I'm Mr. Boombastic say me fantastic...

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

Spending time with her family without worry about a random mob of angry peasants lurking in the shadows waiting for the perfect opportunity for revenge was quite the relief for Regina. Knowing that Emma was paranoid for the both of them—and the blondes new-found power practically installed the, what's the term? Oh right...The Fear of God into a majority of Storybrooke's citizens. Magical and non-magical alike. Regina often wondered how calm and accepting they would be if they realized that she alone was the only grounding factor that kept the Empress from going on a massive power tantrum and slaughtering them all where they stood.

Regina hung back, watching the loves of her life browse around the local pet shop excitedly—though Emma was trying to hide her joy, and appear bored and detached. Regina could her lover like a book, fortunately, she knew that like herself, Emma was thoroughly enjoying spending time with their children—almost like a normal family that didn't have nasty secrets and enemies in every chapter of their lives. It was a rare day and the two Matriarch's were determined to enjoy it. For once their journey to the Underworld begins, there is no foreseeing what could happen once they commit.

Brown eyes observed her son walking up to his blonde mother, and taking her hand with a bright smile on his face. A smile that hasn't been present for some time now, and Regina hadn't realized how much she missed seeing it until now—or how little it's been shown, until that moment as well. Emma ran her hands through his hair lovingly and apparently gave him permission for whatever it is he conned out of her. He delivered the news to his sister and they both went running towards the front of the pet shop to (no doubt) harass the shop keeper, and Regina didn't have the heart to fuss over them running in the store. She would let them have this. Obsidian eyes met vibrant green ones, and Emma's gaze dropped down to Regina's stomach before meeting her gaze once more, grin wider now.

Despite being across the room from each other, the love whispered between their shared look was enough to satisfy them for the moment. Feeling a smaller hand slipping into her hand, Regina looked down to see Maddi smiling up at her and asking (more like demanding) Regina to follow her to the back of the shop where Max and the shop keeper were waiting. Looking back at Emma, the blonde just smiled and shrugged as if she didn't have a clue—Regina didn't buy that for one second, and suddenly she felt as if she was being set up. Knowing her family, she most likely was—but she knew her life was safe, so she allowed her daughter to drag her to the back of the pet shop, as fast as she dared in her stilettos.

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

"What do you think, mom? Can we keep her? Please?" Max asked, with wide hazel eyes and a pouty lip, his sister doing the same—and in that exact moment, Regina knew why Emma chose to stay in the main part of the shop—she sent them to her instead of doing it herself. Regina wasn't all that surprised, but what did surprise her was that the local pet shop kept tiger in it's back room—and she wanted to know why, and how the hell her children knew about it.

The nervous shop keeper saw the wheels turning in the Mayor's head and he quickly jumped in the explain, "It isn't what you think, Madam Mayor! When the second curse hit the town, a lot of things changed and we had more stray animals than before...from all over!" his eyes were wide when he mentioned that last part, as if trying to will the brunette into understanding so he didn't have to elaborate in front of the twins. Fortunately, Regina did understand him. The second curse was a second 'clean sweep' through out the entire Enchanted Forest—anything or anyone that survived the first curse was surely dead now, and the remaining creatures that managed to survive and got carried over to Storybrooke were the last of the Enchanted Forest. There really was no turning back now.

The Dark Queen nodded her understanding and looked towards her two children that were fawning all over the young tiger that was pacing it's cage excitedly with bright screen eyes. The brunette looked at the shopkeeper, "How old is it?"

"She," the young man corrected gently, "is only two years old. When we found her, she was covered in tons of sand—judging by the color and rich texture of it she came from Agrabah."

Regina blinked slowly, "I see. Anything else I should know?"

