Chapter 7

You close your eyes for just a minute and when you open them again, it's Sunday. You're lying in bed, contemplating what to do with the day – in other words, trying to put off seeing Regina for as long as possible. Mary is going to go see an exhibition on French modern art in the gallery soon and asks whether you want to come. You politely decline; you don't care much for art in general. It's a luxury of people who can afford to express themselves – and get paid and renowned for it while dust piles up on the stencil drawings back in your apartment, where you might as well never return.

Besides, you have things to think about. Or more like one shamelessly controlling, tactless, inconsiderate, jealous b-thing. It becomes harder and harder to ignore the voice in your head repeating you should go thank her, even though you don't really know what you should thank her for in the first place. Lonely Regina. Humph. Imagine that. If she's so terrified of being left alone, slashing in all directions isn't exactly going to prevent that, yet the more you think about it, the more sense it makes.

"True love won out. So bask in the moment, dear."

It's the only time you can remember her smiling, not in the better-than-you way, but actually smiling like when something good happens and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and you suddenly want to snuggle a stray Yorkshire puppy. But there was something else in her eyes, too. A tint that said 'since it is a treasure most people never find'. So you gave her a resigning nod. 'Yeah.' It was the only time you acknowledged the truth was on her side.

You need to see it for yourself. As soon as Mary's out the door, so are you, heading straight for the Mayor's house. Hopefully she's not home. Hopefully, she has some kind of a super important meeting and you will soon be able to come back to Mary's with the item on your to-do list scratched out marked as 'tried that, didn't work'.

You open the gate and keep walking, wondering whether having come this far can count as 'trying'. You decide it's not a valid argument and ring the doorbell. You wait for seconds, glancing over your shoulder to see whether the path back has vanished yet or is still teasing you. It's there. You can turn around and walk away, but you don't. Even if you wanted to, it would be already too late, because there Regina is, leaning on the door frame. You must have disturbed her from filling out paper work or something. She looks puzzled. Apparently she expected you to show up as much as you expected to end up here.

She doesn't give away her suspicion and invites you in with that signature smile of hers and suddenly a way back looks like great idea, but of course, now that its time has come, it's no longer there. You bite your lip and stand still on the doormat. "I just wanted to say thank you. For, uh…" Right, you don't know the reason. You can't deal with the reason if you don't know what it is. "For the trouble," you mutter in the end and nod as if assuring yourself this is the most neutral thing to say and you fail to realize what just came out of your mouth makes no sense in the English language; or at least not the sense you want it to make.

You feel like you're annoying her and that's never a good sign. "I should go," you say and half turn to leave, concentrating on the pain in your leg because it's something else and that's always good.

"Emma," she calls out to you and you stop dead in your tracks. "Come in," she repeats more quietly and waits for you to muster up the courage and come back to her. You scold yourself for acting like a nervous child. You've proven you can confront her anytime about anything. You inhale deeply, getting the fresh air to comfort you before you step into the lion's den again. You know what they say – fool her once… Wait, how did it go again?

You close the door behind you and look at her. Neither of you knows what to say. You're not sure how long you've been standing here, but you feel safest looking into her eyes and trying to see if there's any foundation to what Mary said.

"I don't think that makes me evil, do you?"

This whole ordeal must be damaging your 'badass' reputation, because you're pretty sure you look like a lost blue jay in the hands of a PETA officer. You can hear yourself breathing and it doesn't exactly help the situation because you're not sure how fast time is going and therefore how quick your breathing is and you're overthinking it so much but then again that guy Einstein had a theory quite relevant to your interests there.

"It's entirely possible to get lost here. It's entirely possible for bad things to happen."

You take one step closer, even though calling it a whole step is probably an overstatement. You never noticed how short you are compared to her. You smirk on the inside; it must be the heels.

"Because not having someone, well…"

Before you realize it, your hands are on her waist and you're pulling yourself closer. Hey, she invited you in; now she'll have to face the consequences. A sly smile appears on your lips; for once, you have the advantage.

"That's the worst curse imaginable."

You close your eyes and your lips brush against hers. A hypothesis is just a theory that hasn't been tested yet.

"You're looking at the results, Emma, not the reasons."

You're not entirely surprised to feel her kiss you back at this point, her hands on your hips. You've grown accustomed to this town and you've learned to expect the unexpected. Then again, it's not like Regina was that unpredictable to begin with.

Maybe, just maybe, you can redeem the Evil Queen. Maybe it's a reflection of your wishful thinking.

Author's Note: So yeah, that's a wrap. I don't even care this was originally a oneshot, that's a wrap :) I'm sorry if it didn't go out with a bang or didn't make much sense overall. The point is my shippery soul is satisfied and demands more incharge!Emma. I really needed to have this fic finished before tomorrow because it's set after episode 3 and a feeling in my gut tells me that tomorrow, something that will disrupt the entire continuity of this fic will happen. (Like Regina tapping that. Hard. COUGH) So yeah. Now... Now I should probably go on with my life or something, LOL. Enjoy this fic, because that's all you're getting. ;))) -hint hint-