AN: Okay, first and foremost let me explain a few things. This idea came to me after a weekend-long marathon of Swan Queen fanfics and fanvids. I am fairly certain no one has used this specific plot before but if they have and I missed it, I'm sorry. Anyway, I will be following canon to a point but there will be many changes. First, the curse exists, but the only one who remembers it is Mr. Gold. Not even Regina knows about it. My take on the curse is that since Regina cast the curse and Rumple created it, they are the only ones who can leave Storybrooke without consequences. Henry can leave too because he's not part of the curse, same goes for Emma. Because Regina doesn't remember the curse, she's not actively trying to keep anyone apart. Also, there are two ways to break the curse but I won't divulge them yet. David is in a coma but not a John Doe. Katherine is Regina's best friend. Any other changes will be explained along the way. On with the show. Also, this prologue starts 2 years before the pilot episode and moves from there.
Storybrooke, 2 years ago.
Regina Mills, Mayor of Storybrooke, Maine, was pacing in her office in City Hall. She was getting frustrated and antsy and she didn't know what to do about it. All she knew was that she had this sudden urge to go somewhere...out of town. She didn't even know where she would go she just knew she needed to get out of Storybrooke. Not forever, just for a few hours, a day at the most. Being Mayor had its privileges of course, but it also had its drawbacks, the biggest one being that everyone in town knew who she was and was always looking at her. Gossip in a small town like Storybrooke was practically a national pastime.
Regina hated being the topic of gossip, especially when it came to her private life, which was probably why she hadn't had much of one in a long time. For some reason though, today the urge to do something wild, something crazy, something definitely un-mayor-like was stronger than ever.
There was a knock on her office door and she turned to it, "Come in." She knew who it was, the only person she'd told her secretary was allowed to see her today...her best friend Katherine Nolan.
Katherine walked into the mayor's office and smiled at her best friend. It was a bit fuzzy when exactly they'd become friends at all, but it didn't matter anymore because it had been so long. "Regina, what's up?"
Regina had called Katherine shortly after arriving at the office, as soon as the urge to run hit. She needed someone to talk to that she could trust.
"Katherine, I need a favor."
"Sure Regina, what is it?" The blonde knew there was very little she would deny her friend, especially after everything she'd done to make sure her husband, David, was taken care of during his coma. She still had hope that he'd wake up, but until that day, Regina was footing the bill for his care.
Regina looked at her best friend for a moment then said, "I need you to watch Henry today. I'm going out of town at one and don't know how late I'll be." Regina knew she needed to get out of town for a few hours, even if that meant overnight.
Katherine got concerned, "Regina, what's going on? Where are you going and why?"
Regina shrugged her shoulders and tried to explain, "I can't explain it exactly Kath, but this feeling came over me this morning that I needed to leave town today. Just for a few hours, though I'm not sure how many 'a few' will turn out to be. But I know that I have to leave and I need you to watch Henry while I'm gone, please?"
Henry was Regina's 8 year old son. He was the center of her world, had been since she'd adopted him when he was 3 weeks old. Having Henry, being a mom and a mayor had always been enough for Regina. There had been a few brief flings over the years but nothing permanent. She couldn't explain her urge to leave town she just knew it was there and if she didn't, she might just explode.
Katherine listened to her friend and took a moment to think about what she was saying. For as long as she'd known Regina, the other woman had been getting 'feelings' and what some would call intuition about certain things. She didn't pretend to understand it but she knew enough to not stand in the way when Regina got one of her feelings. It was one of her feelings that led Regina and Katherine to the ditch that David had ended up in after he'd stormed off in the aftermath of a fight with Katherine. If they hadn't found him when they had, he would've died.
So now, she wouldn't try to get in the way of another feeling, no matter how crazy it sounded. "Okay, I'll watch him. I'll pick him up from school and take him to your place. What should I tell him if he asks where you are?"
Regina felt a little relief hearing Katherine agree to watch Henry. "Um...tell him I had some business out of town and that I'll be back as soon as I can."
Katherine thought about that and then nodded, "Okay...but Regina, be careful ok?"
For the first time that morning, Regina smiled, "I am always careful. I have a wonderful incentive to come home safe and sound." She glanced then at the photograph of Henry that was on her desk.
