This one-shot was written as a response to a story prompt by livingaswanqueenlife on tumblr. Just a bit of light fun and a small break from my other stories. Hope you enjoy!
Regina stared at the small patch of open land with obvious distaste. "You want me to what?!"
"Come on, Regina," Snow pleaded in exhaustion. "It's one night."
"I think I'd rather take my chances out in the open."
"We're so close," Snow reasoned softly, desperately trying to convince her. "Emma, Neal, Tink, Hook, Gold…they're all doing their part – and we have to do ours; stay out of sight until morning."
Regina was stewing. She'd much rather be with one of the other two parties – the others, she could at least stand – but things had not worked out that way. Tink had gone with Emma and Hook, while Neal had gone with his father. Neal had been none too pleased with the pairs, either, which is why he'd nearly demanded Tink go with Hook and his ex. Regina had been forced to stay with the two idiots – something about wanting to divide the magic and spread it equally between groups for protection.
"How about you two stay here, and I'll go find my own patch of leaves to hide under," Regina suggested bitterly.
"That defeats the purpose," Snow sighed. "We have to be ready for attack at any moment. We only split up so Pan would have less chance figuring out we were coming. They have search parties at night, and it's easier to hide when there are less of us, but we still need to stay together."
"I know whywe split up," Regina bit out. "I helped devise the plan."
"Which is why you should understand how important it is that we just stick together for one more night. That's all it is – one more night, and tomorrow we'll meet up with the others and get Henry."
There was silence for a minute and then Regina huffed out a breath. "Fine."
Snow smiled. "Good. David?" She looked over at her husband, who'd remained wisely silent during the argument.
He pulled the blanket out of the bag and shook it out onto the ground. The small, flat spot they'd chosen was off the path, well hidden by overhanging leaves. He, for one, was glad to finally be able to rest. It had been a very long day, and Neverland had not been easy on him. His relief was short-lived, however. Snow had promptly laid down on one edge of the blanket, leaving him the middle space, or – more disturbingly – the space next to the one Regina would occupy.
As exhausted as she was, Snow took no notice of his distress, her eyes already closed. Looking over at Regina, David found her to be equally displeased, though that was more her reaction to the entire situation than anything. She raised an eyebrow when she caught him looking at her.
"After you," she said sweetly, but he heard the underlying venom.
There was only a moment's more hesitation and then he finally gave in, settling in next to Snow and draping an arm over her protectively. She snuggled back into him and he relaxed slightly.
"This is ridiculous," Regina announced. She lay down as close to the other side of the blanket as she could, cursing the small size of the space they'd chosen.
"One night," Snow mumbled sleepily.
Regina bit back a snarky response, and instead, turned away from the other two. Truth be told, she was exhausted as well, and far too tired to continue an argument. The sooner sleep came, the sooner morning would arrive, and they could get on with rescuing Henry.
Emma moved through the jungle carefully. She was practicing some of the magic Regina had taught her, using it to find the others in the dense undergrowth of Neverland. It was earlier than the three groups had agreed to meet, but Emma hadn't been able to sleep any longer, and – much to the chagrin of her two companions – had insisted on an early start.
"Oh my god!" Emma shrieked and stopped so suddenly that Hook ran into the back of her, and Tink stumbled in an effort not to do the same.
"Not that I don't appreciate the feel of you pressed against me, love, but is there a reason for our abrupt halt?" Hook would have been concerned, but Emma hadn't felt the need to keep quiet, so they couldn't be in any immediate danger. Her face had paled, though, and she looked both horrified and curious.
Emma couldn't find words to describe it, and was in too much shock to care. Instead, she raised a finger and pointed at the source of what had caused her reaction.
"Well that's unexpected," Hook said, spotting it immediately. He, too, seemed at a loss for any further words – an unusual circumstance for the usually talkative pirate.
Tink was the last to discover the reason for the other's staring, and – much to the surprise of the others – when she did catch sight of what they were looking at, she laughed. It didn't last long, and it wasn't loud, but it was the first time Emma had seen a genuine look of amusement from the former fairy.
