This is for SwanQueen Week Day 2 Fake Relationship. So read and enjoy the Regina shenanigans, and review if so inclined.
Emma shuffled around the porch awkwardly trying to come up with the courage to knock on the door in front of her. The gleaming 108 was tormenting her, she was sure of it. She should probably just go home. There was no way this was going to end well and she knew it. Regina would laugh and lord it over her for the rest of her foreseeable life.
Just as she turned around the door opened behind her.
"Really, Emma, I didn't take you for a coward."
Emma turned around, feeling her face heat. "I just-uh-figured that what I'd come for was a waste of your time."
Regina cocked an eyebrow. "Since when has my time, and the wasting thereof, been any concern of yours?"
"Don't be like that, Regina. We both know we're way past me trying to waste your time by trying to get you to chase after me for late paperwork."
The corners of Regina's mouth twitched up slightly. "I suppose that's true, but now it seems we've moved on to what you let our son eat when it is your week with him."
Emma crossed her arms over her chest. "Pizza every now and then isn't going to kill the kid, Regina."
"Every other week is a bit much, dear."
"I make sure he gets vegetables on it!"
Regina just looked at her skeptically for a long moment before changing the subject. "So what is it that you came here for? I rather think it wasn't to argue over Henry's eating habits."
Emma's gaze dropped to the ground. "Like I said, it was stupid."
"Why don't you let me be the judge of that?"
"Um, so I kinda lied to some of my friends back in New York when they asked why I left town so quickly. Well, they're not really my friends, sort of, but more like the mothers of Henry's friends that I just hang out with when the boys were doing whatever. Anyway, I sort of didn't have an answer for them because, you know, I can't exactly tell them that I left town to go defeat the Wicked Witch of the West. Then one of them was like 'I bet it was an old flame and you guys got back together' and I sort of went with it, you know? Well, now they want to meet the person and they won't take no for an answer and when I came over here I was going to ask you to come with me, but it's stupid. I'll just tell them the person couldn't make it for work reasons or something. When they ask again in a few months I can just tell them it ended again and it'll be no big deal."
"Ramble a tad bit more, dear, why don't you?" Regina rolled her eyes. "Why don't you just ask your pirate?" she sneered the final word with an ugly look on her face.
Emma just stared at her. "Uh, Regina, I can barely get him to bathe weekly and he hasn't changed clothes the entire time we've known him. He's not exactly the type of person that someone would just move to the boonies for. The girls will start questioning my sanity or worse, not believe me and start asking more questions. The less questions they ask about where I've moved and why the better and brining Hook doesn't exactly allow for that."
"And why not ask literally anyone else in this town to do it?" Regina stared down her nose at Emma.
"Because you're Henry's mother. Who else better to come with me? Plus, you're the only other one in town who's actually been out in the real world. And I mean, for God's sake look at you, it wouldn't be hard to believe that I'd move out to the middle of nowhere for someone who looks like you do."
"Mhm. I see you've put quite a bit of thought into this."
Emma rubbed at the back of her neck. "Yeah, well, Henry does want to visit his New York friends. He's been asking me on and off now for a few weeks. And I knew that if we went back I'd have to face the inquisition, so yeah I've been thinking." She sighed heavily. "Like I said it was stupid. I'll just go home now and pretend that this never happened."
Regina's hand reached out and grabbed her elbow. "What exactly would this visit involve?"
"Um, just basically a day with Henry's friends and their mothers fielding questions. Probably some slight PDA just to sell the bit. We can stay the night at the apartment. I haven't been able to find subletters with all that's been going on around here after Zelena."
Regina looked thoughtful for a moment. "I'll agree to go with you on one condition, Miss Swan."
"I'm Miss Swan now?" Emma shook her head. "Alright, I'll bite, what's the condition?"
A smirk spread across Regina's face. "It must be very clear that I wear the pants in this fake relationship of ours."
Emma took a deep breath and closed her eyes. It was only for a couple days at max. She could handle this. Regina was going to make it completely insufferable she was sure, but it was only for a short while.
"I'm glad we could come to an agreement. When are you planning to visit these people?"
"In a couple weeks. The kids will be out of school so they can spend however much time they want together for a couple days. Make the trip worth it, you know?"
"Sounds amiable. Let me know when there's a more definite date of departure."
"If that is all, have a nice day Emma."
She turned around and walked back down Regina's sidewalk towards her Bug. Lord, what had she gotten herself into? She thought she'd thought this through so well, but now she wasn't sure. Maybe she should have just taken the pirate instead.
Two weeks later, Emma stood in her old apartment looking down at Manhattan bustling below her. The amount of obscure relationship jokes that Regina had thrown her way while they'd been in Storybrooke had almost driven her insane. Henry had no idea what she went through for him. It was nice to see Regina out of the funk she'd slipped into after that idiot Robin Hood, but still. It wasn't quite so great when it was at her expense.
