Author's note: This is a sequel to The Queen's Revenge. If you haven't read that, stop reading and go read the other story, otherwise nothing will make sense.
This story picks up right where The Queen's Revenge ended and is told from Regina's POV.
Disclaimer: I own none of the rights to Once Upon a Time or any of the characters.
I smiled triumphantly at Snow White and said, "Your daughter is carrying my child."
Snow's face went blank for several long moments while she blinked idiotically. Then outrage filled her eyes and she insisted petulantly, "That's impossible. You're both women, even magic can't change that."
I turned to raise an eyebrow at Emma, knowing that she deserved to land the crushing blow against the woman who claimed to love her but dismissed her at every opportunity. Emma smiled radiantly at me before turning to her mother and gently saying, "There is one kind of magic that can. The most powerful magic."
When Snow's eyes darted between Emma and I, I had to swallow the laughter that wanted to spill out at the horrified realization in her eyes. She focused on Emma and whispered, "But that would mean…"
Emma nodded and smiled brilliantly as she announced, "Regina is my True Love." I couldn't take my eyes off her as those words filled me with a warm happiness I'd never felt before. I was in awe of her and felt blessed that I'd found her and she'd chosen me.
The sound Emma's delighted laughter brought me out of my reverie and I glanced around, seeing both Snow White and her Prince Charming lying unconscious in the dirt. My own laughter bubbled out, free of the pain and anger I'd harbored for so many years. As our laughter died out, I grinned at Emma and said, "And now, my love, my revenge is complete." She smiled happily at me and pulled me in for a kiss.
As the kiss broke, the White royals stirred. I ignored the shepherd knowing there wasn't anything he could do at the moment. Snow slowly climbed to her feet, her eyes studying me disbelievingly. When she was back on even footing, she said, "I haven't seen that look on your face in a very long time, Regina. You really do love my daughter."
Feeling lighter than I had in years, I looked at Emma who was still standing within the circle of my arms. I smiled and answered honestly, "Yes, I do." Emma beamed at me and I felt my breath catch at her beauty.
Snow let out a soft huff and asked, "What makes you so certain that Emma's your True Love? What about Daniel?"
And with those three words, my bubble of happiness burst. I turned to Snow, releasing Emma, and growled out, "You do not get to say his name!"
"Regina…" Emma said softly, rubbing a soothing hand over my back.
I took a deep breath, letting her touch calm my anger. When I felt steadier, I focused on Snow and sneered, "You can thank Red for that little discovery."
She frowned idiotically and asked, "What do you mean? What's Red got to do with anything?"
"She's the one who realized that Emma's pregnant," I replied airily.
"And what makes you think it's yours?" Snow said condescendingly.
For a split second, I froze, completely stunned by her accusation before insulted fury drove out all rational thought. Before I could say or do anything, Emma snapped out, "Did you really just say that about me? The daughter you claim to love so much that you've caused more misery than the Evil Queen could in three lifetimes? Are you really so blinded by your own self-righteousness that you think it acceptable to imply that your own daughter would betray the woman she loves by fucking someone else behind her back?" Before Snow had a chance to respond, Emma turned to me and said in a tone that betrayed how hurt she'd been by her mother's careless words, "Thank you for saving me from having to live with that hypocritical bitch."
A remorseful sob escaped from Snow's throat, but I ignored it, reaching for Emma. "You're welcome, darling," I said, desperately seeking a way to erase the pain I saw in her eyes. Emma stepped into my arms and I kissed her cheek, letting my fingers trail soothingly down her back. When the tension started to drain from her, I pressed a finger under her chin, tilting her head up so she would meet my eyes and said, "Do I need to remind you that we still need her to sign the treaty, my love?"
Emma gave me a sheepish smirk and said, "I did warn you that I couldn't promise that I wouldn't say anything,"
I felt my lips twitch in amusement, but I forced out a long-suffering sigh and groaned, "I know, darling. But try to avoid the insults until after she's signed."
She leaned in and stole a quick kiss from my lips before mischievously saying, "No promises, my Queen."