"Unexpected, indeed," Tink added, a slight smile remaining.
Not five feet from them, lay Regina, Snow White, and her charming Prince – though to look at the trio now, one wouldn't think that the case. Snow lay curled into a tight ball in her sleep, clearly cold without any form of covering in the slight chill of the early morning air. The other two were not burdened by the same problem. David lay on his back in the center of the blanket, his arms wrapped firmly around Regina. They were both obviously deeply asleep, their expressions serene and peaceful; a first for Regina, Emma noted.
But that wasn't even the most surprising aspect of the usual enemies' current position. Regina lay half on top of David, her head on his chest and one arm draped over him. Their legs tangled together where she had one hooked through his.
"Oi!" Hook called loudly, and Emma shot a glare at him, an expression of horrified panic on her face before she looked around the jungle for some sort of escape.
It was too late.
Snow was the first to stir, not being as soundly asleep as the other two. She opened her eyes slowly before a look of confusion passed over her face. She patted lazily around her waist, the space David's arm usually occupied when she woke. As she rolled over slowly, the other two began to rouse.
The three observers stood frozen, watching Snow's expression as the situation slowly dawned on her.
David groaned slightly at the irritation of being woken. He affectionately rubbed Regina's arm a few times, and she sighed, nuzzling her face further into his chest.
That's when their eyes snapped open.
Regina lifted her head and they looked at each other in complete shock. Then they both turned to look at a still horrified Snow, before finding the other three staring down with varying expressions of disbelief and amusement.
They scrambled up, jumping apart as if they'd been electrocuted.
"What in the hell…" David mumbled.
"No one," Regina boomed, "speaks of this. Not if they want to remain living."
"But…" Snow started helplessly, gesturing between the two. "You…you and—"
"Not. A. Word," Regina said sharply, her face coloring with both rage and humiliation.
David looked like he was ready to melt into the ground with guilt and embarrassment, and Snow could only nod her agreement quickly, looking slightly cowed by Regina's tone of voice.
"Ahhh," Hook broke the tension cockily. "But it was such an adorable moment."
Tink let out a short, loud laugh, despite her enormous effort not to, and even Emma had to bite her lip when a smile threatened at the corners of her mouth. She shook it off at the expression of unbridled fury on Regina's face.
"Right, well, not to worry, Your Majesty," Hook said, shrugging it off. "Your secret is safe with me."
Regina looked around at all of them as they nodded before her eyes connected with David's. They both quickly glanced away, and David snatched the blanket from the ground, stuffing it back into the bag.
Everyone had agreed it best to move on and find Neal and Gold, and they'd been traveling for about fifteen minutes before Regina – at the back of the group – noticed David begin to lag behind the others. Not long after, he was at her side. She could feel his eyes on her, and in her periphery, noticed when he would sneak full glances.
"What?" she finally asked when she was sure no one else could hear them. His eyes were boring holes into her and she couldn't take it anymore.
"You really don't want to talk about it at all?" he wondered.
She stopped and turned to look at him in complete surprise, and he paused with her. It only lasted a second before her expression was once again unreadable, and she started forward again, only slightly irritated when he matched his stride with hers.
"You do?" she questioned. "I thought you'd want to pretend it never happened and go back to blissful ignorance with Snow."
David nodded, but Regina caught the brief flicker of something else in his eyes. No matter how much he loathed her, how much terrible history they had between them, how much he didn't want to admit it; he'd enjoyed it – even if for only that brief second before reality came crashing down again. And she understood, because it had been the same for her. For the first night in what must have been decades, she'd slept deeply and soundly, somehow the feeling of safety and love reaching into her dreams.
She opened her mouth to say something, but faltered when he looked at her – she couldn't tell him that. It was too personal; made her too vulnerable. But those damn expressive blue eyes of his seemed to see past her silence to the truth, and she felt the need to say something.
It was quiet, but he heard, and he gave her a small, warm smile; one she couldn't help but return.
Their smiles remained, even as they quickened their pace to rejoin the others.