.

"You weren't wearing shoes either and you most certainly have feet." Lu snarked. "So hypnotherapy? Isn't that a little quacky?" Lucy asked as they walked back to the bike.

"I guess a little. Dr. Parker thinks it would be an easy way to break through the wall that is up. I told him about the dreams and he said that this method could be used to draw them out of the dream realm and into my consciousness. It will help make sense out of them, I guess."

"Easy isn't always best." Lucy said thoughtfully.

"I just feel like everything is right there," she held the hand she wasn't holding Lucy with out in front of her, "and I just can't grab it. I dream about a soft yellow light, it is safe and wonderful, and frustrating and irritating all at the same time."

"Then there is the lion dreams…" Erin trailed off. The scary painful dark dreams about being caged with the fearsome animal, he tears at her piece by piece all a while people in rags watch, cheering the lion on. Lucy squeezed Erins' hand within her own. "If you think it is best, just know if anything happens to you I will rip his quirky little face off."

Erin chuckled, "I'll be sure to warn him before our session dear. Besides I haven't decided if that is something I'm comfortable with yet. For now we are just going to discuss what we can. The dreams mostly, and how I'm adjusting."

"How are you adjusting?" Lucy inquired.

Erin shrugged her shoulders lightly, "As well as can be expected I suppose."

"You know you have my support no matter what you decide in terms of your recovery. I really don't know much about it," thinking silently back to the conversation she had with the doctor back in Dover, Maine, regarding Erins' extensive medical history. "But it sounds like cutting corners without knowing what exactly you are dealing with."

Erin sighed thoughtfully, "Yeah, but I'm somewhat anxious to just get on with it, my life, that is. I feel like I've wasted years and now have an opportunity to really find out who I am. What my interests are. Does that make sense to you?"

"It does." Lucy said quietly, paused then added, "You don't have a ticking clock. I rather enjoy your company Erin."

Erin touched the tall dark woman on the arm, "Always my knight…" she sighed.

"Besides what happens if you wake up with your memories and you are a psychopathic mass murderer from Florida? Or, god forbid, a Yankees fan?" Erin shook her head as she chuckled. "I could be in for a pretty big shock!" Lucy concluded.

They drove back to Lucys apartment, it was a 20 minute drive down town where they lived. Lucy parked and was rubbing down her baby with a cloth diaper she kept in one of the many compartments she had on the bike. "What should I wear?" Lucy looked up and tried not to smile but her mischief shown clearly in her eyes, "I put something out for you on your bed. I hope this one fits." Erin met her companions glance and slit her eyes tight, "What did you do dear?"

"Go see." Was all the response she was going to get and she knew it. She turned and left the woman to finish wiping down her motorcycle and took the elevator up to their floor.

She entered the apartment using the key Lucy had cut for her a few days back, and went into her room. On her bed was two white boxes each tied with sheer red ribbon. She picked up the card that was resting on top, "Erin" was printed neatly on the envelope. She opened the card, it was a simple white card made of a thick pulp with a pattern embossed on the cover. She opened it up and read the simple message. "For my Queen." The running queen joke that started had quickly become 'their' thing made her chuckle. She laid the card down on the dresser behind her next to her sand dollar and opened the larger of the two boxes. Inside was a beautiful black dress, silver zippers adorned either side and the neck line plunged down low. It was smoking hot and she instantly loved it. She looked down and noticed the dress wasn't alone in the box, a lovely set of undergarments and pantyhose lay at the bottom. She laid the dress out carefully on the bedspread and lifted the red lace bra, holding it up to measure it. Perfect fit. The sides of her lips curled up in appreciation. She put the rest of the contents of the first box down next to the dress and lifted the second box, it was smaller, but heavier than the first one had been. She opened it up to discover a pair of highly polished black high heels. A tight leather bow affixed on the top of each heel. Her fingers slid over the polished leather in deep appreciation. A voice from the doorway to her room snapped her out of her daze. "Do you like them?"

Erin nodded, "Yes, thank you Lucy." Lucy looked down, "I was going to get you red, but I'm partial to black and," her little devious pirate smile spread out dimpling her cheek, "I'm the one who has to look at you, so—"

Erin recovered quickly from the shock of being flirted back at, "Yes well, I'm surprised it's not leather."

Lucys' eyes bulged at the image that flashed in her mind of Erins body covered in a short black leather dress. "Would you have worn it if it were?"

Erin scoffed, "Of course! Leather looks amazing on me. Go get dressed, I'm jumping in the shower." She stood and grabbed Lucys hand as she turned to leave her bedroom, quickly turning her to face her she wrapped her arms around Lucys neck hugging her fiercely. "Thank you, it's beautiful." Lucys hands held still at Erins sides, she was always awkward with displays of affection. Erin kissed her cheek chastely.

"You're welcome Erin."

The women got dressed separately, Lucy was done and waiting in the living room long before Erin made her entrance. She had used some of Lucy's makeup, mostly eyeliner and mascara, and deep ruby red lipstick Lucy had bought last year at Halloween. She had her hair slicked back away from her face pulled tight into a ponytail at the base of her neck. Her hair had grown out several inches since her time in the hospital.

The dress fit her like a glove, the neckline plunged down between her breasts, the lace of her red bra tracing just a hint around the edges. The hem of the dress fell a few inches above her knees, and she had the left side zipper unzipped at the bottom locked into place at her hip, exposing her entire left thigh. The height of the heels pulled her calves into tight sculpted globes and made her ass pop.

"God damn!" Lucy whispered without thought. That got an immediate blush out of Erin who continued to walk out into the living room. "It looks ok on me then?"

"God. Damn." Lucy replied with a nod.

"So where are we going?" Erin chuckled.

"Some fancy French restaurant Cyndi booked for us. I have an address, but I have never been there. Chez Snutee or something equally French." Lucy snorted at her own joke. She stood, she was dressed in a plain black suit, a white button up silk shirt opened at the top. Her hair was down, but the sides were feathered back out of her face. She held out the crook of her arm, "Your Majesty, your carriage awaits."

The restaurant was at the top floor of a high rise building, they took the elevator up, it was made of gold and glass and as it ascended above the first floor the city opened up behind them. The lights from the buildings spread out as far as the eye could see and the further they went up, the more magical the city looked. "That is simply breathtaking Lu." Lucy wasn't looking at the city when she agreed with the womans assessment. The elevator stopped and the doors behind them opened to a dimly lit room. Lucy waved her hand and guided her date through the golden doors. She followed the brunette into the room and confidently walked up to the host who stood behind a podium. "Reservation for Minstros, party of two." She held two of her fingers up in the peace sign and smirked at the thin little man with his thin little tie and thin little mustache. He had a thick, obviously fake, French accent which made Erin snort out a laugh when he said, "But of course! Right this way Madame!" They followed him to their table, the place had several other patrons, but the tables were all spread out quite far giving the sense of solitude for each couple. Their table was set up on a platform of sorts next to the floor to ceiling windows. The view was fantastic and Erin gasped as they walked closer to their table. She instinctively grabbed Lucys hand and squeezed. "This is amazing Lu." The thin little Frenchmen tried to pull out Erins chair only to be shooed away by Lucy who immediately took over, "Your Majesty." She bowed slightly and Erin sat.

Lucy knew a bit about wine, she had learned from a client she had a few years back, so she waited until they ordered before choosing the vintage. Erin felt a little nervous, when they first arrived she felt open and comfortable, but once they sat down, something changed in her. She tried hard to ignore it, she didn't want to ruin her companions night with irrational fears.

"I have no idea what I like." Erin said, the tension she felt shone clear through her dark eyes, though she tried to mask it with a chuckle.

"Are you okay?" Lucy picked up on Erins uneasiness quickly. Erin pulled her eyebrows tight and pursed her lips, she said both "yes" and shook her head no, which Lucy decided was an affirmative no. "What's wrong?" Erin shook out her hands trying to calm herself as the anxiety rose in her. "I don't know. I'm… I… don't know." Lucy looked around the dark room, "Is it the height? I can ask for a table away from the windows." She offered. "I don't think so, I just feel really, I don't know. Like it is too quiet in here, or too dark maybe?" Lucy stood and offered her hand for Erin to stand as well. "Let's go. " A trickle of sweat formed on Erins upper lip, she tried to protest, to assure Lucy she was fine, but Lucy wouldn't have it. "I hate French food anyway, they drown everything in creamy sauce and cheese." Erin lifted a shaky hand and took the offer, standing on shaky legs she felt her chest close up like she couldn't breathe. She nodded emphatically, and followed the woman towards the exit. Once they got into the brightly lit elevator Erin began to puff large breaths of air. She bent over, her hands clasped to her knees and just breathed. Lucy rubbed the small of Erins back as she fought for control over her anxiety attack. The elevator doors opened to display the dimly lit lobby of the building. It too was dark and Erin had to steady herself against Lu.

"Hey, talk to me." Lucy said, deliberately not stepping forward into the dimmed lobby. Dark chocolate orbs were wide, staring out into the dark, her body was rigid and she broke out into a cool sweat. "I don't think I can make myself go in there Lu." Her voice was panicked and Lucy nodded. "Okay, here's what we are going to do. Close your eyes, tight, and just keep breathing." Erin did what she was told and Lucy swept the tiny brunette up into her arms. Erin let out a surprised gasp, but never opened her eyes. She buried her face into Lucy's lapel as the woman easily carried her out of the building. She finally opened her eyes as the sound of traffic and city bustling was all around them, the bright lights of the buildings and cars made the area feel less like night and more like late afternoon. She was instantly able to breathe easier.

Erin was embarrassed and the deep red that flushed over her chest rose into her cheeks. "I'm so sorry! I feel horrible. I don't know what happened!" Lucy carefully touched Erins' feet to the ground, holding her steady as she regained her upright position. "You had a panic attack." Lucy stated plainly. Erin looked mortified, as if the weakness she exhibited alone would break her into a thousand pieces. "Hey, it's really fine, I promise. That Lumiere guy who seated us, gave me the creeps. Besides I'm sure there is a perfectly justifiable explanation that you can't quite remember at the moment." Lucy shrugged her shoulders. She held out her hand to Erin who sheepishly took it. "You are always saving me Lu."

"That's my job." Lucy quipped with a grin. "Let's find a well-lit, noisy place to eat, I'm starved." They walked up the street about a block or so before they stumbled upon a Tex-Mex style restaurant with an outdoor patio for dining. Lucy grinned wide and waggled her eyebrows at Erin who just laughed at the womans ridiculousness. "Eh? You can't go wrong with Mexican!" Erin nodded her head in approval and they headed in.

After dinner they drove home in comfortable silence, Erin had a couple of margaritas at the restaurant and was feeling a little tipsy by the time they got to the car. She rested her head on the cool window as she was driven back to Lucys' apartment.

Lucy opened the front door and ushered Erin in, "M'Lady" she goaded. Erin reached out and grabbed Lucys' hand as she walked past her into the apartment. She guided her hand to her own waist and turned into Lucy, pressing her body fully against her, her hands slipped up around the back of Lucy's neck pulling the woman down into an unexpected kiss. Lucy grasped Erin around her shoulders and pulled back from the embrace. "What are you doing?"

Erin looked hurt at the rejection, and Lucy's cool chips of sapphire intensely focused on every single inch of the beautiful brunettes face, she spoke from the only place she could, her heart. "Erin, I would be the absolute luckiest woman on the planet to be chosen by you, but you have so many unanswered questions. Too many. What if you have a wife or a girlfriend somewhere?" the brunettes eyes teared up as she answered, "If I did, which I sincerely doubt, they clearly don't care enough to look for me." Lucy took the trembling chin of the woman before her in the palm of her hand, "You have no idea the circumstances on which you were separated. Maybe they think you left? Maybe you DID leave? Maybe they think you are dead?"

She pulled her chin away from the embrace, "If you don't want me, just say so—" A delicate touch clasped Erins' fingertips and they were brought to Lucys' pink lips. A feather light kiss placed upon her knuckles took Erins breath away. "That's not what this is about Erin. I think I've loved you from the moment I found you." A thick juicy tear swelled up over Erins' black lashes, it spilled over when she blinked. "I need to protect myself as well. If you wake up suddenly with your memories intact and realize you have a husband,"

"I don't have a husband—"

"Or a wife or girlfriend or whatever, I wouldn't try to keep you here, and if I let this—" She ran her hand down the length of Erins bare arm, "Happen—I would get hurt. It would mean more than just a casual thing to me." Erin understood. She had a deep comprehension of self-preservation somehow, and she knew the woman was right. "I'm sorry." She said, more than a little embarrassed. "Please, don't be, if I met you in a bar, I would be ALL over you. You look like chocolate cake in that dress." Erin laughed out loud, "What?"

Lucys' eyes darkened, "Good enough to eat." She wagged her eyebrows at Erin and then they both laughed.

"I feel so scattered." Erin sighed as she rested her head against Lucy's chest.

"I know. I'd like to tell you it will get better, but really I have no idea."

Erin lifted her head and looked up into Lucys' eyes. "Thank you." Erin said. Lucys' unvoiced question passed over her expression. "For saving me, even from myself."

Lucy chuckled and ran her index finger over the tip of Erins nose. "This time, I was saving me."

Chapter Text

Emma crossed over the town line back into Storybrooke. Deflated and discouraged that her search had been a fruitless endeavor.

'She is alive. That is the best news yet. She is alive and I'm going to find her.'

That has to count for something, the woman thought. She still felt the failure thoroughly and wasn't looking forward to the look in Henry's eyes.

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It had been several weeks that Erin had been seeing Dr. Parker and Lucy noticed a steady decline in the womans' demeanour. Her nightmares were increasing in both intensity and frequency, and as a result she has become more distant and withdrawn. Lucy has broached the subject with her on several occasions, hinting that perhaps the therapy method Dr. Parker was using didn't seem to be a good fit for Erin. She had not recovered any of her memories, she has just declined steadily. This morning was the morning after a violent outburst the night before, Lucy came running into Erins' room to find the woman crying out and thrashing on the bed. Lucy had to shake her before she would wake and once she did she cried in her arms. "I don't even know why these dreams upset me so much." She said between sobs. Lucy cradled her in her arms, stroking her hair and soothing her with whispers that it will all be ok, that she was safe.

"I'm worried about you." Lucy said as Erin put the plate of French toast down in front of her. "I'm fine, really Lu."

"But you really aren't. You've lost weight, your nightmares are—"

"I know, I'm sorry I woke you last night." Erin cut her off quietly.

"It isn't about that, it is about you, Erin. You aren't the woman who woke up in Dover a few months ago."

"If this," Erin waves her hand over her head, "is getting too much for you Lucy, I can look into seeing what the state offers for long term treatment. You've already done so much for me already, I don't want to be a bother."

Lucy looks at the small brunette, angry that she would even consider leaving, upset that she is obviously missing her point and scared that she is slipping away. She pushes her plate away and stands, pacing the length of the kitchen before reigning in her emotions so she can speak.

"No." she walks over to Erin who has turned from the table, back towards the sink. Lucy curls her fingers around Erins' bicep, the amount of weight the girl has lost is evident in this simple gesture and Lucy fights the tears that are prickling behind her eyes. She turns Erins' lithe frame to face her and forces her to look her in the eyes.

"I don't want you to leave. I want you to admit that what Dr. OCD is doing, isn't working for you." She pauses, "There are other doctors. I'm worried that if you continue this way, I'm going to lose you."

"Ok." Erin whispers. "but…" her eyes drop to where Lucy has hold of her hands, "What if this is who I was? Moody, angry and depressed?" the answer scared the hell out of her and as she asked the question her voice shook with emotion.

"I don't believe that." Lucy said confidently. "You may be complicated Erin, but your truth, is wonderful. You're under stresses that you can't even begin to understand the causes for, and that in itself, is compounding the situation."

Erin nodded. She knew she hadn't gotten any closer to understanding the nightmares she had. Not even the dreams that comforted her, All of the dreams she had that comforted her circled around the same yellow color. None of it made sense. In the time she has been with Dr. Parker she hasn't remembered a single thing since before waking up in the hospital. She knew Lucy was right. It was time to start getting some answers. "I've got an appointment Monday with Dr. Parker. We'll discuss treatment options."

This satisfied Lucy and she pulled the girl into a warm hug. "That's all I ask sweetie."

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Emma awoke in Reginas' office; she had fallen asleep at the computer and as she lifted her head, paper clips stuck to her cheek. Her mouth was a desert and she was no closer to finding the mysterious biker. She had searched for weeks, online, following up leads as they came about, few and far between as they had been. She was losing hope, fast. She had moved into the Mills Mansion, mostly for Henry, to keep him in a routine he was familiar with, but also because it comforted Emma to be around Reginas' belongings. She brought over a few of her own things and moved them into the spare room down the hall from Henry's bedroom, but she slept in Reginas' room at night. Often Henry would crawl into the large queen size bed in the middle of the night with her. It comforted both of them.

Emmas' phone buzzed next to the laptop.

Mom: I'm outside.

"Shit." Emma cursed, she completely forgot breakfast with her mother was this morning. On Mary Margarets' insistence, they started having breakfast Sundays and Wednesdays. Today was Sundays turn and Emma had fallen asleep doing research and didn't set an alarm.

Emma: Come in, I'm still getting ready.

She lied as she unlocked the door and quickly ran up the stairs to put on some clean clothes and run a rake through her mop. She grabbed a pair of jeans off the chaise in Reginas room and sniffed them. "Good enough." She pulled them on and grabbed one of Reginas silk button down tops from the closet. She went into the in suite bathroom to brush her teeth when she heard the front door close.

"Emma?" her mothers' voice echoed in the foyer.

Emma spit out the tooth paste and wiped her mouth on the towel hanging on the rack next to the sink. "Coming!" she answered loudly. She looked at herself in the mirror, she was a mess. She pulled her hair back into a sloppy pony tail and rubbed the side of her head where distinct paper clip indents stood out a prominent red against her pale skin.

She grabbed her wallet and squeezed it into the back pocket of her jeans, even though her mother always paid, she felt the need to bring it even if it was just to show she didn't assume that was the case. The woman had been her friend long before she was her mother, or was it the other way around? Yeah who can keep this wack a doodle life straight? She was in love with her mothers' step-mother who was also the adopted mother of the son she gave up at birth. The whole thing gave her a headache. She raced down the stairs and stopped short at the bottom when she didn't see Mary Margaret anywhere. "Mom?" she called out. "In here sweetie." Her mothers gentle voice came from the office she awoke from. Emma went into the room to find her mother behind Reginas large oak desk, her hands on her hips looking at the state of the work area before her. "Emma… Did you sleep here?" Emma scoffed at the woman like that was the craziest thing she has ever said. "N-no.. I—"

"Really? Because the drool puddle begs to differ…" she looked up at her daughters horrified face, "And the clip marks on your cheek backs up the puddles claim." She smirked at her daughter knowingly. "You know Regina will kill you for ruining her desk blotter." Emmas eyes widened searching the top of the desk for the offending stain. "I just… was working late and—"

"Yes honey, I know. Come on, let's go get something to eat down at Granny's. Is my grandson here?" Emma shook her head, "No, he had a sleep over at Nicks last night."

"Guess it is just the two of us then, which is good, we need to talk."

Emma rolled her eyes, she knew this was coming for some time. The 'it is time to give up the search' talk. Her parents had been very supportive of the whole thing, caring for Henry whenever Emma needed to leave town to run down a lead. Her father especially, who had taken over the Sheriff duties full time, but she knew they wouldn't do it forever. She had hoped that she would come across something, anything that would lead her to the biker by now. It had been nearly a month and she has hit nothing but dead ends and false leads. The stress of it has taken its toll on the blonde, she knew, but even without her parents support, she wouldn't stop looking for the woman.

As she suspected, once their order for breakfast was placed Snow jumped into the 'We are worried about you...' speech she seemingly had planned for that morning.

"Listen, mom, I get it ok? Really, but I am not stopping the search." Emma Swan was a dog with a bone and she wasn't letting this bone go. "She is OUT THERE, somewhere, and I… I need…" Emma fought the tears she knew were coming as the look of pity crossed her mothers face, "I need to find her. Henry needs his mother."

"Henry has his mother." Snow countered.

Emma slammed her hand down on the table startling half the diner. "Regina is his mother!" she said loudly.

"I just meant—" Snow stammered out.

"I know what you meant." She spat with anger, "You all are happy she is gone. The Evil Queen is gone and no one gives a shit how that effects Henry and me!"

"Henry and you?" the brunette looked honestly confused.

Emma rolled her eyes as if it should be obvious to her mother and she was a little annoyed she had to spell it out to her. "I love her."

"Emma, you can't!" Snows' face was properly horrified at the prospect of her daughter being in love with the Evil Queen.

"Why? Why can't I? She is amazingly complicated! You think all that time we spent fighting one another, then saving one another didn't MEAN anything to me? She completes me, Snow. She knows loss and heartache and pain the way I know them, the way no one I've ever met has. She is caring and loves so deeply, she—"

"Is the Evil Queen, Emma!" Snow interrupted her daughters tirade.

"She is the Queen. YOU gave her the title of Evil Snow. You gave her that title because you could never understand who she is. You could never understand the loss or the pain she has felt. That either of us has felt."

"I know pain! I know loss! She killed my father—" Snow looked as if she were going to cry.

"Your father deserved it." Emma hissed through gritted teeth. "She was kind in comparison to what he did to her and you have the gall to defend him?" Emma shook her head. "No! No. This conversation is over. I need to get back to work." Emma stood up and pushed past Ruby who was bringing their breakfast to the table, and walked out the door, leaving her mother to cry quietly alone in the booth.

Emma kicked a mail box as she stormed up the street, "Ow ow OW son of a B—" she hopped on her good foot as she cursed. A few nuns, or fairies, whatever, walked past her and whispered to one another. "Mind your business Sisters!" she growled and limped back up the hill towards Reginas house.

