When Emma left her office, she made a series of phone calls to set things up for an evening to be shared with Regina and Henry. The first one was to Katherine, as she needed her help with a few of the things on her hastily made list. Basically, she needed Katherine to kidnap Regina for a couple of hours so Emma had time to set things up.
She texted Henry to let him know his mom would be late but that she would be over as soon as possible and would need his help.
Her next stop was to a grocery store. She knew how to cook – nothing like Regina obviously, but she couldn't remember the last time she had cooked for another person. She knew that Regina wouldn't critique her cooking skills and she wanted to be able to say that at least once she cooked for the chef. This was the part where Henry came in as she told him her plan and that he could help prepare the meal with her. He, of course, was all excited about the prospect of helping.
By the time she got over to Regina's and got all she had brought with her up to her place, she texted Katherine to tell her she might need a little more time than expected and to make sure if Regina was hungry she didn't eat anything other than a snack.
It wasn't as if Regina and she had no contact, in fact she had gotten a text from her earlier to say that she was going out with Katherine after work for drinks because Katherine had something urgent to speak to her about and was being insistent that it must happen today. Emma chuckled a little over that. She told Katherine to come up with an excuse to keep Regina occupied and Emma did sort of wonder what she told Regina. When she had called Katherine to set this up, Katherine had simply said, "leave it to me."
Emma let the babysitter (not that she would dare call her that in front of Henry) go the moment she got there, eliciting a promise from her (with the help of $20) that if Regina called or texted her to check in that she would pretend that she was still watching Henry and everything was fine.
"What are we making?" Henry asked as they took all the ingredients out.
"Spaghetti carbonara," Emma replied. "with a side of pan fried asparagus."
"Is it hard?"
"Kid, if it was hard, do you think it would be something I could make?"
He smiled at her in return and they started their work.
"I sure hope your mom won't be upset with me using her kitchen. She's told me how territorial chefs can be about their areas," she said.
"I don't think she will care as long as you clean up afterward."
While they worked, Henry talked about how school was going and Emma asked questions about what he was learning class. When he mentioned a classmate named Violet, it opened him up to another round of questions he didn't seem as eager to answer.
"Hey, turn about it fair play kid," she said. "Remember our date? You asked me everything under the sun that night or so it seemed."
"I thought you were interesting," he said. "That night when that guy had a knife to mom, you were like a superhero when you jumped over mom and went running after him."
"You seem to be forgetting the part where I got stabbed."
"But you were ok," Henry said. "I had never met anyone like you before and neither had mom. When she sat me down to tell me that you two were going to date, I didn't really know what to think because, well I didn't know my mom liked women like that. I didn't care and I don't really understand why she never said anything about it before, but she said it was complicated and I would understand better when I was older. Anyway, I was really happy she was dating you, because you make her happier than I think I have ever seen her."
Emma couldn't keep the smile off of her face at hearing Henry say this.
"I love her," she said. "I've never felt like this before with anyone else I have been with. That's why I'm here right now. I want to do something special for your mom. I want her to know that what we have is something I'll cherish and protect forever."
"Are you guys getting married?"
"What?" Emma said.
"I mean you love her and she loves you so are you getting married?"
"I think that's a conversation for your mom and me," Emma said. "Sometime down the road."
"But you would like to marry her?"
"Don't you think she would be the one to know that first?" she said, rubbing the top of his head. "Now let's finish our cooking."
"Just one more drink," Katherine said as she motioned to the bartender to bring them another round.
She figured one more drink would be enough time to let Emma do her thing. Plus if Regina was a little tipsy well Emma could thank her later.
"You said one drink," Regina said. "And you still haven't told me exactly why it was so important that you and I go have a drink after work. Is there something wrong? Because if you are trying delay telling me some bad news, I think it would be best if you just out and said it."
The bartender put their drinks in front of her and Regina took another drink and then put her hand on Katherine's. "You aren't sick, are you?"
"No," Katherine said, pulling her hand away and taking a drink. "Really, that is what you jumped to?"
"Well, come on," Regina asked. "You call me up, insist I go out after work with you and so far you haven't said why we are here."
"Maybe I want to spend time with my best friend."
Regina gave her a curious look. "Do you feel like I'm spending too much time with Emma? Is this what this is about?"
Katherine took another drink. "You are not spending too much time with Emma. This is … looks she is going to kill me for telling you this, but Emma asked me to take you out after work to give her a little time to work up a surprise for you, a surprise you have now ruined."
"What kind of surprise?"
"I don't know," Katherine said. "I suppose that is a good thing or else I would have told you what she had planned."
Regina smiled. "She's, she's amazing."
"It is so good to see you so happy," Katherine said. "You know when Emma first came to pick you up that night, I knew she had a thing for you. The look on her face when she saw you come out – even if you saw it as a budding friendship – she, I think she was in love with you from the beginning."
"We're so different," Regina said. "Yet, it feels so right. After Stephen, the way he neglected me, ran around with other women, I never thought I would meet someone like her. She's kind, attentive, caring …"
"And the sex is really good from what you have said."
"Yes, there is that as well," Regina smiled. "All I'm saying is that it feels like a fairy tale."
Katherine lifted her glass. "To getting your fairy tale."
Regina clinked glasses with her. "Now how much longer do we have to wait here?"
Regina unlocked the door and entered, immediately seeing the low lights, candlelight glow and Emma.
"Hi beautiful," Emma said, holding out a flower to her.
"Hi," Regina smiled, accepting the flower – a lily. "Thank you, but what is all of this?"
"Dinner," Emma said. "A la Henry and Emma."
"Yes. Come on, let's eat."
