One

Regina Mills is the kind of person who is never truly unaware of her surroundings. Over time, it becomes ridiculous for you to even ask how she could. She has everything planned down to the T for months and years to come, unlike you, who keep wandering around empty streets at night, hoping for something to point you in a new direction, whatever it may be.

When you enter the house, she doesn't even have to look up and she knows. When you try to surprise her with a present, she rolls her eyes at you and tells you what you're going to do before you even think of the perfect way of doing it; but she tells you in a clever way. She poses it as a question, but you're not going to do this and that, Miss Swan, are you, leaving you gaping and dumbstruck because you have no idea how. Admittedly, she makes you feel like a fool.

While you admire her omnipresent focus, deadly aim and daresay certain almost clairvoyant qualities, you cherish the few moments you can really, actually surprise her. This happens almost exclusively at night, when she's asleep and you're lying next to her, curled up in the blanket. You're not cuddly people; that much is certain from the way you automatically inch away from each other every night. Not too far, just far enough so that you can feel the warmth emanating from her naked body without touching it. Still, this one time, you can see moonlight reflecting on her face - a thousand tiny luminescent pearls - and you just can't help yourself when you see her at peace, no calculating or planning ahead. So you lift your hand and slowly, so as not to startle and wake her, run the back of your fingers down her cheek and to her chin. She doesn't stir and a small smile tugs at your lips. You repeat the motion.

But then, laughing at yourself in your mind, you realize this is the same person who slaps every helping hand away. This is Regina Mills, the same person who hit poor Ruby when she but tried to pat her back in jest that one rough Saturday night. (Needless to say, the look of utter guilt on Regina's face then could as well have been counted as an apology, although she would never express it out loud.) Surely Regina, being herself, is aware of what you're doing at this very moment. Certainly she can feel your touch on her skin. Yet she doesn't move a muscle. She trusts you.

So you do it again.