A/N: Hi. This story finally reached over 500 follows. That's cool. Honestly just for that alone I owe you guys more updates! Thanks for following, faving, reviewing and reading. :) this story is a fun one for me to write and I'm glad that you guys are still enjoying it.
Here's the chapter. Sorry for mistakes (I don't have a beta and I'm doing my best on my own). I own nothing. Enjoy.
"Hi Emma!" Emma felt a small body collide with her and small arms wrap around her legs. Emma chuckled at the little girl that was hugging her legs.
"Hey Alexandra." She greeted. The little girl pulled back and looked up at her with a big smile.
As soon as the door opened the small child flew out and before either Ashley or Emma could react, the little girl was on Emma. Emma didn't particularly mind the little hugs though. She thought Alex was so adorable. She often saw her skipping down the street with her mother, her hair in little blonde pigtails and wearing an adorable tutu and little sneakers. Emma often wondered what it would be like to have a daughter. She thought she would be a pretty good mother to a little girl. She wouldn't mind having another miniature version of herself.
But for some reason whenever she thought about having another kid, Regina was always involved in helping her raise them. Maybe it was because they were both already raising a child so, it would only be natural for them to raise any other child that came into their lives together as one parental unit. It could have also meant that she thought Regina was an incredible mom because she did. But there was also the possibility that Emma just wanted... no. She shook that thought off. No. She just wanted Regina to be a part of her family. Whatever that meant.
When the little girl freed her, Emma leaned down and put her hands under the child's arms and lifted her up. Emma sat her on her hip. They shared a smile before Emma finally addressed the little girl's mother standing in the doorway of the house.
"Hey Emma." The woman said happily. She stepped aside to let Emma in. Emma thanked her and stepped into the modest house. "Can I get you anything?"
Emma shook her head. "No thank you."
She felt Alexandra's little hands playing with her hair. She looked over at the little girl. She was twirling some of Emma's hair around her finger. Emma chuckled at that. "You like my hair?" She asked.
She received a nod in response. "It's yellow."
"It's blonde like yours." Emma explained. "And your mom's."
Alexandra wrinkled her nose. "It's different."
Emma raised her brows. "Is it?"
"We have a little future hairdresser on our hands. She loves to touch everyone's hair and play with it." Ashley said with a chuckle. "She went up to that Dragon witch in Granny's and asked about her hair the other day. Aurora almost died." She giggled at the end.
Emma smirked and looked over at Alexandra. "That must have been something. What did Maleficent say?"
Ashley shrugged. "She smiled at her, surprisingly enough. Then Alex began asking the woman about her eyes. I mean, have you seen them? They're stunning yet terrifying."
Emma chuckled. "Everything about that woman screams evil." She muttered. "Good to see her integrating well into society."
"She's not so bad."
Emma rolled her eyes. "Yeah soon she might be offering rides on her back for the kiddies." She hoped that didn't come out as bitter as she felt it did.
"Perhaps." Ashley said crossing her arms over her chest. "I mean, if Regina could be redeemed... after that whole dark curse mess..."
"Well, yeah but still. Regina has been good."
Ashley shrugged. "Maybe some of her goodness is rubbing off on the Dragon lady. I saw them together a few times and they looked real close." She gasped. "Regina is gay, right?"
Emma shrugged. She had no idea why she felt so much animosity towards Maleficent. She didn't do anything to her directly. She just didn't get why Regina liked her so much. "I think she's straight... She was with that thieving bozo."
"Robin Hood." Ashley corrected. "But she and Maleficent share so much chemistry. Maleficent looks at her the way I look at raspberry ice cream. That's passion."
"Then again, everything with a pulse is attracted to Regina. Honestly I questioned my sexuality a few times when I saw her in certain outfits."
"And she smells really good."
"You know you two would make a nice couple. She compliments you well and you compliment her." Ashley rambled. "You're gay, right?"
"Was I assuming? I was going by the short nails, skinny jeans, the beanies and the leather. Not to mention you're a cop and kinda a knight." Ashley babbled. "Plus the way you walk and the foot wear. Oh and Ruby said that she caught you staring at her..." She leaned over and covered Alexandra's ears making the little girl laugh. "Chest."
"That's because her tits were always on display." Emma whispered back. "How can I not?"
Ashley shrugged. "Fair enough. But are you attracted to Ruby?"
"No." Emma gasped. Was she? Ruby is beautiful but was Emma attracted to her? Probably not. "Nope."
Emma shrugged. "She's beautiful, smart, a good mother to our kid, funny and she can cook. I could see myse- nope."
Ashley giggled as she removed her hands from her daughter's ears. "Careful Emma, your crush is showing."
Emma scowled at the other blonde. "The cat." She grumbled.
