Emma Swan had not had a good day. It's been 4 months since she and Regina started…. doing whatever it was that they were doing. It wasn't a relationship and no-one could know about them - Regina's orders. Yet, if she so much as looked at someone else (or, in Ruby's case, they looked at her) Madame Mayor would become insanely jealous and find some way of punishing Emma for the foreseeable future; which made it more than the 'just sex' that it had initially been labelled after a tipsy encounter on the kitchen counter while Henry had been out.
It was a constant push and pull between them as Emma found herself falling deeper and deeper in love while Regina insisted it was nothing important and that no-one could know. Emma's stress was quite understandable, then, after a day like hers. Starting the day by waking up late and therefore missing her coffee at Granny's put her in a foul mood, which was followed by what started as a quickie with Regina in the Sheriff's office and ended as a mad scramble for clothes when David walked in and nearly caught them, then spending the day intensely frustrated thanks to said almost-quickie, and finally a creepy encounter with Mr Gold had left Emma exhausted.
Managing to drag herself to Granny's for a hot chocolate before she went home, Emma decided she needed to relieve a little tension. Cue Ruby and some harmless, innocent flirting.
This, of course, meant that Regina was going to walk in at the most inopportune moment.
Feeling the mayor glaring at her, Emma had groaned and slapped a bill down on the counter to pay for her drink, already preparing to go after Regina.
As soon as she stood the door had begun closing and Emma rolled her eyes before pursuing.
By the time Emma reached the mayor's home in her little bug, she was thoroughly pissed off. Her horrific day coupled with Regina's refusal to acknowledge her own feelings as well as what they had may have been what prompted Emma to do it - although she never could be too sure.
After earning a living by finding people, Emma had certain ways of finding out information. It just so happened that these ways came in the form of a tablet that was excellent as loosening a person's tongue. Slipping the tablet into Regina's drink as she raged over Emma's flirtation had been no problem. Watching her lover take a drink and begin to lose motor control had made her feel a little guilt, but still posed no problem.
It was when Regina, drugged and uninhibited, began to speak that the problems arose.
Emma helped Regina to sit down as she ignored the pang of guilt. Regina looked at her, trying to focus but failing.
"Wha's goin on?" she slurred, her mouth feeling heavy and hard to use.
"You're ill, Regina," Emma lied, avoiding eye contact, "Must have been something you ate. Just sit here and talk to me, okay?"
"Kay," Regina mumbled, leaning over and resting her head on the arm of the couch to try and stop the room from spinning. Again, Emma felt the guilt weighing heavily on her.
"I'm going to ask you something and I need you to answer, alright?"
Regina nodded slowly, wary despite her drugged state.
"Good. Now Regina, what I want from you is this; the truth." Emma was about to ask the question that this was all for; Do you love me? However, Regina cut her off with an answer to something differently entirely.
"Kay. Okay. I'll… I'll tell you the truth. 'Bout everything. 'Cos s'all true, Henry's book. I was - am. And you are too. Snow, and the mirror, and the hearts. S'true." Regina slurred, sitting up slowly and looking at a now bewildered Emma. She stopped, tears filling her eyes, and began to talk, "Was horrible. My mother was horrible. I din't know what to do. So I had to marry him, but Snow knew, and, and she told! So I couldn't get away and I had to, I had to marry him but I didn't love him! I never loved him, then Snow grew up and I killed him, I didn't want to but I killed him! But I did want to, I did, he had to die, so, so I could be free! And I tried to kill Snow so she wouldn't be happy, she took away my happiness and,"
Regina broke off, taking in great heaving breaths intermingled with sobs and Emma sat frozen, realisation coursing through her and leaving her feeling slightly sick.
"You mean… it's true? Henry's story, it's true? You're the evil queen?" she whispered, eyes locked on Regina who nodded.
"He didn't kill her so I took his heart, I took the huntsman's heart like I took all the others, and then she was getting married and she was so happy and I hated her for it! Then she was pregnant and I cast the curse, I took away all the happy endings and we came here, and I met you, and now I can be happy again because I love you!"
Emma felt sick staring at her, the knowledge weighing heavily on her mind. There was more to the story, she could tell, but she couldn't look past it. The woman sitting before her was pure evil - she'd murdered, stolen hearts and crushed them. She took away Snow White's happy ending and oh God! Emma knew then, the woman sitting before her was the reason that her life sucked so much. She'd felt hated, unwanted, abandoned, because this pathetic woman had wanted revenge. She didn't just hurt people who hurt her; she hurt those who were innocent. Graham had - oh no, please, don't let it be true!
"You killed Graham too, didn't you?"
Regina nodded, pushing herself from the couch and stumbling forward, falling before Emma's feet.
"Oh my God, I can't believe it!" Emma ran a hand through her hair, pacing backwards and forwards in front of the woman kneeling before her. Nausea was welling up inside her and she was sure she was going to be sick. Regina's drug-induced, half slurred confession was running through her head when the last sentence clicked into place and she stopped with a small cry of sorrow. Now I can be happy again because I love you!
Emma turned achingly slowly and looked into the tear-stained, heartbreakingly honest face staring back at her. She knelt, cupping Regina's cheek and brushing a tear away with her thumb. "Oh, God, Regina," she whispered, tears making their way down her own face now, hot and fast, "I love you too."
Emma leaned forward and brushed their lips together gently, a small sob escaping. Regina kissed back for a moment before the drug fully took effect and she slumped in Emma's arms, unconscious. With loving care Emma scooped her up and moved her to lie on the couch, covering her with a blanket and pressing a kiss to Regina's temple. Then she turned and ascended the stairs to Henry's room.
She'd pack his bag, pick her stuff up, get Henry from his friend's house and they'd both be gone before dawn - well past the Storybrooke sign before Regina ever woke up.
Because, dear God, she loved Regina too. But she didn't have to.