Chapter 1: On Turtlenecks and Fashion Sense
The muffled shouts of one angry sheriff was accompanied by a loud hammering on the front door.
Regina took a slow sip of her coffee, enjoying the feeling of the liquid heat travelling down her throat. She closed her eyes, a small smile playing on her lips. Any other day, Emma banging on her door would have annoyed her immensely, but not this day. She was in a splendid mood, in no small part because of the sheriff herself and the reason to why she was here.
"Regina! Open the hell up!"
Not wanting to upset Emma further, she took another sip and then made her way to the front door which Emma seemed determined to demolish with her bare hands.
"That's quite enough, dear. I heard you the first time," Regina greeted as she opened the door. She cocked her head to the side with a smirk, noting the lack of the usual horrid leather jacket Emma always insisted on wearing. Instead she was wearing a green turtleneck sweater. "I must say, this new look on you is rather fetching."
"Yeah yeah, real funny. Now let me in."
Regina's smirk grew wider.
"I'm not doing this on your doorstep!" She looked close to pouting, her hands shoved deep in her jeans pockets and her brows set in a deep frown.
With a gesture of her hand, inviting the woman inside, Regina stepped aside and closed the door behind them.
"Would you like something to drink, Miss Swan?" she asked with an airy voice, trying her best to supress the growing desire to laugh at her guest's growing pout. "Cider, coffee, maybe something stronger–"
"No, what I want you to do is to fix this. Now."
Regina gave her an innocent look. "Fix what? Seems to me that you already managed to fix your fashion sense; a task I feared even the best in the business would be unable to complete."
"Aren't you a real comedian," she muttered. "And you didn't have a problem with my clothes last night."
"As much as I like seeing those jeans painted onto your skin, they're hardly ideal when it comes to... removal."
Emma huffed, fixing her with a hard stare. "You've had your fun, now talk. I can't go around like this."
"Would you like to explain what 'like this' means, Miss Swan?"
"Really, back to Miss Swan again?" she asked, rolling her eyes. After only getting a friendly, disinterested look in return, Emma relented. "Fine, whatever. I'm just– oh for fuck–" The rest of her no doubt curse-filled sentence was muffled by her sweater as she not too gracefully tore it off, revealing the reason for her bad mood.
Fitted snugly around her neck was a brown leather collar.
"It won't come off. I tried everything short of a laser cutter. Get it off." She crossed her arms, a faint blush creeping up on her cheeks.
"Now why would you want to take it off, dear?" Regina's eyes had grown several shades darker and she was eyeing the woman in front of her with open lust. "I recall several nights that you begged me to put it on you," she added with a predatory grin.
"Look, I– I, uh, like it– I mean no, I don't like it, wearing it," Emma tried, stumbling over her words as her blush grew. "I can't walk around like this outside. I'd look like, like a–"
"A pet?" Regina supplied helpfully.
"Yes!" She blinked. "No!"
"You're not very coherent, dear."
"I'm not coherent at all, because I'm wearing a fucking magical collar!"
"Indeed you are."
"So you're going to help me take it off before everyone starts wondering why I'm wearing turtlenecks and scarves all the time all of a sudden."
"And what makes you so sure I can help?"
"You're going to make me bargain for it? Beg for it?" Emma exclaimed, exasperated. "You're really going to do that now? Of all the–"
Regina interrupted her with a dismissive wave of her hand. "Before you go off ranting about my dubious ethics, it would do you good to pay attention for once." She waited for the sheriff to calm down a bit before continuing. "As much as I like seeing you beg–"
Emma snorted, muttering something most likely less than flattering.
"–I didn't say 'will', I said 'can'. As in, why do you think I would be able to help you, regardless of how much I would like to?"
"I... but–" Emma frowned, confused. "You know all this magic stuff, and I got the spellbook from you. And you did the spell... thing... whatever."
Regina studied her for a moment, her expression unreadable. "The spell-thing-whatever that you found in one of my books. I see. Why don't we continue this in the living room, dear. I believe you will want to sit down for this."
When Regina returned with the spellbook, Emma had already made herself comfortable on the sofa, or at least as comfortable as she could get, constantly fiddling with the collar circling her neck.
"For future reference, I would prefer if you actually paid attention when it comes to magic," Regina noted, her voice hard, taking a seat next to Emma. "While this is a relatively mundane spell, so to speak, there are plenty of other spells that could have much worse effects should you not take care to read the fine print."
"Spare me the lessons, Regina, just take the damn collar off of me."
Her patience with the disgruntled blonde wearing thin, Regina sighed, steeling her jaw. "I don't believe I can, which you would have known if you had listened to me and read the book."
"What the hell? You cast the spell, just uncast it!"
"I did not, Miss Swan."
Emma blinked. And stared.
"I didn't cast the spell. You did." She paused, her lips quirking up into a small smile. "As a matter of fact, in a way I'm impressed. You actually managed to cast a fairly advanced spell, without my help."
The whole room was immediately lit up by the happy look on Emma's face, if only for a few moments. "Wait. I cast the spell?"
"That's what I said."
"But I can barely light a candle! Or even poof myself anywhere," Emma argued.
"Magic is emotion, dear. Unskilled users of magic require strong emotions to do anything, while seasoned users like myself can more easily channel the magic within us with nothing more than our will."