A few hours after her fight with Snow, Emma was in Reginas' office, back at it and getting absolutely no where. Henry walked in the house, his overnight bag tossed over his shoulder, "MOM? I'm home!" he called out into the house.

"Henry! I'm in here." She called back to him. He dropped his bag at the bottom of the stairs and went into the office and sat down on one of the two plush chairs in front of the desk. "Any luck?" he said with hope. "No. How was Nicks?" she asked not looking away from the computer screen.

"It was okay, his sister is weird." He looked nervous.

This tore her focus from the computer and she eyed her son looking for meaning in his eyes. "Weird how?"

"I don't know, she is always around and laughs at everything I say, even when it's not funny. It's just weird." He was kicking his feet into the front of the desk anxiously, and not looking into his mother's green knowing eyes.

"What does Nick say?" she pried.

He shrugged his shoulders, "We don't talk about it."

"You know how when boys and girls like each other, like, like-like each other, they try to hang around each other all the time, maybe she like-likes you?" Emma tried to put it in terms the kid could understand.

"Ew mom!" Henry scrunched up his face, wrinkling up his nose in the cutest way possible.

"You are a good looking boy, Henry. You got it from me." She smiled wide. "Do you like Gretel?" she inquired carefully. She knew the girl refused to use her cursed name, unlike Hansel who preferred Nick.

"She's alright I guess. It is cool she knows all about star wars and comics and stuff." He said appreciatively. "I just don't think I like her like her. Not like kiss her like her." He blushed.

"That is okay too Henry." Emma beamed at his maturity level. She wished Regina was here to get in on this primo mother-son bonding moment. The spontaneous thought of the brunette saddened Emma considerably. "I need you to pack some stuff, I'm going to Boston tonight and you're going to stay with Mary Margaret and David." She said suddenly.

"I thought you haven't had any luck?" he looked confused by the change of tone in his mother.

"I am going to go get help." She said cryptically.

He looked skeptical, but stood and did as he was told. She googled the address for her friend Lance Lange in Boston, he was a PI and was the best damn hunter she'd ever known. He had never let her down before and could find a needle in a stack of needles. She typed the address into her google maps on her phone, then called her father. She just wasn't ready to deal with her mother and this was the cowards' way of handling the situation.

"Emma?" her fathers voice was strained, clearly he had spoken to his wife.

"Hi, I need you guys to take Henry for a few days." She ignored the Snow topic all together and got down to the meat of the call immediately.

"You've found something?" he sounded skeptical, but hopeful at the same time.

"I.. I don't know. I just need to go to Boston." She stated then added, "If you are done helping me because of the argument I had with Snow, that's fine, I'll ask Rubes—"

"No." David interrupted, "We will be happy to take him honey."

"Thanks Dad." She whipped out the D word when she was truly grateful, or when he seemed to really need it. This was both of those instances rolled into one. "I'll drop him off in a couple hours."

'When you are home from the station so I don't have to hear a lecture from your wife.' Was unsaid but went through the blondes head.

"Ok sweetheart. See you then." She disconnected the call and closed down her laptop.

She headed upstairs and poked her head into Henry's room. "You hungry or anything?" He was sitting on the bed with a tan book in his lap. He looked like he was crying. "Hey, kid? You ok?" his mother asked alarmed by what she saw. He looked startled by her presence and closed the book trying to hide it under the covers. "What is that?" she asked.

"Nothing." He lied terribly.

The look she gave him clearly said, 'Really? You think I didn't see the book? Seriously Henry?' but she didn't say anything, just waited for the boy to come clean.

"It's a book." He was looking more and more guilty by the moment.

"A book about what?" she moved into the room and sat on the edge of his bed. She didn't reach for the book, although she wanted to, she just waited for her son to explain himself.

"It's moms." He said quietly. She raised her eyebrow. "Oh?" expecting a better explanation than that.

"It is her diary. I found it after she left. I just wanted something of her near me. I just miss her so much." Fresh tears fell down the apples of his cheeks. "I know I shouldn't have read it, she would be upset that I did, I just miss her!" he choked out through sobs as he crashed into his blonde mothers embrace. She couldn't exactly lecture the kid as she had done the exact same thing, her mind reeled at the contents of this journal, as the one she read, Henry could never know about. "What does it say?" she asked simply.

"Just stuff about Storybrooke. She was trying so hard to change. For me. For you."

"For me?" Emmas pulled him back to look at him intently.

"Yeah, her opinion of you changed after you saved her from the wraith." He said. "She said in here," he picked the book up from under the covers and placed it on his lap, "That she regretted letting Mr. Gold scare her about her mom so much that she almost killed you and Snow. She was really afraid of her mom though." Emma audibly gulped before she asked the question of her son, "Did she say why she was afraid of her?"

Henry shook his head, "No not really, I guess Cora wasn't very nice. She was the Queen of Hearts, she ripped out peoples hearts for a living! That is plenty to be scared of I guess!" Emma smiled at her son, "She wasn't very nice at all."

"So you're not mad I read it?" he asked hopefully. "Well I'm not thrilled, but I understand you just missed her. I know all this has been hardest on you, Henry." He looked up, his hazel eyes dark with emotion, "I was a real asshole to her, mom."

"Henry!" she was startled by his use of profanity, "You weren't an asshole kid."

"I was. Before the curse broke, I mean I know she lied to me and everything, but she still took care of me. She loved me. I knew she loved me, but I would tell her I didn't think she did, and she wrote in this book how that broke her heart." He started crying again as he spoke of his mothers' heart break.

"Henry—" Emma tried to console him, but he wasn't having it. "No Emma! Even after the curse broke! She was trying to be good! She was trying after everything she had done she was finally trying and—" his face crumpled, unable to say the words. Emma wrapped her arms around the boy and let him cry it out. "She said I threw her away like a piece of garbage for the chance at a brand new mommy!" he sobbed. "And I did! I did! And now she is gone and all I want is my mom back! My mom who took care of me when I was sick and read bed time stories to me! I want her back Emma! I just want her back!" he was full on wailing, fighting against the tide of his loss, holding on tightly to his blonde mother as if he let go he would slip beneath the surface of his agony and drown in his sorrow. She stroked his hair and soothed him the best she could, but she had no experience with this kind of interaction. She was the fun mom, the play video games and eat french fries mom, the stay up late and have chocolate ice cream for breakfast mom.

Regina was his Mother.

Regina could sooth him and make everything okay with a hug and a smile and Emma felt her absence greatly in that moment. That moment when their son needed her, she had never felt so un-motherly in all the time he had been in her life. She kissed his head and just held him, not knowing what to say.

Chapter Text

It was just after 5 PM that Emma drove her bug into town towards her parents' loft. She had packed a few days worth of clothes and booked a room down town Boston for as many days. She secretly packed a pair of Reginas' pajamas and although she felt guilty doing it, she didn't feel guilty enough to not. All of Reginas clothes still had the womans scent on them and Emma couldn't get enough. She never wore them when Henry was at home, she didn't want to have to explain to him why it comforted her. She just liked the feel of the cool silk on her skin, wrapped up in Reginas scent, made her miss her just a little less. It was ridiculous, and pathetic and she didn't want anyone to know.

She stood outside her parents door with her son and his belongings and knocked on their door. David, thankfully answered, sporting a wide grin for Henry's sake. Emma knew immediately by the tension between them, Snow had gone into great detail about their conversation. Well as long as they take care of him while she does this, they'll talk about the finer details of her, infatuation, another time.

"David." Emma nodded. Now was not the time for 'dad' and she knew it. She followed her son into the loft then bent down on one knee and hugged him. "Good luck." He said hopefully. "Thanks kid. You be good and listen to Mary Margaret and David while I'm gone. I won't be long." Snow was pretending to be busy in the kitchen and didn't even look over at the blonde as she said good bye to her son. Emma stood and ignored her right back, looking to David with a poignant eyebrow raise. "Thanks for taking him. Call me if you need me." He nodded silently. Without another word, or even a glance at her mother, Emma left the loft.

She got in her car and headed out of town. She turned on the radio and blasted some 2k pop station to push away the emotions she had towards her mother at the moment. She needed to focus on the job, and things between them were too complex and distracting. She had a 4 hour drive ahead of her and didn't want to dwell on it, so she sang loudly and off key to sugar pop.

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Emma pulled into the parking garage and parked the bug. She was exhausted, and her emotions were stretched to the limit. It was evening and she hoped it wouldn't be too late for Lance to still be in his office. As she walked up the staircase she cursed the man for not having the decency of having an elevator that worked. The damn thing has been broken for as long as she's known the guy. It was just unreasonable and it baffled her, how he kept clients she will never know. As she rounded the 4th floor heading further up, panic set in, hoping he wasn't out on a job, if for the simple fact that she's trudged herself up the damn stairs for nothing would ultimately break her. The stair well smelled exactly the same as she remembered. The over powering stench of urine and garbage left out in the sun wafted up from the depths below. It turned her stomach. The last meal she had eaten was a greasy burger at some truck stop diner on the highway on the way down here, she had no intention on experiencing that crime against fast food, again. She breathed through her mouth and tried not to think of anything rude or disgusting as she finally made it to the 6th floor. She burst through the stairwell doors leading to the narrow hallway and sucked back air that wasn't piss ridden. She saw the finish line at the end of the hall and the light shone through the frosted glass window that made up half the door. Someone was in.

Emma opened the door to Lance's office, it was just as dingy as it had always been. 'Nothing ever changes.' She mused to herself. The back office light was lit and she could hear rustling coming from the back room. "Hello?" she called out, "Lance?"

The ruggedly handsome blonde man appeared in the open doorway of his office. "Ehmmma! What you doin darlin?" His southern accent was always a charmer and when he was out on the town and picking up women, suddenly it became much thicker. "Lance! I'm so glad you are here!" and she was, the thought of having to track him down had panicked her around floor 3 in the stairwell. "Jeezus girrrl, how long it been?" she blushed, they had dated briefly when they first met, but she had quickly come to realize he was a douche in a leather string tie. When Henry showed up on her door step she left town and everyone she ever knew, Lance included. "It's been a few years at least. I'm in Maine now."

'and I have a kid and found my parents who are Snow White and Prince Charming and could you help me find my girlfriend the evil queen?'

"Whutchu doin up in that back woods no where state girl?"

"Sheriff actually. Small town, not really interesting."

"Want to go get a drink?" he had that gleam in his eye as he looked her over, but she was just so damn stressed out, she could probably stand a beer.

"Yeah, sure Lance. I have a job for you though if we could get business out of the way first?"

"Do you now, do tell baby doll."

Emma related as much as she could about the Mayor who had mysteriously gone missing. She left out massive details obviously, but got to the meat of what she knew.

"Some biker woman, first name Lu? Last name unknown, non-Maine resident, tall, dark hair tattoos, the nurse gave a detailed description on her neck tat, script 'Justice' written along the right side of her neck."

He sat back and listened to her, when she described the tattoo his eyebrows raised with interest. "You know somethin darlin, I have a friend, who had a girl once upon a time and that there girl done run off with a defense attorney. I can't say for sure if that's this fish you lookin to bait, damn sure she has a tat you describe. I've never seen her, but Bucky said that dyke is crazy fuckin hot."

Emma held onto the box within her heart that held the hope she boxed up and set aside. "Defense Attorney with a tat that says Justice, huh? You know her name?"

"Nope, but she practices here in Bean town girl, can't be too hard to find I reckon." Emma smiled wide. "You are the best Lance."

"Hell yeah I am! How bout that drink Swanny?" She wanted to get into researching the mysterious woman asap, but she owed him at least one drink. "First round is on me!" she said with a smile. "Get'er Dun!" he hissed.

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After several drinks with Lance, then staying off his advances for a 'good ole boy bang for ole time sakes', Emma rolled into a nearby motel she had reserved earlier that day. She opened the door and looked at the bed, at least it looked clean. She dropped her bag on the floor and locked and chained the door before getting undressed and jumping in the shower.

Her skin was bright red after her hot shower; it contrasted against the scratchy white towel she had wrapped around her. Her wet blonde hair scraped back, her natural curls pulled pin straight. She lifted her bag and pulled out Reginas' pajamas. She wasn't entirely sure what possessed her to bring them, but looking at them just reminded her of the brunette so damn much.

She had seen her wear them once, Emma had come by the manor earlier than she normally would have to pick up her son for school, and Henry had let her in. Regina was still in her pajamas standing in the kitchen making pancakes for them both. Her hair was disheveled with bed head, her skin devoid of makeup. She looked absolutely breathtaking that morning, Emma remembered. That was the first time the Mayor of Storybrooke appeared to be human in Emmas' eyes, instead of the Queen of Sass she had masked herself to be to the outside world. Of course Emma always thought the woman attractive, she had eyes after all, but that morning had changed her view of Regina. It was the kink in the sheriffs armor that allowed the woman to win her heart. Albeit a small kink, and it took much time for them to get to a place where they could effectively co-parent their son; even more time before Emma allowed herself to trust Regina. She did though. Perhaps it took Regina leaving for her to truly realize how much she felt for the woman. She loved her. She wanted her back. She was Emmas family after all, she belonged in Storybrooke, even if her memories never game back.

'Shit. What if her memories never come back?'

'What if she finds her and this "Erin" is happy and carefree without the memories of her crazy abusive mother and horrible Evil Queen life?'

Emma started to panic. 'Damn it Swan pull it together, let's FIND her, the rest of it we will deal with as it comes.'

Sitting on the bed she pulled the top on over her head, its' silky feel caressing her body. She pulled the pants up resting them low on her hips. Regina was much shorter than Emma, when not in her fuck me heels and the bottom of the satin pants hung a half inch too high. She walked over to the make shift desk in the corner where there was a few menus for local take out places and a pad of paper with the hotel logo and a pen. She put a towel over the chair and sat down, she knew Regina would have a total shit fit if she didn't take care of her clothing, that included whatever revolting unseen disgusting-ness that resided on that scuzzy motel chair.

Miss Swan if you are going to steal my property, the least you can do it care for it as if it were MINE.

She could hear the brunettes objection in her mind which made her smile. She took out her phone and opened up Chrome to google Boston defense attorneys. There were several, but one stuck out on the second page, "Lucille Minstros" she opened the site, it was simple and had contact information for her. It appeared as though she worked out of her home, which was good news for Emma. She wrote down some contact info the site had, then looked the woman up on Facebook. Her cover picture was a striking woman in a white tank top, jeans with leather chaps leaning against a bike. Sculpted, tattooed, arms folded across her chest. Piercing blue eyes and jet black hair cascading around her shoulders. She was, indeed, "crazy fuckin hot" as Lance had described. The photo of the woman made Emmas heart beat skip and a flash of heat ripped up her body that settled in her center, until she thought about Regina. Regina WITH this raven haired, blue eyed biker. Riding BITCH on her bike! Straddling her between Reginas legs. She was everything Emma wasn't. Emma slammed her phone down and threw it across the room. She leapt up and started to pace, mind reeling in jealousy.

'Jealousy? What the SHIT Swan? First of all, this is Regina! Even IF she gets her memories back, and let's face it that is a big mother fucking IF, she HATES you! Second of all, she LEFT you! She ABANDONED YOU!'

She was seething with complex emotions until her stupid brain broke her.

'You abandoned her first.'

'Fuck. Shut up! She left HENRY god damn it!'

'There is no way in sweet fucking hell you can go off on this smoking hot lawyer because she picked up your broken toy and tried to fix her!'

'She was never yours Swan.'

'AND she would smack you for comparing her to a toy to be played with!'

'I bet Lu plays with her every night. Makes her beg to get fucked… on her hands and knees…'

She growls and punches the metal lined door. "SON OF A BITCH!" she pulls back her hand that instantly broke open. "Fuck fuck fuckity fuck FUUUUUCK!"

Emma didn't sleep that night. She lay in bed and tried to quiet her brain from taunting her.


 

Chapter Text

The next day she was in the foyer of a posh building equipped with its' very own door man. She had the desk clerk call up to announce her arrival, she hadn't called first, she preferred a face to face encounter. She had no special power over the phone.

Lucy came down to the lobby, Emma was hoping to be granted access to the apartment, but she quickly realized the woman wasn't an idiot and the people she defended were at best associated with the criminal element. As soon as the wall of confidence and sex walked off the elevator, Emma lost her game face. Cool chips of ice looked her up and down as if sizing her up in a single glance and knowing, KNOWING Emma was nothing. She wasn't the savior she pretended to be for her son and parents. She was the petty jealous woman who broke her sons mother so thoroughly, the woman who ruled over all seven kingdoms, had turn tailed and ran from her. She was nothing, she was less than nothing and in that moment the biker could see her.

"Hello, I'm Lu Minstros, you are?" Emma shook the hand offered to her, "Emma. Hi. Uh.." she lost not only her game plan but her train of thought. "You must be a brilliant lawyer Ms. Minstros." Emma chided. Lucy squinted her eyes and raised a singular brow, "Oh?"

Emma smiled shyly, "Yeah, your very presence is beautifully… intimidating." An actual blush crept up the raven beauty that broke her no nonsense kick em all in the balls stone mask she came down to the lobby wearing. "What can I do for you, Emma?" she said with a soft smile.

Emma held up her phone. The picture of Regina and Henry displayed on the screen. Lucy's features dropped and Emmas' heart stopped dead in her chest for several seconds. Neither woman saying a word, as if the air got sucked out of the building. Lucy broke the silence, "You're the blonde, you're here for Erin." Emma couldn't stop the tears or the sob that escaped from her throat. "She's here?"

Lucy nodded. Emma had tucked her hope away after her adventures with the hospitals in Maine, and she knew deep down inside that the lawyer named Lucille, was the biker Lu that found Regina, but to hear it actually confirmed by the woman, Emma collapsed onto the floor and wept, the stress, anxiety, and guilt hit a trifecta and climaxed over her body. She was never one to be emotional, not ever in public and never fucking ever in front of strangers. She couldn't control herself and this woman whom had taken care of Regina knelt down and cradled her, rocked her in the very public lobby of a strange building in the middle of Boston while she cried her eyes out.
Emma sniffled and the woman handed her a tissue box that was quietly placed on the desk by the lobby guard. She blew her nose, knowing her eyes and nose were now bright bozo red.

Damned prince charming-blonde, snow white fairest of them all fucking skin!

After the blonde calmed herself, Lucy dared a few questions about her charge. "Are you her… family?" Emma thought about that, "Yes." She lifted her phone and pointed at Henry in the picture. "This is our son."

"What is her name?"

"Regina Mills." Emma said the name proudly, a massive dimple punctuated her smile.

"Where are you from?"

"We live in Maine, I'm the sheriff, she is our town's mayor."

"Sheriff? Why didn't you report her missing?" Emma looked down at her boots. "She wasn't missing. She left us." The brunettes fur ruffled remembering the doctors descriptions of abuse Erin had endured. "Why?" the menace was thickly dripping off that small three letter word. "It was a misunderstanding. I…" Emma looked for the words, "I didn't believe in her when she needed me to. I messed up…" Emmas green eyes were sincere. Lucy felt the remorse this woman felt. She nodded, satisfied with the answers she got. "She isn't home right now." Emma looked worried, "Okay."

"She is with the doc. She has been seeing a therapist." Lucy explained.

"What was her condition when they found her?" The worry in Emmas' voice evident.

Lucy lifted an eyebrow, "Want to come up? I've got tea or apple juice?"

"Got anything stronger?" Emma smiled.

"Oh yeah." Lucy flashed a pearly white smile.


They sat down on Lucy's couch in the living room of her large condo. Lucy placed two glasses down on the square wooden table and opened the bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, pouring out two fingers in each glass. She picked up one of the glasses and sat next to Emma. "She was unconscious when I found her in the middle of nowhere. No ID, no vehicle, just the clothes on her back. Not even shoes! Just prone on the side of the highway. She had a head laceration and several contusions along her upper back, scrapes across her knuckles, arms and elbows. She was dehydrated and barely clinging on. As it was she was in a coma for almost 12 days after they brought her to the hospital. The doctor speculated," Lucy spoke carefully, "that she had suffered some sort of trauma, she has… many… old injuries that have healed, but are still visible on x-rays."

Emma closed her eyes, tears streaming down freely as she gulped back her whiskey. She cleared her throat, "Her mother," she said the word as if it were unholy, disdain and rage surrounded it as it flowed from her lips. "Was a piece of work." Lucy nodded in silent understanding. Emma poured another double shot out, recapping the bottle and sipping this serving, savoring it more than the first glass. The first glass was all about being calm. The second one, well, that was about maintaining reason within that calmness.

"So she goes by Erin. She doesn't know who she is?" Emma feigned understanding of Reginas amnesiac state.

"She didn't like Jane." Lucy stated.

"Of course she didn't, she is a bit more refined." Emma said holding her glass up. Lucy chuckled, "Hmhmm Indeed she is." After the silence settled, Lucy admitted she had given her the name and why. "I just… I had this overwhelming feeling that I needed to protect her." Emmas eyes widened, her eyebrows shot up causing her brow to furrow up in surprise, even though she shouldn't really be surprised, Regina was due north and everyone else was a compass needle. "You care about her…" it was a statement, not a question. Lucy nodded. "Is she…" Emmas' face betrayed her as she flushed and her cheeks began to dampen once more, "happy? Here with you?"

Lucy looked down at her empty glass, and decided on refilling it based on the direction this conversation was going. "No." she said quietly as she recapped the bottle and set it back down on the table. "She was… I think… until she started seeing Dr. Parker. I think he pushed her too hard. She suddenly started having panic attacks and she has terrible nightmares. She is showing clear signs of depression, I think that has to do with the fact that no one seemed to be searching for her." Emma closed her eyes slowly. The realization that the past three months could have been easily avoided had she just submitted a missing person report hit her like a brick wall. "I… I didn't…" she had no real excuse. Nothing that could be easily explained anyway.

