AN: I had to write this after this week's episode, because it's all too clear that these two want each other :P Anyway, I hope you like it - the smut fairies are currently on holiday, so this story is a lot tamer than what I've been writing. Change is always good, though, right? ;)

Disclaimer: I do not own Once Upon a Time or any of its characters. If I did, something would actually come of the intense stares between Regina and Emma ;)

Emma stormed up to the front door of Regina's house. She had been pacing the streets of Storybrooke for the past hour, but no matter how many trees she kicked and trashcans she knocked over, she couldn't rid herself of the noxious rage that was eating her from the inside out. It was one thing for Regina to act immorally in her dealings with the townspeople, but when her immorality affected her son – Emma's son – something had to be done about it. Emma turned the doorknob impatiently, but the house was locked. She shouldn't have been surprised – it was two o'clock in the morning. Still determined, she began to knock violently at the door. After a couple of minutes, the door swung suddenly away from her hand and Regina appeared in its place, wearing a black satin robe and no slippers. Her hair was uncharacteristically ruffled and Emma couldn't tell whether it was from sleep or something much more sinister.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Regina asked in a rough voice.

"No – you don't get to speak to me like that, not after what I've learnt tonight." Emma wasn't going to let herself give into the imposing nature of the Mayor. Things had to change, and this was the first step.

"And what, may I ask, have you learnt, Miss Swan?" Regina's voice was dripping with disdain and it made a small fire flare up in Emma's stomach.

"I ran into Sheriff Graham on his way down from your roof," Emma replied, relishing the way Regina's expression fell as she processed the words. "Well, are you going to let me in?"

Regina stepped aside grudgingly to let Emma pass her. Once the Mayor closed the door, Emma experienced a momentary discomfort at being in such a dark space with the older woman. It was fleeting, though: gone as soon as they walked into the study and Regina turned on the lamp by her desk, her features softened by the warm light. There was nothing Emma had to fear from this woman, except that she would hurt Henry.

"Have a seat, Miss Swan," Regina sighed as she gestured towards the couch. She was tired – tired of everything, but especially tired of Emma Swan and how she haunted her dreams.

"What were you thinking?" Emma shot back, not moving from her position near the door. "Do you really have no sense of guilt?"

"My relationships are none of your business." Regina's voice had regained its edge. "Besides, I don't see that I have anything to be ashamed of."

"Henry was in the house! I don't care what you do in your own time, but when you're being Henry's mother, you have to take some responsibility."

"Oh, that's rich. Taking responsibility – like you did when you decided to sleep around and got yourself pregnant?"

Emma's hands began to shake – with rage or sorrow, she wasn't sure. "I did everything I could for Henry and you know that." Her voice was low and measured, but it was clear how close she was to losing control. Regina smiled at that revelation – she loved to see how far she could push the feisty blonde who was the source of her torment.

"Yes, dear, I know – and I know how much it pains you that it was far less than what I can do for him."

"You mean expose him to his mother using sex to obtain power?"

"It works, doesn't it? I don't seem to have any trouble convincing you all that I'm an evil queen who has everyone under her influence."

Emma took a step forward, spurred on by the sarcasm in Regina's voice. "Henry shouldn't have to face any of this; he should have a mother who gives a crap about him and who knows the difference between right and wrong."

"Maybe what's wrong isn't always bad," Regina replied, her eyes drifting down to Emma's skin-tight jeans without the younger woman noticing. She was too caught up in their argument.

"How is sleeping with Graham not bad?" Emma shouted at the Mayor, her arms beginning to flail wildly. "Tell me, please – I'm dying to know. Is it helping to keep Storybrooke safe? Is it part of your plan to increase the town's prosperity? Does it make you feel fulfilled as a person?"

Emma's tone had become malicious by the time she threw her last question at Regina and the brunette's response was void of any strength or conviction. "No."

"Does he promise to look the other way when you bend the rules to suit your own agenda?"

"What makes you think you can decide whom I can and cannot sleep with?" Regina's eyes were filled with unshed tears, but her voice was laced with menace. "We're all just searching for happiness in this world and no one – not even you, Miss Swan – has the right to stop anyone else from doing so. It's rare enough that anyone actually finds contentment; I think I'm entitled to hold onto the closest thing I can get to it."

Emma looked down at the plush carpet, disconcerted by the Mayor's unexpected candour. "Why him?" she asked, trying to get to the root of her anger as well as understand Regina's actions.

"Why not?" the brunette replied bitterly. "Don't you think he's handsome?"

"I guess – but if he doesn't make you happy, then why bother? Why run the risk of entering this moral gray area? If you want to get re-elected – "

"He takes away the pain…of missing a part of myself. He stops me from drowning in despair." Regina had long since averted her gaze from the woman in front of her. She didn't know how she would ever live this down.

Emma cautiously approached the older woman who was now leaning back against her desk. "Is it that bad?" Regina's eyes refused to meet hers, so she gently placed her hand on the brunette's shoulder.

"Don't touch me!" Regina jerked away from her touch as soon as it registered in her brain. Her voice shook as she turned suddenly to face the blonde. "Why can't you just leave me alone?" This was why she avoided opening up to anyone. How could she be so stupid?

Emma's heart stopped beating momentarily when finally got a good look at the brunette's face. Along with the now tear-stained cheeks and mouth contorted in anguish, there was something in her eyes – like she was reaching for Emma without moving her hands, but she knew that she would never make contact, no matter how hard she tried.

"Are you deaf?" The Mayor's words jolted her out of her reverie and started her heart again. "Get out of here before I have to drag you out."

"No." It wasn't so much a dissent as a reassurance, but Regina fixed her with a glare that slowly melted away as the meaning behind her refusal began to dawn on her.

"What?" was all the brunette could manage, the word barely audible to the woman standing next to her.

"I'm not leaving." Emma said with more determination. She unzipped her jacket and threw it onto the couch before closing the remaining space between her and Regina and placing her hands on the desk on either side of the brunette's. She leant forward so that her mouth was touching Regina's ear. "How else am I supposed to keep an eye on Henry?" The feel of Emma's breath on her ear nearly undid Regina and she had to fight to remain standing.

"What are you doing?" she uttered, resisting the urge to wrap her arms around Emma's waist and capture her mouth with her own. "Henry's unstable enough as it is; he doesn't need any more confusion in his life."

"But I need you." Emma's voice was low and filled with longing. Her heart had been slowly tearing ever since she spotted Graham leaving Regina's and she wasn't going to give up this chance that she could mend it. She stepped back to look at Regina and before she could take another breath, the older woman pushed herself away from the desk and their lips collided in a violent kiss. Regina clasped her hands around Emma's neck and deepened the kiss, moving her tongue along the blonde's lower lip in the hope of gaining entry into her mouth. When their tongues met, Regina pushed Emma back towards the couch and lowered her down before breaking the kiss, leaving them both gasping for air. Regina was lying on top of the younger woman and supporting herself with her arms. She looked down in complete wonderment and strove to decipher what was hiding behind the blonde's piercing green eyes.

"I'm scared," she murmured.

"Of what?" Emma's hands found their way underneath the Mayor's robe and began to trace lines along her back.

"Of you. Of me." It took all of Regina's strength not to close her eyes and give in to the intoxicating sensation of Emma's fingers on her skin.

"If we always listened to our fear," Emma ventured, "we'd never get anywhere." With that, she pulled the brunette towards her and kissed her with a passion and warmth that made Regina question whether this was real at all, or simply a fairytale.