"Well explain to me how I could possibly want a fucking collar around–" She paused, her green eyes widening and darkening as scenes from the previous night came back to her. She swallowed thickly. "Oh. Well. Um." Her blush was coming back with vengence.
"You were very eager last night," Regina mentioned, cocking her eyebrow. "I believe your reasoning was something along the lines of 'yes gods yes I want this please please'–"
"Okay," Emma croaked. "So. How do I reverse it. Please don't tell me I need any of that True Love's kiss bullshit."
"This is a spell, not a curse. I doubt it would do any good."
"Well that's a relief. I'd hate to have to explain any of this to Henry."
Reaching for the spellbook, Regina opened it and quickly flipped to the page in question. "Only the one who cast the spell can undo it, as I'm sure you know."
Emma made a few noncommittal noises, pointedly looking at anything but Regina.
"Why don't you read about it yourself, dear," Regina said, handing over the book with a sickly sweet smile.
"Sure, why not," she muttered, snatching the book from Regina's hands none too gently.
They sat quietly for a while, Emma deep in concentration, reading the spellbook and Regina letting her eyes linger on the sheriff's hunched over form. She did look very good in a collar even while fully dressed, Regina noted with a smirk.
It hadn't been easy to get Emma to wear one the first few times, but eventually she'd relented. As strong and independent she was outside the bedroom, inside it with Regina her submissive side took over almost completely, and both women enjoyed it immensely. Especially last night.
"I'm... not sure I understand," Emma mumbled, confusion written clear across her face. "It says stuff about allegiances and knights and stuff."
"The spell was originally designed to be the ultimate proof of allegiance for knights and nobles back in the Enchanted Forest. They gave, quite literally, their life to their master as a sign of their unyielding loyalty. Often, they would give a sword, an amulet or some kind of family heirloom to be enchanted with their life essence and given to the one they pledged their allegiance to."
"The enchantment spell would also place a symbol on the knight, often their master's insignia or symbol of some kind, so that everyone would know their... special status.
"Now, the thing that made this spell and its result special was what happened to the artifact the knights gave to their masters. They had been infused with magic, and then infused with the life essence of the knight, and coded to, I suppose, the knight's master. This meant that as long as the master touched the artifact, the knight would be compelled to do what the master wanted."
Emma frowned. "Like when you rip out someone's heart."
"Exactly." Regina made a face, half smile and half wince. "I never bothered with that spell, seeing how I had... other options. Easier options."
"So, what does that have to do with me? I mean, I didn't give you an artifact or anything. Why can't I just undo it?"
"Because the spell was never designed to be used like you did. The way it was undone was usually by destroying the artifact. I did hear about one time a mage managed to extract the magic from the artifact itself and therefor rendering it inert, but that was mere rumors."
Huffing in frustration, Emma threw herself back against the sofa. "But I don't have an artifact! How the hell am I supposed to undo it then?"
Regina pursed her lips, studying Emma for a few moments. Then she stood, motioning her to follow. "Come along, Miss Swan, I'd like to try something."
Reluctantly, Emma joined her, standing in front of her as instructed. "Okay?"
"Give me your hand."
"Promise you'll give it back?" Emma quipped, trying to lighten the mood.
"Yeah yeah," she muttered, offering her hand.
Taking Emma's hand in her own, Regina ran a thumb over the top of the hand, enjoying the feeling of her skin and the knowledge of just what those fingers could do to her. Shaking herself out of those delicious thoughts before things would get too awkward, she met Emma's gaze.
"Jump," she said.
And Emma jumped.
"Tell me the first time you masturbated to a fantasy about me."
"We'd been fighting – again – and you were just so fucking–"
"Thank you, you can stop."
And with that, Regina let go of Emma's hand and met her bewildered stare with an amused expression.
"What the hell, Regina?" Emma finally managed to sputter out. "What did you just do?"
Regina hummed thoughtfully, pursing her lips. Grabbing a hold of Emma's hand again, she took a step forward and purred, "get down on your knees and lick me."
Before she had even finished the sentence, Emma was on her knees, scrambling to push the offending clothing items covering her lover's lower body out of the way.
"That alright, dear, you can stop."
Moments later, Emma was standing again, her face flushed and eyes wider than ever. "W-what did you do to me," she stammered, voice hoarse.
"It's not what I did, Miss Swan, it's what you did. You do seem to have an artifact of sorts after all."
Emma stared at her, eyes wild.
"You know how knights in stories give their swords or lifes to a king or a queen? In this case it would seem to be more than a choice of words," Regina said.
"I don't understand, is it the collar? Is that the artifact?" Her hand shot up to the collar, fiddling with it.
"That would most likely be the symbol, showing your allegiance. To me. A most fitting symbol," she mused. "But no, the difference is how you formulated your spell last night. You didn't say 'I give my life to you' or 'I give my sword to you'. No, you said 'I give myself to you'. You are the artifact."
Emma blinked, the facts slowly sinking in. "That means... if you touch me and tell me to do something, I have to do it," she mumbled, voice distant. "And I c-can't break the artifact, 'cause..."
"Yes," Regina agreed with a small nod.
And Emma fainted.