"Well, the nightmares are one thing, but I think she is considering his radical therapy suggestion. When she first started seeing him, he suggested hypnotherapy as a quick fix to her memory loss. We talked about it and she was hesitant, but after our conversation over the weekend, I think she may try it." Emmas eyes bulged, "Tell me she isn't doing that today. That could be very… VERY… bad!" Lucy shook her head, "Honestly I don't—" Lucy's cell phone rang on the table interrupting her. It was the doctors office. She stood, alarmed as she answered it. "This is she." A long pause. "Uh huh. Which one?" she scribbled something on a scrap of paper, "We'll be right there." And hung up the phone.

The look in Lucy's eyes told Emma everything she needed to know. They had tried hypnosis on the Evil Queen and she broke even further.


Gus, Lucy's valet, hailed them a cab and they took it down to Mercy General, one of the most state of the art facilities in the tri state area. Emma followed behind Lu as the woman commanded not only attention, but respect in her mere presence. A short wiry haired ginger man was pacing the hall near where the admin nurse, presumably, nurse Ratchet, had pointed out for the women to go towards. "Dr. Parker," Lucy introduced, "This is Emma, she is Erins'… family." Emma couldn't control her anger so she nodded curtly letting Lucy speak and ask all the questions Emma wanted to shake out of the little man. He answered all of Lucy's polite inquiries and finished off with, "She is sedated now, she had an adverse reaction to the therapy we tried today."

Emma saw red and before she could control herself she lost hold of her mouth, "An adverse reaction? AN ADVERSE REACTION? To hypnosis? Is that a common practice on amnesia patients "DOCTOR"?" she highlighted her disdain for his title by adding air quotes around it. "What kind of quack are you anyway? Don't' you realize that you have zero background on her and how fucking dangerous that is? The traumas she has endured would have put anyone else in a pine box and you just waltz in here and rip that scab open?" Emma was furious and the little ginger man was properly frightened by her rage. Lucy herself took a step back as the anger and fear pulsated off the thin blonde standing right in Parker's face.

"You better pray to whatever ginger fucking gods you believe in that she recovers from this because if she doesn't?" Her voice dropped from the all-encompassing boom it had been to a very protective growl as she pushed the last words she said to him through gritted teeth. "I will destroy you."

Lucy stepped in front of Emma shielding the man from her wrath. "Okay, that is enough." Without a word and an almost thankful look of relief on his face the little man quickly walked away. Emma was shaking as adrenaline coursed through her blood stream, she steadied against the wall and composed herself. Once she felt the calm enter her she took a deep breath and without a word, she entered the queens' room. Lucy chose to hang back, she was worried about her friend, but she surmised, they needed private family time.

As soon as she saw the brunette lying motionless in the bed, covers pulled up under her armpits and tucked in across her chest, her thin bare arms resting on top of the blankets, Emma let out a sob. The queen had lost weight, her normally rounded prominent cheekbones were sharp contours across the womans' pale face. Her hair had grown much and lay several inches below her shoulders. She looked peaceful. As peaceful as Emma had ever seen her. Monitors beeped and made other mechanical noises, she ignored them all but the heart monitor. It was steady, pounding away. She was alive. She was here and her still face and peaceful features meant she was just sleeping. She would wake up and sass her and "Miss Swan" her and claim their son once more. She would sneer and smile that venomous way she gets when she thinks she's got you, and she is usually right. She'll get up and stomp her foot down in that pretentious bratty way she has when things don't go her way and she will tear down the seven kingdoms for her revenge.

Her own heart had clutched in her chest, and if it had been she who were connected to that monitor instead of her queen, the room would be silent right at this moment. It would be silent because she no longer had the heart that was supposed to be beating in her chest, it had been ripped out, willingly laid down for this woman, this perfectly infuriating woman. She quickly closed the distance between them, grasping Reginas' cool hand within her own, the mere touch of their skin ignited that fire that burns in her chest for only her queen. She dropped to her knees at the side of the bed and whispered her love to the woman.

Lucy was standing outside the room looking intently at the linoleum at her feet. Someone to her left cleared their throat, instantly grabbing her attention. A short blonde woman in a lab coat stood smiling with a clip board in her hand. Her green eyes filled with compassion as she smiled at Lucy. "Are you responsible for Erin Doe?" the doctor asked. Lucy was awestruck at the womans' beauty and her brain couldn't possibly function properly as she stood, mouth a gape, heart racing, brain still not working. She simply nodded and was rather surprised she was able to make her muscles work to do even that.

"I'm Dr. Renee Sullivan, I'm the head of Neurology here and have taken the case from Dr. Parker."

Lucy's features darkened at the mention of his name. "What happened to her? He mentioned adverse reaction but didn't go into detail." Emma heard the women talking and joined them in the hall.

"This is Emma." Lucy introduced the blonde to the doctor. "Hi, I'm Emma Swan, I'm Regina's fiancée."

"Swan?" Lucy looked amazed, her bright blue eyes much larger than normal.

"Yes… Why?" Emma thought the woman was perhaps making fun of the name.

"She dreams about swans. Yellow swans." Lucy smiled, "Yellow crown wearing swans actually, but the fact that your name is Swan, that… that is big." Emma opened her mouth to say something, but just shut it again, uncertain on how to comment. She couldn't very well tell the brunette she was in fact a princess from another realm.

"Her memories are there." Lucy explained her point looking at the doctor for verification.

"Seems as though they are." Dr. Sullivan agreed. "However, the session she had today with Dr. Parker gave her a mild seizure. I think it unwise to further that therapeutic path."

"A seizure?!" Both Emma and Lucy exclaimed simultaneously.

"A mild, seizure, yes. It doesn't appear as though it caused any permanent damage," she looked through the chart to confirm, "We performed a cat scan on her when she came in and had to sedate her because she was hysterical."

"Does she remember anything?" Emma asked quietly.

"Not that Dr. Parker said, she was incoherent when she arrived here, I ordered the sedation to give her brain a much needed break. After I found out she was an amnesiac, I'm glad I did. Hypnotherapy is a short cut, I don't recommend it for her type of memory loss. Trauma is suggestive, if the stress of what caused Erin—"

"Regina." Emma said quietly. "Her name is Regina Mills."

"The stress of what caused Regina to run off was sufficient to disassociate herself from whom she was, then perhaps rushing those memories back could cause a potential fissure within her. Breaking her psyche into schizophrenia or even dysfunctional disassociation, commonly known as split personality disorder."

"So do you think I shouldn't tell her who she is? Or who I am? Or bring her home?" Emma looked frantic and lost.

"My professional opinion, Miss Swan, is that hypnosis is a dangerous way to go considering the depths of Miss Mills trauma." She handed Emma a small white card that was in her lab coat pocket. 'Dr. Hank Sullivan' written in bold black embossed letters across the front. The small blonde doctor blushed lightly as her eyes meet Lucy's. "What he lacked in being an attentive husband, he more than makes up for with knowledge of the psyche. I think before you tell Erin anything, you should go talk to him."

Emma nodded. She had a faraway look on her face. She needed to call her parents and let them know she is going to be a bit longer than a few days. She excused herself from the pair of women and mumbled something about a phone call home.

Dr. Sullivan smiled awkwardly as Lucy continued to stare at her. "Do I.. um… You seem kind of familiar to me. Do I know you?" Renee stammers.

"I don't think so." Lucy puts out her hand to shake, "My name is Lucy Minstros. I found Erin, er Regina, and have been taking care of her." Renee takes Lucy's offered hand and shakes. "Better stick with Erin until Hank says differently." She added, "It is really nice to meet you, Lucy." She blushed lightly as their hands lingered longer than the greeting allowed. Lucy recovered, realizing she was completely awestruck with this young blonde doctor, swallowed and tried to make light conversation. She didn't want the blonde to leave, she had this feeling, more than just a physical attraction, something deep and powerful and timeless. "You're kind of young to be the head of Neurology Dr. Sullivan."

"Renee, you can call me Renee." The blonde smiled. 'why did I just say that? She is a patients family it is unethical to break the doctor professionalism.'

'She isn't family, she just said she found the woman. Then cared for her. A stranger in need. Who does that? God her eyes are mesmerizing!'

"Renee," Lucy smiled widely. "That is a beautiful name."

"I don't know you do I?" Renee asked once more. "I just have this—"

"Feeling?" Lucy answered.

"Yeah! It is really weird." Renee snorted as she laughed nervously. Lucy looked down and shuffled her feet shyly. "I'm a defense attorney here in Boston. My clients are usually hard done by or set up jobs. I've never defended murderers or anything." She peered up and her blue eyes caught the look of wonder in Renees' emerald green. "I've never needed a defense attorney, but that sounds exciting, Ms. Minstros."

"If I get to call you Renee, you can certainly call me Lucy. My friends call me Lu. It's kind of a nick name." Lu shrugged her shoulders aloof.

"Lucy is nice." Renee flirted.

'OMG what are you doing?'

Lucy took the blondes flirty demeanor as a green light to become a little more brazen, "Would you, maybe, like to have dinner with me sometime?" Lucy held her breath as she laid it all out there, hoping this woman was as interested as she seemed.

"I would like that, Lucy." Renee smiled, "But…" Lucy's heart caught in her throat. "It would be unethical to go out on a date with a patients family member." Seeing the hurt look on the brunettes face she added, "While she is a patient, of course."

Lucy let out the breath she had been holding. "Of course! I mean, I'm not her family, but I understand that you have legal restrictions you need to adhere to." Lucy pulled out her wallet and took out one of her cards and handed it to the doctor. "For when you are no longer Erin's doctor, you should definitely call me." Lucy's confidence shown brightly through her smiling face.

"I will definitely do that." Renee shyly said, biting her bottom lip and tapping the edge of the card against the chart she held in her hand.

"I can't wait." Lucy said.

Chapter Text

Emma walked outside and paced the front of the hospital. 'Shit. What the shit do I do?' She stared at her phone looking at her mothers' name on her contact list. She scrolled down and dialed Ruby instead.

"Hey Ems, what's crack – a- lackin?" Ruby's cheery voice put the blonde right at ease. "Rubes, I found her."

"What?! Are you serious? That's friggen awesome! So when are you coming home? Snow said you'd be gone for a few days!"

"It's... complicated. She has no idea who she is, she is living with the woman who found her, and is in therapy. The quack put her under hypnosis and fried her brain!" Emmas' voice was thick with emotion, she didn't want to cry again that day in public, but she was losing the battle within herself. Saying these things out loud made it all real and she wasn't dealing. Not even a little bit.

"Emma I'm sorry! Okay, well what do we do? I mean she can't stay out in the world, this is her home." Ruby said carefully.

"I know." Emma looked down at the card the doctor had given her. "I'm going to go talk to someone who isn't a quack to see how to proceed." The blonde closed her eyes willing the tears to stay at bay, "I'm just scared. I'm so happy I found her, but now there is all this crap and it is so complicated and I just want to scoop her up and bring her home! I want it all to be like it was, I just want her back!" Emmas' voice trembled as thick tears slid down her cheeks.

"I know Ems. This whole thing sucks and it isn't fair, but you'll figure it out." Ruby sounded hesitant, but decided not to withhold anything from her friend, "You love her… I overheard you and Snow talking yesterday in the diner. I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but to be fair, you weren't exactly being discrete. You know and wolf hearing and stuff." She defended herself.

"I do love her Rubes. God help me I do." Emma admitted.

"I think Regina loved you too. It is just kind of a feeling I got." She lied not wanting to embarrass the blonde at mention that her wolf senses can pick up pheromones and other arousal distinctions. "I mean I knew how you felt about her long before yesterday, and every time you two would get into a fight, it was more like foreplay, which is so weird." Ruby laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation.

"You really think she loves me?" the blondes question was uttered so quiet, it sounded so small and not at all like Emma Swan.

"I do babe." Ruby confirmed.

"Maybe true loves kiss can snap her out of this? I mean it is the strongest magic known in all the realms." Emma quickly looked around her for anyone nearby who could have heard that statement. She knew she sounded like a crazy person and didn't want to get hauled off to the psyche ward of the hospital.

"Yeah… but Regina may love you, but the girl she is now, isn't Regina Mills." Ruby knew she had taken the wind out of her friends sails. "You'll just have to get whomever she is now, to fall in love with you." She added as if that was just the easiest thing ever.

"How the literal fuck am I going to do that Rubes?!" Emma starts pacing once more. "Shit!" she exclaimed her frustration at the situation.

"That, ok, that I don't know about, but there's gotta be way sweetie. She loves you. Those memories are in there. Be that charming self you know you can be and woo the woman!" Ruby laughed at the irony of calling the daughter of prince charming, a charming herself.

Emma let out an exaggerated sigh. "Finnnnneee. I'll back burner this till I can talk to a professional and get his opinion."

Ruby hummed like she wanted to say something but didn't know how Emma would take it.

"What Ruby?"

"Just, take it easy on Snow will ya?"

"Just don't Rubes, you don't know what the king did to Regina and as long as Snow White defends him, to me, we are going to have problems."

"Okay, you're right, I don't know what he did, but I do know Snow loved him. He was her parent, and she lost her mother suddenly and then lost her father just as quick. She put them both up on a pedestal for so long, it is like they aren't even real people who could have made mistakes anymore. It will take her time to process and until she does, she is still your mother. I get it, you are angry. You feel like there's been this huge miscarriage of justice against the woman you love. Don't take it out on your mother, she isn't to blame. He is."

"She defends him Rubes, like he isn't a disgusting rapist who abused a young girl for his own sexual gratification! I told her this and she STILL defends him! I can't Rubes, I just… I can't."

"Fair enough, then it needs to be a non-topic between you two. Until you both can figure out how to handle it." Ruby went silent, letting Emma soak in her wisdom.

"Okay. I'll talk to her. Not now, but soon. I just can't." Emma was nearing her breaking point and she knew it. "I gotta go Rubes."

"Okay kiddo, keep in touch babe, I'm here for you ok?" Ruby's sincerity was felt within her words and Emma was grateful she was her friend. "Thanks Ruby." Emma disconnected the call.

She looked at the card for Dr. Sullivan and dialed his number. When his secretary answered she made an appointment to see him the next morning to discuss Regina and what the actual fuck she is supposed to do in this crazy fucked up situation. She left her contact information and asked the secretary if he could call her. She knew she wasn't going to be able to tell Regina who she was, but she didn't want to lie, and if she has to she wants it to be something that will help the situation.

She paced outside in front of the hospital. Holding her cell phone in her hand like it was the enemy. 'Just do it Swan get it over with, you don't have to say anything about your own shit, Henry needs to know you found his mother.'

"FUCK" she curses out loud. Her mind reeling at the fact that she is going to tell her son she found his mother, but will he understand that she isn't coming home? She isn't entirely sure she completely gets it! How the hell is she going to explain this massive complicated crap to her kid?

"Fuck! Regina would know how to explain it to him. Son of a bitch." She curses out loud and dialed Snow Whites cell.

"Emma?" Snow sounded surprised to hear from her daughter. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah. I.. uh… Answer yes or no, is Henry there?" Emma asks.

"Yes… Wha-?"

Emma cuts her off, "Can you go into your room or somewhere where he isn't?"

"Sure." She hears Mary Margarets' boots click on the wood floor, and then a door close. "What's going on? Are you okay?"

"Yeah. I'm fine. I just… I found her, Mom." She leaned against the stone side of the building and slid down to sit on the sidewalk. Her emotion bubbled over and she didn't have the strength to hold it back. "I found her and she isn't her, she can't remember being Regina, she has no idea who I am or Henry is and I don't know if she ever will, and she's been seeing this stupid doctor who did hypnosis and broke her brain mom! He broke her and the woman she is staying with is really great, and I don't know how to fix any of this, and how do I explain to Henry that I found her, but she isn't coming home with me?" She is full on sobbing on the cell phone, for the second time that day, in public. She pulled her legs up, draped her forearm across her knees, and leaned her forehead against her arm, hiding her face from public spectacle.

"Don't tell him." Snow says adamantly.

"What?"

"Don't tell him Emma."

"You're telling me to lie to him."

"It's not lying honey, it is just not telling."

"That is a mighty fine edge there Snow White."

"Yes well life is complicated. Much more complicated than a child's mind can comprehend." Emma realized she is speaking of not only Henry, but herself as a child. "Until you have something certain. Don't tell him. For all intents and purposes, you have not found Regina, have you?"

"I suppose not." Emma conceded reluctantly. Sniffling loudly as she calmed herself after her little break down.

"Well then. When you do, you be sure to let us know. In the meantime, your son is healthy and on a schedule and doing his homework and being a kid. Your father and I will take care of him while you do what you need to do to find my grandsons' mother."

"I love you mom." Emma heard her mother gasp and realized that was the first time she has ever said that exact phrase to her mother. "Thank you for taking care of my son."

The line was quiet for several moments before Snow could compose herself enough to speak again, but when she did Emma could feel the weight of the emotion behind the words she chose to speak. "You're my daughter, Emma, I will do everything I can to help you be happy."

"Really?" Emma didn't doubt Snow and Charmings' desire to help with the boy, what she doubted is her mothers' help with Regina.

"Honey I may not always agree with your decisions," she paused, "or your point of view. That being said, I will always support you, no matter what. If this is what you want, if she will make you happy, then, I support that." Snow let out a sigh. "Our family is non-traditional at best as it is. I mean my daughter is my own age for figs sake!" Emma snorted out a laugh as her mother continued. "I just trust you, and want what is best for you and if you think she is that, then yeah. I'm team Regina."

"Thank you mom. Truly." Emma sniffled once more. As her phone beeped an incoming call. "Hey hold on a sec? That's the doctors number." She switched lines to answer the incoming call.

"Hello?" Her nose is plugged and her voice sounded congested from her most recent bout with emotions in the street in front of the hospital.

"Miss Swan? This is Dr. Hank Sullivan returning your call. I've received an email from Mercy General Neurology regarding the case of one Erin Doe, I understand you have some concerns?" The voice on the line was gentle and Emma felt immediately comforted by the tone.

"Yeah. Her name is Regina Mills," Emma flinched at her own tone, she is uncertain why she kept on everyone about Reginas' name, or even why it bothered her when the woman is referred to as Erin, but she continued nonetheless, "I'm her fiancée. She was found unconscious a few months ago and she has no idea who she is. Dr. Sullivan, here, the woman Dr. Sullivan, not you, I mean obviously not you," she takes a deep breath as she calms herself over her anxious babbling, "Dr. Sullivan gave me your number in hopes to make the transition easier. Some quack broke her this morning, and Dr. Sullivan said a shock to her system now could be potentially catastrophic. I've got an appointment to come and see you tomorrow, but for today, what do I tell her? How do I.. I mean.. just how do I do this?" she shook her head at herself silently chastising her stupid mouth as he began to speak. "Well, your fiancée's case is rather interesting. It seems like she is suffering an emotional trauma as opposed to a physical one. These cases are highly sensitive and can be, as my ex-wife put it, catastrophic. I think, until we can meet tomorrow, you should avoid contact." The prospect of not seeing Regina hadn't even popped up on Emmas' radar and this new information thoroughly devastated the blonde, fresh tears stream down her cheeks as she silently listened to the man finish his instruction. "Once you come in, we can discuss her background and develop a going forward plan on how to help her."

"What if I don't tell her it's me? I… miss her." Her voice was tiny and weak and pleading and she hated herself at that moment for being all of those things right then to the stranger on the other end of the phone.

"I sympathize Miss Swan—"

"Please, call me Emma, I hate Miss Swan." Unable to tell him it just reminds her of Regina and right at that moment, she couldn't handle it.

"Emma. I understand, however a plan that will do the least amount of damage needs to be put in place."

"Okay, but…" she sighed, knowing everything after the word 'but' was going to be her own selfish desires so she just stopped. "Okay. I'll see you tomorrow morning."

"It is for the best. Until then." He disconnected the line, and her call to Snow is reconnected.

"Mom?"

"I'm still here sweetie." Snow sing-songs.

"That was the doctor, he thinks I shouldn't make any contact with her until I can see him tomorrow. So I'm going to go back to the hotel and Lucy, will take Regina home with her."

"Lucy is that biker you were looking for?"

"Yeah." Emma chuckles. "She is pretty awesome actually. She not only found her, but stayed with her while she was in a coma then took her home with her and has been helping her. The whole thing is pretty amazing."

"I'm glad you aren't in this alone then, honey. Call us soon with an update ok?"

"You got it Mom." She disconnected the call with her mother and sat on the sidewalk feeling utterly useless. She banged the back of her head on the stone wall behind her then stood up, collecting herself. She walked back into the hospital and down the hall where she left Dr. Sullivan and Lucy before. They were no longer there. She assumed Lucy was in the room with Regina, no Erin.

Erin Erin Erin.

So she turned the corner to enter the room, "Lu? I got a hold of—" She stopped dead in her tracks as Regina was sitting up, wide awake talking to Lucy who was sitting on the bed next to her. Emma turned around and walked out of the room quickly.

She was pacing in front of the nurses station. "fuck fuck fuck fuck! Swan you are a total fuck up!" Lucy jogged over to Emma, "Hey what happened? Why did you bolt?"

"I talked to Dr. Sullivan and he said I shouldn't have contact with her until after the appointment I have with him tomorrow!" Emma threw her hands in the air. "Fuck! I need to go."

"Wait! What do I tell her?" Lu asked wide eyed.

"I don't know! Wrong room?"

Lucy looked at Emma and deadpans, "Wrong room, wrong Lu?"

Emma rested her hands on her hips and dropped her head back to stare at the ceiling. "Fuuuuuuck."

"Tell her I was a girl you were trying to pick up in the caf or something?" Emma wrinkled her nose hoping Lucy would consider that at least plausible. "I just got done telling her I've got a date with Renee!"

"Who the fuck is Renee?" Emma demanded sounding not only like a jealous girlfriend, but also slighted, as if she were so easily tossed aside in favor of this 'Renee'.