Ashley chuckled. "Fine." She threw her hands up in surrender and began leading Emma down the hallway. "I just want to see you happy. You gave us a happy ending. You deserve one too."
Emma smiled a little at Ashley. She's right. Everyone deserves a happy ending. Including herself. She wasn't sure if Regina was a part of her happy ending but she knew that their little family with Henry was. She had no idea what the future held for her or what fate had planned but she did know that she needed Regina in her life. She didn't know what that meant for her relationship with Regina or how their friendship would change.
Emma was slowly understanding why she always thought about Regina and very little else. Why she felt an overwhelming need to keep her safe and close. She was starting to understand why she needed her friendship so badly. She needs Regina. She has feelings for her. What those feelings were... well...
She'll sort that out once she had her best friend safe and sound in her arms.
"Thanks Ashley. I'll keep that in mind."
Ashley gave her a kind smile and began leading her upstairs. Alexandra really liked being carried and Emma didn't particularly mind. Ashley brought her up to the second floor and led her to a bedroom. She opened the door and waved them inside. Emma could see right off the bat that the room belonged to the toddler in her arms. From the Cinderella artwork on her walls to her brightly coloured princess bed.
"Here kitty." Ashley called softly as she entered the room. "Here, pretty girl."
She walked around the room as Emma scanned the area.
"Kitty tea party with me." Alexandra said. She pointed to a little table with a cute tea set on it. There were stuffed animals seated around it in the little chairs.
Emma thought that was so cute and she knew that if Regina was a participant of the tea party she would have been so amused and she would have thought Alexandra was so adorable.
"That's strange." Ashley said as she peeked under the bed. "She was just here a minute ago and the door was closed. She couldn't have gotten far."
Emma swept the room with her eyes again then she groaned when her gaze landed on the window. It was cracked. Not again. Seriously doesn't anyone know how to close a window around here?
Emma sighed. "Hey Ash."
Ashley looked up from where she was searching under the tea table. "What's up?"
Emma nodded towards the open window. "She got out again."
Ashley looked towards the window. "Oh no."
"Yeah. We need to check your yard..."
"Of course." Ashley said standing. She began heading her way. "Right this way."
Emma sighed. She was never letting Regina out of her sight again.
Regina felt that she was getting pretty good at this cat thing and she was actually getting used to it. She still disliked the heightened senses and her size but aside from that she could learn to live with it for a while longer. She had Emma Swan waiting on her hand and foot, cuddling her and letting her snuggle or knead her whenever she pleased. The cat in her appreciated it. She wasn't too sure about the human.
Emma Swan made it all slightly bearable. She would never tell her that though.
Regina sniffed the air. That was exactly why she hated her heightened senses. Ruby's dog-like smell was killing her nose and her eyes were just about burning.
"Okay Regina." Ruby muttered as she walked around the desk. She plopped down into the office chair. "I get it. I smell." She rolled her eyes and put her feet up on the desk. Regina glared at the woman's shoes for a moment and when they didn't disappear, she raised her paw and began hitting them.
Um how rude? You aren't supposed to put your foot up on furniture. She's pretty sure that Granny taught her better than that. The woman was a real hard ass. She may even rival Regina when it comes to being strict.
Ruby giggled. "What are you doing?"
She reached over and before Regina could move, she grabbed her sides and lifted the cat. She pulled her close and pressed her to her chest. Regina tried to resist and began pushing Ruby away with her front paws
"Shhh..." Ruby replied and began stroking her coat from head to tail. She would stop and scratch at the spot right before her tail started.
Oh... Regina thought in a moan. She began purring.
Ruby hummed. "See, we know how to take of each other."
Before Regina could stop herself her eyes slipped closed and she rubbed her cheek against Ruby's in a way that she only does with Emma. She felt nails run through her coat and she just rubbed her face down Ruby's cheek and her head rubbed under her chin before coming up on the other side.
"Does that feel good?"
Ruby's hand came around and began scratching her chest where the fur came to a point. Oh.
Ruby grinned at the cat that was deemed defenseless against this new sensation.
"Good... I have to tell Emma that you like this."
Regina's eyes sprung open then. She looked up at Ruby and the werewolf was just grinning down at her the way that she does. Regina titled her head in confusion. Excuse you?
"Well she should know where your spot is." Ruby said followed by a suggestive wink. Regina narrowed her eyes at her and raised her paw. She popped Ruby's hand a few times causing the woman to laugh. "I'm sorry."
Regina stood up and turned her nose up. She then turned around, showing Ruby her tail and walked down the wolf's body. She doesn't have to take this.
"You know where I'm from and during a certain time... that's an invitation."
Regina looked back at Ruby like she had lost her mind. The werewolf wagged her brows. That's disgusting.
Ruby tilted her head. "How so?"
You're a human.
