Pairing: Slightly Swan Queen
Disclaimer: These characters are not my creative property
Summary: Regina gets Henry a puppy. (Henry gets Regina an Emma)
Emma harped on her constantly, "Henry's lonely, and needs friends, blah, blah, blah…" Regina had rolled her eyes and shot Emma down during their arguments, but she was sharply aware of Henry's loneliness. She recognized the look in his eye as clearly as it mirrored her own feelings, and it troubled her deeply. She just wasn't about to admit that to Emma, as it signaled a parental failure.
Henry had enjoyed the video game, Regina had seen him playing it often, but she thought perhaps he'd enjoy something more interactive. Regina strolled confidently through the doors of the Storybrooke animal shelter, and made eye contact with David Nolan immediately, "Madam Mayor. How can I help you today?"
"I am in need of a pet…for Henry. Perhaps a canine," Regina replied, a slight flutter of nerves rattling her usually cool demeanor. Regina hated change, and she hoped this was the right decision. She hoped desperately that Henry would appreciate the gesture, and that it would help him feel slightly less alone.
It had been a long time since Regina claimed a pet, her prized horse notwithstanding. She once had a cat as a familiar before she accidently turned her into a raven. The bird flew off and was never seen again. A frown crossed her face as she heard a chorus of barking, and a shiver ran down her spine as David led her down the corridor to the cages and kennels where the stray and unwanted dogs were kept.
The dogs seemed to cower as she peered into their kennels one by one. Some of them looked rough, sick, and elderly. She passed them by, not wanting to depress Henry further by giving him a dying creature.
"Don't you have any young… cute ones?" Regina asked wrinkling her nose at the selection presented thus far.
"Yeah, we have one puppy. I'll get him for you to look at," David said, leading her to the back, and unlatching a smaller kennel. He reached inside and produced a three pound, black and white Japanese Chin.
David handed Regina the tiny pup, and her lips curled into a smile on their own volition. The puppy snuggled against her chest as she nestled him in her arms. It reminded her of the unassuming trust and love she felt from Henry when he was a baby. The memory overwhelmed her and she turned quickly so David wouldn't see the emotions splaying across her face.
"Is this the one you want?" David asked, although it was obvious the mayor was in love with the dog.
Regina swallowed, composing herself, and steadied her voice, "I think he will be suitable, and Henry will enjoy him. Has he been evaluated by the veterinarian?"
"Yes, he's healthy and has had his shots," David replied pleased that the dog was being adopted, and David knew Henry would be lucky to have him.
On a whim, Regina put the puppy in her purse. He sat right in her Prada bag and poked his nose out in the most adorable manner. She was completely drawn to his royal demeanor. This was a lively and sweet dog, and Regina was almost disturbed by how strongly she felt for the animal.
She completed the adoption, rushing David along. Regina mentally made a list of all the supplies the dog would need, and wanted to go to the store for them as soon as possible. When she returned to her office, she carried the pup inside in her purse and then let him free. He sniffed around the furniture, and then lay down at Regina's feet under her desk.
Regina didn't want to leave the animal alone in her office while she went to the store, so she had the secretary call for Emma to come up as soon as possible.
Emma was annoyed at the intrusion and the assumption that she was at Regina's beck and call. She entered Regina's office guns blazing as usual and started in angrily about what exactly Regina needed on such short notice, but stopped midsentence when she saw Regina's smile and then the puppy she was holding.
Emma immediately smiled, her hands flying up to her face in an uncharacteristic girly reaction. She cooed over the little dog, all the while Regina smiled and stroked his head gently.
"Sherriff, would you mind watching Henry's new companion while I run out and get some supplies for him?" Regina asked as sweetly as she could muster.
"Oh my God. He's for Henry? Of course I'll watch him, he's so cute. What's his name?" Emma asked breathlessly.
"His name will be up to Henry to decide. No doubt he'll name him after a comic book character or some nonsense from his book," Regina muttered, but the usual malice in her voice was nowhere to be found.
She handed off the doggy to Emma who looked at him with reverence, "Henry's going to love him! He's perfect."
Regina usually didn't agree with anything Emma said, but in this regard Regina could not disagree. She left Emma stroking the puppy, and ran to store, immensely enjoying buying toys, leashes, a bright red collar, food, everything he needed. She got a big red bow to tie around his collar to present him to Henry.
Returning to the office, carrying in bundles of supplies, Regina found Emma cuddling the pup in her arms on the sofa. Regina sat down next to them and rubbed the white spot on his forehead with her finger.
"He was so good. He did make a mess under the table, but I cleaned it up. Sorry, I didn't get him outside in time. Can we take him to Henry now?" Emma asked pleading with Regina to let her come along.
"Fine, but I want it to be clear that he is a gift from me, not you," Regina insisted, "I'll go home and prepare the puppy's room, if you wouldn't mind picking Henry up from school?"
Emma agreed and they set the plan in motion.
On the walked home from school Emma and Henry had talked about needing friends, loneliness and companionship. They were topics they had broached before, but something seemed off to Henry. The mere fact that Emma was allowed to pick him up, had tipped him off. The whole line of conversation had him thinking hard by the time they reached his front door.
Regina had just finished setting up the kennel, bed, water dish, toys, and tied the bow on the puppy's collar. Henry knew something was up when Emma came to get him from school, but now he was worried when she didn't say goodbye and instead walked inside with him.