Now the brunette and Henry were exploring the apartment and the building. Henry was giving his mom the grand tour and Regina was eating it all up with wide eyes. When they'd driven into the city Emma had caught Regina's wide eyes looking at all of the skyscrapers and people surrounding them. Regina could deny it all she wanted, but it was clear that the woman had never been to New York before. Emma wondered if they could stay a few extra days to take the woman around the city. She'd love to see the other woman's face when she realized just how high up they were at the top of the Empire State Building.
Henry's friends were set to arrive soon, their mothers in tow. They were all going to have dinner and then the boys would probably disappear into Henry's room to play Xbox. That was the part that Emma was dreading the most. When it was all of them, the three teenage boys were going to provide a great deal of distraction, but afterwards when it was just the grownups, she knew she and Regina were going to be the main meal.
The doorbell rang just as Henry and Regina immerged from Henry's room, the boy still chattering on about his various gaming achievements. Regina looked up from Henry and looked at Emma, smirking. Oh, here it went.
Emma walked over to her door, seeing her friends and Henry's standing there through the peep hole. She opened the door and let them in, smiling widely and hugging out her greetings with all of them. The boys ran over to Henry and they started talking loudly almost immediately. Emma saw the moment when the other women saw Regina. Their eyes went wide and darted between the two.
"Damn," Ziva said under her breath. "I'd move to Maine too."
"I didn't know you were into women," Libby said.
Emma shrugged. "It's pretty much only Regina."
Regina walked over and slipped her arm around Emma's waist. Emma pretended not to notice that she'd leaned into the touch involuntarily. She had a part to play, that was it.
"So these are your friends, dear?" Regina asked, her deep voice so near Emma's ear now that they were pressed into each other.
"Yes, this is Ziva," she gestured to the woman with tan skin, dark hair, and even darker eyes. "And this is Libby," she gestured to the other woman of the pair, all blonde hair and blue eyes and clothes perfect enough to rival even Regina. "This is Regina guys." She looked at the brunette with what she hoped was an adoring look.
"Well aren't you two just the cutest thing," Libby said smiling.
Emma blushed slightly and she swore that she saw Regina blushing too.
Ziva handed over a large bowl of salad. "I know whatever you ordered probably didn't come with vegetables, so there you go."
"Hey, I can cook."
The two women laughed. "Breakfast," they responded together.
Regina laughed beside her. "Your talents lie elsewhere, darling, they are right."
"Yeah, yeah, why do I keep you guys around again?"
Libby breezed past her, walking father into the apartment. "Because you love us."
"Debatable," Emma mumbled under her breath. She walked over to the dinner table and sat down the bowl of salad. The Thai food that she'd ordered arrived a minute later and Emma thanked her lucky stars. She'd get enough of the fifth degree later. She didn't need it before dinner while they were waiting around for food to get there.
The seven of them sat down and dug into their meal with gusto. As she'd predicted the boys dominated the conversation, catching up with each other. The women managed a few questions now and again, but they were fairly mundane, how are you doing, how's the job, type questions. Nothing that Regina could take and completely embarrass her with. She had a feeling that was end game here, a version of the game they used to play when Emma first came to town, but now it had a much more playful edge to it. Still, Emma didn't want to deal with it at all. She just wanted to get through this in one piece.
And then suddenly the boys had finished their dinners, washed off their plates before throwing them in the dish washer, and rocketing off to play video games. Emma knew that this was it. She was doomed.
"So," Libby dragged out the word. "Regina, how long have you known Emma?"
Regina smiled. "For quite a while, some days it feels like I've known her since the day she was born."
The other women laughed.
"So, you've known each other since you were young? Did you go to school together?" Ziva asked, setting down her wine glass.
Regina shook her head. "No, we were from the same area, but didn't attend the same school. Her family and mine were quite entwined, however."
Emma sat there more than a little horrified. What the hell was the other woman doing? She was basically referencing Enchanted Forest history without actually coming out and saying it plainly. In what fucking world was that a good idea.
Regina placed a hand on Emma's thigh under the table and Emma had to restrain herself from jumping. Even though Regina's hand was under the table she was sure Libby and Ziva somehow knew it was there. Regina squeezed once before just resting her hand there like nothing was wrong.
"So, give us all the details. Emma's been so clammed up about everything. How did you two get together?"
Regina smiled over at Emma, and damn if the other woman wasn't convincing that she was totally in love. "We always were sort of attracted to each other in some form. Though, when we were younger it was more arguing with each other with little to no personal space between us than actual romantic entanglement. As we got older we started to understand each other more and work together instead of fighting. Then one day, Emma just asked me out. You should have heard her, she was rambling like a fool."