I chuckled, inwardly relieved that the moment had passed. I turned back to Snow and lifted an eyebrow. "Do you wish to further insult your daughter by implying she's promiscuous, or are you going to accept that my bed is the only one she's graced since she gave me her virginity?"
Snow sniffled and turned tear stained eyes on Emma. "Is that true? Is there no possibility that your child could be someone else's?"
My blood began to boil again, but Emma placed a tender hand on my shoulder and stoically meeting Snow's eyes, coldly said, "Insult me as much as you like, your majesty. It doesn't change the fact that I've not fucked anyone but Regina."
Snow flinched at the vulgarity and changed the subject. "Emma, honey. I'm your mother, you don't need to be so formal with me. Can't you at least call me mother?"
Emma lifted an eyebrow and flatly said, "Sign the treaty, Snow."
Snow let out sad sigh and asked, "Will this make you happy, Emma?"
"Yes, now sign the damn treaty, end the feud, take your husband, and leave Regina and me to our happiness," she said, frustration adding an edge to her voice.
"Alright, I only want you to be happy. It's all I've ever wanted for you," Snow said dejectedly.
Emma snorted, but managed to refrain from speaking. I wasted no time in conjuring a small table, quill, ink and the official contracts. Snow hesitated for a moment before she picked up the quill and signed both documents. I took the quill from her, adding my own signature before holding it out for Emma. While she signed as witness, I waved my hand releasing Charming from his bonds. He started to run to Snow, but I lifted a hand and froze him in place.
"You may have your grotesque reunion after you sign the treaty as the second witness, Charming," I said, before releasing him.
"Fine," he ground out, casting a longing look at Snow. He stepped up to the table and scrawled his name across the second witness line before hurrying over to wrap his arms around his wife.
I looked to Emma and smiled. She returned the smile before we both turned to the White King and Queen. I picked up one of the documents and held it out for them. "Congratulations, you have five years to fix the mess you made of your kingdom before I step in and clean up after you," I said cheerfully.
They broke away from their kiss to gape at me. Snow recovered first and asked, "What are you talking about?"
"Oh, the details are all in the treaty, dear. But I do believe I mentioned earlier that you would abdicate if you couldn't restore your kingdom in the allotted time," I said, waving their copy of the treaty.
Snow warily took the parchment from me and nodded, "Yes, I know. What does that have to do with you?"
I smirked, "My heir will only be 4 years old. I will be regent until he or she reaches the age of majority."
"Why you and not, Emma? She's the White Princess, she'll inherit the kingdom when we die anyway," Snow said in insulted indignation.
I let a wicked grin spread across my lips and turned to my Consort to ask, "Would you like to answer that, darling?"
Her stunning green eyes danced with mischief and she nodded before turning to Snow. "I've formally renounced all ties to the White Kingdom, including any titles bestowed upon me and have sworn fealty to Regina. As Lady Emma Swan, White Knight of the Shadow Kingdom, Queen's Champion and Consort, I have no right to the White Throne," she explained wryly.
All the color drained from Snow's face and she turned to me and weakly asked, "How could you?"
I chuckled and mockingly said, "Aside from asking her to be my official consort, the rest of it was all your dau—Emma's idea."
Angry denial brought a flush back to her cheeks and she said, "No, you've put some spell on her or are manipulating her in some way to punish me."
I merely lifted an eyebrow, knowing that Emma wouldn't be able to keep quiet. A second later she burst out with, "The only thing Regina has ever done to me is save me from you and offer me the life I chose. Open your eyes, Snow. Signing this treaty was the first Good decision you've made in 18 years, and your people have suffered for it. You used your selfish desire to "save" me from a perfect life to justify ripping your kingdom apart. How could you possibly think anyone would want to be tied to such selfishness? How many men have you sent to be slaughtered in my name? How many grieving families have been left to beg in the streets for moldy scraps of food? Consider that and explain how you are 'Good'." She paused then waved a hand dismissively and said, "You know what, don't bother. I don't want to hear your excuses. Just leave. You have a lot of work to do if you want to actually salvage your kingdom in the next five years."
