A/N: This is a little mini fic that was prompted to me on tumblr. It started out as a drabble, but then I received so many requests to continue, that it has now become a running mini-fic. The prompt was for either Emma or Regina to meet a younger version of the other and shenanigans ensue.
I will update a new chapter every time I build up a few new drabbles to compile together. I hope you enjoy this little fic. XO-Chrmdpoet
A Ripple in Time
"But I don't understand," Emma said, scratching at her head and staring at this younger and much more smiley version of Regina Mills. She still wasn't quite over the shock of the girl's sudden appearance. "How did you get here?"
"I am unsure," the younger Regina answered, biting her lip nervously as her widened eyes glanced around the strange place she had suddenly appeared in. Her long dark hair was pulled back in a singular braid and it fell over her shoulder as she turned her head right and left rapidly, trying to take in all of the detail.
"Oh my," she said, gasping and pointing beyond Emma. Emma turned to see a car driving past. "What is that strange contraption?" Regina squinted to see that a person was actually inside the large machine. She gasped again with the realization. "Tis a mode of transportation!" she practically squealed. "Oh my!"
Emma chuckled softly as she tried not to melt at how incredibly adorable this version of Regina was. She had yet to be hardened by the trials that she would later endure.
"Yeah, it's called a car."
"A car," Regina repeated. "It is truly amazing."
"Yeah, I guess it is if you think about it," Emma agreed, still laughing softly.
Regina turned to lock gazes with her then, and Emma could've sworn she could see the younger woman's soul in those deep chocolate pools. She was so open, so bright. It was breathtaking to witness, because despite her mother's stories of the young Regina, Emma had always had a hard time picturing such a thing.
The only Regina she knew was the hard-ass, quick-witted Mayor Regina, who was still entirely lovable in Emma's opinion, but definitely not soft and innocent and trusting like this young woman seemed to be.
"Emma, was it? Do I know you?" Regina asked, narrowing her eyes.
Ah, Emma thought, there's some of that classic Regina-Mills suspicion.
"Yeah, well, not YOU you," Emma said, scratching at her head again. How the hell was she supposed to explain this? She didn't even know what the hell was going on, and though the rational part of her knew she should call Regina, uh…present-day Regina, another part of her just wanted to keep this younger, sweeter Regina a secret—all to herself. "But the future you. You're uh…you're quite a ways into the future."
The young Regina gasped again, her eyes widening comically. "The future?" she asked. "Have I been transported here with magic?"
"I think so."
"Oh my gods," Regina said quietly. "How many years have I here?"
"Huh?" Emma asked, her face scrunching. "Oh, like you mean how old are you here?"
Emma didn't quite know how to answer. She didn't want to tell the truth because it was obvious that this version of Regina didn't actually know that she would later become the Evil Queen, so trying to explain to her that time was stopped for nearly thirty years, so she's like both thirty-two and sixty would be way too complicated.
"Uh…" Emma muttered. "You're thirty-two."
Regina's eyes lit up as she quickly asked, "And have I a husband?"
The brunette's face fell then. "Why haven't I married?" she asked Emma, looking as if she had completely failed at life somehow. It made Emma's stomach turn. The more she learned about the ways of the Enchanted Forest, the more thankful she was that she hadn't grown up there.
"Look, uh, Regina…little Regina…whatever. It's a long story. We need to focus on why you're here and like how to get you back."
"Oh yes," Regina said, attempting to plaster on a smile. "Very well. May I ask how it is that I know you?"
"We have a son together."
Regina's gasp was loud and violent. "Oh my gods, no. I've grown into a…a…"
"A what?" Emma asked, confused. "A mother?"
Regina lowered her voice to a barely audible whisper. "A lesbian."
Emma's face paled considerably before she simply burst into loud laughter, while Regina continued to worry at her bottom lip and mutter, "Mother will surely be displeased to learn of this."
Emma's laughter instantly died in her throat as she noticed a familiar figure approaching them from across the street. It was Mary Margaret.
Shit, Emma thought. I can't let her know what's going on here. She'll instantly suggest that we call Regina and then this will all be over way too soon.
"Uh, listen, don't say anything to this lady walking over here," Emma told the younger Regina quickly. "Just like glare at her or whatever, trust me, and if you have to say something, say something mean or insulting."
Regina didn't have time to ask questions, as Mary Margaret reached them in that moment. The pixie-haired woman gaped at the younger Regina, no doubt feeling as if she had just stepped into the past.