Emma resisted the urge to bang her head off the table. "Hey! You try asking someone and see if you can be any more succinct."
Regina laughed. "Words aren't your thing either, darling, just like food isn't. You are the handy one around the house and the one who can take down burly drunk men when necessary."
Emma hurrumphed and slumped in her chair.
"So you guys must have broken up at some point." Emma swore Libby must have been through about a bottle of wine just by herself at this point. She hoped Ziva had driven.
"Alas, indeed we did. My mother…she wasn't quite understanding of my choices. I let her persuade me away from Emma." Regina looked down at the table.
Emma dropped her hand down to Regina's and squeezed. Regina looked up at her, regret in her eyes. She laced their fingers together and Regina sighed.
"But now we're happy," Emma said quietly.
Regina nodded. "Now we are."
"How did you guys get back together?" Ziva asked softly. "That seems like quite the obstacle to surmount."
"My mother died a short while ago. After her death I realized that she was mistaken, that leaving Emma was the biggest mistake I could've made. When I realized that I reached out to her and one thing led to another and suddenly she was home again and we were on the same side again."
Libby smiled at them. "I'm really glad you guys got back together. This is the happiest I've ever seen Emma."
Emma fought to keep from scowling. How the hell did she look any happier than normal? She was pretending to be in a relationship with Regina, she wasn't actually in one. Hook was sort of with her. As much as a pirate with a wandering eye could be. She was happy. Sure the veiled apology in Regina's words for forsaking them to be with Cora was nice, but that didn't mean she was over the moon right now or anything. Though that apology seemed to be for more than just Cora, it seemed to be for a lot of things if she really thought about it. But still.
"I'm just glad she's getting over Walsh. That one gave me the creeps." Ziva stuck out her tongue in disgust.
Emma shivered. "Yeah, well, seems like you read him better than I did. Turned out he totally was a creep."
"I'll get you your 'you were right' badge later."
Ziva rolled her eyes at Emma.
The conversation continued on after that, veering off from potentially embarrassing topics and to more safe categories. Emma almost lost it when Regina described Storybrooke as 'sort of like a fairytale.' Lord, if only the other women knew the half of it. All of this conversation was totally Regina's in jokes with herself. She wondered how many the woman was going to come out with.
When all the wine was gone the women left, leaving the boys alone in Henry's room. They'd brought their stuff to stay the night and Emma had watch Zach and Bran enough times that she knew they'd be no trouble as long as the power stayed on to power the Xbox. She set to cleaning up everything as Regina walked over to the windows and looked out on the city.
"I was totally expecting you to go to town and embarrass the fuck out of me."
Emma rolled her eyes. "The point still stands. And what ever happened to letting them know that you wore the pants in the relationship?"
"Oh, trust me, they understood that quite easily."
"How do you know?"
Regina just turned and smiled at her and said nothing for a long while.
"I am sorry, Emma," she said, almost indistinctly.
"I know you got the double meaning in everything I said. You're quite observant when you want to be."
"Yeah, I did."
"I meant it. I'm sorry for not trusting you when my mother came to town. I'm sorry for a great deal of pain that I've caused you. I don't regret it, because it brought be Henry, but I am sorry."
"I know, Regina. We've been over this, though. I'm sorry I didn't trust you either with that stupid dream catcher clouding my thoughts. And trust me, the other things, well, the past is the past. We all do things we're not proud of, I understand that completely. You've done more than enough in the last couple years to make up for it, besides the fact that you raised Henry to be probably the best kid that's ever lived."
Regina hummed quietly, indicating she heard, but saying nothing more.
Emma finished cleaning up and yawned. She was tired, the drive from Storybrooke had tired her out and it was getting quite late. She was surprised she still heard the kids muffled shouting through Henry's door. Usually they started to quiet down around this time. She chalked it up to excitement to see each other after such a long time, at least in the view of kids.
She went to work setting up her bed on the couch. Two bedroom apartments worked well when it was just her and Henry, but not so much when Regina was with them. Still, a couple days of sleeping on the couch wouldn't kill her.
"What are you doing?" Regina asked, close enough behind Emma that she jumped just slightly.
"Making my bed, what does it look like? You can have my old bedroom and I'll sleep here."
"Nonsense, Emma, we'll both sleep in your bed. I think we can handle it, we're both adults. I'm well aware of how to stay on my own side of the bed."
She grabbed Emma's arm again and Emma pretended not to feel the burst of heat that traveled up her limb that felt so much like magic. That wasn't possible out here, there was no magic, but yet Regina's touch had caused it so she wasn't quite so sure anymore. Regina dragged her to her bedroom and Regina disappeared into the en suite bathroom. Emma quickly changed into her pjs, thanking the gods that she'd packed a pair of pjs pants. Regina came out of the bathroom and Emma slipped in, quickly brushing her teeth before going back and slipping into her normal side of the bed.