I was impressed. I don't think I was even capable of so completely destroying someone with nothing more than the honest truth. I could help but smile at Emma in awe. When I turned back to see the Charming couple's reaction, Snow had crumpled to the ground, silent sobs wracking her petit body. Charming was trying to sooth her, but as I watched her turned furiously to Emma and roared, "You do not get to talk to your mother that way!"
Emma just sneered and said, "She's may be the woman who gave birth to me, but she's not my mother. I denounced her as soon as I was legally able to. Neither of you are anything to me but the idiotic rulers of the neighboring kingdom, who have finally come to their senses and signed a peace treaty with my kingdom."
He surged forward, and swung a fist towards Emma's face. She easily blocked the attack, using his momentum to throw him to the ground. Protective fury rose and I lifted my hand and pinned him to the ground with my magic. Emma intercepted me when I stalked towards him, ready to crush his heart for attacking her.
"Regina, it's alright. He didn't touch me or the baby. He was just angry and lashed out like an idiot. We're fine," she said softly, cupping my cheek in one palm while her other hand grasped mine and brought it to her belly.
I grit my teeth, trying to hold on to the fury, but it dissolved the moment my hand touched her abdomen. I released my magic hold on Charming and snarled, "Leave now. If you are still within my sight in five minutes, I will assume you are attempting to kidnap my Consort and consider it an act of war and I will come for you."
He glared at me, but I could easily see the underlying fear as he got up and went to collect his broken wife. Neither of them uttered another word as they took their copy of the treaty and left.
Once they were gone, I let out a sigh of relief and let the tension drain from me. Emma's arms wrapped around my waist, holding me from behind as she propped her chin on my shoulder. I let myself lean back into her, savoring the comfort her presence brought me and letting the reality of what had just happened finally sink in. "It's over," I whispered.
Emma hummed in agreement and said, "Yes, my love. You're finally free to enjoy your happiness. I'm not going to let anyone take it away from you again."
I smiled and turned in her arms to claim her mouth in a kiss. When I pulled back, I met her happy green eyes and said, "I love you so much."
"I love you too, Regina," she replied, returning my smile. "Now, I know there's something you should do before we go home and celebrate," she said gently pushing me back a step.
A wave of sadness washed over me and I looked over at Daniel's grave. "Do you want to come with me?" I asked softly.
"Only if you want me to, but I think you need a little time alone with him," she said tenderly.
I looked back at her and smiled sadly. "Thank you, Emma. What will you do?"
"I'll wait for you here. Go on, I'll be fine."
I nodded and kissed her cheek before slowly walking towards his grave. When I reached it, I glanced back over at Emma. She'd conjured a blanket and a book and settled in to wait. I turned back and looked down on his gravestone. Tears of regret filled my eyes, spilling softly down my cheeks.
I don't know how long I stood there silently crying before words began to tumble from my lips. "Oh, Daniel, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to fall in love again. I hope that wherever you are, you're not disappointed with me. I've held on to my love for you for so long and I've hurt so many people…I miss you so much. I wish I could say this to your face and see your loving smile just one more time. But I guess it was never meant to be. How much of this was fate? If was all fated to happen, it seems so cruel. You are such a gentle and loving person and you deserved to be happy, not to die so young…Do you think you can ever forgive me for not being your True Love? Is there any way you could be happy for me? I think you'd like Emma. She's smart and funny and strong. She's so protective of me. I know I don't deserve it after everything I've done. But she loves me and she'd do anything to make me happy. You're the only other person I've ever known who would do that…Did you know that I'm going to be a mother? It terrifies me. What if I become as cruel towards the child as my mother was? What if the child hates me for everything I've done? Gods, Daniel, I've never been more afraid of anything in my life…I have to let you go. Emma doesn't deserve to live in your shadow. It hurts so much, but I can't help but wonder if you'd find it in your heart to be happy for me. Would you really want me to be alone forever? Somehow, for the first time, I don't think so. You're too kind to wish pain and loneliness on anyone…I still love you, Daniel. I always will. Please try to be happy for me. Good-bye, Daniel."