Emma took her hand and led her over to the table where Henry was standing behind his chair waiting for the two ladies to join him.
Regina moved over and gave him a quick hug and kiss on the top of his head. "Thank you for helping Emma with this."
"It was fun," he said. "And we even cleaned up after ourselves."
"I appreciate that. First rule of the kitchen …
"Keep your station in order," Henry said at the same time as Regina.
"He used that same line on me earlier," Emma said.
They all sat down and started to eat. Regina complimented both of them on the meal, and when Emma asked her tips for improving upon it, she said it was perfect in her mind. After the meal, Emma and Henry cleaned up while Regina went and changed clothes into something more relaxed and then they all sat down to watch a movie – Henry's choice which was Captain America Civil War. Emma already knew that Regina had watched all the movies based on comic book characters with Henry. Despite Regina saying that she only watched them for Henry's sake, Emma could tell she enjoyed them.
Once the movie was over Henry went to bed and Emma and Regina continued to sit on the couch together and Emma told her about Neal accosting her.
"You don't think he will try anything do you?" Regina asked.
"I made my position pretty clear," Emma said. "And I mean it, if he comes near you I don't care if there is a warrant out for him or not."
Regina gave her a kiss. "I love you, and if he does come near me, I will call the cops if he doesn't leave on his own. I don't want you involved with him anymore than you have had to."
"I don't want to be anywhere near him," Emma said. "Like I said, I want to turn my back on that past forever. This is where I want to be, with you and Henry."
They kissed some more until both decided to move it to the bedroom.
The two women laid wrapped up in each other, still naked after satisfying each other's needs.
"You will never guess what Henry asked me while we were preparing dinner," Emma said.
"You are right, I will probably not be able to guess it, so why don't you tell me."
"He asked if we were going to get married."
"What did you tell him?"
"I told him that was a conversation for you and I to have," Emma said. "And I'm not saying that this is the conversation right now, because if we were to, you know, well I would do it right. You know the ring and all of it."
"And what makes you think you would be the one asking me?" Regina smiled.
"I was the one to ask you out first," Emma pointed out.
"True," Regina said. "It took you long enough for you to get around doing that; so, at this rate I would be waiting forever for a proposal."
"Oh, no you didn't," Emma said, starting to tickle to Regina in punishment. They tussled around a bit until Emma ended up on top of Regina. They paused a moment, looking into each other's eyes, before Emma kissed her, deeply. After a few more kisses, Emma raised herself up again. "I love you Regina. More than I thought I could ever love someone. And when the time comes, I will get down on one knee, hold up a ring that will pale in comparison to you, and I will ask you to marry me. You, of course, will say yes and Henry can be my best man or maybe be the one to walk you down the aisle and give you away. Then we will have a lot of honeymoon sex."
Regina laughed at this last part and pulled Emma down on her for more kisses. She got Emma to move on to her side.
"Now, one of these days," Regina said. "I'm going to surprise you with a ring. It won't pale in comparison to your beauty, it will complement it, because I will only get the most perfect one for you. Will I kneel before you to ask, I don't know, maybe. Maybe I will just wait until after some mind-blowing sex one night and then pull the ring out from under the pillow and not even say a word, just give you that look that tells you how much I want this, want you and I forever."
"I don't know about you, but I think it's time for some mind-blowing sex," Emma said, kissing her once more.
Five years later
"Come on little fella," Emma said, scooping up her son, David, who was despite being a toddler seemed to have mastered the art of running from bath time. He laughed as she picked him up and tickled him. "Regina, I got him."
She walked him back to the bathroom where Regina was waiting to give David his bath. Emma settled the ornery child into the tub and then backed off toward the door where she stood watching her wife bathe their son. She glanced over at the top of the toilet where Regina's wedding ring sat. Regina always took it off when bathing David after it slipped it off of her hand once and she had a minor heart attack when she thought she had lost it forever down the drain. As it turned out, it has fallen into David's toy boat, but after that Regina refused to wear it at bath time.
"Hey, we going to finish this game or not?" Henry asked as he tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention.
"Yeah kid," Emma said, playfully pushing him. A couple of years ago, she would have put her arm around him, but he had gotten too tall for that. He was no longer that little kid she had gone on a "date" with.
She gave one look at her wife and son and then followed her other son out to the main room to play some video games. She had never brought up the idea of adopting Henry, but when he asked her to do it, she couldn't say no. He wanted their family to be complete and even though she didn't think a piece of paper would change that, she gladly signed the papers.
There were days where she still couldn't believe this was her life. She couldn't believe she was married to Regina. She couldn't believe David and Henry were her boys. The day she gave birth to David was one she would cherish for the rest of her life. They had considered adopting another child like Henry, but in the end they decided to use invitro fertilization so she could carry their child. She was worried at first about how Regina would feel about it since she was unable to carry the child herself, but Regina was nothing but supportive. Every step of the way Regina was there for her.
After the bath, Regina and Emma traded spots and Emma tucked their son and read him a story as he drifted off to sleep holding his favorite stuffed dinosaur toy. Another half hour of game time with Henry and she gave up for the night, going off to bed where Regina was already at – sitting up and reading a book.
Quickly changing clothes, she got into bed, grabbed the book from her wife's hands and tossed it on the floor.
"Hey what," Emma said. "This is the first night that my wife has been home this week so forgive me if I don't want her spending the whole night reading when there are so many other ways to spend an evening."
"Oh, is that so?" Regina replied. "And what did you have in mind?"
"I could go for that, after all, it does work out for us," Regina said, looking down at the engagement ring she had placed on Emma's hand nearly four years ago.
"Yes, it does," Emma said. "But just remember, I asked you out first."