"Dr. Sullivan?" Lucy smiled brightly, biting her lip in the process. Emma crinkled her brow and huffed annoyance. "Yeah well. She is hot." Emma sighed. "Fuck I don't know what to tell Reg— Erin— Tell her I am a candy striper or something. Just don't tell her who I am." Emma took out her phone and opened her contacts to add Lucy's information into it. "Gimme your number so I can call you tomorrow after the appointment with Dr. Hank." Lucy took the cell and enterd her information. "Renee is discharging her into my care this afternoon. She is okay. She doesn't remember the session at all, but remembers this morning before hand. She has also agreed to see Dr. Hank as an alternative." Emma wrapped her arms around Lu. "Thank you for taking care of her." Lucy stiffened up at the sudden unexpected show of emotion from the blonde woman she just met, but then eased into the embrace. "No need to thank me. I care for her." Emma let go of the brunette and left the hospital.

Lucy returned to a confused Erin sitting in the bed. "Hey," Lucy knows she looks nervous as she enters the room.

"Who was that?"

Lucy chuckles, "Candy striper I was flirting with earlier. You know, before I met Renee, of course."

Erin raised her eyebrow. "Of course! You certainly have a specific type dear."

"You have no idea." Lucy laughed.

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Emma sat in the shrinks' offices' waiting room playing on her phone waiting for the young brunette secretary to call her name. It was quarter after 10 in the morning and her appointment was at 10. Emma was already annoyed. She hated wasting time and this felt like a massive waste of it.

"Miss Swan?" the young secretary called out and Emma cringed. She paused the game she was playing and stuffed her phone into her hoodie pocket. She opened the large wood door that led to the back office and stepped inside tentatively. The entire office was far too quiet and had already set Emma on edge. She was never fond of shrinks, she had often seen professionals while within the system as a kid. She'd lie to them and tell them exactly what they wanted to hear so she could get her own way. The fact that it worked made her a life-long skeptic about the entire validity of the practice. That opinion had never changed and as she walked into Dr. Hanks' office, her walls were firmly in place. She was here for Regina. She could handle this for Reginas' sake.

The man stood from behind his large desk. His dark hair feathered around his ears heavily soaked in product. His dark brown eyes were warm, punctuated with deep smile lines that edged the sides of his face. He had a tight toothless smile, his thin lips pursed together in almost a grimace as he greeted her. He held out his hand to shake, but Emma kept hers both firmly planted in the pockets of her hoodie. She however did nod in his general direction and took a seat in one of the two chairs he had in front of his desk. "No couch doc?" she said looking around the large room.

"It is out getting reupholstered." He shot back. She was stunned into silence as she wasn't entirely sure if he was serious or not. "So, since our conversation yesterday, I was able to contact Dr. Sullivan at the hospital regarding your," he paused and looked down at the paperwork, "fiancée," he confirmed. "She certainly is an interesting case. There doesn't seem to be any physical reason for her amnesia nor the consequent coma she suffered when they first found her. What exactly was she doing out in the woods that day?"

Emma shifted in her seat, she hadn't thought about what she could or would tell this guy, she honestly didn't think he'd ask her anything about Storybrooke. "She," Emma paused looking for the words, "I don't really know. We had an argument and she picked up and left."

"I see." He said scribbling notes down on a large yellow pad he had displayed in front of him. He was writing in red ink.

'Who writes in red ink? Red against yellow? Seriously?' She was annoyed she couldn't see what he was writing and her brain decided to nit-pick about everything, including the mans' choice of writing utensils. Her annoyance was written all over her face, but she sat quietly and waited for him to continue.

"She left your home without identification or her vehicle? Did she pack a bag?" he looked at her waiting for her response. "No. She left her home, where she and my son reside. I'm not sure how long she had been gone before Henry found her note. She didn't, bring her vehicle. Nor did she pack any of her clothing." Emma thought back to the mansion, even the womans toothbrush was still in the bathroom. Maybe she didn't mean to leave? The note said 'I'm sorry.' Not 'fuck you bitches I'm out.' She furrowed her eyebrows thinking it very odd that she didn't even bring her car. What the hell was she thinking?

"You don't live with her and her child?"

"He is my son."

Dr. Hank raised an eyebrow and wrote more down on his pad.

"I mean he is OUR son, but I gave birth to him and no I don't live with them," she thought frantically about how her lies were going to backfire. "I am staying with my parents."

He nodded as he wrote. "You have a child together, but he lives with her. Did you ever live together? Or is your separation due to this argument that you two had?"

Emma looked down at her boots trying to think of a way to explain their unique situation without sounding like a crazy person, or telling him the truth, which would also make her sound crazy. It needed to sound plausible. She decided the white washed truth would be how she would have to go about it.

"I gave my son Henry up for adoption. Regina adopted him. When he was 10, he found me. He had some issues about being adopted and because I had been in the system myself, Regina and I decided that I could help him over-come those issues. So I moved there and helped him. Regina and I spent a lot of time together and kinda fell in love. It happens. He lived with her because that is where he lived. We just recently got engaged." Emma nodded at her spin of events pleased with herself.

"You were in the system as a child?" she nodded. "My folks abandoned me."

"But you live with them now?" he questioned.

'Shit.'

"Yes." She simply said without elaboration. This is about Regina, not about me. Fucking shrinks.

They sat in silence until he realized she wasn't going to explain herself, then got back to his list of questions for the blonde. "Have you and your fiancée ever had any major disagreements regarding your relationship or that of your son?" Emma couldn't help the quick smile that crossed her lips as the punches thrown in the graveyard came instantly to mind. "We argued about normal stuff when we first met, but as we got used to each other, we both let go some of our preconceived notions of one another." She answered diplomatically.

"Normal stuff like what? Henry?"

Emma took a deep breath and rubbed the inside of her top lip with the tip of her tongue. "Yes Henry."

"Would you care to elaborate?" The annoyance in his voice thick in the air.

"Not particularly, no. She didn't get it. I did. She was jealous that he seemingly related to me in a way he never could with her. We got over it. Not really important."

"Miss Swan—"

"I said call me Emma." Her face held a smile, but her eyes flashed anger at having to repeat herself with this guy.

"Emma," he corrected, "Every little bit helps. You are here for Erin—"

"It's REGINA!" she exploded. "Jesus FUCK!" she stood and started to pace. This whole thing made her uncomfortable and she didn't want to do it anymore.

"Miss—, uh, Emma, I think it is a good idea that you think of her as Erin for the time being. She doesn't know who Regina is, until she does, you need to think of her as if she were actually Erin. I understand you are frustrated and angry, but I'm here to help her. It is clear you don't trust me, but the more I know about who she is, the better it is that I will be able to help her." He looked her in the eye as she turned and stopped pacing, "To become Regina again."

Tears brimmed her eyes but she lifted her chin and refused to let them fall. "Fine." She sat back down. "I'm sorry. What else do you want to know?"

"This argument, the one that made her leave. What was it about?" Emma dropped her head back in the chair and looked at the ceiling.

'Oh you know I thought she killed Jiminy Cricket and accused her of it when really it was her psychopath mother who set her up all in a plot to win her back so they can do evil magic together and shit.'

"It was a misunderstanding." She said carefully.

"In regards to?" he pushed her.

"I.." her mind reeled, what would couples fight about that would be murder accusing level? "I thought she cheated on me, but she didn't. I accused her and then found out after she left that I was wrong."

'Plausible Swan.' She lifted both of her eyebrows, completely pleased with her on the spot lying abilities. "What made you think she cheated? Was this a behavior that was normal for her?"

"I'm the sheriff, I saw evidence to support the claim, I didn't want to believe it because I trusted her. I let other people talk me into thinking I was wrong with my gut instinct to trust her and things just got out of hand." She thought about his question then added, "No, she never cheated on me, but she had in previous relationships."

He sat in silence for a long while as he wrote on his little pad. She started fidgeting in her seat. She fought the urge to take out her phone to check her, well anything.

"So what do you think she was doing in the middle of nowhere?" he finally asked.

"I really have no idea." She said plainly. "I think it is weird she didn't have her car or anything if she was leaving. Maybe she took a walk or something and got lost? I have no clue." More writing and she lolled her head on the back of the chair she sat in.

"Alright, I would like to see you again, but after I meet Erin. I believe she has an appointment this afternoon. I think it is a good idea to have no interaction until I can assess her situation and we can make a plan to expose her slowly to her old life." Emma jumped from her seat.

"Great!" She was just eager to get out of the large office that seemed much smaller than when she first came in.

"Do you have any questions for me Emma?" she shook her head an affirmative no. She started to head towards the door.

"I'll make an appointment with your girl or whatever. See ya!" she called over her shoulder and left the room.

She shot past the secretary without making another appointment with Dr. Hank. "Fuck this." she mumbled as she got into the elevator and exited the building. Once she exited onto the street she whipped out her phone and messaged Lucy.

Emma: Done with Dr Hank. Can I call you?

She put her phone back into her pocket and huffed up the street towards where she parked her bug. Being back in Boston brought back a lot of memories for Emma, she wasn't all that pleased to be here. When she first got to Storybrooke she thought she had missed the big city life, but now after a couple of years being a small town Sheriff, she knew she wouldn't ever want to be anything else, anywhere else. She found her car and got in behind the wheel. She turned on her phone once more.

Emma: Rubes, so the Dr doesn't want me to have contact with Regina. Said it will be bad for her or whatever.

Ruby: Ems, she doesn't have amnesia. It's magic. It can only be fixed with magic or true loves kiss.

Emma: How am I supposed to make her fall in love with me if she doesn't know who I am, and I can't be around her?!

Ruby: hook up at a bar or something. Hit on her and get into her life that way.

Emma paused thinking of the implications of how that would go down. Regina would be pissed that she lied to get close to her but she is going to be mad about the fiancée thing anyway. Ruby was right.

Emma: Rubes. You are a genius.

Ruby: I'm not just a pretty face.

Ruby: Or a rocken bod.

Ruby: Or a bad ass werewolf.

Emma: LOL I love you! TY TY TY TY TY!

Ruby: My shift is starting. Tell me how it goes! Good Luck wooing your queen!

Emma: tell everyone I said hi xxo

While Emma was saying her goodbyes to Ruby, Lucy answered her text from earlier.

Lucy: Emma we are getting ready to go to Dr hanks office.

Emma: can I call you I have a plan.

Lucy: give me 5

Emma pulled out of her spot and headed towards her motel room on the other side of the city. So much had changed, thankfully her short cuts around traffic choke points wasn't one of the many changes. She made it back to the hotel before Lucy messaged her the green light to call. She got out of her yellow bug and dialed the lawyers number.

"Hello?" Lucy's low timbre rumbled her greeting and made Emmas' insides clench.

"Hi, so, okay Dr. Hank is a piece of work. I can't be this close to Regina and not see her. I can't do it Lu. I was wondering if you would take her out to a bar or something and I could like, spontaneously meet her or something." Emma waiting for Lucys' response to the idea. "You could bring Renee." She added to entice the deal.

"Ok, but what about catastrophic dissociative disorder or whatever?" Lucy inquired. She wasn't exactly on board with the blondes' impatience. Emma knew Lucy would think she was putting her friend at unnecessary risk for the sake of selfish desires to be near the woman. Perhaps she was right.

"She won't know who I am, and when the time comes to tell her, well, it won't matter then." Emma felt Lucys' hesitation and quickly turned on the waterworks, "I just miss her so much Lu. I haven't seen her in months and even if it is just one night at the bar with a stranger, that isn't my fiancée, I just want to… need to… see her, please?"

"Ok, but I already told her you were a candy striper at the hospital."

Emma laughed, "You did!?"

"Yeah it totally made me sound like a douche too, thank you very much!" Lu laughed. "Okay well that can work too, then, when Renee recognizes me it won't be that big of a deal."

"Oh I'm going to have to tell Renee."

"Please? No, she'll just say it is a bad idea and I NEED to do this. PLEAAAAASSEEE?" she whined.

Lucy was quiet on the other end of the line, then let out a big sigh as she gave into the blonde. "Fine. I want it on the record that I think this is a terrible idea."

"Yes you honor." Emma smiled brightly.

"I'm a lawyer not a judge. Aren't you a sheriff? Shouldn't you know the difference?"

"I.. I do." Emma stumbled, "I was kidding, because you said 'for the record.' I know it was a dumb joke."

"Right. Okay." Lu waved off the comment. "Meet us down town tonight. Think you can find where Tam is? It is pretty popular gay bar."

Emma rolled her eyes, "Yeah I can find it." She mumbled into the receiver. She got to her room and unlocked the door to let herself in. "I'll like pick her up or something, so sit at the bar or whatever."

"Alright. I gotta go call Renee and get myself a date." Lus' smile made itself known through her words.

"See you tonight. And Lu, thank you."

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Erin opened the door to Lucy's apartment and slipped inside carrying a folder of papers she got from her appointment with Dr. Sullivan. Lucy was on the phone in the kitchen. Erin set down the folder and the keys she had in her hand.

"Yeah she just got in" Lucy said into her phone. "Renee says hi." She said to Erin.

"Hi!" Erin replied.

"Okay we will see you tonight. Do you want me to pick you up or meet us down there?"

Lucy paused listening to the answer with a huge smile on her face. "Sounds good. See you then." She laughed at whatever was said to her and disconnected the call.

"Going out with my doctor?" Erin had walked over to the refrigerator and started taking items out she would need to prepare dinner.

"WE are, yes."

"Oh Lu, I think I'm going to skip your first date." Erin shook her head as she apologized.

"No! You have to come! I refuse to take no for an answer." Lucy put on her stubborn lawyer face.

"Well if you refuse, how could I possibly?" Erin smiled shyly.

"I think you should dress up and wear that dress I bought you with the zippers. It looks amazing on you." Lucy tried to sound casual, but failed miserably.

"Why? Where are we going?" Erin squinted her eyes suspiciously.

"A gay bar." Lucy smiled cheekily.

Erins' eyebrows both shot up. "Why?" Lucy shrugged her shoulders, "Why not? I like gays."

"Alright, I'm going to go lay down after I set this chicken to marinade, I'm feeling a little tired after this afternoon."

"How was he?" Lucy inquired about Dr. Hank.

"He was, less quirky." Erin replied.

"Well less quirky is good." Lucy said.

"Yes it is." Erin agreed. She looked sad as she opened the plastic zip lock bag and placed the meat within. She added several different spices and put it to sit in the fridge.

"Are you okay?" Lucy pried.

"Yeah, I'm just tired." Erin admitted.

"You want to tell me about your session or…" Lucy tried to get her to talk, but Erin wasn't having it.

"No, if you want to go out tonight, I think I'll need to rest first." Erin shook her head lightly.

"So you'll come?" Lu asked hopefully.

"I thought I didn't have a choice." Erin replied with a sleepy smile.

"Well you don't, but if you really didn't want to, I wouldn't make you, Erin." Lucy smiled a little half grin and flashed her baby blues and Erin smiled meekly, "Someone has to chaperone the children, dear." Erin walked out of the kitchen slowly towards her bedroom. She closed the door behind her and crawled on top of the covers of her bed and buried her face into her pillow. She closed her eyes tight trying to shut out the world letting the darkness take her.

Chapter Text

DREAM SCAPE

She was holding an infant… his hazel eyes staring up at her intently… he was wrapped in a blue blanket… she bent in to kiss him "My darling boy" she said. The love she had for this little bundle was overwhelming.

"Momma!" a faceless brown haired boy was now wrapped around her waist… "My Prince!" she said…

She was running down the middle of the street after the boy, there was snow everywhere, it was so cold, she was afraid.

"WAIT!" she screamed at the child. It seemed like the faster she ran towards him the further he would be. She ran harder trying to catch him, the muscles in her legs burned, her chest heaved she struggled to take in breath… she finally caught up to him because he stopped running from her. He was standing in front of a tree. The arms of a woman draped over his shoulders. She tried to focus on the womans face but could only make out the white blonde hair cascading down her shoulders and her distorted red jacket. Her pale fingers squeezing into the boys shoulders. "He is MY SON!" The deep distorted voice of the woman screamed at her. Erin sunk down to her knees shaking her head and repeating "No…"

"Mommy!" The boy cried, "Help me!"

Erin sat up in bed when she awoke. She was breathing hard, she didn't remember everything about the dream, she just knew it was disturbing. She went out into the living room, Lucy was not home. A note on the counter of the kitchen said she had to take care of some business, but would be back for dinner. Erin looked at the clock it was 4:30, she had slept for the entire afternoon. She went into Lucy's office and took out a pen and a piece of printer paper and wrote down what she could remember of the dream. When she was done she folded the paper and put it in her pocket. She then went into the kitchen, took out the chicken and started putting together dinner.

Erin had finished cleaning up after herself in the kitchen. Dinner had been prepared and was warming in the oven, waiting for Lucy to get home. She went into the living room and flipped on the TV. The lock on the front door clicked and Lucy walked in carrying her briefcase with her, cell phone wedged between her shoulder and ear. "Yeah I'm just walking in now, okay, Cyn just fax those out asap." She paused as she kicked off her shoes at the door, "Yeah it is shitty, but it isn't impossible to get them in before the deadline. This is a common tactic they use to get the upper hand. If I was a court assigned defense, he'd have a problem, but we are competent. So, let's just breathe and get it done."

"Right, Okay, you too." She clicked her phone shut smiling at Erin sitting crossed legged on the couch. "Hi. Sleep good?"

"Well enough. I had another dream about a little boy. Dr. Sullivan said I should start keeping a sleep diary, I just sort of wrote it down on a scrap paper while it was fresh in my head though." Erin took the paper out of her pocket. Lucy had lost her smile and had an odd look on her face. "What is it Lu?"

"No, nothing. Um, are you okay? Was it a bad one?" she tried to recover, thoughts of Emmas' picture of Erin and their son Henry in the forefront of her mind. "No, not as bad as some of the others had been, it was just upsetting, he was calling out for me and I couldn't get to him to help. It is probably just the manifestation of my own helplessness." Erin said thoughtfully. "Oh, yeah, I could see that. Yeah." Lucy adamantly agreed. "I've got a note book though that you can have, keep it and a pen next to your bed." Lu went into her office, dropping off her briefcase and opened a drawer to her desk and pulled out a small notebook. She opened it and ripped out the first few pages, and threw them in the garbage. She picked a pen out of the jar on top of her desk and stuffed it in the circular spiral spine and walked back out to Erin on the couch. She handed the little notebook to her with a smile.

"Thank you Lucy." She took the notebook, it had a black and white puppy on the cover. She looked back up at Lucy and smiled.

"What? It was on sale." The lawyer defended herself.

Erin lifted an eyebrow and burst into giggles.

"I like dogs! I only don't have one because I don't have a house."

Erin shook her head silently and took her new dream notebook and put it in her bedroom. She returned to the kitchen and brought down a couple of plates and started serving dinner. Lucy came out of her own bedroom wrapped in a purple satin robe. "Man that smells amazing! What is it?"

"Just chicken with steamed veggies." Erin shrugged. "Not really a big deal."

"Well I'm starving and thank you!" Lucy sat down next to Erin at the table. The first bite of chicken was lifted into her mouth and Lucy hummed her appreciation. Erin smiled, pleased Lucy was enjoying her meal. "So," Erin started, "Where are we off to tonight?"

"The Tam. It is a gay dive bar, down town." Lucy said in between bites. "I thought pool would be fun, you know, or whatever."

"Are you sure you want to bring me on your date?" Erin pulled her eyebrows close together with uncertainty.

"I want you to get to know Renee, and she agrees that a night out would be good for you." Lucy put the last bite of broccoli in her mouth and pointed her fork at the brunette. "Doctors orders."

"I'm not sure if I'm going to like this arrangement at all!" Erin kidded. "So why are we getting dressed up if it is a dive bar?" she inquired.

"You don't have to," Lucy was looking everywhere but Erin. "I just thought you'd like to. You look amazing in that dress." Lucy's dimple dug deep into her cheek. Erin looked at her skeptically, but didn't say anything. She just shrugged and nodded agreement and finished her own dinner. Lucy cleaned up the dishes and Erin went to go get dressed.

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Emma arrived at the bar around 8:30. She texted Lucy to tell her that she was there. It was like every other dive bar she had ever been to, and reminded her of the Rabbit Hole back in Storybrooke, you know, with more dykes and queens. Okay maybe the same amount of queens, just different kind of queens. Emma had her hair pulled up in a ponytail high on her head, she was having a reaction to the city smog and had to wear her glasses instead of her contacts, which was probably better anyway because her Regina had rarely seen her in her black rimmed glasses. She had a white tank on that prominently showed her black lace bra through, skin tight jeans and black leather boots. Of course her blue leather jacket to top it off. The epitome of dykieness. The tank showcased her sculpted arms quite nicely and as soon as she entered the bar, more than one head turned her way. She smiled nervously and went straight to the back of the bar. She sat at a round table next to the pool tables, high up on a stool. A rather young punk red headed baby dyke with a nose ring came over to take her order. "Just a pint, whatever you have on tap is fine." Emma said as she laid out a 20 on the table and sat back to look around the room. She was in a dark corner, it was shadowed itself, but gave an excellent vantage point to the rest of the bar, especially the door. Her cell phone buzzed

Lucy: We are on our way.

Emma looked up as the door opened, a short little blonde strode into the bar, she searched the few people that were around the front, didn't see who she was looking for and strode towards the bar.

Emma: The doc just showed. She is at the bar.

Lucy: We'll be there in 5

Sure enough, the door opened and Regina walked into the bar. She had on a tight black dress with a slit that went all the way up her thigh. Someone whistled from across the room and the brunette instantly turned beet red. She smiled though and tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear shyly. Lucy waved to the blonde at the bar and they both walked over to greet the doctor.

Emma: oh my god! Did you buy her that? She looks fucking... just… god DAMN!