"What…what's going on?" she asked. "Regina why are y—"
"Uh, Regina was just showing me what she looked like when she was younger, because I couldn't picture it."
"Oh?" Mary Margaret glanced back to Regina again, eyes narrowed. "Is that so?"
Regina panicked as she realized that she had to say something to this woman, and Emma had specifically told her to say something insulting or mean. That was not a practice she was terribly familiar with, so she hesitated at first before blurting out, "Short hair is improper for a lady to wear. Your sheared locks make you appear as a man."
Emma face-palmed as Mary Margaret continued to stare at them suspiciously, saying nothing about Regina's comment. She was used to being insulted by the woman, but that had just seemed terribly weak for Regina.
"Emma, is there som—"
"Uh, we gotta go," Emma said quickly, grabbing the younger Regina's hand and yanking her away from Mary Margaret. This was going to be harder than she anticipated, and god, she didn't even want to think about what might happen if they accidentally ran into Henry or worse, this world's Regina.
"Why are we fleeing that woman?" young Regina asked as Emma tugged her along down the street by her hand. "And why is it that I must insult her?"
"That's my mom," Emma told her, "and we're not fleeing, exactly. We're just trying to avoid being asked too many questions. She knew something was off. That insult was weak."
"In my defense," the young brunette said, "I hardly make a practice of harsh words and degradation."
Emma snorted with laughter at that. "Oh lord, if only you knew the future."
"Pardon?" Regina asked. "May I ask what it is that you mean?"
"Listen, let's not get into all that," Emma told her. "It's just…it would be too much for you to know right now, okay? But I will tell you this—I had you insult my mom because well, future you doesn't get along very well with her."
"Oh," the teen said, nodding, "had you and I a falling out? Or is your mother merely lacking in support of our pairing?"
Emma's face turned a bright red as she finally stopped their walking and turned to face the younger woman. "Me and Regina; I mean, you…uh, I mean, the older you. It's not what you're thinking."
"Are we no longer a pairing?" Regina asked her, brows furrowing as she squeezed Emma's hand. "Have I displeased you in some way?"
Emma's heart involuntarily clenched in her chest as she heard the worry in the brunette's voice. She found herself wondering, in that moment, just how much of this beautiful, innocent, and blatantly self-conscious creature still lived in the Regina of this world. She could imagine that much of her did, regardless of how well the older Regina hid her—pushed her as far beneath the surface as she could manage.
"No, no," Emma told her quickly. "Nothing like that. I like you a lot, actually. We just…we fight sometimes, but we're not a cou—"
"Shit!" Emma hissed, whirling around to see her son coming out of Granny's. She had been on her way to meet him there when a teenaged version of Regina Mills literally popped out of thin air and into her path. He must have seen them through the window and came out. Emma cursed herself for not being more careful, but she had been in such a rush to get away from Mary Margaret that she hadn't paid attention to where they were going.
"Emma!" little Regina snapped, squeezing the blonde's hand as they were still intertwined. "It is improper for a lady to swear."
"Shit," Emma muttered again, as Henry made his way across the street. "What the hell do we do?"
But she had little time to think of anything when Henry was suddenly right in front of her. "Hey, uh, what's—" The boy instantly halted his speech as he gaped at the teen version of his mother. "Mom?!" he choked out, staring right at her.
"Pardon?" young Regina asked, completely taken aback by the boy's declaration of her as his mother. She then recalled Emma saying that they shared a son. Her face instantly transformed, a joyous smile bursting across her lips. "Oh, you must be my son!" she exclaimed happily. She then squeezed Emma's hand. "Oh Emma, we obviously did well. He is beautiful!"
"HUH?!" Henry practically shouted, his eyes locking onto the two intertwined hands in front of him. "Okay, seriously, what is going on? Why are you guys holding hands and why does Mom look like that and why is she acting like she doesn't know me?!"
His voice had risen to an unnaturally high octave in his panic as he leveled a pointed, very Regina-like glare at his blonde mother.
"Uh…" Emma muttered. "Uh…I suppose you wouldn't buy that this is all an elaborate joke and we're just screwing with you, would you, kid?"
Henry just arched a brow at her and propped his hands on his hips. "What's wrong with her, Ma?"
Emma sighed heavily. Everyone was apparently intent on ruining all her fun. Furthermore, how the hell was she supposed to explain something that she herself didn't understand?