Ruby shrugged. "Not fully. I'm more werewolf."
Regina shook her head. Still...
"Regina, you're human."
"Emma's a human..."
Ruby chuckled. "How so?"
It just is...
"I always thought Emma would be a bad ass werewolf though..." Ruby said thoughtfully. "All of those muscles and stamina. She's super strong. Her wolf would be white or like a golden color. Bad ass for sure."
Regina had to agree. True.
"Emma's pretty hot though. All that blonde hair, those biceps..." She watched Regina closely for a reaction. "I bet she has a sick six pack. Washboard."
Ruby froze and her brows rose. "How do you know that?"
She changes in front of me sometimes.
Ruby snorted. "She's so into you."
Ruby shook her head. She wouldn't tell her that many animals present their assets to their potential mates. "Nothing. When are you going to tell her how you feel?"
"You love her." Ruby said simply. She loved the way the cat's eyes almost bugged out of her head again like when she said that earlier. She really thought Ruby was going to let that conversation slide but she was so wrong. "And she loves you."
Regina's ears laid back and her tail fluffed out. How dare she even imply such a thing. Ruby...
"Fine." Ruby raised a hand. "Okay just do one thing. Tell me you don't feel something for her."
She's my best friend... and Henry's mother. How could I not?
Ruby shook her head. "Aside from that. Tell me you don't love those big green eyes and those dimples. Tell me you don't want to run your fingers through that soft blonde hair."
Regina honestly couldn't. That would have been a lie because all that Ruby said was true. Regina loved Emma's eyes, her dimples, that smile and even that little cleft in her chin. Emma was the most precious thing she had ever encountered other than her son. She knew now and she was beginning to understand her feelings for Emma and she felt that she was going to suddenly panic.
"Don't be scared." Ruby said. "Emma feels the same. You should hear the way she speaks about you. It's so cute. She just wants to love you but she thinks you won't let her."
It was Regina's turn to tilt her head. Yeah?
Ruby giggled then leaned forward. "Yes." She whispered.
Regina's little feline heart fluttered. Could that be true? Of course not. Emma was just her friend and she only saw her as a friend and nothing more. She wouldn't even humiliate herself by... by what? It's not like she wanted to... She huffed in frustration. She had no idea what she wanted. Her feelings for Emma were so damn complicated and she had never been so confused. She didn't know what she wanted. She couldn't understand how she felt or why. What baffled her the most was why did she always feel like her breath was stolen whenever she thought of the possibility of loving Emma Swan?
"Because Emma Swan can steal your breath away with a long look in your eyes or a simple smirk with those delicious pink lips." Ruby pointed out simply. "I know. She's done it for me quite a few times." She muttered. She leaned over and opened a drawer. Regina's mouth fell open and she stared wide eyed as Ruby plucked something from the drawer before shutting it.
All of those things were true. There had been times when Regina's brain stalled when Emma touched her or gave her a smile. Even the sound of Emma's voice could give her butterflies. She didn't know what it was. She figured it was annoyance or indigestion. She never figured that it could be something...
Well... not bad.
"Not bad at all." Ruby muttered as she began filing her nails. Regina tilted her head again. Her ears were pointed towards Ruby with her curiosity. Ruby happened to glance up and she froze in her movements. Her eyes grew two sizes and her cheeks blushed a soft pink. Regina flinched because she knew what was already coming. "You are so cute. Oh my goodness!"
Ruby threw on an innocent expression. "What?"
Nothing. Regina let out a long sigh. She couldn't allow herself to think about 'love' or whatever the hell Ruby was implying that she was feeling for Emma. The idea was outright preposterous.
"Is it really?"
Yes! Of course it was. Nothing could happen between her and Emma. Her story doesn't go like this and she's almost positive that neither does Emma's.
"How do you know?" Ruby stopped filing her nails for a moment. "How do you know that your stories aren't connected in more ways than they already are? How can you be so sure that the happy ending that you and Emma are trying to find for you doesn't lie within the savior herself?"
Because that seems ridiculous.
"More ridiculous than me being a werewolf or you being a witch...?" At the glare she received from Regina she quickly corrected herself, "I mean... sorceress."
"I mean, don't most of these stories... well not ours... but the others teach that love... especially true love could be found in the least likely of places between the least likely of people?"
Ruby did indeed have a point but the thought of Emma loving her, sort of gave Regina anxiety. Not the bad kind but the heart racing, shy, awkward kind. Kind of like the rush you feel right before you get on a big rollercoaster or go down a water slide. It was exciting but also nerve racking and she didn't know what to expect or how to even feel for that matter.
I don't know... She shook her head.
"Then don't. You don't have to know anything. You don't even have to do anything. Stop thinking so much and let nature take it's course. We're all animals driven by instinct, right?"