Lucy looked down at her phone and smiled, typed something in response then tucked her phone back into her pocket.

Emmas phone buzzed on the table

Lucy: Indeed.

Emma watched as Lucy tried to get situated at the bar. Regina pointed to the back of the room and Renee nodded her head emphatically. Lucy looked defeated and relented picking up Renee's glass for her and following the women straight towards Emma. Emmas' heart was in her throat, her eyes wide as Regina walked to a table just a little ways away from where she was sitting. Regina sat with her back to Emma, Lucy sat with her back to the wall and Renee had a perfect view of Emma who tried to not make eye contact. Regina leaned over and said something to Lucy and got up from the table. She walked passed Emma without even looking, however Emma couldn't take her eyes off of her. When she finally did turn back around she met the eyes of Renee, the doctors' green eyes saucered then said something to Lucy who looked up. Emma shrugged her shoulders and gave a wide toothy smile. She grabbed her beer and went over to the table.

"What are you doing here?" Renee asked.

"I just wanted to see her, maybe talk to her as a stranger in the bar."

The doctor looked back at Lucy, "You knew about this?"

"It was my idea, don't blame Lu. I just.. miss her."

"But what if—" Renee started, Emma cut her off, "it won't! I'm not me, I'm candy striper Emma from the hospital just here for a drink or whatever."

"What did Hank say?" Renee was pissed, but reigned in her emotions.

"I didn't tell him." Emma plastered a wide innocent smile across her face once again. "Please doc, please?" Emma held her hands together and begged the shorter blonde.

"It's not like I have a choice, here she comes." Renee said through her teeth.

Emma turned around and her mouth dropped open when she saw the brunette walking towards the table. It was as if she were walking in slow motion, all sultry and strutting. All eyes were on her as she made her way across the room, the slit of her skirt flashing thigh every other step. It probably didn't help that Funky Cold Medina was playing on the jukebox. Emma let out a high pitched whimper and promptly got smacked by Renee who was behind her. Regina was looking right at Emma she flashed her a smile then took her seat next to Lucy.

"Hi." Erin greeted the new blonde standing near the table, "You guys make a new friend?" Erin said as she glanced suspiciously at Lucy, and then at Renee who was also looking at Lucy, Lu was looking at table top with guilt. Emma found her voice and clamped her jaw back shut. "Hi." She held out her hand to shake the brunettes. "I'm Emma. I didn't mean to intrude, I just saw a work colleague here, Doc Sullivan, and wanted to say hi. So," she turned to Renee, "Hi." She smiled nervously with pleading eyes to the doctor who shook her head silently, a fake toothy smile plastered on her face.

Erin looked around the table, she knew something was going on, she could feel it. "So, Renee and, Emma is it? Have booze, Lu, I'll make a run, what are you having?" Emma smiled and caught Erin's gaze, "May I?"

Erin flushed, but nodded. "What will it be ladies? Doc can I top you off?" Renee shook her head again, but said "Sure."

Lucy mumbled "Tap pint."

Renee held up her tumbler, "Vodka tonic." Emma turned back to Regina and lifted her eyebrows. "I'll come with you." She said as she slipped off her seat. Emma was all smiles as she motioned the brunette towards the bar.

Renee shook her head and put her hand on Lucy's thigh as she leaned close, "You are a bad girl." Lucy's stomach flipped and she couldn't help the smile that crossed her face. "I'm sorry?" She puts her hand over the blonde hand that was on her thigh.

Renee slowly ran her hand up on Lu's thigh towards her heat source, then leaned in to whisper into her ear, her warm breath causing goose flesh across the brunettes neck, "You will be." Lucy gulped audibly and the doctor bit her earlobe. "Good god woman!" Lu exclaimed.


Emma instinctively put her arm around Reginas waist, resting her hand on her lower back as she guided her up to the bar. It was a distinctly possessive move and she wasn't entirely aware she was doing it, but it certainly spoke to all the other women who had been eyeing the brunette since she walked in, it screamed, 'Paws off.'

Once up at the bar Emma laid down a couple twenties, placed their order for their companions and asked if the waitress could deliver the order. "What'll ya have?" she asked the brunette with a cheeky smile. Regina thought about it, "Apple Martini." Emma couldn't contain the smile that crossed her face and Erin took mock offense, "What?"

Emma laughed, "That is such a chick drink." Still laughing she pointed towards the pile of cash indicating to the bar tender that the brunettes order was on her as well. Regina put her hand on her hip and thrusted her leg out of the slit in her skirt, "In case you haven't noticed," she smirked, "I am a chick." Emmas' eyes looked her up and down. "Oh I've noticed." And then took a swig of her beer. Regina laughed at the blondes' brazen appraisal of her assets.

"My name is Erin, by the way." She held out her hand to shake the blondes. Emma took her hand and turned it up and kissed the back of her hand. "Pleasure is all mine, Erin." Emma knew she was laying it on thick, but she was just so happy to be here with Regina, she couldn't help herself. The queen deserved to be courted and Regina normally wouldn't have any of the knight in shining armor routine, the blonde was sure of that fact. Perhaps Erin would enjoy being doted upon.

Erin's eyes grew wide, but her normal milk chocolate deepened impossibly dark. She pulled her hand away and purred, "You are trouble aren't you, Emma?" The blonde laughed and nodded, "Oh yeah" The bartender brought Erins' bright red drink, with an apple wedge and a cherry skewered with a bright blue sword.

"You're the candy striper from the hospital aren't you?" after a few moments of silence Erin broached the topic she had been working out in her head.

"Oh my reputation proceeds me then?" Emma jested. Erin looked over at the table where Lucy and Renee were sitting close, whispering to one another. Lucy was smiling brilliantly. Erin turned her focus back on the green eyes that hadn't stopped looking at her, as if she were trying to memorize every inch of her. "Did Lucy ask you to come here?" Erin swallowed hard waiting for the blonde to answer.

"No." Emma replied honestly.

"But you know her?"

"We met briefly yesterday, yes." Which was also the truth.

Erin seemed to mull that around. "She is interested in the doctor you know." She lifted her chin in the direction of their subject of conversation.

"It seems that is the case." Emma nodded, she shot a glance over her shoulder then back toward Erin, her clear green eyes watching her every move. Erin took a long drink from her glass, then turned back towards the blonde, clearing her throat. "So what is it that you are doing out on the town on a Tuesday evening, Em-ma?" Emma gulped as Erin leaned forward, giving the blonde a peak at the red lace that lined the curve of her breast. Erin smiled with a satisfied smirk as she watched the emerald green eyes drop. "I'm" Her voice much higher than her normal tone, she cleared her throat and returned her gaze to Erins' knowing dark eyes, "I'm just off on vacation for the next little bit and am enjoying the first night of freedom." She lied with a smile. Erin sipped more of her drink, "Oh? Going anywhere special?" She asked seemingly interested. Emma shook her head, "Nope." She said the word slower than her normal speech would have said it. Emma was lost in this woman and she knew she had to stop being such a creep, even though Erin was still flirting she could see the womans' distrust deep within her onyx eyes. Just behind her desire.

Her Regina was in there and she knew something was up. She could almost hear the gears turning within the brunettes' head as she tried to figure it out. "Do you play pool?" Emma asked suddenly. Erin was taken aback, and thought about it for a moment, "I'm not opposed to it, no." Emma smirked and bit her bottom lip, "Want a game then?" she asked and held out her hand for the brunette.

Erin took Emmas' hand and then towed the blonde into the back room, both women caught Lucys' watchful blue eyes as they pass by. The doctor was sitting impossibly close, face buried in the bikers' neck. Emma gave Lu a knowing smirk as they passed, and received a quick flash of a grin in return. Renees' hand moved to Lucy's chin, drawing the womans' attention once more and into a fiery kiss.

It was much quieter in the back where the game room was set up. There were several dart boards, three pool tables, two of which were open, and along the back there were video gambling machines set up. There were two other couples when Erin and Emma walked in, Emma could feel the knowing glances as they walked over to the furthest table and smirked despite herself. She knew Regina was the hottest thing ever to walk into this dive, and she relished in the fact they all knew it too. Emma dug some change out of her front pocket, and put each coin in their respective slots, pushing the tray forward and releasing the balls within the table. She stood and looked at Regina who was appraising the house sticks, checking balance and weight, length and true-ness of each shaft. "Break or Rack?" Emma asked.

"You pay, you rack, dear." The brunette drawled.

"Am I getting hustled here?" Emma chuckled nervously. Erin purred her reply, "You never know."

Emma stood at the bottom of the table after racking up the balls, and watched Erin chalk her stick. She could almost forget that this wasn't Regina. Her apple martini, the way she purred her name, her saunter, the way she captivated the sheriff had not changed in the slightest, but at the same time the carefree way Erin smiled, so quickly, without hesitation, without her baggage, was positively not Regina Mills. Emma was suddenly overcome by their situation and took a long pull on her beer to settle her emotions.

She walked around the table, behind the brunette who is lining up her break and selected a stick from the wall mounted rack. The loud crack of the balls sounds from behind her, two balls sink into pockets, their distinct drop and rumble as they work their way through the tables inner maze. "Solids." Erin called out. Emma smiled as she turned around to a satisfied smirk across her dates face. Erin glided around the table working out her next possible shot. She leaned down and called out, "Two in the side." She drew back her cue stick, but then stood suddenly before taking her shot. Emma watched her as she handed her stick to Emma. The blonde was puzzled, but took it from the brunette. Erin's fingertips slipped down to the slit on her skirt, grasping the zipper head that was currently mid-thigh and dragging it up to her hip. Emmas jaw dropped as Erin licked her lips and batted her eyelashes and reclaimed her stick. She was able to get a wider stance therefore dropping lower and lining up her shot much better. She sank the two, leaving the cue ball to back peddle, setting up a perfect leave shot at the five. Emma realizes her game is getting run and started to focus on the table as opposed to her date. "I think I better break from now on." Emma commented with a disapproving shake of her head. Erin sank the five but left herself nothing. Her next shot is about putting the cue ball in a place Emma can't do anything with it. "Finally!" Emma took up her stick and walked around the end of the table. "Wow, you literally left me dick!" the brunette smiled wickedly, but didn't comment.

When Erin finally sank the eight and won the game, Emma still had 5 balls left on the table and a mock accusatory glare. She walked over to where Erin was standing at the head of the table, blushing and smiling fully. That carefree wide grin that screams Erin Doe, but yet, her lips, her eyes, her jawline… Emma moves closer, slides her hand around Erins' waist, "Good game." She breathes into the womans ear causing the brunette to shudder. "Tell me again how you didn't just hustle me?" Emma was looking down at Erins' deep cleavage as she said this. "I'm fairly certain, Emma, if you had concentrated even a little on the game, and not my ass," She turned away from Emma wriggling out of the blondes grasp to return her stick to the rack behind them. "You would have fared much better dear." Emmas' dimples deepened as she grinned at the brunette. "Perhaps, but it wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining." Emma cooed. "I'm going back up for a refresher, can I get you another appletini?"

Erin shrugged her shoulders "Sure. Want to play darts next?" she asked with a wicked grin.

"Sure you can kick my ass at darts, Erin, anything you want." Emma replied, as she took Erins' empty glass with her back to the main room.

Lucy and Renee were kissing pretty heavily when Emma passed them by to return to the bar to place her order. She walked back to the table and knocked on the top to get their attention. "Hey. I can drive Regina back to yours if you guys wanted to you know, leave or whatever." She offered. Renee's green eyes sparkled as she looked over at Lu, who had several dark red marks along her neckline already. She thought about declining, but her mind was flooded with possibilities of this little blonde and the potential night they would have. She nodded, but said "Only if Erin is comfortable with it."

"I'll go ask her now." She was practically skipping back up to the bar where her order was waiting for her. She laid down cash and took the drinks back to the back room where she found Erin talking to a redhead at the jukebox. Emma walked up to her and handed her the red drink, with her hand freed she slipped it around the brunette, who looked at her with a raised eyebrow as Emma stared down the redhead her date had been talking to.

"Emma, this is Sandra." The blonde nods at the girl, her green eyes making her intent clear to the other woman. "Sandra was just telling me about how The Tam is hosting an LGBTQ luncheon this weekend."

"Was she now," she pulled Regina tighter to her. The redhead got the message loud and clear, she defaulted to the sales pitch as opposed to the flagrant flirting she had been doing before the blonde showed up. "Yes all the proceeds go toward supporting trans-teens in the inner city. It really is a good cause." Sandra concluded. Emma looked into Erins' brown chocolate eyes, "I'll buy tickets if you go with me." Erin blushed and politely chuckled. "We'll see how the rest of tonight goes, you may not want to be stuck seeing me this weekend." Both women completely forgetting the redhead as they flirted with one another, "Oh I am definitely going to want to see you again." Emma grinned. "OH! By the way," Emma started before Sandra cut her off, "Well if you are interested in tickets you can buy them at the bar. Hope to see you two there!" she sulked off before Erin had a chance to respond.

"I feel a bit like you are claiming your territory." She looked down at Emmas' arm wrapped around her waist. "Is that what you are doing?" Emmas fingers dug into her hip bone as she pulled her tighter to her body. "Maybe." She purred. "Is that okay?" her green eyes searched the brunettes face for traces of discouragement, only to find a rosy glow fill the womans cheeks. "I'm not complaining." She replied. The blonde smiled brightly, "As I was saying, um, Lu and the doc are level 99 on heavy petting out there, I offered to drive you home if they wanted to take off. She said it was up to you." The blonde back peddled when she saw Erins eyes narrow, "I mean of course it is up to you, I'm just offering a ride, is all."

Erin detangled herself from Emmas' grasp and peered through the open archway that separated the two rooms. Lucy and the blonde doctor were indeed rounding first, the doctor's clear intent on stealing second. "If you don't mind, then thank you." She said as she turned back her attention to the blonde.

"It would be my pleasure." Emma said with a cordial bow.

Erin toddled off to inform her roommate that she indeed had a ride and Emma set up the game of darts that they were going to be playing when the brunette got back. She stood leaning against the makeshift bar along the wall, it was more of a sturdy shelf people could put their drinks on, to discourage using the pool tables. As soon as Erin came into her line of sight Emmas' heart began to race once more. She thought about how well the night had been going and how insanely sexy Regina was, then she considered how to end the evening, would she kiss her? Would the brunette want more? Could she do that to Regina, without her actually being Regina? She decided that no, kissing was probably as far as she should go tonight, even if she was her Regina, it was technically their first date. The woman was a Queen for Pete's sake.

'Something, Something, Honor or whatever.'

They played several rounds of darts and the brunette had easily won every round. Emma knew the woman to be a proficient archer back in the enchanted forest, and to be fair, Emma wasn't really paying as much attention to the game as she was to the Queens' form while she played. Afterwards, they settled into a quiet booth in the back of the room and talked, mostly about the future. Emma finally asked her how she knew Lucy. "She is my savior." Erin blushed. Emma couldn't hide the jealousy that struck her face at the use of that particular phrase. "I had an accident and Lu rescued me." The brunette elaborated noticing the unusual way the blonde candy striper looked when she called Lu "her savior". Emma fought to contain her emotions, this conversation needed to happen if they were going to progress. "Tell me about it."

"I was found on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere…" a sadness crept into her brown eyes. "When I finally woke, I had no idea who I was." She carefully spoke the next few words almost expecting this beautiful blonde to run at the comprehension of them. "I don't have any memories from before waking up in the hospital a few months ago."

Emma nodded as she listened and sipped her water. She was sitting close to the brunette, her arm around the shorter womans' shoulder. She just couldn't not touch her, it were as if she stopped, the woman would vanish before her very eyes. "It was good Lucy found you then, you are lucky you weren't found by some creep."

"Honestly I am lucky to have been found at all. We have been looking, but it doesn't appear as though anyone is looking for me." Beyond her control a single tear slipped out over her eyelashes. "I somehow knew, when we started looking for my family, they wouldn't be looking for me." Emotions sprang up and she apologized for the out pour. Emma felt not only her sadness, but also her own anger and she pursed her lips together in an attempt to not say what she was thinking.

'You abandoned US! I DID look for you! Everywhere! And I found you! Here! I'm here now Regina! And I love you!'

She said nothing, just took the brunettes slim hand into her own, squeezing tight, trying to convey her complicated emotions, balancing her support of what Erin was saying to her with how she felt about Regina. She couldn't speak. She just let the brunette vent.

"So you are still here." Erin finally said after summoning control over her emotions.

"I am." Emma replied, "Is that okay?"

Erin nodded, her wide brown eyes studying the blondes' features. They stopped at Emmas' thin pink lips, she smiled wickedly as Emma gulped audibly and her pink tongue darted out to moisten them slightly. Erin leaned into the sheriff, her mouth open, ready to take in what Emma had to offer. Emma cupped Erins' jaw, drawing her in slowly. When their lips touched Emma felt a jolt rip down her body and settle into her groin. Their heated embrace lasted, fueled by the liquor Erin had consumed, however Emma had already begun to sober back up in preparation of driving her queen home that evening. She controlled the fervor of their embrace, finally breaking it completely when she started to feel dizzy due to lack of oxygen. She pressed her forehead against the queens' own, holding the back of her neck securely. She closed her eyes and whispered, "I think it is time to take you home Erin." The brunette nodded slowly, sadly, then kissed her once more before putting space between them. "You're right. If we don't stop now, we won't." she said sadly.


Lucy followed the young doctor up the front walk of the blondes' brownstone. The neighbourhood was deathly quiet and Lucy felt as though she needed to whisper as to not disturb the night. Renee dropped her keys on the front stoop with a high pitched clatter. "You got that okay doc?" Lu asked quietly as she walked up and stood behind the blonde who bent over to retrieve her keys. Lucy smiled admiring the view. Renee felt strong hands slip around her hips and Lucys' body press up against her as she stood back up, keys in hand.

Lucys' hands had a mind of their own as she slipped her fingers under the blondes light jacket seeking flesh that was denied. As Renee finally unlocked her door Lucy was peppering the doctor's neck with light kisses. Renee dropped her keys in a decorative bowl that sat on an end table next to the front door, turned her body into the embrace Lucy had around her and kissed the tall brunette fiercely. "Oh I've got it." she growled and wrapped her hands around Lucy's neck pulling her down into herself. The doctor traced the brunettes' lips with the tip of her tongue seeking permission to enter as the lawyer slipped her hands down under the blondes ass and lifted the shorter woman up into her arms. Lucy quickly realized she had no idea where she was taking the woman and decided to just lean her up against the closest wall. Renee wrapped her thighs around the bikers' waist, pressing the heat of her center against toned abs. Lucy moaned into Renee's mouth at the feel of the little heater that could and mumbled "Bedroom." before continuing the bruising kissing assault on the shorter woman.

Renee pulled away reluctantly and made great effort to lead them through her darkened home towards her bedroom flicking on lights as they traversed. Once they arrived in the coveted room, Renee pulled off her jacket and the blouse she had on, revealing a lacy pink bra that made Lucys' eyes dilate with desire. The lawyer made a fumbling attempt at removing her own garments only to be stopped by the devilish predatory doctor looking upon her prey.

"Please." the blonde hissed. "Allow me."


Lucy sighed as she collapsed back against the bed. Renee slipped easily into the taller woman's arms, their bodies spent after hours of exploration and exploitation. Both women content in their post orgasmic haze.

After a while of quiet cuddling Renee lifted her head and rested it on her palm donning a curious look upon her face.

"Was it just Emma's idea to meet up with us at the bar?" the doctor questioned her new lover.

"It was, but I coaxed Erin out for her. She said she wouldn't tell Erin anything about Regina or who Emma really was." the biker defended both her own, and Emmas' actions.

"The mind is a complicated thing. Just being around Emma could trigger an unexpected reaction Lu. It is dangerous. She is playing with fire."

"She is in love, you can see it written all over her face. When she looks at Erin… no, when she looks at Regina… you can practically feel the emotion in the air."

"It is selfish." the blonde stated boldly.

"The first day I met Emma, she found out Regina was here and safe and her search was over… it was like the dam of emotion she had been holding back for months broke, and she collapsed in my arms and wept." Lu wiped a tear away before she continued, "I know you disapprove babe, but she promised not to do anything reckless. She just wants to spend time with her fianceé."

"I am human you know." the blonde broke her gaze and rested her blonde head on a bare tattooed shoulder. "I feel for Emma, I just think rushing in could cause irreparable damage. I'm thinking of Regina."

Lu kissed her new lover on the top of her head. "I know doc. I'm torn because I want what's best for Regina as well. It is truly a messed up situation."

Renee hummed her agreement and the couple drifted off to sleep.


"I want to see you again." Emma said as she walked Erin to her building lobby.

"Do you? What did you have in mind?" Erin tried not to sound as surprised as she actually felt.

"Anything you want, soon though. Tomorrow?" the brunette laughed out loud until she realized Emmas' face had grown serious and intense. "Oh, you are serious?"

"Yes, Erin. I am." Emmas' fingers slipped around the brunettes hips. "Are you busy?" she asked knowingly.

"No I… I don't think I am."

"Good." Emma said definitively. "I'll swing by, let's say 11?" Erin laughed again at the blondes' enthusiasm. She nodded shyly as she smiled, staring into the intensity of those green eyes. Emma leaned into her and gently touched her lips with her own, kissing her softly, chastely, her hands wrapping around her, holding her securely. Erin was breathless when Emma finally broke their embrace. The brunette chuckled once more, "I can't wait." She whispered. The blonde let her go and watched as she entered the building before turning back to her car.

Emma got back to her room and jumped in the shower. Much cooler than what she would normally prefer, she needed to chill out after tonight's heated exchange with her son's mother. "God damn she is so hot." Emma said out loud to no one as she dipped her head under the cool faucet.

Chapter Text

Emma woke up naturally the next morning, she didn't have a restful sleep, she was too excited for her date. She had messaged Lucy when she got up to get some advice on where she should take Erin that day.

