Title: Falling Down

Pairing: Regina/Emma
Rating: R, TW: past abuse
Disclaimer: These characters are not my creative property

Summary: Prompt: Regina and Emma bond over their abusive pasts. Bonus points for comfort sex.

A/N: This was inspired by Patty Griffin's beautiful song "Rain" /X2CekUNxQrw

"Are you sure it won't start?" Emma felt the beginnings of a splitting headache, her afternoon ruined, and now she was trapped in Regina's depressing death-mobile 4 miles from town.

Regina tried one more time to start her Benz only to be met with the blunt thud of a flooded engine, "You've been here the whole time, Sheriff. You tell me?"

"Why did you insist on driving, anyway?" Emma's frustration was rapidly transforming into anger. The whole day had been one annoying inconvenience after another, but this took the cake.

"You thought that I would get into that little yellow car of yours? Hardly," Regina scoffed, tapping her foot impatiently, looking away from Emma and out the window into the grey fog that surrounded them.

"I hate the way you drive," Regina had successfully spit more venom and insults to toss Emma's way this day alone than all their previous meetings combined.

"Okay, I'll bite: what's wrong with the way I drive?" Emma sat up and turned to face Regina, who simply scowled at her.

"It annoys me—you annoy me," Regina answered non-committedly, taking a deep breath and willing herself not to give in to another argument.

"Shocker! Now, tell me something that I don't know. The feeling is mutual if you hadn't gathered," Emma kicked absently at the glove box. The wind was roaring and shaking the trees above them, and pouring rain pounded the hard top of the car.

Why Regina had even wanted to go on this worthless Gold-digging (literal) expedition was beyond Emma's grasp. Both Mayor and Sheriff had received an anonymous call that Mr. Gold was digging in the woods, burying something (or possibly someone.) Regina had made it her personal mission to go investigate, and had dragged Emma along with her. They found no trace of anything, not surprisingly.

"Do you know anything about fixing cars?" Regina asked fruitlessly, already guessing the answer.

Emma just laughed, "Uh no, I didn't exactly have a daddy to teach me mechanics…or for that matter-how to drive when I turned 16. Just call a tow truck to get us back to town."

"I didn't bring my cell," Regina said glumly.

"Shit, my battery is completely dead, and I forgot my charger since you rushed me. Why were in such a hurry to get out here. I didn't even have a chance to eat lunch!"

"I wanted to beat the storm, Sheriff. Stop whining. Let's just figure this out," Regina growled, clenching the steering wheel as she realized they were absolutely screwed.

"We can't just camp out here all night, and no one ever comes along this road. We're going to have to walk back to town," Emma continued her merry whining, much to Regina's chagrin.

"Fine, let's start walking," Regina wrenched her key out of the ignition, and opened her car door, as the deafening sound of rain drowned out Emma's protests. When Regina made a decision she committed to it.

Emma followed her out into the storm, catching up with Regina, whom she noticed with alarm, was not dressed for the weather- at all. Her light coat was already soaked through, hair flattened, and in a skirt, hose and 4 inch heels, there was no way she was going to make it back 4 miles. Emma, in contrast, was a "layers" kind of girl, and always seemed to overdress. Her thick oversized rain repellent Sheriff's coat and stocking cap set off her knee high rubber boots. She was toasty as a kitten.

"Erm, Regina?" Emma glanced nervously at her, already knowing she wasn't going to take kindly to her as of yet unspoken suggestion.

"What?" It came out in a snarl.

"Um, I was going to offer that you go back and stay in the car, and I'll go ahead. When I get to town I'll send the tow truck for you. It shouldn't be much more than an hour," Emma rushed her words hoping that Regina would listen to reason.

"And let you forget about me so I have to walk home alone, in the dark? Nice try Sheriff," Regina clacked along the wet cement, her breath visible from the cold and coming out in puffs and swirls.

"You think I'd leave you out here? Strand you? You really don't have any faith in me at all," Emma was livid, but couldn't help but feel bad, Regina was already shaking like a leaf and had slowed her pace as her feet were wet and slipping in her impractical shoes making it difficult for her to even keep them on her feet.

Regina's voice softened and she smiled wryly, "No, I suppose you wouldn't…because you know I'd kill you as soon as I got back. At any rate, I am not going to let you walk alone in a storm for me."

Emma was almost touched by the sentiment of solidarity, but Regina had to put a caveat on it and ruin it all, "I'd never hear the end of the gloating from you."

They plodded on, the temperature dipping lower the longer they were out. Emma felt like they had been walking for hours, but when she looked back she could still see the car even in the low visibility of the fog and rain. Emma knew she could walk much faster than Regina, if the woman wasn't so prideful she'd just take off her damned shoes. Emma had had a few jobs where she had to wear heels, and if at all possible she avoided them. Emma knew Regina's feet much be aching, and usually she'd mildly enjoy the other woman's discomfort, but today she knew how miserable she was in her own warm coat and she couldn't feel anything but empathy for Regina.

Regina stumbled over a rock and fell ungraciously. She didn't protest when Emma wrapped an arm under her shoulder to help her up. Blood and gravel clung to her scraped knees. A weak "Ow" was all Regina mustered, but Emma detected a hint in her voice that Regina was on the verge of tears and trying to hold it in.

Regina finally bowed out and pulled off her shoes, hanging her head in shame, and walking along the rough, pitted cement barefooted. Even though the shoes added just a couple inches, once off, Emma noticed the loss of Regina's height advantage immediately. Regina seemed smaller and slightly fragile. Emma looked down at Regina's feet, through the sheen of her pantyhose, and felt even more pity for the woman in front her, practically gasping in pain, and droplets of water running into her eyes. Emma didn't even think about it, she wrapped her arm tightly around Regina's shoulder bringing her close and helping her along.

"What are you doing?" Regina asked lurching as she fell into step, recalling the last time Emma had helped her like this: practically carrying her out of the fire. The situation was eerily similar, except this time the dangerous element was water.

"Helping you," Emma said resolutely.

Regina looked down, hot tears mingling with the cold rain on her cheeks, and then set her jaw, wrenching out the words as if it pained her greatly, "Thanks…that's better."

Regina looked at her shoes, the elegant feathers that had decorated the tops were ragged, the leather of the shoe completely waterlogged and discolored. With sadness and disgust she threw them into the ditch. They were her favorite pair.