.

.

"Hold onto this for a little bit, won't you," Emma says, not pleading, not a flicker of uncertainty in her resolve, and Regina's driven speechless.

The pulse of Emma's heart is ever steady and warm, right when it drops cradling softly in her hand. She's holding the Savior's heart, her own damn existence. The purest magic drumming inside it alone is breathtaking and nerve-wrecking, let alone the sight, threatening to mingle with Regina's.

"I think you deserve it."

Regina's jaw clenches, instead of her suede-gloved fingers.

"This isn't funny, Swan," she snaps. It's not.

Ever since their last encounter with Mr. Gold seeking vengeance on them all, Emma bravely - stupidly, Regina corrects herself - faced him alone and as a result, she could have had heart crushed into dust. Aided by their newest foes from outside this realm, he managed to rip out Emma's heart. Cora hadn't even been able to accomplish that, or so Regina was led to believe.

Her thumb strokes over the glimmering, red organ, fond of the weight, how familiar.

As a reaction, Emma's body seems to visibly unwind of the obvious strain; a dreamy sigh leaves her, her cheeks pinkening. Maybe its the chill in the air. The hallways to Granny's Bed and Breakfast tend to get drafty late in the year.

"No, it's not," Emma agrees, voice croaking, going solemn finally. Finally.

"Is this what you want?" Regina peers down at the heart, and then meets the other woman's eyes. "More importantly, aren't you going to ask me to put it back?"

Something playful lightens up Emma's face, her big, obnoxiously carefree grin.

"I usually prefer wining and dining before getting someone inside me," she fires back, and when Regina doesn't smile and looks even more exasperated, Emma rolls her eyes good-naturedly towards the ceiling. As if this is Regina's doing. "Just answer me this: does it hurt as much as getting it ripped out?"

"It's much worse," Regina says, gravely.

She can feel the momentary stutter in Emma's heart.

"Okay," Emma replies, back going ramrod straight, seeming to act like she's puffing out her chest, fidgeting. "Get it out of the way. Or whatever."

And so she cringes despite herself, waiting for the impact when Regina's free hand grasps her shoulder. Emma cracks open a blue eye from squeezing them up tightly. Her body is all kinds of tingly, like she's buzzed off some fingers of whiskey, and Regina's hand is definitely empty.

"That didn't hurt at all!" That's amazing. Emma is about to jump up and down in victory for all she knows, but the semi-horrified look on the other woman halts that impulse. "Regina...?" she asks, dread filling her.

Regina takes a step, almost colliding backwards into the wall.

True love is why it doesn't hurt, her spellbooks indicated. True love's magic.

"I'm fine," she says, curtly, avoiding Emma's eyes.

"... Why didn't it hurt, Regina?"

The suspicion isn't unfounded, but Regina won't give. She won't.

"I have no idea," she says, flatly.

Emma's closer than she was before, nearly nose-to-nose to her, searching Regina's dark eyes. A gust of air skims between them. "You know better than to lie to me."

Regina has to resist the urge to strip off her designer gloves, fiercely with her teeth, and yank her fingers into those cornsilk blonde waves, tug her much, much, much closer. "Emma, you have your heart back. What more do you want from me?"

"The wining and dining bit." Emma's dimples pop, as she adds cheekily, "Maybe letting you get inside me tonight. I'm feeling optimistic."

More like ridiculous.

They're cramped in the tiny, abandoned hallway, and Regina's losing her mind with this nuisance and this wonder, so what will it hurt if she gives in for now - to Emma's resolve, to the heat and equally cramped pressure of her lips.

Regina's palm lands over the side of her chest, against Emma's breast, where that invisible and beautiful rhythm will haunt her for nights on end.

.

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OUAT isn't mine. An extra treat from OUATFFX and I've been getting more requests to do Swan Queen so here you go! :) I really hope you enjoyed. Comment/questions are deeply appreciated and are forever encouraging, thank you.