Emma: I know what Regina likes to do, but what does Erin like?

Lucy: She is quite fond of the beach.

Emma: the beach it is ty!

Lucy: no sweat.

Emma pulled up google maps and started looking for a good place to go for a picnic. It had been some time since she lived here and she had a spot in mind she just couldn't quite remember how to get down there.

She hadn't slept well, the thought of her not getting "Erin" to tap into Reginas' feelings was at the forefront. The second front was she knew how she felt about the woman, she herself had time to, adjust. She wasn't however, confident Regina felt the same way for her, no matter what the wolf thought she picked up on. Even Emma only admitted her feelings to herself, and consequently her family, after breaking the womans' confidence and invading her privacy, but by doing so she got to know Regina. The woman behind the front. Emma discovered that she had much more in common with the queen than she ever knew possible. However, the queen herself didn't have that insight into Emma. The only way she was able to get the couple hours of sleep that she did was to promise herself she would bare her all to Erin in hopes that Regina got to know her, in as a profound way as Emma had the brunette. Emma was nervous about baring herself this way, the chance for rejection was high. She didn't have the faith in the power of true love the way her parents do. The way her son did. That was why she decided the night before she would call her mother and get the team-Regina Charming-cheer-squad up and doing something.

"Emma is everything alright?" Snow answered the call on the first ring.

"Not terrible. She doesn't have her memories back, but I saw her last night. I talked to her as 'Erin'." Emma smiled sadly.

"Oh honey, are you okay?" Snow cringed as the automatic question popped out of her mouth. "I mean, I know this is hard but…"

Emma cut her off before her mother went on an infamous Charming ramble. "It is okay mom. I mean, it isn't but… but I am seeing her later this morning. I'm taking her on a picnic." Emma offered. "She doesn't know who I am other than the girl at the bar from last night but she agreed to see me today so… yeah."

"Oh sweetheart well, be careful. And if this Erin has anything of Regina in her, she will love a romantic picnic. I mean I think she would…" Snow trailed off trying desperately to think of a time her father ever did anything to make Regina feel special and she was coming up blank. "I guess she has really never really been…"

"Wooed. I know mom." Emma replied softly knowing Snow was reflecting on her fathers second marriage. "Even Daniel, they were teenagers. I mean I didn't know him, but Neil was complete shit when it came to romance, and he was just acting like a teenager."

Snow cleared her throat nervously and changed the subject away from things she wasn't ready to deal with. "You need to pack that spiced meat Regina likes."

"Which meat?" Emma asked and quickly grabbed the complementary motel pen and paper from the desk preparing to jot down any assistance her mother could give her

"I think they call is prosciutto here. Yeah that with some mozzarella cheese. She loved that stuff."

"You really are trying, huh?" Emma said in awe.

"I love you Emma." was all the response she got.

"I know. It means so much to me that you are on board."

Emma cleared her throat preparing herself for the reason for the call, "Could you, um, try and work with Mother Superior and see if the fairies can come up with a potion to restore Reginas' memories?" Emma asked carefully.

"Well yes, actually we've already had the conversation." Snow replied hesitantly. "I didn't want you to think I didn't support your feelings for Regina, or believe that they aren't strong enough to break this with true loves kiss. I just wanted a plan B. Blue said she should have something that will work as early as this evening."

"Thanks Mom, I don't think you doubt my feelings. I wanted a plan B too." Emma said relieved. "I'm a little worried that I won't be able to get Erin to feel the way Regina did… does… whatever." Emma added sadly. "I just want her back, you know?"

"I know sweetheart. One way or another we will get Henrys' mothers back." Snow said confidently. "Both of them."

Emma said her goodbyes and disconnected the line, feeling a little more confident than she had before her call to her mother, she then got dressed and ready to go.


Erin sat at the table eating her breakfast when Lucy strolled in at quarter after 9. She sported a wide grin as she entered the kitchen. "Good morning!" she said a little too brightly.

"Well, someone had a good night." Erin said with a knowing smirk.

"You didn't?" the taller brunette asked worriedly as she took a seat next to her roommate.

"Oh I definitely did." Erin said with a bit of a dreamy smile. "Emma is coming by to pick me up at 11."

"Today? Really?" Lucy exclaimed. She was unable to mask the worry she felt. She knew the blonde wanted to see her fiancée, and she had suggested the beach, but she didn't know it would be that very day.

"Yeah, why?" Erin asked noting the concern in her friends' face.

"No, it's good. I mean you like her?" Lucy tried to recover from the slip.

"I do, she feels… safe… not safe, um… I don't know how to describe it. It is more than safe it's… Well last night I didn't have nightmares." Erin blushed a light pink in the apples of her cheeks.

Lucy looked surprised, "You didn't dream?"

"I did, they were just good dreams. It was about Emma I am sure of it. I can't stop thinking about her."

"Well what are you doing with her today?" Lucy asked.

"I have no idea. Frankly I don't care I just… "

"Want to be around her?"

Erin crinkled her nose at the romantic sentiment and nodded with a smile. She finished up her toast and cleared her place setting calling back over her shoulder, "So the doc is a biter huh?" She peered over her shoulder with a wicked grin catching the lawyer pulling her hair down to cover her neck. Lucy cleared her throat, "Amongst other things." she said cryptically.

After she dished on several more details then she had previously intended regarding her evening with the fair doctor, she wished her young roommate good luck and went into her room and closed the door in order to phone Emma.

"Hey!" The blonde answered the phone happily. "I'm going to be there soon. Are you home yet?"

"Emma," Lucy whispered, "are you sure this is a good idea?"

Emmas' face dropped at the harsh tone the brunette was using on her. She knew in any other set of circumstances the woman would be right and this would be a dangerous, terrible idea. Regina lost her memories due to magic. Not some unknown trauma. The same rules couldn't be applied, Emma was certain of it and she had half a mind to pack up the mayor and bring her home but the other half of her mind was scared shitless that she was completely wrong and that kind of shock to Erin, would put the brunette in physical danger. So she continued on with plan A. For the time being.

"I'm not telling her anything, Lu. I'm just… spending time with my girlfriend."

"You're being selfish." Lucy said without malice.

"I know." Emma said quietly. "Is she okay? I mean you're home right? Does she seem okay?"

Lucy hummed and rolled her eyes knowing exactly where the blonde was going with this line of questioning. "Yeah. She is looking forward to seeing you. She said she didn't have nightmares last night. That is the first night since I've known her."

"See?" Lucy could hear Emmas' smug smile through her words. "It is going to be fine. I'm not Emma Swan, Sheriff. I'm Emma the cute candy striper that picked her up at a gay bar."

"Just…" Lucy didn't know what to warn her about, but she felt the need to protect the young brunette nonetheless.

"I won't hurt her Lu. I am stupid, rash and impulsive, but I'm in love with that girl. I'd die to protect her." Emma said sincerely and Lucy let go of her reservations a little and conceded.

"Fine." Lucy let out a feigned sigh of annoyance. "When will you be here?"

"I'm outside your building. Is she ready?"

"I'm pretty sure she was ready the moment she woke up, but come on up." Lucy said shaking her head.


Erin heard the door buzzer that announced a visitor from the front desk and bounded out into the living room to answer it. Several minutes later the knock on the door caused her to break out into a huge smile which only got bigger when she answered the door. The blonde was standing in the doorway with a bouquet of wild flowers. Daisies and Black Eyed Susans and a few Sun Flowers peppered around the messy bundle of Lavender, pink Gerberas and Baby's Breath. Erins' eyes grew wide as she looked up at the shy smile of her date standing nervously in a blue leather jacket, grey tank top and dark blue jeans.

"Emma, you didn't have to do that." Erins' cheeks pinkened at the gesture, she felt it odd to be courted so.

"Of course not. I am however a sucker for clichés, and this is our first actual date so you get flowers." Emma said with a little pirate smile.

Erin chuckled and called over her shoulder with the distinct sass of one Mayor Mills, "A date usually means food dear." as she went to put her flowers in some water. Had she not turned and walked away she would have seen the tear that escaped her callers' green eyes as Emma stood in shock for a moment at the words and tone that were so very Regina Mills hit the blonde hard causing her to lose her breath for the briefest of moments. She recovered, not as quickly as would have been natural, but brushed the tear away and then countered with a smile, "Who says there won't be food?"

It was Erins' turn to be stunned for a moment as she hesitated in her steps toward the kitchen. "What are we doing today, exactly?" Erin prodded as she returned to her guest standing a few feet away from the door. Emma shrugged her shoulders, "It is a secret." she said cryptically. She saw that Erins' face was looking hesitant and decided to just tell the woman.

Mental note: Queens do not like surprises.

"Okay fine… I asked your roommate what you liked to do and decided a picnic on the beach would be hella romantic."

Erin chuckled wary, "Well let me go tell my loose lipped roommate you intend on kidnapping me for the day." she turned from the blonde and started to walk away, but before she got far, the girl snatched her wrist and pulled her back in a strong smooth move that ended with her hands wrapped around the older womans' waist. Her green eyes intently gazing into the surprised look of Erins' chocolate orbs. "You look amazing today." Her pale hand ran down the brunettes' side, fingering the dark material of Erins' light sweater. The woman in her arms breath hitched as she leaned in and pressed her nose into the dark curls of Erins' hair, "You may want to bring a jacket." she whispered before pulling away with a sly teasing smile.


Emma led Erin down a grassy covered sandy path, a basket in one hand, Erins' hand in the other with a blanket tossed over her shoulder.

Erin allowed herself to be led by the tall strong blonde; The way the woman took charge made the butterflies in Erins' stomach come alive. She felt safe with the blonde. Safer than she has felt as far back as she could remember. She stroked her fingers up the blue leather of her companions' jacket, pressing into the firm muscle just under the surface. Emma smiled and looked back at the brunette admiring her assets. "Like what you see?" the blonde cooed.

"I like what I feel." Erin said confidently. Emma leaned over and whispered into Erins messy hair, "Perhaps I can arrange a sneak peek for you."

Erin lost her breath at the remembrance of the blondes' muscular shoulders in a white tank top holding a chainsaw. Blonde hair cascading around her shoulders.

'Was that part of my dream?' Erin puzzled to herself for a moment, then remembering a completely different part of her dream about the blonde, she blushed a bright pink before pushing on. "So you asked my roommate where to take me today, huh? How cleverly covert you are, dear."

Emma stopped a few yards from where the sandy dunes were starting to turn more sand than the tall lanky grass and turned to her date with a coy smile. "You have no idea what I'm capable of." Emma bit her tongue as the words "Madam Mayor" almost passed through her lips.

The blonde handed Erin the basket she had as Emma shook out the blanket and laid it out flat on the ground, making sure to bury each corner with a hand full of sand to keep it from blowing away. Erin set down her burden once Emma stood back up and turned to her date. The brunette reached down and grabbed Emmas' hands in her own before looking up into piercing green eyes studying her. "I appreciate the effort, no matter what you are capable of, Emma."

"You're worth the effort." Emma flashed a light smile back at the brunette and then proceeded to set up the picnic lunch for them both.

After lunch they sat and talked, Erin asked, "Since I don't exactly have a history, why don't you tell me something about yours?"

"Alright." the blonde agreed. "Why don't you ask me something you want to know?"

"Just start at the beginning." Erin instructed.

"Nope!" Emma teased, gently nudging her date. "Ask away!"

"How would that be effective? Me just asking you random questions about your life? What if you don't want to talk about what I ask you? What then?"

Emmas' green eyes met the inquisitive glare of her date. "I'll answer anything you ask." her tone was serious. "I am your open book." she shyly smiled and the apples of Emmas' cheeks flushed red as she admitted, "I want you to ask questions because then I can hear your sexy voice."

Erins' cheeks flushed red herself at the admission and she nodded her head gently and conceded. "Do you have any siblings?" she asked tentatively trying to take the focus off of the complement.

"Nope. I did however have foster siblings, just never for very long." Emma shrugged her shoulders trying to make the admission of her time in the system lighter than it was.

"Your parents had foster kids?" Erin asked as she took the glass of wine Emma handed her.

"Nope. I am an orphan." Emma clarified as she busied herself preparing their lunch.

"Oh. I'm not sure what to say about that. See? The question asking thing is dumb." Erin said blushing lightly.

"It isn't, you're just not giving it a fair shot." Emma countered with a smirk. "Besides there is nothing to say about me being an orphan. It happened, it wasn't great, but it is a part of me."

"How many homes were you in?" Erin asked and picked at the cheese and deli meat left on the platter. She took a bite humming her approval in Emmas' culinary choices.

"I'm not sure. A lot. I was orphaned as an infant and the couple who took me in kept me until I was 3. Long story short, the woman got pregnant and they decided not to go through with the adoption they started. After you have adoption paperwork withdrawn, for any reason, you get labelled a 'problem kid' and it makes it harder to find a place."

"That hardly seems fair, you were still a baby! Surely potential parents couldn't blame you for the selfish idiots who returned a beautiful little girl as if she were the wrong size shoe at a department store, simply because they are egotistical morons!"

Emma chuckled at the Regina-esque assessment. "Perhaps, however the reasoning behind their egotistical motives were kept confidential."

"Well that's ridiculous." Erin huffed crossing her arms over her chest defiantly.

"You think I'm beautiful?" Emma grinned wide digging a deep dimple into her cheek.

"The simple fact is, you are beautiful Emma, no matter what I think." Erin replied curtly still angered by the selfishness of some potential adoptive parents.

Emma could see the enflamed passion in her companions' eyes and rested her hand over one of Erins' own to calm her. "Would you like to go for a walk by the water?" Emma suggested. Erin nodded shyly as her anger melted away.


 

"What is your favorite color?" Regina continued the twenty questions style of dialogue as they walked hand in hand down the beach.

Emmas' thumb gently caressed the back of the brunettes' captive hand as they sauntered. "I look good in green."

"Yes but is green what you prefer?" Erin asked more specifically.

"I guess not really." Emma said looking down. "I guess I don't really have a favourite, favourite color." she said and cringed at herself for her non-committal, yet honest, answer.

Erin was picking up sea shells along the beach as they walked and Emma watched the woman with curious intensity. "Do you do anything with them?" Emma asked and pointed out a larger cone shaped shell to the left of the brunette. Erin bent down quickly and snatched it up.

"No. Not really. I just…" Erin trailed off feeling conscious about her ridiculous reasoning.

"Tell me." Emma said quietly and stepped closer, her green eyes mesmerizing the brunette for a brief moment before she answered honestly. "They are what's left of someones' home. Just a discarded empty shell. It is sad really. I just can't leave them here to be nothing to no one ever again."

"I know what we can do with them." Emma said with a huge dimpled smile. The queen raised an eyebrow to encourage the blonde to continue. "Geocaching!" Emma exclaimed.

"I'm afraid I have no idea what that is dear." Erin said shaking her head but smiled as she was infected by Emmas' excitement at the prospect of having a use for Erins' shell collection. It certainly had become extensive in the few months she has lived in the Boston area.

Emma took out her phone and made sure she swiped the lock screen and clicked on the caching app before showing the face to Erin. "So it uses GPS to see where you are, then it tells you what caches are near you. You go find them and when you do, you log it. You can leave something inside the cache if you want." Emma picked up one of the tiny shells Erin had in her shirt basket. "These shells are perfect."

"That sounds like second date material." Erin said with a smirk.

"I would love a second date." Emma said seriously. She cupped the cheek of the petite brunette standing before her and leaned in and gently touched their lips. Just as she was about to pull away, satisfied with their chaste kiss, Erin let go of her shirt basket and the shells she had collected up to that point clattered to the sand at their feet. Her hands wrapped themselves around the blondes neck and Erin pulled Emma into a searing kiss that ripped the breath out of the blonde. Erin fought for control of herself as she slowed the fervor of their kiss and she leaned their foreheads together. "I've been thinking about kissing you all day." she whispered breathlessly.

"You are delicious." Emma said in response and licked her lips.


 

They start to walk back towards where their picnic blanket was set up and Erin looks at Emma and asks the question she had been curious about since the previous evening. "Why did you ask me out Emma?"

"Other than you're hot?" Emma replied with a wide smile and looked over Erins' body.

"Yes dear, other than my pleasing assets."

"I don't know. Why did you say yes?" Emma countered trying not to lie to the woman as much as possible.

"I don't know." Erin sassed back her response not entirely pleased with the blondes' answer. "Everything in my life, as far as I can remember anyway, has been uncertain. Up in the air. That is how I feel." Erin blushed at the admission but continued. "I know I should feel like this strong independant woman or that is who I think I ought to be, but" Erin stopped and faced Emma. She settled herself between the saviors' arms which naturally enclosed around her waist. "But, it felt really good the way you sometimes wrap your arm around me, the way you hold me close." Emma smiled wickedly and pulled her queen closer. "It feels like you are claiming me, or something, no…" Erin corrected herself, "Like I belong."

Emma pulled the brunette into her chest as her eyes brimmed with salty tears. The emotions she had for this woman were overwhelming to her. She kissed the brown crown of the woman in her arms and held her tight as her reply. The brunette nestled into the embrace and sighed her contentment. It was so right, Emma thought. This is so right.

As they were walking back to the car, Emma had her arm wrapped around Erins' shoulders, they were walking in unison. A tiny rumble of the blondes' phone vibrating a new message tickled her thigh. Then another. Then a third. She rolled her eyes and handed the brunette the basket as they continued their trek back to Emmas' bug.

Emma pulled the phone out and read over the messages from her mother. The news therein causing her to stop dead in her tracks.

"What's wrong?" Erin asked. Her voice painted with the concern she felt seeing the conflicting emotions running across the blondes face.

"Come home with me. Right now." Emma looked at the brunette with hopeful anticipation.

"Emma…" Erin started and looked away. "I think we have a connection, but I think my situation, as it is, is complicated. I have fun with you dear, but intimacy so soon after meeting, is probably a bad idea." Erin finally looked back up at Emma and didn't see the disappointment she was expecting, but utter confusion. "Not that I haven't been thinking of it, god help me I have!" she exclaimed with a nervous chuckle. "I just think we could have something real and I don't want to hurt you."

"No. I mean come home with me. Come meet my family." It was Erins' turn to be confused and she shook her head slightly.

"What?" Erin said needing clarification.

"It is a bit of a drive, but we can make it there in a few hours. Come meet my family." Emma said with a huge smile. "Please?" Erin took a deep breath, she felt like she was standing at the edge of a cliff and Emma was asking her to take a step forward. She closed her eyes and took the step. She nodded silently and the blonde hugged her excitedly, picking her up and twirling them both. "You won't regret it!" Emma exclaimed and kissed Erin on the cheek. "I promise!"

Chapter Text

During the drive towards Storybrooke Maine Emma and Erin continued their 20 question style dialogue and Erin really got a sense of who the blonde woman was. She barely noticed the time it took to travel to their destination, she was completely enamoured with the girl driving the rusty little UV Bug.

"My turn to ask a question." Emma announced as their conversation had hit a lull.

"I'm not sure if I have an answer for you dear, but ask away. Fair is fair." the brunette replied with a flirty smile. "You've thought about us…" Emma started with a wicked grin growing across her face. "Being intimate?"

Erin visibly swallowed the orange that suddenly lodged itself in her throat. She took a deep breath and nodded. Deciding what few answers she could provide ought to be honest. "You are incredibly attractive Emma."

Emma scoffed.

"You mean you haven't?" Erin asked mock offended.

"Only since the moment I laid eyes on you." Emma admitted catching the dark chocolate gaze of the woman next to her. "I knew we were going to be amazing." Erin blushed and grabbed Emmas' hand entwining their fingers together.

Emma started to panic a little the closer they came to Storybrooke and the potion that would wake the woman next to her up. Regina wouldn't flirt with Emma the way Erin did. She didn't pull Emma close and let Emma touch her and hold her or claim her as belonging to the blonde sheriff. Regina didn't think about sex with Emma the way Erin did.

Regina was hurt, and Emma was the one who hurt her. Regina was not the forgiving type. No, she was the curse your ass with an apple tart type.

Emma looked over at Erin and clenched her grasp tighter around the brunettes' offered hand. No matter how Emma felt, she needed Regina back. She wanted Regina back. She wanted the brunette to do the things, and feel the ways that Erin did. Regina was her family. Her safe place.

Emma internally rolled her eyes at herself because this was a-typical Emma Swan… Realize how good something is after it is gone.

She was grateful that the fairies had kicked into high gear, probably spurred on by her mother, and managed to get a working serum so quickly, but part of her was sad that she hadn't been able to get Erin to fall in love with her. A small piece of her felt like she had been delusional thinking Regina felt anything remotely close to love for the savior. Annoyance, irritation, strained tolerance perhaps, but not love. They weren't even friends. They barely co-parented their son the blonde reminded herself.

God, what will it be like going back to what we were? Knowing what I know about her? Feeling what I feel about her?

Emma blanched at the thought and frowned.

I know what her lips feel like on mine. What her body feels like under my fingertips… How can I go back? Will she remember this? Kissing me? Fuck she is going to be pissed!

Emmas' head reeled with angry-Regina scenarios.

As Emma brooded within her own mind, the brunette sat quietly next to her and contemplated her own set of fears and concerns. She was driving with a virtual stranger out into the ever increasing thick woods of rural Maine. Who was this mysterious family that was so important to the orphaned blonde? Why hadn't she asked more questions regarding their trip before they were hours away from the safety and security of Lucy who literally had no idea where she was. Her concern started to snowball into full blown panic and as if the blonde could sense the fear within her she pulled their entwined hands up to her lips and kissed Erins' side. The warmth and acceptance of the blonde washed through Erin and she no longer felt the urgency of her panic as she had prior to the comforting kiss.

'Welcome to Storybrooke' whizzed by the yellow beetle and Emma looked suddenly concerned for the girl who sat next to her.

"What?" Erin asked nervously.