Ruby snorted. "You guess..." She waved that off. "Just stop thinking and stop fighting it. Think that for once you are deserving of having the love of someone like Emma. Think that you deserve to raise Henry with her as a family where the two of you are bonded as well. I think it's high time you stop punishing yourself and cut yourself some slack."
Regina stared at Ruby for a long time. She was dumbfounded. She didn't even know that Ruby was that fond of her. She always thought that the wolf girl hated her.
"Why would you think that?" Ruby giggled. "I'm a dog... according to you... we like everyone."
Regina gave Ruby a long dirty look. Yeah but Snow White...
"Oh that?" Ruby blew out a raspberry. "I'm over it and Snow sure as hell is. Besides I always thought you were kinda hot."
Alright. That's enough, Miss Lucas.
Ruby snorted. "Fine!"
Regina rolled her eyes causing Ruby to laugh. "I have to admit that you are much too expressive to be an actual cat but the odd thing is that he doesn't even see the difference." She flicked a finger at the kitten and for the first time since the conversation had began, Regina remembered the little guy. She glanced over to find him greedily drinking cream from the bowl that was supposed to be hers. His was already empty. She rolled her eyes again.
Greedy little thing...
Ruby chuckled. "He's probably hungry. Who knows how long he's been out there and it couldn't have been easy for him to find food..."
Regina nodded her head. That is true.
Ruby smiled and turned to the window where the bird was perched on the sill. The street lights had come on and it was growing dark out. "It's getting late. Would you like me to call Em and tell her to come pick you up?"
Regina subconsciously began purring and her tail began swaying from side to side with just the mere mention of Emma. She couldn't help herself. It was Emma's smell, the way she felt, her warmth. She missed her. Ruby's eyebrows shot into her hairline and the corners of her mouth curled up into a lazy smirk.
"She's tail wagging good, huh?" She received nothing but another glare from the black ball of fur. She laughed and raised her hands in surrender. "Okay, okay. I'm gonna go call Emma. Don't kill me."
Regina nodded. Fine.
Ruby stood and walked around the desk. She headed out of the room and closed the door quietly behind her.
Regina was left there to marinate in her strange thoughts. Thoughts that seemed alien to her. Could she possibly be worthy of a happy ending? A happy ending with Emma Swan?
That idea made her feel strange and light. Almost carefree but then it dawned on her. She was trapped in a cat's body and who knew when she would be human again, if ever. She just needed to...
She glanced over to see the kitten finally lifting his face from the bowl. He licked his lips and let out a yawn so big that he almost fell over. She fell in love with him a little bit more in that moment. He stretched his front legs then his back legs. He then looked over at her with droopy eyelids.
Are you tired, little one?
He shook his little coat out and began heading her way. He brushed up against her coat with his then nuzzled her fur with his little pink snout. He looked up at her and meowed softly. For some reason she understood him. She nodded and he meowed again happily. She laid down on her side and the kitten didn't waste a moment lying down with her and snuggling up against her tummy. He rested his little cheek on her paw and began purring. She could see his little paws moving and his claws opening and closing as he was kneading the air. She just watched in awe of the adorableness of it.
His little eyes closed slowly and his breathing became softer but he continued purring. She admired his little ears and his little whiskers. He was too cute for words.
Yep. She was deeply in love with him.
And this was a huge problem.
Emma pushed aside some leaves on the bush and peered in. There was no sign of the cat there either. She, Ashley and Alexandra had been searching the backyard for the her lost friend. Emma sort of knew that Regina wouldn't stick around. She partially hoped that she would have made her way back to the loft but when she texted her mom she said that she hadn't seen her.
"Regina..." She whispered so that the other two wouldn't hear. "Are you out here?"
Of course there was no response but it was worth a shot. She sighed and straightened up. She looked across the yard at her companions. Ashley was... yep... She was speaking to a bird. A few years ago Emma would have thought she was nuts until she saw her mother do the same exact thing a few times.
After a while, the bird tweeted then flew up into the sky. Ashley turned and began heading towards Emma.
"What did it say?" Emma asked as the woman approached.
"The birdy didn't know." Alexandra answered for her mother. She raised her little palms upward and shrugged to emphasize this.
"It didn't know, huh?" Emma asked. Alexandra poked out her bottom lip and shook her head again. Her little blonde pigtails swinging back and forth. "That's too bad."
"Yes." Alexandra agreed.
That made Emma smile a bit despite the situation. She knows that she shouldn't be surprised that Cinderella's daughter could communicate with birds as well but she was more impressed than anything.
"They will keep an eye out." Ashley added. "There was also something about Snow White having some bluebirds out searching for a black cat as well."
Of course she would. Emma thought. "Great."
Ashley nodded. "Can you speak to them?"
Emma shook her head. "I never learned."