Regina sat on the edge of the bed, carefully massaging lotion into her legs. Emma was struck how strangely easy this all was. It was like they'd been doing this for years. But that was ridiculous. This was the first time and probably the last time. This was only pretend, make believe, not real. But it was more real than a lot of things she'd experienced.
She shook her head. This was no time to get all poetic. She was tired. She wasn't going to make sense. Yeah that was it.
Regina slipped under the covers a few minutes later, smelling apples and lavender. It was an odd combination, but Emma thought it worked rather well. She closed her eyes and flipped over, getting comfortable. Emma felt Regina settling into her mattress and sighing. She was sure that the mattress under them was nothing like the one Regina had at home, but it was passable, she thought.
But then again, maybe not. She tossed and turned for a long while, never quite getting comfortable enough to fall asleep. Regina was less obvious about it once they'd settled in, but Emma knew that she was awake too. Emma felt bad, she was probably keeping the other woman up with all her flopping around, but she just couldn't help herself.
Finally, she spread out, knowing that she was getting into Regina's side of the bed, but not really caring. If she was comfortable enough to fall asleep in this position it would be a good thing for both of them. She tensed slightly as her hand brushed Regina's under the covers, waiting for the reprimand, but none never came. And Emma, she was just so comfortable in this position and she finally felt the felt pulls of sleep, never moved her hand.
Just when she was almost fully asleep she felt Regina's hand slipping into hers, interlacing their fingers. Emma smiled sleepily and let sleep take her.
They woke up the next morning wrapped in each other's arms. Emma came to consciousness slowly, relishing the warmth surrounding her. It had been so long since she'd woken up so cozy. Awareness started to creep in and it hit her why she was so warm and why there were distinctively feminine curves pressed up against her. Regina. And yet the freak out she was expecting didn't come. Her mind just accepted it easily.
When she was fully awake, eyes blinking open against the sun of mid-morning, she didn't dare move. She didn't want to wake Regina. Plus, even if she was up, she was still damn comfortable. She didn't want to move. For more than one reason. Emma swallowed at what that could possibly mean and the possible reasons. They were obvious, but Emma felt better going over the more obscure reasons first.
She felt Regina stirring behind her a while later. Emma turned over, still keeping in the other woman's arms. Brown eyes met hers, sleepy, but questioning.
"Hi." Emma winced at the sound of her sleep roughened voice.
"You sleep well?"
Regina nodded. "After you stopped fidgeting, yes I did."
Emma rolled her eyes. "You were going to be up anyway."
"That's beside the point, Miss Swan."
"Why am I Miss Swan when you want to avoid a subject? You think that's going to intimidate me after everything?"
"That's preposterous; I use Miss Swan as a form of a address for you more than just when I want to avoid something."
"Oh, so you are avoiding the subject this time?"
Regina huffed. "Fine, yes, I am."
Neither of them addressed the fact that they were having this conversation quite literally three inches away from each other.
"Hah! I win an argument for once." Emma smiled widely.
"Yes, I suppose you do." Regina looked at Emma for a long moment.
Suddenly both of them were silent, waiting to see what the other would do as a next move. Emma wasn't quite sure what she wanted to happen. Or she wasn't quite sure she wanted to let herself want what she actually wanted to happen. It was all so confusing.
"So, I'm getting the feeling that this is morphing into something that's no so pretend anymore," Emma finally said after a string of long moments.
"I do believe so, dear," Regina replied.
Emma nodded. "When did that happen exactly?"
"I'm not sure. Obviously sometime in the last three years."
Emma snorted. "Oh, really." Her eyes flicked down to Regina's lips of their own will. When her eyes met Regina's again there was a knowing look in Regina's eyes.
Regina leaned forward just slightly and Emma found herself leaning forward to meet halfway. Their lips met and that exact same burst of heat that spread through her body every time Regina touched her happened again, except this time it was ten times more intense. The kiss was chaste, just a brushing of lips for a few long seconds, but it was enough.
Emma pulled back. "Yeah, so not make believe."
"No." Regina paused. "What do we do now?"
"I think a date is in order, that's usually how things go."
"Since when have we every stuck to how things usually go?" Regina cocked an eyebrow.
"Might be nice to try for a little while."
Regina leaned forward once more and kissed Emma for a little longer this time. "Maybe so."
Emma smiled and rolled out of Regina's arms. She stretched, hearing her back crack more than a few times. She groaned and got up, smiling down at Regina who hadn't moved.
"But Emma," Regina said looking up at her with humor in her eyes.
"I still wear the pants, make believe relationship or not."
Oh god, what exactly had she gotten herself into? She smiled and walked into the bathroom to get ready for the day.