"Are you okay?" Emma replied.

"Yeah, I mean I'm sorta kicking myself for not telling Lucy where we were going before we left and all, but you know, other than potential murder on the mind, I'm good." Erin chuckled.

"You're thinking about murder?" Emma asked alarmed, worried the Evil Queen would be who she got back instead of Mayor Mills. "Of who?"

"Well you know, beautiful strange blonde picks you up in a bar whisks you off to the woods of Maine…" her voice trailed off as they started to enter some what of civilization. Small houses started to pop up more frequently and Erin gasped at the quaintness of the town itself. "Oh Emma! Did you grow up here?" Erin asked in awe.

"No, but my family lives here." Emma replied cryptically.

"Foster parents? Or did you end up actually being adopted after all?" Erin asked.

"No, I was never adopted. I left the system at 15 and never looked back. This is where my parents, my real parents live." she said with a dimpled smirk.

"Oh dear!" Erin exclaimed, of all the scenarios that wasn't one she had anticipated. She looked confused and a little concerned and Emma gave her hand another little squeeze.

They pulled up in front of 108 Mifflin Street and Emma parked her bug on the street. Erin looked out of the window up at the white mansion before her. "Your family has good taste." Emma laughed right out loud and shook her head at the absurdity of it all.

On their way she had texted Mary Margaret and asked her to use Henrys' keys and put the serum in the kitchen of the manor. She just needed to figure out how to get Erin to drink it.

Emma opened up her car door and eased out of the bug, stretching her stiff joints as she stood. She circled around and opened the passenger side door for the lovely brunette who seemed a little distant than she had on the drive up and Emma wondered if she was perhaps remembering on her own. She extended her hand and guided the woman out of the vehicle with all the charming chivalry she could muster.

Emma opened the front door and entered turning on the lights as they went. Erin stepped inside the foyer of her home and looked around confused. "What is it?" Emma asked with a chuckle. "How did you find them? How did you get passed being abandoned as an infant? Your life as an orphan, I mean from what we've talked about, was hard. How did you forgive them?"

"Well, it's an interesting story honestly." Emma replied walking deeper into the brunettes' home. "I forgave them because they had good reasons for doing what they did and we all deserve forgiveness when it is asked for." Erin followed the blonde into a large kitchen.

"But…" the brunette started but was interrupted by the front door opening and a loud voice yelling, "Mom?!"

Emmas' face showed the unmasked panic she felt and she ran from the kitchen to stop her son at the stairs. "Henry!" She exclaimed quietly, "What are you doing here?"

"I was on my way to the animal shelter when I saw your bug drive through town. Did you find her?" his eyes held the weight of hope that only a child could carry and Emmas' heart broke just a little.

"Yes and no kid."

"She wouldn't come home with you? She is still mad at us?"

"She is mad at ME Henry, not you. Not ever you. And no, she is here she just doesn't know she is your mom."

"Oh. Can I see her?" he asked hopefully.

"Yes but we can't tell her about herself. Okay? I don't want you feeling bad because she can't remember okay?" he responded with a huge hug and then said, "It's okay mom, I am the king of cool." he let go and brushed passed her and she followed him into the kitchen where Erin was waiting.

"Hi. I'm Henry." Henry said with one of his award winning smiles. Erin looked up at Emma whose panic stricken face was now more apologetic than concerned. "Well hello Henry." Erin replied as she returned her attention back to the child.

Emma smiled as she stood behind her son resting her hands on his shoulders. "Erin, this is my son."

Erin felt a sense of deja vu but shook it off. "I see that. He looks just like you Emma. So he lives here with his father?" she asked casually, suddenly feeling awkward at potentially sitting in a strange mans' home after kissing his hot blonde ex all day.

"Oh god no! Emma exclaimed and then winced as Henry scowled at her. She rolled her eyes and tried to look apologetic towards the boy. Erin raised an eyebrow towards the blonde and Henry sensed the tension in the room and piped up. "Um.. Erin? Wanna come see my room?" he flashed a smile towards his brunette mother. "My room is really cool!"

Erin brought her focus back towards the boy, "Well aren't you just darling!" she exclaimed. "Of course I would love to see your room Henry!" she smiled wide and winked at Emma. She took ahold of Henrys' offered hand and followed him upstairs to his bedroom.


Emma let out a huge tension filled sigh and took her phone out and called her mother.

"Ok so I brought her here and Henry showed up." she complained nervously.

"Oh gods Emma! He is supposed to be down at the animal shelter helping out!" Snow cried out.

"Yeah he saw my bug and took a B line to Mifflin." she sighed at the resourcefulness of her son.

"Okay well what's done is done. How is he handling it? Did you give her the serum?" Her mother asked worriedly.

"No we just walked in, I think now that Henry is here, I'm going to wait until tomorrow. Even if she is not Regina, I know he's missed her and if… well… we don't know what the serum will really do. I just want to spend one more day with my family. He is handling it better than I would have. He is such Reginas' kid." Emma said appreciatively. Snow chuckled on the line. "He is certainly that."


Erin followed the little boy upstairs to his bedroom. He opened his door and escorted the brunette inside. "Wow Henry you have very nice things." Erin praised and Henry beamed and drank it in. "Do you like living here with your mom Henry?" she asked.

"I love it, but I miss her." he said sadly. She sat down on the edge of his bed and he grabbed several comics off of the shelf to show her. She cleared her throat and spoke, "It is hard to be apart from the ones you love."

"Do you miss your family too?" he asked hopefully.

"I suppose," she started uncertain on how to answer the boy. "I don't have much family though." she settled on a vague explanation.

"I bet one day, you'll have more family than you'll know what to do with." he grabbed her hand and squeezed it with affection.

"Do you really think so?" she asked hope filling her heart.

"I am sure of it." the boy answered.

She looked at him intently. His hazel eyes capturing her the way his mothers green ones have on several occasions. "You are so much like your mother Henry." she gave him a shy smile.

"You have no idea!" he rolled his head and she chuckled out loud.


Emma looked in the fridge for something to cook for dinner and realized she had very little in the way of food on hand so she decided to order out. She stood at the bottom of the stairs and yelled up to Henry. "Hey kid? Want pizza for dinner?"

An excited "Yeah!" echoed off of the staircase a moment later and Emma chuckled and went back into the kitchen to order dinner for her family.

Erin came downstairs alone and came up behind Emma and slipped her hands around her waist.

"Hey you." Emma whispered and turned into the embrace.

"Your son is… beautiful, Emma." Erin said quietly. "I can see you in him. It is surreal."

"He is pretty special." Emma smiled. "Just like his mom." she added sadly.

"Did you want to stay overnight? I think Henry misses you." Erin asked shyly.

"I was going to ask you if that was alright? If so… You can use my phone and call Lu, I'm sure she'll appreciate the update." Emma said with a cheeky smile.

The corners of Erins' lips turned up quickly and she nodded her approval of the plan. She reached over and grabbed Emmas' phone off of the counter and Emma quickly grasped the womans' hand and snatched the phone away from her. "Are you sure?" she said outwardly chuckling but internally panicking at the woman seeing Regina and Henry on her lock screen. "You don't have to, the kid can go back to gran and Gramps house and I can take you home…" she teased.

"I'm sure Emma. I think I can handle one night with you." Erin sassed. She stepped back into Emmas' embrace, "I want to be here. With you and your son. He is quite wonderful." Erin said soulfully.

Emma turned on and unlocked her phone. She opened up the contacts and hit Lu's number for it to dial then handed the phone back to the brunette. "He is a lady killer and my secret weapon." she winked and smacked Erin playfully on the ass.

Lu sounded out of breath when she answered the phone and Erin proceeded to tell the biker that she came to Maine with Emma to meet her kid. She informed Lu that they are spending the night and would give a call tomorrow to see how everything was going. Lu was very quiet but thanked her for calling then asked if she could speak with Emma. Erin shrugged her shoulders at the questioning look Emma gave her as she handed back the phone to the blonde.

"Are you insane? Or just stupid?" Lucy yelled into the phone when she heard Emma on the line.

"Either are debatable." Emma sassed.

"I am serious Emma! What the hell were you thinking?"

Emma put on a fake smile and patted her son on the head as she walked towards the front door of the mansion. Once she was out of earshot she put her own bite into the words she whispered into the phone. "I was thinking about getting my girlfriend to remember she is my future wife!" Emma whisper-yelled back at the brunette. "I was thinking our son was crying himself to sleep at night missing his moms and that he could help me jog her memory!"

The mention of a crying child deflated the bikers argument, but she was still angry. "What if something goes wrong?"

"Storybrooke has a hospital, but trust me, you should see her with Henry, even not knowing what he is to her, they are happy." Emma pleaded her case yet again to the biker. "I will call if anything happens, I promise."

A clenched jaw spit the word "Fine." into the receiver and the line went dead.

Just as Emma looked down at the phone to shake her head the pizza guy showed up and Emma carried their dinner into the kitchen to find Erin and Henry laughing at some story Henry was telling her about school.

This is my family. Emma thought to herself.

"Can we watch a movie Ma?" Her son asked with excitement.

"Sure kid, bring the box, I'll grab the plates." Emma said and handed the pizza box to her son. "Pick out something good!" she called after him as he scrambled out to the living room.

"Are you in trouble?" Erin asked knowingly.

"Trouble is my middle name." Emma said with a smirk.

"I should have told her before we left." Erin bit the inside of her cheek and internally chastised her impulsiveness.

"Maybe, but you're an adult and I am an adult and she is…"

"Just worried about me. I did just get out of the hospital a few days ago." Erin cut the blonde off thoughtfully.

"It isn't too late, I can still take you home. The kid can stay with…"

"No." Erin slid into Emmas' arms and stroked the strong muscles that formed as Emma enclosed them around the petite brunette. "I am exactly where I want to be." she whispered and leaned her head against the blondes' collar.


Lucy disconnected the phone and threw it on the bed. This is a terrible idea! Erin is the one who is going to get hurt all because of the impatience of that idiot she agreed to marry! Lucy paced angrily in her bedroom. The door to the bathroom opened and Renee poked her head out. "Hey babe is everything okay?" Lucy stopped pacing and gave Renee a deadpan look and shook her head no. "Okay, what happened?"

"That blonde idiot took Erin back home to Maine! To hang out with their kid!" Lucy shouted and Renee exited the in-suite bathroom and carefully went over to where the tall brunette was pacing and placed a hand on her collarbone to stop her in her tracks. Green eyes look up and capture Lucys' manic shifting and instantly settled the biker down. "Look. What's done is done. I'm guessing Emma asked Erin to accompany her and didn't hijack the girl. Erin said yes, she must want to be there. That could be good. Being in her home environment could help her."

"It COULD hurt her!" Lu countered aggressively.

"Yes, but if it was going to, it would have already." Renee said trying to calm down the biker.

"I feel like I need to go up there." Lu said sitting down on the edge of the bed she bounced her knee nervously. Renee looked smartly at the biker and nodded her head in agreement. "Okay, then we will go up there. I've got a small procedure early tomorrow morning that should only take a few hours." the blonde rested her hand on Lus' shoulder getting her attention. "I'd like to come with you. Will you wait for me?" Renee asked tentatively.

"Of course babe." Lu said, visibly calmer than she had been at the start of their conversation. Lu nuzzled her cheek into the back of the blondes hand. Renee leaned down and kissed the woman on the forehead. "Let me get dressed and then we'll go get dinner hmm?"

Lu looked up with a little pirate smile and wagged her eyebrows. "I don't know, I kinda like you in the buff. Can I have dessert first?" Renee smiled devilishly and straddled the brunette pushing her back on the bed. "Only if you finish every bite." Lucy grabbed Renee and flipped their positions so she was on top and Renee gasped at the suddenness of the move and then exploded in a bout of giggles as Lu leaned in and peppered kisses into her sensitive neck.


The credits rolled on the second movie the family almost made through that night and Emma looked down at her son curled up asleep in front of a sleeping Regina on the couch. Both Mills' heads resting on Emmas' thigh. She picked up the remote and turned off the TV then ran her fingers through Reginas' hair gently. It felt so right to be able to run her fingertips over the skin of this woman she loved.

I want this to be my life. Emma thought to herself with a sad little smile. She sat and enjoyed the moment for a few minutes longer before she nudged her son awake enough to make his way upstairs. The woman who stayed behind stretched and turned to look up at the blonde she was casually using as a pillow. "So what are the sleeping arrangements?" Erin said in a deep raspy voice that touched Emma deep in the pit of her core.

"There is a guest room if you prefer." Emma said with a dimpled smile.

"I don't know, this couch is pretty comfy." the brunette teased. Hands slid up and under the pillow thigh she was using and Emmas' smile widened.

"I was serious what I said today on the beach about being physical with you. I think we could have something real." She broke eye contact and started to finger the blondes' grey tee shirt nervously. "But… I don't wish to sleep alone tonight."

Emma thought about their situation and thought it could be bad having the queen wake up in her own bedroom in the morning, she was pushing her luck as it was and she knew it. "Okay, well for the record, I completely agree with you." she gently stroked her fingers through the womans' soft chocolate locks. "I want this. I can wait as long as it takes. I just want to be close to you. That is enough for me. How about I join you in the guest room?"

"You don't want to sleep in your own room?" Erin asked curiously.

"Nah, I want to be where you are. Come on, let's get you something sexy to sleep in." Emma winked and then leaned down and kissed her on the forehead.


Upstairs Emma pulled out one of her old Ziggy Pop oversized tee shirts for Erin to sleep in and a pair of boxer shorts.

Erin held up the ratty old tee up to her small frame. "This is your idea of sexy?"

Emma walked over to Erin and cupped her chin, "This is my idea of sexy." She flicked the tee shirt in Erins' hand. "This is only sexy if it is on you."

Erin dropped the tee shirt on the bed and pulled the blonde down into her. She kissed Emma passionately then hugged her close whispering into her blonde mess. "You say the damnedest things and make it so hard to keep my hands to myself."

"Maybe that's part of my evil diabolical plan." Emma teased. Erin pulled back and smacked the blonde on the shoulder.

Emma left the mayor alone to get dressed and she went in and checked on Henry. She pulled up the blue comforter over him, kissed his head and tucked him in. "Sweet dreams kid." she whispered to the already asleep little boy.

She went into Reginas' bedroom and changed into another oversized tee shirt she had previously left in the master bedroom and a clean pair of tight boy short style underwear. She stopped in the bathroom and grabbed a new toothbrush from a package from under the sink and went back to the guest room to give it to Erin. "Don't worry, it is new." Emma said with a smile.

"Thank you Emma." Erin said holding the toothbrush tight her features were pulled together just as tight as she could see the blonde before her in her minds eye, that smile, a hundred different ways.

'Hi.' The feeling of loss and panic as that word in Emmas' voice passed through her mind.

The boy from my dreams. She thought to herself and frowned.

"What is it? What's wrong? I've got a blue one if pink isn't your thing." Emma said referring to the brush in Erins' hand.

"I- I don't know." Erin said honestly. "I think… I mean I have dreamt about a little boy. Henry reminds me of that dream child." she said a little embarrassed to admit that. It couldn't be possible for it to be the same child.

"He is pretty special." Emma said, the pride of a mother shown bright on her face that casually glossed over her dismissal of Erins' statement.

Erin crawled into the bed Emma had already gotten into. "Don't you think that is weird?" Erin questioned.

"I think things happen for a reason." Emma replied honestly. "and all of this, was meant to be." she wrapped her arms around Erin and settled the couple down comfortably in the bed.

"You really believe in all that fate crap?" Erin asked astonished.

"I didn't used to, but then people started to enter my life, and if one or two things had gone differently I would have been a completely different person. Being raised by my actual parents, I never would have had Henry."

'I never would have had you.' Emma thought to herself.

Erin fingered the thin material of the blondes' tee just below where her head was resting on Emmas' shoulder. She couldn't get the thought of the boy out of her head. Her dream child had been ripped from her. What did it all mean? She sighed deeply and Emmas' arm circled around her holding her close. The warmth and safety she felt in the blondes arms melted away her anxiety and she was able to drift off to sleep.


Henry Mills lept out of bed the next morning excited to start the day. He opened the door to the master bedroom and saw that the bed is still made from the night before so he turned and headed toward the guest bedroom. He peeked his head in through the slightly ajar door and spied both of his mothers sleeping soundly. His brunette mother sleeping on her stomach, arm draped over the edge of the bed. His blonde mother on her side curled up against Regina, her hand resting on the brunettes' back.

He paused for a moment uncertain if he should intrude, but then his stomach let a long low grumble and he made that the deciding factor. He bounded up across the bottom of the bed smack dab in the center of the two women with a huge smile on his face. "Mom! I'm starving! Get up!"

His brunette mother was instantly awake, surprised by his presence, but awake nonetheless. Emma however groaned and tried to curl back into a fake sleep next to Regina. Henry bounced on his knees on the bed pushing on her shoulders shoving her awake. "Mo-o-o-o-m!" This got a huge smile from his adoptive mother and they both giggled at the blondes' insistence she sleep for another hour at least.

"Alright! I'm up! What do you want sir?" Emma faux grumbled.

"I want blueberry waffles!" he exclaimed with hope in his eyes. It was one of his adoptive mothers' favourites, even if she would never admit enjoying the sugary morning meal. Emma cringed knowing that was just out of her culinary abilities. "Oh hey kid, I don't know how to make blueberry waffles. I don't think we have blueberries even."

"Yeah we do Gran got me some for when I come here after school to play video games. She says 'fruit is better than junk food Henry." he put his hands on his hips and imitated his Grandmother to a T which made Emma laugh.

"Okay well, I still don't know how to make waffles. How about…" She was about to suggest cereal but the pouty look the boy was giving them nudged his brunette mother to cut off Emma before she could continue.

"I could probably figure it out. Do you have a recipe?" Erin said shyly. "It seems cooking is something I am skilled at." Her face broke into a wide smile as Henrys' began to shine bright with joy.

"I have the internet." Emma said with an apologetic shoulder shrug.

"Good enough." The brunette declared.

"It is settled. Go get dressed and we'll meet you down there. " Emma directed. The boy excitedly scrambled back off the bed and disappeared through the door. Once Henry was gone Emma pulled the brunette into her arms and kissed her. "Thank you." Emma said once she released Erin from her embrace.

"For what?" Erin asked puzzled.

"For offering to cook us breakfast. You didn't have to do that." Emma replied.

"Oh you assume I'm making you waffles too?" Erin sassed and laughed as Emmas' face dropped into an instant pout.

"You are too easy!" the brunette announced and got up out of bed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. Emma shook her head and grabbed her phone off of the end table. She pulled on a pair of sweatpants and went after the brunette.


Erin easily set up the kitchen to prepare breakfast and Emma ushered Henry out into the dining room to help set the table. "Hey kid, are you okay?" she asked in a hushed tone.

"Yeah of course, why wouldn't I be?" He asked curious, but keeping his own voice low as well.

"Because your mom isn't your mom…" she started but then added what she had actually meant by 'are you okay?' "And you kinda came into my room and me and your 'not mom' were both in bed. You know, together." She looked down at the napkin she was manhandling as she stammered out her question. "I was just wondering if you are, you know, okay with everything or whatever."

Henry gave her a classic Regina 'are you stupid?' look which made Emma chuckle. "I know she is in love with you mom. I read her diary." he whispered.

"Yeah? I mean, yeah, okay, but uh…" Emma stumbled on the words she thought she needed to say to him as a parent.

Regina would know exactly what to say.

"And I know how you feel about her too. You definitely love her." he stated with confidence.

Emma chuckled at her sons' boldness and asked, "Oh yeah? What makes you think that?"

"Because she was gone and she could have been anywhere and you never stopped looking for her. Not even when Gran and Gramps said it was a lost cause. It took a really long time, but you did it. You saved her." he put the last fork down in place and then turned into his blonde mother and hugged her. "Thank you for finding her and bringing her home."

She kissed his head and ran her fingers through his hair. "You're right, but you needed your mom back kid. She left because of me. She belongs here, with us." Emmas' voice cracked with emotion.

"She left because she lost hope." Henry corrected her.

"She lost hope, because of me." Emma reminded him.

"Maybe," He replied smartly. "But we all make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them."

Erin came in, seemingly oblivious to the mother and son heart to heart, with a huge steaming stack of homemade blueberry waffles, maple syrup and whipped cream. Emmas' eyes bulged at the mouth watering sight. "Wow!" she exclaimed, "That looks amazing!"

"I hope they are as good as they look!" Erin said with a chuckle.


After breakfast Henry went to go play video games and Erin followed Emma back into the kitchen to help the blonde clean up.

"So when are we going to meet your mysterious parents? I thought we were came here to meet your family?" Erin asked as she took over the dry duty of the dishes Emma was hand washing. Emma took a deep breath and realized this was the end of their happy go lucky family time and Emma needed to bite the bullet because this was it. She couldn't very well bring Mary Margaret and David over and introduce them to Erin.

Emma towelled off her hands and turned around to face Erin. "Do you trust me?" Erin smirked and nestled herself into Emmas' arms. "I want to say no because you are terribly cute when you pout." Erin replied and Emma chuckled. "But I kinda jumped in your car spur of the moment and drove to another state with you so I'm going to have to go with yes it seems as though I trust you Emma."

Emma cupped the brunettes' cheek and planted a kiss on her lips. She poured the love she had for the woman into it causing Erin to groan into Emma. She ran her fingers into Erins' dark hair trying to commit to memory exactly how it felt and finally ended their passionate kiss by pressing their foreheads together. "I need you to do something for me, it is really important, but I need you to trust me enough to just do it. Do you think you can do that for me?" Emma whispered into the small space between them. Erin nodded her agreement and Emma kissed her once more on her forehead. She then turned from the embrace and went to the fridge and pulled out a mug that looked like it was painted by a child.

