A/N: I am not a native English speaker. Also, I have not forgotten about my other fics! With the school year coming to an end, I haven't had much free time lately, but I promise you're going to get more... so long as you review. ;) BTW, what even was that last episode. Not sure if trolling or can't hear you over the sound of Swan Queen becoming canon!
"So, what are you proposing?"
Nope, the woman would not let any traces of uncertainty burden this or any other conversation - which frustrated Emma, shifting uncomfortably on the spot, beyond belief. She wondered whether Regina would also ask her where exactly she was going, her new address (before she even decided on the state), the cost of her insurance and what it covers, oh, and is that four-wheeled lunchbox you call a car in a suitable condition for long-distance travel? Nevermind the sad reality she probably knew the answer to most of these questions or had it written in a folder somewhere under her bed while Emma, well… Emma Swan hated planning ahead and that spoke for her at all times. Like now. "I don't know — just figure it out as we go," she replied, hoping the older woman would take the hint and get off her case for now. Hoping a little too blatantly, perhaps, given away by the ever so slight upward motion of her eyebrows.
Which no doubt contributed to what happened next. "But he's my son." Half-statement, half-inquiry. That was as close as Emma was ever going to get. That was as close as either of them was ever going to get, for that matter.
And Emma was honestly tired of this. Spent, worn out, exhausted of this religiously regular ritual of tiptoeing around each other like they're a grass of burning cinder. Disgust at one point… something else the next day (even teamwork if Emma were to flatter herself). Never a "thank you". Never an "I hate you", either. Never a clear line, just the vast ocean they were destined to sail without ever catching sight of land, be it north or south. Emma would put an end to this nonsense. Just once, for just once she would come close to the sand, even if only to run back into the depths a second later.
No, he's my son.
Just once, Emma.
You have no right to demand this of me.
Her fist clenched behind the counter.
Disappointed with her own weakness but at the same time pleased with her willpower to go through with this - for Henry's sake - the blonde turned on her heel to leave only to be stopped by Regina's voice - which had apparently turned to delicious valley honey in two seconds - two steps later. "Oh, Miss Swan? Maybe a little something for the road? If we're going to be in each other's lives, it's time we start being cordial."
Cordial, huh. Absurdly ironic, considering what Emma was proposing meant never seeing each other again, safe for awkward 10-second encounters whenever Henry is to be "passed on" to the other, which would later become 5 seconds and then 2 and then a fleeting glance from the other end of the street when the boy becomes comfortable with crossing the line of the battlefield on his own when all troops have retreated, so that Emma could watch him drift away to his real life - one she had never truly been part of - like a kite on the First of October. Emma stifled a humorless chuckle as she watched Madam Mayor pack a neatly folded apple turnover for her, making the blonde feel an awful lot like Henry being sent to school with a snack in the morning.
Staring at the little bundle in Regina's hands, Emma wondered what it would be like if she did step on the island she was so close to reaching. For the sake of clarity.
She would throw the damned thing to the floor, first and foremost, satisfied to hear the plastic clacking against the wood.
She would waste no time waiting for the mother of her child to realize the treason she would have brought to their unspoken pact, backing Regina against the counter and forcing her lips on the brunette's - and she knew she had it in her; she knew since the night in the vault, the night when—
Emma's senses numbed by the intense smell of freshly baked dough, she had no trouble imagining Regina would taste like apples, and for a second regretted never having bitten into one of those honeycrisps either, for comparison, you see. Ripe, pleasantly sweet, juicy red apples. Emma would enjoy every second of that, seeing as the rest of her life seemed determined to give off an aroma of bitter loneliness. She would relish in having her fingers tangled in coal-stained hair, tugging at it almost to the point of pain. Almost. Because she wasn't Regina.
Then Regina would press a hand to her ribcage and push. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" she would say - transformed from honey to the hornets killing for it by then - forcing the blonde to backtrack several feet back into the safe zone, her eyes flaring with anger of the blazing sun Emma needed to survive out in the cold.
"I thought—but you—Wasn't this what you wanted?" she would blurt out, inevitably feeling like the world's biggest dumbass, and that's taking the competitors on Stan Lee's Who Wants to Be a Superhero into consideration.
"And how exactly did you come to this conclusion, Miss Swan? Because I save some leftovers for a stray cat, I want it in my house, is that how it works?" Regina would snap, hands on hips, already reassembling her regal posture without so much as a strand of hair curled the wrong way.
And she would be fucked. Not the kind she was secretly fantasizing about, but the straight-up, ass-spanking, one-way ticket to hell-ensuring kind of utterly fucked. "Look, we both know we're basically never going to see each other again. I just wanted to give whatever this is some closure. I'm sorry. I got caught up in the moment."
For a moment, Madam Mayor would give her an opportunity to watch her confusion (and after that last sentence, something else she wouldn't quite be able to place) develop from a tiny spark to a candlelight and then back to no more than smoke. "Closure? Kissing someone translates to closure in Bostonian? Is that what you do to whom you dare call lovers in the morning - kiss them before disappearing out the front door? You're pathetic."
She would be unsure as to whether Regina is angry because of the kiss or because of Emma's intention to abandon Storybrooke completely afterwards and she would be tempted to ask which it is, but instead she would snap, all the times her stepbrothers and stepsisters had called her pathetic summed up in one screwed up turn of events. "I'm pathetic? No, Madam Mayor, you know what's pathetic? You. You keep wishing someone would feel for you and what do you do when someone like that appears? You push them away!" Her shoulders would go up and down as she would shake with anger, but she wouldn't be done. "You spend your whole life looking for understanding but you're too busy lashing out at everyone who dares as much as look at Henry to notice there's someone willing to put up with that shit right in front of you."
Regina would try to speak but Emma would cut her off in an instant. "I've seen more of you than any other person in this town, even though I never wanted to, because you were miserable enough to let me, a complete stranger, thinking maybe I might change something, and when I do, it's wrong again. So you shut up and don't talk to me about who's pathetic."
She would storm out, tears stinging her eyes and a gloomy cloud trailing her path, never to be seen in these parts again.
Is it worth it? she asked herself. Is crossing the line worth a few seconds of bliss and an eternity of being shot repeatedly in the chest with a shotgun?
"I do hope you like apples."