"Ah, you'll get the hang of it in no time."
Emma shrugged. Maybe, maybe not. She hoped she would. Simply because she missed speaking to Regina. She wondered if she could hear her voice in her head or if it was something different. She never bothered to ask but she was curious now and she figured that asking Ashley and Alexandra would be easier. They're the least annoying princesses she knows. Well, aside from the Arendelle girls. Elsa wasn't exactly a princess though. She was a queen. Perhaps that's why they got a long so well.
"Smell like I sound, I'm lost in a crowd and I'm hungry like the wolf..."
"What on earth is that?" Ashley asked as she began looking around the yard for the source of the random music. Emma furrowed her brow with a frown. It took her a moment to realize that it was her phone.
She chuckled awkwardly before picking it up. "Ruby, what's up?"
Ashley made an 'oh' face then tapped her temple as if saying, 'I get it'. Emma nodded with a smile.
"Hey Emma." Ruby sounded like her usually chipper self. "I have something for you."
Emma sighed. She really wasn't in the mood. She had a lot on her mind and she didn't really feel like playing games. "What is it?"
"It's small, black and fluffy. Oh and it has big brown eyes." She listed off. "And... it's grumpy. You have a kid with it and... I'm pretty sure you're in love with it."
"Huh?" Emma couldn't comprehend. She understood all of the words but she couldn't wrap her head around what Ruby was describing. It sounded like... but no.
Ruby sighed. "Regina is here, Emma. Well the furry version." At Emma's stunned silence the werewolf continued. "She told me everything. She was mad at Snow so she left. She ended up here where some dogs cornered her but I ran them off."
Emma let out a breath. She was relieved. "Oh thank god. Is she okay?"
"She's fine. She's lounging about in the office."
Emma pressed her hand to her forehead. Oh. She feared that she would never find Regina. She was so scared that something would happen to her. "I'm coming now. You're at the diner, right?"
"Yep." Ruby replied.
"Great. See you soon."
Emma disconnected the call and looked up at Ashley. She found the other blondes watching her carefully as if waiting. She chuckled at that. "Ruby found the cat. She made her way to Main Street. She's okay."
"That's great news!" Ashley exclaimed. "You hear that, Alex? They found the kitty cat and she's okay!"
"Yay!" The little girl cheered throwing her little arms in the air. Emma smiled then. How cute.
Emma nodded. "Yeah well, thanks for everything. I'm gonna head down to pick her up."
"Of course." Ashley nodded. Emma gave her a smile then began making her way around to the front of the house. She could hear the other woman following her.
"See you around, Ashley." Emma said turning and giving her a wave. "And bye-bye, Alex!"
"Bye Bye Princess Emma." Alexandra said. She then covered her face and giggled. That of course made Emma smile.
"She's really cute."
"What do you say, Alex?" Ashley prompted.
"Thank you, Princess Emma." The child giggled again.
Emma shook her head with a small smile. "You're very welcome."
"You know, Emma..." Ashley began following Emma across the yard to the front gate. "It doesn't have to take your cat going missing for you to come by and say hi. I actually would like to hang out some time. You can come out with us. I know you think we're no fun and you'd much rather hang out with your beautiful queen but I can assure you that we are cool, too."
Emma's mouth fell open and she was slightly taken aback by that. "I didn't... Ashley, I don't think you're boring. Honestly, I was raised differently than you guys. I'm not a traditional princess and I don't think we have much in common."
"Hmm... let's think about that shall we..." Ashley looked at Alexandra then back at Emma. "I was an orphan. My mother died when I was young then my father died when I was a bit older. I was raised by my wicked stepmother who along with her daughters made me miserable. I was poor, hated my life until Rumplestiltskin murdered my fairy godmother and tricked me into making a deal with him. I went to a ball and met my Prince then because of that deal, I lost my Prince. The only reason I found him and I am a princess again is because of you."
Emma shifted on her feet awkwardly. She never thought of it that way. Cinderella certainly was not born a princess. She had a life that was somewhat like Emma's. No parents and a caregiver that was cruel to her. She didn't get bounced around but she certainly understood not having a traditional princes upbringing. "I never... I shouldn't have assumed."
"You're right." Ashley said with a smile. "I'm fun too. Maybe not as fun as Regina Mills or as charming as her but Aurora and I have fun. Sometimes Ruby comes out with us and your mom." Emma wrinkled her nose then Ashley giggled. "We won't invite her when you come out with us."
Emma smiled. "Okay."
"So what do you say?" Ashley pressed lightly. "Give us a try?"
"Come on, Emma. Your queen is invited. I'm dying to see what the big deal is anyway."
Emma chuckled. Regina would get a kick out of that. She wouldn't want to go but Emma would talk her into it. It wouldn't be easy but they both need to socialize more. "Eh fine. But only if Alex comes to spend the day with me sometimes."