"Henry?" Regina called from the other room, "Come up here, dear."
Henry looked up to Emma who couldn't hide her smile. It had taken everything for her not to spill the beans on the short walk from Henry's school. Henry swallowed nervously, afraid of what his mothers had plotted. The very fact that they were seemingly in on some sort of plan and working together had his spidey sense tingling.
He cautiously made his way to the unused guest room following Regina's voice. Before he entered he looked at Emma full of fear, "Is this where you guys tell me that you and my mom are dating?"
Emma looked back at him with a bewildered expression, "Why on earth would you think that?"
Henry's eyes got wide and he mentally slapped himself, "Um, no reason. Forget it."
"No seriously, did you think I was moving in or something?" Emma's heart began to pound.
"Um…something like that…" Henry choked his words out.
"Why?" Emma sputtered.
"Just the way you and her stare at each other, and I don't know…" Henry trailed off.
Regina peeked around the corner, "Are you coming or are you just going to dally in the hall?"
"Coming!" Both Henry and Emma yelled a little too forcefully and in unison.
Henry prepared himself for the worst and rounded the corner into the room; his eyes flew to his mom, who sported a toothy grin, a sight that scared his senseless. Then he saw the puppy: chewing as ferociously as he could on a little bunny toy.
He didn't know what to think, "A puppy? For me?"
"Yes, of course for you!" Regina was delighted by the look of wonder on his face, and Emma sidled up beside him, as he tentatively crossed over to the small animal.
"Really, I get to…keep him?" Henry couldn't believe it: a dog. His mom got him a dog.
"You can name him whatever you want and you can train him and walk him," Regina purred.
Henry sat down next to the puppy on the floor and stroked his fur, "He's so soft and cute."
Emma sat down beside him and watched as Henry met his puppy, "What are you going to name him, kid?"
"I've always wanted a puppy, and I thought if I actually got one, I'd name him Loki," Henry said without hesitation.
Regina frowned. Henry had never once mentioned to her that he was even interested in having a dog, let alone wanted one and had a name picked out. She banished the thought, and was pleased that he was happy.
"Henry, we will make up a new schedule to accommodate Loki's needs. He will have to play, walk, eat and sleep on a strict schedule while he's a baby, which means a lot of added responsibility for you. Do you understand?" Regina instructed.
"Yes! I will take such good care of him. Can he sleep with me at night?" Henry asked.
"We'll see," Regina didn't want to make any promises just yet, and besides, she might want Loki to sleep with her some nights.
Emma was sitting quietly and stroking the pup, she was still a bit stuck on the fact that Henry thought her and Regina were involved, but she leaned over to Henry and whispered something in his ear.
Henry stood up in front of Regina. They stared at each other for a second, before Henry launched himself into her arm and said, "Thank you mom! Thank you so much!"
He pulled away leaving Regina a bit stunned. She couldn't even remember the last time he had hugged her of his own free will, and if she'd known all it took was a puppy she probably would have gotten him one sooner.
"Can Emma and I take him for a walk?" Henry asked, excited to spend time with his new buddy. He went through the bag of toys and accessories, finding a little halter and leash.
"If Emma wants to. Why not just start him in the back yard? He's never been on a leash before," Regina suggested.
Emma fitted him in his halter, which was a task because Loki was a very squirming, playful little dog and wanted to nip at her hands and roll over to expose his white belly. Henry picked him up, hugging him tight before carefully carrying him down the stairs.
Regina sat quietly in reflection and Emma saw that it meant a lot to her to make Henry happy.
"I think he is thrilled. Good job, Regina. You made him very happy," Emma congratulated Regina on her good deed.
"I think he was surprised. Did he suspect anything when you brought him home?" Regina asked, curious about the business in the hall.
"Um…he was suspecting something, but not a dog. That's for sure," Emma laughed nervously, embarrassed at the thought or whatever impression Henry had had of her and Regina.
"What?" Regina asked genuinely curious and a bit disturbed to see Emma acting bashful.
"Henry thought that you were calling him up here to tell him that I was moving in and that we were…you and I …a couple…ridiculous," Emma paused awkwardly waving her hand in the air between them.
Regina frowned, perplexed at Henry's notion, "Really? What on earth would give him that impression? Certainly he didn't get it from me. He must have gotten that vibe from you, Sherriff. It's probably the way you walk, if I can make an observation."
"What's wrong with the way I walk?" Emma was suddenly taking offense, and didn't like where this conversation was going.
"Nothing, it's just…masculine," Regina smirked.
"You would know- you're the one who is constantly staring at me. Looking me up and down like you want to tear my clothes off. Do you?" Emma was suddenly feeling very warm.
"Hardly," Regina sneered, as her eyes roamed up and down Emma's body like she wanted to tear her clothes off.
"See—right there. You need to cool it with the looks and the…" Emma was cut off when Regina stood up fully from the bed, as they locked eyes and stared at each other, tension thick in the air.
Emma let out a shaky breath, and pushed her hands deep into her pockets, otherwise the temptation to touch Regina would overwhelm her. Emma wet her lips with her tongue and broke the intense eye contact with Regina, "I should probably get down there and help Henry with Loki."
Regina let out a breath she hadn't been aware she was holding, thoughts and feelings rushing into her swimming head, "Yes, please do."
Emma brushed past Regina, their bodies making slight contact that left them both shivering and disconcerted.