"Um...she was severely injured when we found her, but it had nothing to do with the curse. There were non-fatal sword wounds and burns on various parts of her body. I think the palace from which she came was under siege when the curse went through it's second purge." he looked back at the cage where the young tiger was interacting with the twins gently through the cage, "She's wild but she's social...leading me to believe she's been living with King Aladdin and Queen Jasmine. I've had the pleasure of meeting them once...as well as Rajah. I think this cub, is Rajah's offspring but she's the last of his line."

"I see." Regina repeated, unsure of what she should be saying exactly. Her children wanted to take home a young tiger that looked fully grown already and Emma seemed perfectly fine with it. Max and Maddi seemed attached already and if she were being honest, they never looked happier. "I'm unsure if I want such a wild beast in my home or backyard."

"Look at them though, Regina." Emma said from behind them, making them both jump when she stepped out from the shadows, eyes glued to her children as she wrapped her arm around her wife. "This could be another great addition to the family, I've been...visiting the shop often and this is the first time I've seen her playing around like that, and she's so gently." the shopkeeper bowed his head respectively and gave the two women their privacy.

"Animals have tempers, Emma. And those two like to drag that out of everything that breathes. I don't think it's safe to take home a tiger."

"Well, no you're right...it's not entirely safe to give two nine year old's a tiger. But...if I made her an extension of myself, would that make you feel any better, babe?"

"You mean like another Apache?"

" them with two guard dogs is a sound idea, but it's not enough for them. I would feel better if we left them with a guardian that had both teeth and claws...that used them. Plus, giving those two some responsibility might be a good thing for everyone."

Regina sighed deeply, rubbing her stomach idly—watching her two oldest closely. After what felt like forever to Emma, her wife sighed deeply again and she fought back her smile. She kissed the brunette's temple before moving towards the cage and kneeling in front of it so she was at eye level with the tiger; green meeting green. "How do you feel about the name Rajah?"

The tiger's ear's twitched in recognition, it took a small step forward and carved something into the floor of the cage. The twins looked over Emma's shoulder, Max scratched his head. "She likes the name, two?" Maddi rolled her eyes at her brother.

"Rajah the second." she explained, rolling her eyes yet again and Emma warned her they would get stuck if she kept doing that. Regina mumbled something about paperwork and left the backroom.

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

Close to an hour and half later...Emma was helping Rajah into the backseat of her Jeep, idly thinking she might have to invest in something...bigger. Regina would kill her if she turned their driveway into a parking lot, so she just tucked that thought away for another time. It wasn't long before Regina came out holding a folder that contained Rajah's adoption paperwork, with Max and Maddi behind her struggling with the bags. Emma opened the trunk but made no move to help them out—they needed a little more muscle.

Later that night...

Emma was sitting on the sofa, messing around with Regina's Ipad while Maddi was on the floor sitting next to a snoozing Rajah The Second (Rajah for short), typing away on her recently acquired Iphone 6s that Emma broke down and purchased for her at Best Buy and Max as well—though he wasn't as excited about having a cell phone as his sister was, he just wanted more video games. Hence, him sitting on the floor in front of the TV, tapping away at the buttons on his controller as if he were possessed and mumbling to himself.

Regina, however, was the only Mills in the Mills manor that was truly being productive—she was upstairs packing a suitcase, or three, for the trip to the Underworld. The Dark Queen wasn't exactly sure what to expect, so she decided to just pack for everything. Regina would never admit it to anyone but her Dark True Love—but she was nervous, scared even, but she refused to show that fear outside of the sanctuary of her bedroom, of her home. Her children, and her subjects, needed to see that their Queen was strong, fearless and could walk through the literal Pits of Hell without flinching. She knew Emma had her own reservations about going to the Underworld, more so for her own sanity than anything else—and Regina couldn't blame her lover. They were both overwhelmed, under-appreciated and their to-do list was entirely too long to be bothered with. In Regina's utmost opinion—killing Snow White would cut that list in half, and maybe...maybe they could get a decent week without a mob, or a treaty meeting in a cemetery before midnight...and perhaps Emma would stop having small break downs and have a big one. That is what Regina could deal with...that is what the brunette wanted to deal with.