"Free babysitting?" Ashley asked only half joking. "Done."
Emma snorted. "It's getting late. I gotta go but you have my number. Call when you want to meet up."
"Okay." Ashley called after her as she slipped out of the gate. "I'm holding you to it."
"Good." Emma called back before waving and taking off jogging down the street.
As the bell chimed signalling Emma entering the diner, Ruby eagerly met her at the door. She had an anxious look on her face and she was basically bursting with excitement. Emma raised her brows in question at her friend.
"What's up?" Emma asked as she glanced around the diner. There weren't many people there. She missed the dinner rush thankfully.
"She's waiting in the back." Ruby replied. She grabbed Emma's hand and began dragging her through the diner. A few patrons greeted her along the way and she politely waved and smiled in greeting.
She was eager to see Regina. She just needed to lay her eyes on her to know that she was okay. Plus she missed her terribly. That she could admit.
Ruby led Emma to the counter where they slipped behind it. Emma could smell the food that was coming from the kitchen and it made her stomach growl.
Ruby pulled her in a different direction towards another door. They stepped through it and into a short hallway.
Emma looked around with interest. She had never been in this part of the diner. It was dimly lit and sort of eerie. It gave her the creeps. She was subconsciously waiting for a serial killer or a creepy clown to jump out on her. The quicker she got out of there the better.
"She's in here." Ruby announced as she took her to a shut wooden door.
"How is she?" Emma asked.
"As good as to be expected." Ruby answered. "She misses you though."
Emma looked surprised. Regina was missing her? Wow. "Yeah?"
Ruby grinned. "Yes." She replied then pushed the door open and stepped inside. Emma did not hesitate and eagerly followed behind her friend, dying to see her best friend alive and well.
Ruby shut the door behind her. Emma observed her surroundings. There wasn't much to what was obviously an office. There was a worn couch in the corner, a bookshelf, file cabinets... an old wooden desk that... Emma froze when her eyes landed on the desk and she spotted the little ball of black fur that was lying in the center of it. She breathed out a sigh of relief then.
"Aren't you a sight for sore eyes." Emma breathed out as she made her way to the desk. The cat looked over at her and blinked a few times. Her eyes widened when she realized that it was Emma. She gave the sheriff a small 'meow' in response and stood up. She stretched her front legs and then her back legs. "Get over here." Emma chuckled.
Regina shook her coat out and began prancing over to Emma. She was giddy. The time that they had been separated felt like days. She needed to curl up in Emma's arms and soon.
Ruby laughed. "She really missed you and apparently the two of you have a lot to discus."
Regina paused and stared at Ruby. She narrowed her eyes at her in warning. Ruby let out a grunt and pointed a finger at Regina.
"Don't you look at me like that, you little brat. You either tell her or I do."
The black cat's mouth fell open and her eyes widened in surprise. She glanced at Emma then back at Ruby. Emma was not quite sure what was happening but apparently the wolf and the cat had had a discussion before she arrived and she was slightly curious about what was said.
Regina visibly sighed then nodded. Fine but Emma can't speak to animals so it'll have to be when I am myself again.
Ruby's brows shot straight up. "Emma can't speak to animals?" She smacked Emma's arm. "You can't speak to animals. You're Snow White's kid."
Emma shrugged. "I never learned. She didn't raise me, remember?"
Ruby nodded. "Yeah but... you need to learn to speak to her. She has a lot to say."
Emma gave Regina a small smile. "Of course she does." She reached out and scratched under the cat's chin. Regina's eyes slipped closed and she sighed.
Oh Emma, how I've missed you and that touch of yours.
"I was so worried about you." Emma said softly. "I am so glad you're okay. I promise I will never leave you again."
Regina looked up into Emma's eyes and she saw the sincerity in them. She knew that Emma meant those words with all her heart. Her gentle eyes said it all. She nodded in agreement.
You better not. Now take me home.
"She's ready to go home now and have cuddle time." Ruby spoke for the cat.
Emma grinned. "Yeah?"
Regina rolled her eyes. Ruby...
Ruby simply gave Regina a wink. She shrugged. "You two should get out of here. It's getting late."
Emma nodded in agreement. All she wanted to do was to take Regina home where they would both be safe and sound. She reached down and scooped Regina up. She took the cat into her arms and hugged her gently. She put her nose to the top of the cat's head. "I missed you." She confessed. She didn't feel nervous about it and it felt so natural to say that to her best friend.
I missed you too, Emma.
"She missed you, too... which I mentioned earlier." Ruby added.
Emma smiled. "Good. Let's go home."
Regina simply snuggled closer to Emma's chest. She couldn't help herself and she wouldn't even try to stop it from happening. She didn't even want to fight it anymore and she felt content.