The two friends talked for a little while longer then Katherine excused herself to prepare to babysit Henry at Regina's house. Katherine owned and operated the local bookstore and she had a good staff that could handle the day to day operations while she spent time with Henry.
Regina watched her best friend leave and she felt a weight lift off of her shoulders. She quickly told her secretary that she was taking the rest of the day off and to cancel everything until tomorrow. It was Wednesday and thankfully, it was a light day.
Regina drove home and took a quick shower before dressing in her favorite outfit of tight black leather pants, black ankle boots and a deep red blouse with a generous neckline. She looked hot and she knew it. She got into her car just before 2pm and began driving out of town.
Regina pointed her car south and just drove, for hours, until the urge to run trickled down into an urge to stop. She got off the highway and looked around for any signs to tell her where she ended up. She was surprised to find that she was in Boston. Regina drove around the streets, just taking it all in. After about an hour, she felt the need to park the car.
Regina parked on a side street and got out of her car. She turned on the alarm and walked away, instinctively walked south down the street. It seemed as if south was her new default direction...for tonight at least.
The Alibi (Bar and Grille), Boston
Regina walked into the dimly lit bar and took a moment to look around, get a feel for the place. It was your average hole-in-the-wall bar with a jukebox in the corner, a small stage near the back wall and a long bar that stretched along the wall nearest the door. She spotted two doors that led to the restrooms, a few booths along the third wall and an open space that was obviously made for dancing. She liked the place, it seemed appropriately anonymous and she was looking forward to the experience. Looking forward to being able to be whomever she wanted without the people of Storybrooke to judge her every move.
Regina walked up to the bar, there weren't a lot of people there yet, it was still only 7pm, and she was able to get the attention of the bartender without a problem.
Regina watched as a well-built redhead sauntered over to her and smiled as she ran a white towel along the bar in front of Regina and then placed a coaster on it. "What can I get you?"
Regina was at a bit of a loss, she didn't normally drink alcohol, when she did it was always at her home and always whiskey and soda on the rocks but she didn't want that tonight. Here, where she could be anyone, she didn't want anything to remind her of who she really was. "Um...I don't really know. Do you have a drink menu?" She knew the odds of this place having a drink menu was low but she had to ask.
The bartender, Vicky, looked at the newcomer and smiled, this woman seemed like a posh princess out for a night of slumming, but she decided to indulge her. She reached under the bar and pulled out an ancient drink menu. No one ever really asked for it anymore, the patrons of the bar were regulars who didn't need it and newcomers usually just asked for a beer on tap or some other easy generic drink. She handed the 5x7" laminated menu over and smiled, "Take your time honey."
Regina took the menu and smiled, glad that there was a menu at all and also glad for the bartender's pleasant attitude. Regina sat at the bar reading over the choices, trying to decide what to try.
Emma Swan walked into the Alibi and smiled. This was her home away from home. She'd been coming here for the last three years and she knew most of the regulars. Most importantly, she knew the bartender and they had developed a sort of shorthand when it came to Emma's top five drinks. Emma walked over to the juke box first and fed it some quarters, selecting some of her favorite songs.
She then turned towards the bar and smiled when she saw Vicky but when her eyes drifted over the bar she stopped at the sight of someone new. Emma's eyes lingered on the dark haired stranger, certain she'd never seen her there before. She slowly walked around, circling around to get a better view of the woman and she was stunned at what she saw, this woman was beautiful.
She had dark, almost black hair, an olive complexion and what seemed to be dark eyes. Emma felt a sudden urge to get to know this exotic beauty. Emma felt an inexplicable pull towards the woman, as if she was supposed to meet her. Emma slowly walked closer and noticed she was reading the drink menu, a document that Emma had almost forgotten about, she had it memorized despite only liking five drinks on it.
Emma walked up behind the brunette and smiled as she inhaled a distinct scent of apples from her hair. She shifted to lean one arm against the bar as she said, "Hey beautiful, can I buy you a drink?"
Regina stiffened briefly, this was the part of going out that she didn't like, the sleazy come-ons, usually from guys but she had occasionally gotten the rare come on from women but it was usually men. She wasn't in the mood to deal with someone just looking for an easy score so she turned around, prepared to give this bold woman a piece of her mind that would send her back to whatever corner she'd come out of, when she was caught in the bluest eyes she'd ever seen. Regina felt herself staring into the woman's deep blue eyes and she had to actively drag her eyes away in order to be able to talk. "Um...I don't think that's a good idea but thank you, Miss." Regina dipped her head and began to turn back to the bar.