"Greatest Mom in the World" was sloppily painted in thick yellow letters across the side of the mug. Emma set down the cup in front of Erin and pushed it towards her. "Drink this."

"What is it?"

"It is a medicine that will help you."

Erin looked at her and furrowed her brow. "Help me? Help me what?" Emma took a deep breath and simply said, "Please. I'll answer everything, anything, you want. I need you to do this for me."

The tears that brimmed the dark green eyes hit somewhere deep down within the nervous brunette and she nodded her agreement. With a shaky hand Erin lifted the mug and looked at the contents then back at the blonde who seemed like she was holding her breath.

"You need to drink it all, okay?" Emma said softly. "It is going to taste awful, but it is important you take it all. This is going to work."

Emma looked worried as the brunette hesitated, and Erin made the decision that she did inexplicably trust the blonde, completely. Erin nodded her agreement to yet again take a step off the cliff and brought the mug to her lips and just before the blue liquid touches her lips brown eyes flick up and meet Emmas' just for a moment. What she saw in those watery green eyes was hope and concern. The brunette knocked back the serum and several seconds after she swallowed the gulp a light blue shimmer passed over and through the brunettes' body. Emma rushed to her side to steady the woman and assisted her with setting the mug down safely on the counter.

"Miss Swan? What-" frightened dark pools of Reginas' eyes rolled into the back of her head and the brunette lost consciousness collapsing into the blondes arms.

"HENRY!" Emma screamed for the boy and barked instructions to him as she lifted the queen up into her arms. "Call Gran tell her to come get you and meet us at the hospital!"

Emma drove frantically towards the hospital with Reginas' lifeless body seat belted into the passenger side of her VW. "It worked, it is going to be okay. It worked, it's going to be okay." Emma chanted as she drove. The bug skidded into the loading zone of the ER and she jumped out and picked Regina up once again and carried her into the building shouting at anyone for help.

The hospital staff got a gurney and Emma gently laid the queen down onto it then followed them as they wheeled her down the hall. A nurse came and stopped Emmas' movement as the gurney passed through a 'hospital staff only' door that led to the emergency trauma ward.

Emma explained to the nurse what had happened to the queen with the coma when she initially passed over the town line then glossed over the reasoning for the second hospitalization and finally detailing the magical potion she got from Mother Superior. The young nurse jotted down notes onto what Emma assumed was Reginas' chart and then instructed the Sheriff over to the waiting area.

'She remembered. It is going to be okay. It worked. She remembered.'

Chapter Text

Lu and Renee crossed the town border earlier than Lu had anticipated them arriving. Renees' surgery didn't quite take as long as she forecasted and so they were packed and on the road by 9 AM that morning. It was now closing on 1 in the afternoon and they were rolling into the picturesque little town of Storybrooke. "Oh Lu! This place is simply charming!" Renee exclaimed as she took in the cute little homes and quaint storefronts that lined main street.

They of course pulled into Granny's Bed and Breakfast, which was also a diner and the epicenter for the town. Ruby greeted the strangers with a wide smile. Her eyes drop appreciatively over Lus' tall fit body and her smile widens. "Well then, how can I help you?" Ruby drawls. Lu, oblivious to the obvious flirting by the young brunette said, "I'm looking for Emma Swan. She is the sheriff here?"

"She is our dear sheriff, I think she is out of town for a few days though." Ruby replied absently mesmerized by the bikers' crystal blue eyes. Ruby reached out and touched Lus' arm and tried to guide her to the counter. "Why don't you have a seat and I'll have the kitchen whip you up one of Grannys' famous bacon burgers. You like bacon? You look like you like bacon." Rubes said with a grin.

Renee slipped under Lus' arm, claiming her as taken and spoke up for the suddenly tongue tied biker. "No, she came back here yesterday with Regina. We came up to see how they were doing." Renee smiled smugly at the young brunettes' sudden awareness of her.

"Oh you are the biker who found our Qu- Mayor?" Ruby caught herself.

Lu nodded. "Indeed. Where can I find Emma?" what little patience she had was running low and she felt an urgency to see that Erin was indeed alright.

"She should be up at the mansion, let me call her quick." Ruby took out her phone but Renee stopped her. "We've already tried to call, she isn't answering. How do we get to this 'mansion'?"

"Hang on, I'll call um, someone who can help." Ruby dialed Snow who picked up immediately.

"Hey, um, the biker is here at Granny's. Where's Ems?"

"I'll be down. Trouble with the serum, Regina's in the hospital. I'll explain when I get there." Snow said frantically ushering her grandson into the truck.

"Oh shit." Ruby said then looked at the worried look in Lus' face. "Ok see you soon."

"Sn-Mary Margaret will be down in a few minutes to help you two out. Would you like some hot cocoa while you wait?"

"No." Lu grumbled, but Renee wrapped her hands around her girlfriend and said, "Yes thank you… um I'm sorry what was your name?"

"Oh I'm Red." she flashed a smile at the curt little blonde.

"Nice to meet you Red, that is an interesting name. I'm Renee and this is my girlfriend, Lucy." Lu looked down at the spunky little blonde with pleased surprise. Ruby nodded understanding and directed them to a booth and asked if they would like menus.

Once the waitress retreated Lu leaned over and whispered, "Girlfriend huh?"

"Yes." Renee said with a squeeze of Lus' thigh. "Especially when tall beautiful young girls are throwing themselves at you."

Lu scoffed. "She was not!"

Renee chuckled. "Oh honey, you wouldn't know flirting if it bashed you over the head with a mace." Lu snorted and nodded her agreement. "This is true." She placed her hand over Renees' and slid it up higher on her own thigh. "I like the sound of girlfriend. I just may keep it, flirty waitresses or not."

Renees' face grew serious. "I would like that. Very much." Lucy wrapped her arm around Renees' shoulders and pulled her in, kissing her on the temple.

Snow burst into the diner towing a worried Henry behind her. She looked over the diner and headed straight for the booth the strangers were sitting at. "Hi. I'm Mary Margaret. Emma and Regina are at the hospital.." before she could continue Lu lept up from the booth, anger evident on her dark features. "What happened?" she demanded.

Henry stepped out from behind his Gran and shyly approached the biker. "You found and took care of my mom?" he wrapped his arms around her hips and hugged her. "Thank you for helping her." Lu looked down at the small child hugging her and it was as though the anger she felt got sucked out of her through that embrace. She awkwardly patted him on the head as if he were a dog and mumbled, "Yeah no problem." Renee stood up and addressed the child, "Henry is it? I'm Renee. I was your mommys' doctor in Boston. Everything is going to be okay, alright? Don't worry sweetie."

Henry let go of the stiff biker and turned to the soft spoken doctor. "Oh I'm not worried. My mom helped her remember. We are going to be a family. Everything is going to be how it should be."

Lu looked up at Snow surprised, "She remembered?"

"I'm uncertain of the details, but Henry was there when she passed out. You may follow us to the hospital, I'm sure Emma will be happy you came." Snow said and put her hand on Lucys' forearm.

"Come on Gran! Let's go!" Henry called heading for the door of the diner. Ruby rushed over to where Snow was walking out and hugged her. "If you need anything let me know." she said into her friends' embrace. "Can you take off and come with? I called David but he was out on a call and I know Emma is going to need all the support she can get right now." Ruby nodded and took off her apron, tossing it over the counter. She met a knowing gaze of Granny and followed Snow White out the front door.


Emma was pacing in the waiting area anxious about what Dr. Whale was going to say on Reginas' condition.

God what if she doesn't wake up? What if this is the catastrophic incident that kills her? I can't lose her! Oh god, Henry! Jesus, Regina you better wake the hell up I don't want to do any of this without you!

Henry had run ahead of the group in search of his blonde mother. He found her and crashed into her with a giant hug. "It'll be okay mom!" he assured her as she started to cry at the sight of her son. "I know kid. I'm just worried."

"Emma?" Snow was next to enter the waiting room with Ruby, Lu and Renee following behind.

"Mom!" Emma exclaimed and embraced the pixie haired woman as she approached, relieved that her mother had made quick work of picking up her son and making it to the hospital.

Lu looked down at Renee and whispered, "Mom?" Renee whispered back to her, "Henry called her 'Gran' at the diner." This information made Lucy scowl.

Emma met the gaze of Lucy and she realized in that moment she was going to need to tell this woman the truth. The entire truth and she took a deep breath and started to approach the tall dark brunette who looked just as angry as she had sounded on the phone yesterday. "I'm glad you came." Emma started.

"Well I knew this was going to happen." Lu spat at her. Renee tried to calm the biker once more but Lucy wasn't having it. "No, I knew! This was reckless and selfish and stupid Emma!"

"If this was what you think it is I would agree with you!" Emma raised her voice back at the biker standing her ground. "But it isn't! You don't know the whole story!"

"What a fucking surprise!" Lucy yelled at the blonde and Renee cringed as the pixie brunette covered Henrys' ears and ushered him to the other side of the room. Lucy continued her tirade, "You had no right! You had no right to do this to her! You put her life in jeopardy! You put her in the hospital Emma!"

"She is fine!" Emma insisted angrily.

"She's NOT fine! She is in a coma! Again! Isn't she?!" Lucy bellowed her own anguish filling her with rage at this irritating woman before her.

Emmas' features crumpled as she winced at the brunettes' hostility. She wiped the tears that started to stream down her face and defended her actions. "Listen! She remembered! It worked just as I knew it would and she is going to wake up and be my Regina again, so back off!" Emma yelled back.

"You don't know that she will wake up Emma!" Worry filled her raised voice for the first time since the argument broke out.

Emmas' defensive posturing deflated and she looked sad at that statement. "She has to Lu." She said in a small sad voice and Lucy heard all of the unspoken reasons why Regina needed to be okay and she put a strong hand on the blondes' shoulder. "Alright. Okay." The tall brunette sighed. "What does the doctor say?"

"He hasn't been out yet, but…" just as she was going to explain their unique situation Dr. Whale cleared his throat and called over the sheriff.

Renee followed behind Emma, she wanted a look at the brunettes' chart. "Sheriff, she is comfortable but it looks like she is in another coma. Like the one she suffered when she crossed over the town line. The records I got from Dover Memorial seem to be very similar." Renee cleared her throat and asked to see the womans' chart. "I am her doctor in Boston." she explained as a questioning look was directed at Emma. The sheriff nodded permission and Dr. Whale handed over the clipboard he hand in his hand. Renee' hummed as she flipped through the pages, "Uh what is this?" she pointed toward the explanation of what occurred that morning dictated by Emma to the admitting nurse. Emma shifted her stance and sighed, "Alright well have a seat and I'll explain our crazy lives to you guys, but you need to keep an open mind okay?"

Dr. Whale rolled his eyes and said the sheriff could go see the brunette when she was 'done traumatizing the noobs' and he strode off in an impatient huff.

Renee sat down next to Lucy who was patiently waiting for the sheriff to tell her what was going on. "Alright look." Emma started as she paced before the couple. "This place isn't like Boston, or anywhere else on earth."

"It is a very cute town Emma, but what does this have to do with what she drank this morning?" Renee interjected feeling Lucys' anxiety grow.

"Just listen. There is magic here. This town is a town full of what you would consider storybook characters, but they are real. My mom," she pointed over towards her mother, "Is Snow White. My dad is Prince Charming. Regina is the Evil Queen and Dr. Whale is Dr. Frankenstein." She laid it out as plain as day for the lawyer who appreciated the facts. Both women looked at Emma as if she were nuts and Henry came over and shook his head. "Mom you can't just tell them like that." He took out his book from his bag and placed it on Renees' lap. "The Evil Queen, my mom, cast the dark curse and everyone was caught in a time loop and no one aged. That is why my Gran is younger than my mom." He pointed at Emma. "They sent her to this world when she was a baby so she could grow up outside of the curse and come back and save everyone." he stated proudly.

Renee patted the boy on the head and smiled that sad pity smile Emma used to give him once upon a time and Lucy scowled and said nothing. Emma rolled her eyes and walked away. She went to the gift shop and purchased a candle, bringing it back to where her son was showing the blonde how Regina had cast the curse.

"Look. There is magic here." she held the candle and focused the way Regina had taught her and the longer she focused the angrier she got. Lucy scoffed breaking her concentration and pushed the blonde over the edge of anger, her anxiety over Regina and their situation spiralled into fury and the candle lit much to the groups' collective surprise. "Ha! See?" Emma exclaimed triumphantly. Then she frowned at Henry, "Why do YOU look surprised kid? You know I have magic!"

"Yeah but mom said you didn't take her magic lessons seriously and 'Miss Swan barely has control of herself, I dare not to hope she'll ever control her magic!'" he mimicked his brunette mother. "Sorry mom." he winced at the hurt look that passed over his blonde mothers' face.

Lucys' features softened and Emma knew she was a little more receptive to Storybrookes' truth. She blew out the candle and started at the beginning telling the couple everything.

"So wait, how did you go from being the savior and destroying the Evil Queen to being her fianceé?" Renee asked curiously.

"Yeah about that." The blonde looked embarrassed and Lucy found her anger once more.

"You lied about that too?" the biker exclaimed.

"Okay well technically yes, but I am in love with her Lu." she placed a reassuring hand on the bikers' knee. Henry piped up with his trademark optimism. "My mom loves her too."

David Nolan rushed into the waiting room and went to his wifes' side. Renee gave Lucy a look as they both noticed the blonde man had a sword fixed to his belt. Emma stood and called out to her father. "Dad!" The blonde man came over and embraced his daughter. "How is she?" He asked as he noticed the strangers sitting with his grandson and he stood a little taller and puffed out his chest.

"Well prince Charming certainly lives up to the hype." Lucy mumbled and Henry and Renee giggled.

Red came over and put her arm around Emma and whispered into her ear and Renee leaned over to Henry, "So who is little miss flirty waitress supposed to be?"

"Oh Ruby is little red riding hood, but the story you know isn't exactly the truth. The reality is all a little different than what is told in this realm." he stated factually. "She is actually the wolf."

Lucy scoffed and Henry called over Ruby. "Red, do the wolf eye thing."

"Really Henry?" Ruby complained.

"Come on Ruby do it!" He begged flashing his pleading puppy dog eyes at her.

Red rolled her eyes and focused on her inner wolf and the couple before her gasped as her eyes changed from emerald green to pale yellow then back again. Lucy stared in amazement and asked. "So you're a wolf?"

"All the better to eat you with my dear." she winked and returned to Emma who was talking to her parents. Renee shifted uncomfortably and Lucy put her arm around her girlfriend and chuckled. "Mace, right?" Renee nodded and laughed sinking into the embrace Lu offered. "That girl is all mace."

Emma came back over to the outsiders who were looking over Henrys' book with him and she asked if they were okay. Lu stood and asked if she could go in and see Regina. "I was with her the first time and maybe hearing my voice will help her find her way back, or something." Emma nodded her approval and Lu went towards the room the sleeping beauty was resting in. She was anxious and knew that she would feel better once she laid eyes on the woman.

Erin looked as she did the first time Lucy saw her. Her still face peaceful. Unlike her first coma, Lu had gotten to know and really care for the brunette and the unconscious girl lying in the bed before her was now her friend and Lu felt honest sorrow at the womans' state.

She sat down next to Erin and took her hand. "Hey lazy, it's time to wake up." Lu said with a sad crooked pirate smile. "Everyone is waiting for you Erin." Lucy remembered that Emma said Erin remembered who she was so she corrected herself. "I mean, Regina. Emma told me your story Regina. It is much more fantastical than we ever imagined it could be, huh?" She wiped away a tear that escaped and continued. "At least you're not a Yankees' fan." she chuckled into the quiet room. "The Doc asked me to be her girlfriend you know? She is pretty great. I think I fell in love with her the moment I met her. That is pretty sappy huh?" Lu took a deep breath and then kissed the soft hand she held. "You know Emma is crazy and impulsive and ridiculous, but she loves you, beauty. And I met Henry and he is kind of incredible! He is smart and kind and he misses his mom so, nap time needs to be cut short beauty. Okay?" She leaned over and kissed the sleeping brunette on the forehead.

She stood up and turned to walk out of the room, she was surprised to see Emma standing in the doorway, face etched with worry and damp from tears that streaked down her cheeks. Lu stopped dead in her tracks and was uncertain what she should say or do.

"You were right. I did this to her." Emma covered her face in shame and openly wept. Lu scowled and folded her arms across her chest in an attempt to protect herself from the outpour of emotions.

"I was impatient and rash and I could have hurt her."

"Yes you were and yes you could have, but listen…" Lu pointed to the heart monitor. "Do you hear that? She is alive. She is here and she remembers and most importantly she is alive." Emma took a few steps closer to the still form of her queen.

"She is alive." Emma breathed. "She is going to be pissed I picked her up in a gay bar." Emma turned to look at Lu with proper fright in her eyes. "She'll probably be more pissed about the kissing." Emma blushed bright red at Regina waking and remembering being Erin.

"Did you two… um… " Lucy felt increasingly uncomfortable asking such a personal question of the blonde.

"We didn't, no. I would never do that to her without her complete consent. Erin may have been Regina in some ways, but I want Regina in all ways." She turned back to face the woman in question. "The Evil Queen, the bitchy mayor, my sons' mother, and just Regina. I love all of her. I messed up big time and I need to make this right."

"May I ask what happened to make her run off?" Lu asked carefully.

"Her mother came through a portal, from the Enchanted Forest. Cora was kind of really horrible as a human being and she had magic which sort of was a disastrous combination really. And uh, well we didn't know she was here and she manipulated me into thinking Regina killed someone in town and I used magic to see it because I didn't believe it was her. I couldn't, but then I did and I accused her of murder and… oh god Lu, she needs to wake up because I need to apologize for everything. I need to tell her how I feel about her. It made me sick to think she would do that and after I found out the truth, she was gone, and my gut was right and she hadn't killed anyone, I… I just had to find her." Emma approached the side of the bed, still listening to the steady beat of Reginas' heart, she caressed the side of Reginas' cheek.

"I am hopelessly in love with her." The monitor that was connected to the queen paused ever so briefly. Brief enough the blonde thought she imagined it. Emma sat down on the side of the bed and ran her fingers over the brunettes' temple brushing back her hair.

"Reginaaaa"

She nuzzled her face into the side of the brunettes' neck, thick chocolate curls tickled her nose and cheeks. She smiled so true her dimples dug trenches on either side of her face that marked deep lines around her mouth. She breathed in Reginas' scent, that spicy crisp tang that is distinctly Regina Mills. Tears flowed from Emmas' poor dehydrated eye sockets once more.

Lucy quietly exited the room to give the blonde some privacy. Emma felt her world crashing down around her and she could do nothing but beg and pray to any higher entity that existed in this world or the next. "Come back to me. Come back to Henry, Gina. We need you. I… need you… Gina… I love you. I am SO sorry."

The monitor keeping track of Reginas' heart skipped under no uncertain terms and Emma leaned over and whispered once again to her love. "You hear me don't you Gina? I love you. Come back to me. Please?" the monitor hiccupped once more and Emma Swan bent down and kissed Regina Mills. As their lips touched, an energy force exploded out from within them, true loves kiss. Emmas' eyes snapped open in surprise, but her lips didn't separate from the brunettes' lips below her, caramel orbs were looking back at her. She was awake. Emma pulled away in astonishment. "Regina?"

"Miss Swan?" Emma laughed through her tears and grabbed the sides of Reginas' head, clawing up her jawline and thumbing her perfect cheekbones.

"You're okay. Oh god, you're okay!" the blonde exclaimed excitedly.

Emmas' smile faded as the woman in her arms stiffened up uncomfortably. She searched the dark orbs for something, anything that would tell Emma what the brunette was thinking. Emma sat up and untangled herself from Reginas' hair. "What do you remember?"

Emma watched as Reginas' eyes clouded over at the memories flooding her mind of the last few days she spent with Emma Swan as Erin Doe.

"Henry?" the brunette asked quietly.

"He's here, he's okay. Do you want him? He'll be so happy you're…" Emma headed toward the door and as she did the magical poof of smoke caught her peripheral vision that caused her to turn around to see that the bed was now empty. "Shit." Emma exclaimed loudly.

Emmas' half of the conversation got the attention of Lucy who came into the room where her friend had been resting. "Where is she?" Lu asked incredulously.

"She ran." Emma mumbled. "She remembers and she ran."

"Ran where Emma?"

"I don't know."

"I was right outside the door, no one left." The tall brunette said with irritation.

"She poofed. She could be anywhere."

"Poofed?"

"Magic remember?"

"She can do that? Can you do that?"

"No, she hasn't taught me how yet." Emma mumbled distracted. Her mind racing to where the brunette could have gone. "Dammit. Henry?!" She called out for her son who came running over with high hopes that the force he felt was true loves kiss and that his mom was awake and remembered him. "Did it work?" he asked excitedly looking around the empty room.

"Where would she poof to kid? You know, if she was freaked out about stuff?" Emma asked casually glossing over the details.

"I still say her vault. Her dad is there." he reminded the blonde.

"Okay. Listen, get gran to take you back to the manor, I'll check the vault and if either one of us find her text the other. Deal?" She looked up at her mother who entered the conversation mid way through.

"Okay, Henry honey let's go." Snow ushered the slumped shoulders of the boy away from the other adults.

"Lu you guys can get set up at Granny's B&B, Rubes charge the sheriffs' office will ya?"

"Got it Sheriff." Ruby saluted the blonde officer who got an eyeroll in return.

"Do you want me to come with you?" Lu asked. "I mean, I will if you think it will help."

"I appreciate it, but I think she and I need to just talk it out. She's freaking out and well I have a ton of experience with panic running so… you know..." Emma shrugged her shoulders as she trailed off.

"Alright. Call me if you need me." Lu put a comforting hand on the blondes shoulder. "Good luck."

Emma laughed, "Thanks! I'm pretty sure I'm going to need it!" she called as she jogged up the hall and out of the hospital.

Chapter Text

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."