A little bluebird flew off from the windowsill and landed on Emma's shoulder. Emma looked over at the little creature. She knew exactly who this little animal was. She looked over at Ruby. "One of my mom's buddies."
Ruby chuckled. "I knew it. It took a liking to Gina."
Emma snorted. "Of course it did."
Regina glared up at Emma. Oh she wanted to pop her.
Keep it up, Swan. You're already on thin ice.
Emma turned to Ruby and began to open her mouth but a small meow stopped her. She looked down at Regina and just knew that it wasn't her. There was another one and that time she followed the sound to the desk where she found a small orange tabby staring up at her. Emma looked back to Regina.
"This yours?" She asked nodding towards the baby. "How long were you lost for?"
Regina gave her a look then rolled her eyes. Idiot...
"Regina saved his life. He loves her now and he's so attached to her. It's super adorable." Ruby explained.
Emma looked over at the little round puff of orange fur. His big green eyes were watching her curiously. She smiled. "Looks like Regina adopted another kid."
Ruby chuckled. "You two gonna raise him together?"
Emma and Regina both gave her a look. Ruby shrugged and crossed her arms over her chest. "The kid needs a family and you two have an awesome one. Henry would love him."
Emma watched the kitten for a moment. Her own green eyes stayed locked on his. He was really cute. His oversized eyes and his little pink nose. His short little tail and feet that were much too big for his body. He had a chubby tummy that she just wanted to squish. The little guy was too cute for words. She shifted Regina so that she could hold her with one arm and reached out a hand. The smaller cat leaned closer to her and sniffed her finger tips. He then purred softly and rubbed his head against Emma's fingers. Emma held in an 'aww' and it took everything in her to do so because her heart was squeezing so tightly.
"Regina found him?" Emma asked not taking her eyes off of their new son.
Ruby hummed the affirmative. "Yep."
Emma smiled at that. "Does she like him?"
"She loves him."
"Can she understand him?"
Ruby nodded. "Yep."
Emma's smile only grew. "That's adorable."
"Emma, I want to talk to you about you learning to communicate with Regina." Ruby said firmly. "I think you two need to talk."
Emma glanced up from the kitten to eye Ruby. "Will you teach me?"
"Well I can try but Regina gave me an idea when she said that Maleficent knows about her situation. My gift comes with me being a werewolf but Maleficent is a sorceress like you guys. She could teach you magically."
Regina's eyes widened. She wouldn't mind Mal's company. At least she didn't suggest Snow White but Emma Swan had quite the jealous streak when it came to Maleficent. She always thought Emma being jealous was adorable or attractive even. She can be quite possessive and Regina kind of liked it. This could be a good thing. Emma would learn to communicate with her and the little one but Regina would enjoy Emma's jealousy as well.
"Maleficent, huh?" Emma muttered thoughtfully. She was hesitating. Regina meowed softly and rubbed her head against Emma's chin. Emma froze then as if understanding her.
Regina meowed again. Just agree idiot. I'm tired of playing charades with you when I want something.
Sure Emma was good at guessing because she knew her so well but Regina wanted to communicate with her.
Emma looked down at Regina then back up at Ruby. She nodded, clearly wanting to do what was best for her friend. "Yeah. Sure. We can do that."
"Great. I'll see if I can get in touch with the elusive Dragon." Ruby said.
Just summon her with a mirror. Regina thought.
"It's that easy?" Ruby asked.
So easy a Charming can do it.
Ruby snorted. "Nice." She looked up at Emma then. "I can summon her."
"Cool." Emma nodded. She didn't know how she felt about Maleficent being around Regina again. Regina was hers and she didn't want to share her. Well, she wasn't really hers but...
"So when are you free?" Ruby asked, cutting into her thoughts.
Emma shrugged. "Well, I have a crazy work schedule... so, anytime after I get off." Ruby smirked at Emma's wording and it took Emma a moment to realize what she had said. She huffed and shot her friend a glare. "You know what I mean..." She looked down to see the cat eyeing her. "Not you too."
Regina simply grunted and rubbed her cheek on Emma's face. Oh Emma...
Ruby laughed. "Anyway... so I'll talk to her and we'll see when's a good time for all of us."
Emma nodded. "Sounds like a plan."
Regina yawned and cuddled Emma some more. Emma began stroking her back gently.
They both just wanted to get home. Emma wanted to snuggle up with Regina in bed and Regina had a similar notion. It had been a long, scary day. Tired wasn't even the word for what they both felt.
"We're going to head out." Emma muttered. "By the way, we call her Bella."
Ruby nodded. "Since they don't know it's Gina. Which is off because those big brown eyes are a dead giveaway."
"Well if you aren't looking..." Emma pointed out.
Or you're a Charming... Regina added.