Not to be deterred, Emma simply moved to stand next to the dark beauty and still smiled, "Emma. And who says the bad ideas can't be just as fun as the good ones?"
Regina turned to look at the blonde and felt herself begin to smile. "Well, bad ideas are bad for a reason...Emma."
Emma grinned, knowing that once she got a woman talking to her it was only a matter of time before things progressed, especially when they used her first name right away rather than cling to the more formal 'Miss'. She leaned forward a little and lowered her voice just a little, "Haven't you ever wanted to be bad?"
Regina thought about that for a moment, she had escaped her small town shackles for the night for a reason hadn't she? There was no one here who knew her to judge her. Regina took a moment to weigh the options before she smiled and tilted her head, "Very well...Emma. One drink."
Emma smiled a genuine, warm smile. She liked this woman's voice and decided she had better get her name before things went too far. "Excellent, but first, will you tell me your name? Or would you prefer I just continued to call you beautiful?"
Regina smiled, "As flattering as that might be, I prefer my name, Gina." Regina gave a shortened version of her name, one last line of defense against full exposure.
Emma smiled, "well Gina, it's nice to meet you. Now, how about we get a drink and maybe sit somewhere and get to know each other?"
Regina, for the first time that she could remember, threw caution to the wind and decided that just for tonight she was going to be free and wild. "Sounds good except...I'm not sure what I want to drink."
Emma was used to taking charge, she loved it even. She plucked the menu from Gina's hands and tossed it on the bar. "That's useless. Do you trust me to choose for you?"
Regina thought about that, "Okay, just this once. What did you have in mind?"
Emma didn't answer, she turned and caught Vicky's attention. When the redhead came up to them Emma smiled, "Hey Vick, set us up with an Iced Tea for the lady and a number 4 for me, okay?"
Vicky looked to the dark haired stranger for confirmation. When she saw her nod, Vicky turned and began preparing the drinks.
Regina turned to Emma and asked, curious, "So um...what's the number 4?"
Emma smiled, "It's one of my favorite drinks."
Regina barely refrained from rolling her eyes at the non-answer, "I gathered as much, but what's it called?"
Emma took a moment before she leaned closer to speak into her ear, not wanting anyone else to hear it. "Well...it's called a Sex on the Beach, and it's almost as good as the real thing." Emma pulled away to see the reaction her words caused, pleased to notice Gina's dark eyes had dilated and darkened even more.
If someone had asked, Regina wouldn't be able to explain why Emma's words had turned her on, she just knew they had and she shifted on her chair a little. Before she could say anything, Vicky placed two tall glasses in front of them.
Emma handed over a credit card and exchanged a look with Vicky, a silent communication to open a tab. Vicky took the card and just nodded, turning from the bar.
Emma grabbed both glasses and gestured to one of the empty booths. "Shall we?"
Regina slipped off the chair and began to follow the beautiful blonde to the booths. They sat down and Regina took her first sip of the Iced Tea that Emma had ordered for her, not expecting the complete lack of tea in the drink. Emma explained what was in the drink after Regina asked and soon Regina was drinking a bit more. It was really good.
Several hours passed as Regina and Emma sat in the booth and talked. They stayed away from personal topics such as last names, Regina's hometown, Emma's childhood, and other sensitive topics. Instead, they talked about the mundane little things people talk about when they are getting to know each other but also just killing time before they can advance physically.
Emma was enjoying herself, and enjoying Gina's company. She had a sharp wit and a wicked sense of humor. They talked, and joked and generally got along as if they'd known each other forever.
When Vicky announced last call, Regina had already had 3 iced teas and Emma had stopped at 2 drinks. Regina wasn't drunk but she was happily buzzed. Emma stood up from the booth and held out a hand to Gina. "Can I walk you to your...um...car?"
Regina thought about it for a moment, then said, "I don't think I should be driving Emma. Maybe you can call me a cab?"
Emma smiled, "Okay, you're a cab." Emma chuckled, "Seriously though, I live nearby, I have a couch you can crash on."
Regina took the offered hand and stood up, grinning, "Just a couch?"
Emma pulled her closer, "Unless you had something else in mind?"