I pressed a kiss to my fingers and place them on his grave before turning away. As I walked back to Emma, I wiped the tears from my cheeks and felt somehow lighter. When Emma looked up from her book and smiled at me, I couldn't help but return the smile. The love in her eyes had the sorrow melting away and I reached out for her. She immediately stood and put her hand in mine. I pulled her close, wrapping my arms around her waist and said, "Let's go home, my love."
Emma smiled, "There's nothing I'd like more." I summoned my magic and in a swirl of purple smoke transported us back to the palace. Emma glanced around, taking in the dim corridor of the dungeons. "Regina, why did you bring us here?"
I smirked and said, "Red has been waiting long enough, don't you think?"
"Oh, yeah," Emma said sheepishly.
I chuckled and leaned in to whisper seductively in her ear. "After this, I promise I'll take you to bed and do anything you want."
A shudder ran through her and she breathlessly whispered, "Okay."
I pulled back and took her hand with a smile. "I know you're eager to tell Red the news, but please let me," I asked as I led her deeper into the dungeon.
"Alright," she agreed with a nod.
"Thank you, darling," I said.
When we reached her cell, I opened the door and stepped in, Emma only a step behind me. I forced my face into an impassive expression and turned to the wolf. "It's finished," I said, flatly.
Red sprang up, fear in her eyes, "What do you mean? What's happened?"
I hesitated for a moment, the darker part of me wanting to continue to toy with the wolf, but I knew that ultimately that was petty and Red didn't deserve it. I lifted an eyebrow and said, "I've had my revenge on Snow and a treaty has been signed with the White Kingdom." I pursed my lips; maybe I wasn't above petty amusements after all.
"What did you do to her?" Red demanded angrily.
I sighed. I didn't want her angry. "I merely informed her that she is to be a grandparent," I said dryly.
Red sagged with relief and asked, "She's alive?"
"Yes, she and Charming are back in their own kingdom, unharmed."
She smiled, "Thank you, Regina."
"I didn't do it for you, dear," I said softly.
"I know," she said softly before grinning. "So, how'd they take the news?"
I laughed and simply said, "They fainted."
Red barked out a laugh. After a moment she sobered and asked, "So, where does that leave me?"
"You, my dear, are a free woman. As it's late, I will offer you a guest room, if you like. Tomorrow, I will announce the treaty, but until then, do be careful. I don't want anyone getting hurt unnecessarily."
"Thank you," Red said with a relieved smile. "I think I'll pass on the room though. I'd really like to sleep under the stars tonight."
I nodded, expecting the answer and said, "Of course. Now, I know Emma has been trying to convince you to stay with us. I am not going to ask if you've made a decision yet. You should hear the terms of the treaty before you decide, and I have a proposition that I'd like you to consider."
Red straightened slightly and nodded, "Alright, what is your proposition?"
I pursed my lips, trying to prevent the smile that wanted to soften my expression. "I'd like to ask that you agree to stay and become my child's personal protector," I explained flatly.
I felt Emma nearly vibrate excitedly next to me as Red gaped at me. I shot a glance at the blonde and lifted an eyebrow. She just grinned at me and I turned back to the wolf. "Regina, I-" Red started to say, but I lifted a hand to cut her off.
"Please, just consider it. I will have the scribes make a copy of the treaty for you to read over as well. You may pick it up tomorrow," I said.
She nodded, "Alright, thank you."
"Don't mention it. We will speak again tomorrow," I said, letting a small smile grace my lips. "I'm sure that you're eager to hear about our meeting with Snow White, but please wait until tomorrow to ask Emma. I have need of my Consort this evening," I added suggestively.
Red barked out another laugh and I caught Emma's blush from the corner of my eye. When her laughter died, the wolf wryly said, "I know better than to get in the way of True Love. I'll wait."
After we'd led Red outside and I'd informed Lucas that she'd been released and was expected back in the morning, I pulled Emma into my arms and summoned my magic to transport us to our bedroom.
"Now, my darling, how would you like to celebrate our victory?" I asked, putting a seductive purr into my voice. Emma's eye darkened and she smirked. Instead of answering, she pushed me onto the bed. I could only grin as she crawled up to straddle my hips.