"Right..." The werewolf chuckled.
The kitten had wandered off and Emma returned to petting Regina. She watched the little guy with a furrowed brow then looked down at her cat. "Do you want to take him?"
Regina thought this over. She could. She knew that he needed her. Plus he was cute as a button and cuddly. She was fond of him and everyone would love him... a little too much. Like Snow White or Prince Neal. Also there's Charming who doesn't watch where he's stepping or sitting. That apartment is no place for a young kitten. Maybe when she was human again she and Emma... well, she could raise him.
She shook her head.
"No?" Emma asked in surprise. "I thought he was our new son?"
Regina's eyes widened in surprise and Emma simply smirked.
Ruby laughed and Regina shot her a glare. "Sorry." She cleared her throat. "She feels like the apartment isn't safe for him right now."
Emma fell silent. Well, that is true. Her family was kind of a nightmare. She looked up at Ruby. She trusted her and she knew that Regina did too. Maybe she could give him a good temporary home. "Will you keep him until Regina is human again and she can take him to her place?"
Ruby shrugged without hesitation. "I don't see why not. He's the sweetest little thing. I'll take good care of him."
Emma nodded with a smile at her friend. "Thanks."
"No problem." Ruby looked at Regina. "I know you're eager to be human again because you miss your life but for the time being, enjoy the freedom of your cat. Be it, embody it. There is no peace like embracing the soul of an animal."
Regina tilted her head as she took in Ruby's words. That wasn't the first time she's heard that from a shapeshifter. They did have a point though. She felt so different and for the better. She could do what she wanted. Her impulses drove her to interact with Emma in ways she wouldn't dare as a human. Emma also never judges or looks at her funny. She could cuddle her and show her affection without question. Emma seemed to like it anyway but Regina felt like it's nice not having to think things through and not having to hesitate. She liked being with Emma this way. She also enjoyed her other cat-like attributes. Maybe it wasn't completely unbearable after all.
I will try, Ruby.
Ruby smiled. "That's all I ask." She stroked Regina's head gently. "I'll see you guys soon, yeah? I promise to take care of your little fluff ball."
Regina nodded and so did Emma. They both looked at the little one who was playing with a rubber band at the opposite end of the table. Emma figured it was a good time to take Regina away while he was distracted.
"Go, he'll be fine." Ruby said with a smile. "We'll have fun."
Don't eat him. Regina thought only half joking.
Emma gave her friend a smile. "Thanks again, Ruby."
"No problem." Ruby said shooting Regina a look for her comment.
Emma dipped her head in acknowledgement then focused on her magic. She didn't have the energy to walk home. She was tired and Regina had taught her teleportation or had begun to so, she was going to try and use it. This was as good a time as any.
Regina looked up into Emma's face and saw the serious expression. She knew that she was going to try to poof. She just hoped they didn't end up in another realm.
Just focus on home. Think of Henry. She encouraged. You got this, Swan.
"She says think of Henry." Ruby translated.
Emma nodded and squeezed her eyes shut. Ruby and Regina shared a look. "Good luck." Ruby mouthed to the cat and Regina rolled her eyes with a shake of her head.
I'll definitely need it.
Emma thought of Henry. His smile, his dark hair and his wise hazel eyes. His laugh. The way she felt whenever he hugged her. The way that he was sharp and sassy like Regina. They had done an amazing job with him. They were raising an incredible young man and she never thought she would have that. A family.
She exhaled a soft breath. Regina could see the light silver cloud of smoke surrounding them and she knew what was happening. She tensed and squeezed her eyes shut.
They were swept away in a cloud of Emma's gentle magic that smelled surprisingly floral and light. It actually fit Emma in a way. It was only a moment before they landed and the cloud began to fade.
Regina peeked one eye open as she felt the magic dissipate. She let out a soft sigh and relaxed against Emma's chest. They were standing in the hideously lit hallway right outside of the apartment. Emma had managed to successfully poof them home without incident. Regina looked up into Emma's face and found her staring down at her.
Good job, Emma. She thought.
"I did it. Thanks to you." Emma whispered.
Regina purred in response. You're a much better sorceress than you give yourself credit for and I wish that I could tell you how proud I am of you.
She was proud of Emma for many different things. She was so proud of the person she's become and the mother. Most importantly she was proud to call her her friend.
"Let's go." Emma muttered with a small smile. "You sound like a tiny chainsaw." She said with a chuckle. Regina shook her head and snuggled closer to Emma's chest.
Emma gave Regina a small squeeze before reaching out and opening the door. "Here we go..."
They stepped inside and Regina let out a sigh. She definitely was not ready to see Snow White since she still hadn't forgiven her. Yeah. Here we go... She thought as Emma shut the door behind them.
Home sweet home...
Thanks for reading.