"Maybe one or two things Emma." Regina said, her voice dropping a few octaves as her intent was made clear. Emma pulled Regina to the bar to collect her credit card then led the woman out to the street. Emma lived only a few blocks from the bar and they walked there, arms interlinked. Both women knew what lay ahead and they were both eager for it.
The next morning...
Regina woke up and looked at the window, it was still dark out. She glanced at the alarm clock on the nightstand and saw it was 4 in the morning. She felt a weight on her left side and she turned and smiled when she saw the blonde hair.
Emma had proven to be an unexpected but very pleasant surprise. Idly, she wondered if her urge to run from Storybrooke had been some, unseen force, leading her to Emma. Normally, Regina didn't think about things like fate or destiny, but...there was something about Emma that made Regina want to believe that this wasn't just a fluke or a coincidence.
Emma slowly stirred and opened her eyes. She smiled when she saw Gina, awake and looking at her. "Hi beautiful."
Regina gave a fake frown, "I thought we established a first name basis Emma." Her voice lacked its usual firmness, softened by the look in Emma's eyes.
"We did, but I call it like I see it and you...are very beautiful Gina." Emma leaned closer and kissed the brunette, lifting her hand to pull Gina's head closer.
Regina indulged in the kiss a moment longer before she pulled away and looked into Emma's deep blue eyes. "Emma...I would like to see you again, if that's alright with you."
Emma thought about that, normally she didn't go for repeat performances with her one night stands but Gina was different. There was something about her that drew Emma in and made her want more. "I think that sounds wonderful."
Regina hesitated for a moment then said, "There's just one problem. I don't live in Boston. My job only allows me one day a week to get away from it all and come here. I know it wouldn't be ideal but I am willing to give it a try if you are."
Emma thought about that, she thought about only seeing Gina once a week and wondered if that would be enough for her. Then she thought about never seeing her again and knew that wasn't a viable option. If all she could get right now was once a week, Emma decided that she would take it, and maybe someday that would change.
Emma rolled over and pinned Gina to the bed. She smiled down at Gina and said, "I think we could give it a try. I definitely want to see you again." Emma leaned down and kissed Gina, reveling in the soft lips and talented tongue that had brought her so much pleasure last night.
About two hours later, Regina finally admitted that she needed to get going. Emma reluctantly agreed and even got dressed to walk Gina to her car. Together, they walked the few blocks to where Regina had parked. Emma took a mental note of the Maine plates on the car but stayed silent.
Regina opened the driver's door and turned to face Emma. Emma smiled then leaned forward and kissed her one more time.
Regina smiled as she finally pulled away. "I'll be back next Wednesday Emma. At the Alibi, deal?"
Emma smiled, "Deal. I can't wait beautiful. See you then."
Emma watched as Gina got into her car and drove away. There was a small weight in her chest for a moment as she watched Gina drive away. After a moment, she shoved it away and turned to go back to her apartment. Wednesday seemed a long way away but she resolved to fill the time with work. The thought of sleeping with anyone else in the interim seemed wrong somehow, despite having just met Gina.
The following Wednesday, Regina once again arranged for Katherine to watch Henry and hit the road to Boston and...Emma.
Every week, Regina and Emma met at the Alibi, had a few drinks then went back to Emma's apartment for the night. In the morning, as the sun was rising, Regina would leave with the promise of returning the following Wednesday.
And that's how their relationship progressed. Every Wednesday, Regina drove from Storybrooke to Boston and spent the night with Emma, then she drove back to Storybrooke in time to put in a few hours at City Hall before she went home to Henry.
A year went by in this fashion, this routine that she had established. Henry asked at one point why it was always Wednesdays and Regina had explained that Wednesdays were the only day that her workload wasn't heavy. Henry accepted that answer and hadn't asked about it again.
One year later...
Regina walked into the Alibi and smiled at Vicky. She walked up to the bar and ordered the only drink she ever ordered here, an Iced Tea, and placed her credit card on the bar. At some point over the last year, Regina had started putting the drinks on her tab. Regina sat at the bar and waited for Emma to arrive.
Emma walked into the bar and headed right for where Gina was always waiting. She always sat at the same chair, the one she was sitting on when they first met. They always migrated to the same booth and then they ended up at Emma's apartment.
Tonight, however, Emma had a different plan in mind. She walked up behind Gina and wrapped her arms around her waist. Emma felt Gina jump a little then relax into her arms. Emma leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on Gina's neck. She murmured into her ear, "Hello gorgeous, miss me?"