Sometime in the middle of her packing spree, Rajah came upstairs to the bedroom she and Emma shared and sat down near the door—green eyes watching her curiously. Now in tune with shadow magic through her link with the Empress, Regina wasn't at all startled to see Rajah sitting there when she came out the closet with her third suitcase that was barely holding it together, and it only contained bra's and panties.

"What are you looking at?" Regina mumbled to Rajah as she placed her suitcase with the other two, "I can't believe I let that idiot talk me into letting you into my house." Regina paused for a moment, hands on her hips as she glanced around her bedroom as if she missed something. Suddenly, the Dark Queen conjured up another suitcase and began to magically pack everything she thought Emma would need and want, which took two suitcases but Regina figured Emma wouldn't care one way or the other.

Rajah rolled her eyes when Regina turned around and laid down, she liked this family. It was more functional than the other family in the desert where she came from. The children didn't pull on her tail or her fur, and she was fed...she had a yard to play in, and she smelled no fear from the Mills clan. Rajah could truly relax and perhaps maybe find her place in this new world that she could call her own.

Closing her eyes, Rajah decided to catch up on a little bit of sleep that she could never get while trapped in the cage in that building with other animals that Rajah wouldn't have minded for dinner—just to shut them up. The smell wasn't all that great either, the building nor her cage did much for her keen sense of smell. The Mills household was much better. Rajah especially liked when Emma bathed her and stroked her fur so gently it almost lulled the young tiger to sleep—it was almost as if the Empress' fingers were like magic. As the tiger allowed herself to be pulled into the land of dreams, she was unaware of the shadow's behind the door reaching out to stroke her fur but Regina noticed with narrowed eyes and a small smile. Their family was always going to be protected, whether they were there or not.

Regina turned away and walked into her bathroom suite, and began running a hot bath as she stripped naked—staring at herself in the mirror as she did so, mostly at her stomach. The bathroom door suddenly opening startled Regina but she instantly relaxed when she saw it was just Emma. The Empress paused momentarily, taking in the scene before her—her plans for going to the bathroom initially have completely disappeared. Slowly shutting the door behind her, and setting the Ipad on the counter gently...Emma just smiled, and covered Regina's hand with her own. "We will get through this."

"Will we?",Regina met Emma's gaze via mirror, unable and unwilling to stop the tears, "Will we, Emma?"

"Yes."

Regina's hand turned beneath Emma's and squeezed the blonde's hand tightly, and Emma felt as if Regina's gaze seemed to burn hotter and she was unable to look away. "Promise me you won't be an idiot this time? Promise me...promise me that our family will be complete when we come home."

"Regina—"

"Emma."

The Empress swallowed roughly, that was a heavy promise to make—a promise she has learned not to make through her extensive time in the non-magical world, risking her life daily. But...Emma had to constantly remind herself that she was now in a world where magic existed, unspeakable acts created with magic that could save a life or two—where it was dark or light. This was one of those moments where Emma knew she was the Empress of Darkness, and she would steal the souls of millions to save four. Her wife, twins and unborn child. The blonde turned the naked brunette slightly as she kneeled until her knee's where resting on the cool tile floor, eye level with Regina's stomach. Emma leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss there, feeling a flutter of magic beneath Regina's skin briefly.

"I promise you both. We will come home safely."

Regina turned off the faucet with a flick of her wrist using her free hand, then placing her hand behind Emma's hand, "Promise me one more thing, Swan..."

"Yeah?"

"Promise me Snow White's head...on a sword. Just like her precious Huntsman and her idiot husband, Charming."

Pink lips curved slowly into a smile, matching Regina's mischievous grin... "Just like old times...this I promise as well, my Queen."

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

SQ :: SWAN QUEEN :: SQ

All mistakes are my own. Yes I'm moving hella slow. Life...it sucks. ugh, does it suck but food...food is still my best friend. lol

MG