Regina smiled as she turned around to face Emma, "You know I did."
They kissed for what seemed like hours but was really only a few minutes. Emma pulled back first and said, "I um...I had an idea for tonight. Feel like getting out of here early?"
Regina studied Emma's face and realized she'd follow Emma anywhere. "Sure. Let's go." Regina motioned to Vicky for her card then she followed Emma out of the bar.
It was still early, only 8 o'clock , and Emma led Gina down the block. Emma's surprise was a real date. They never really had dates, they always met at the bar, had a few drinks then right to Emma's apartment. Some nights they didn't even have the drinks. But they'd never had a real date and Emma was determined to have a real date with Gina.
Emma took Gina to a small Italian restaurant and they had a lovely meal. Conversation flowed easily and soon they were leaving the restaurant and heading for their next destination. Emma led Gina to a movie theater and they settled into the darkened theater to watch a sappy romantic comedy.
Half way through the movie, Gina leaned over and began to nibble on Emma's ear. She wasn't overly fond of romantic comedies, especially when they featured sports. She much preferred to tease Emma.
Emma managed to hold out until the movie ended then she dragged Gina back to her place. They stumbled through the door, frantically ripping off clothes and leaving a trail all the way to the bedroom.
Emma pushed Gina back onto the bed and followed her down, determined to make the dark haired goddess scream her name more than once.
Hours later, both women lay on the bed, sated and euphoric. Regina was on her back and Emma curled into her side, her arm wrapped protectively around her waist and her head nestled on Gina's shoulder. Emma waited until she was sure Gina was asleep. She looked up and saw her eyes were closed and her breathing seemed even. She snuggled deeper into Gina's embrace and softly whispered, for the very first time, "I love you Gina."
Emma drifted off to sleep after that, at peace now that she'd gotten that off her chest, the words had been burning a hole in her chest for months now.
Regina waited until Emma was asleep, having heard her whispered words. They frankly, scared her to death. The last person who'd said those words to her had betrayed her and hurt her very deeply. Regina didn't know if she could handle a betrayal by Emma.
Regina's fight or flight instinct urged her to leave. She was too scared to stay and fight the fear so she fled from the happiness that Emma's arms offered. So, she carefully crept from the bed and dressed quietly. She scribbled a quick note for Emma, not wishing to leave her with no explanation at all. Carefully and quietly, Regina left the apartment and walked to her car. She got in and drove away.
Halfway through Vermont, Regina finally broke down and had to pull over. She sat there, on the side of the highway at 3 in the morning, crying her eyes out over what she'd lost, what she'd tossed away out of fear.
She thought about going back but she knew she couldn't...not after the note she'd left. She was certain Emma would read the note and then end up hating her. As much as that thought pained her, she knew it was better this way. She couldn't risk Emma coming after her, looking for her.
A few hours later, Emma woke up to an empty bed. She reached over for Gina and was met with cold, empty sheets. Emma sat up and looked around. All traces of Gina were gone. Emma began to look around the apartment, hoping for a note, an explanation, maybe even the excuse that work had called her back home.
She found the note in the kitchen, leaning against the coffee maker.
I am so sorry to have to do this to you like this, but there was no other way. If I said it to your face, I might lose my nerve. This past year with you has been great, but it has to end. I am getting married in two weeks. I won't be coming back to Boston. Please don't try to find me. You will always be special to me dear Emma but I love my fianc?and I can't continue to deceive him. I am sorry Emma.
Emma couldn't believe what she was reading. It had to be a lie and yet...why would Gina say it, or write it, if it wasn't true?
Emma spent the rest of the day trying to figure things out and crying. By the time the sun set, she was determined to not give up on Gina. Emma stood by the window and looked out at the view of the harbor. She sighed as she whispered into the still apartment, "Happy anniversary Gina." She hoped that the other woman would come to her senses by the following week and she'd be back at their bar.
Emma showed up at the Alibi every Wednesday for a month and still no Gina. She started going there every day of the week, hoping maybe the woman had alternated her days but no luck.
Emma kept praying for Gina to show up but she never did and she finally had to accept that she'd lost her. Emma no longer felt her heart breaking, because it was already shattered into a million pieces. She wondered if she'd ever recover from the pain.
AN2: If there's any interest for more, let me know.