The four women had all gone on a double date that night…the night more so… the night of the incident that is—at least that's what Emma has dubbed it…
They were at the Italian restaurant, conversation was pleasant, and everyone was looking their best for their woman… respectively. They ate dinner and moved onto dessert when the incident happened…
The waitress looked horrified as she brought the drink and rose over, but she had to do her job. "The gentleman at the bar asked me to bring these to you…" She said as she set the red and white rose down in front of her and then the cocktail.
"Oh, thank you…" Ruby looked up at the waitress, asking which man it was. She nodded her head in the general direction of the bar. As Ruby looked up she found her admirer to be quite dashing. She held her drink up in toast and took a sip, then picked the variegated rose up and took a whiff.
Mary Margaret was frozen. She couldn't believe what her girlfriend had just done. She dropped her forkful of chocolate cake that she was going to deliver Ruby's way and crossed her arms and her legs whilst she sat back in her chair.
Ruby looked at the last forkful on the plate then over to Mary Margaret. She offered her a whiff. Mary Margaret only turned her head and looked to the condensation on her water glass.
Regina coughed to get Emma's tennis-match-like undivided attention between the other two women. She knew Emma… she knew she was going to ask what just happened—for someone whose a cop and notices everything, she sure misses things. She knew that Emma was going to ask and it was going to start a scene… The Mayor could not be part of a scene… she might be in politics, but scenes and scandals she does not do.
As soon as Emma heard Regina cough she looked over to her. Her brunette shoved two forkfuls of their triple chocolate tiramisu in her mouth and leaned over, "Don't you dare say a word about it, they will start a tussle and I swear to God if I end up in part of it publically speaking… No sex for a month at least." She then kissed Emma's cheek and gave her lover a winning grin as she pulled from her and then the fork from Emma's mouth. "You understand?" She raised a brow slightly, showing her seriousness.
Emma nodded, "Mhmm." She hummed as she chewed with a terrified look on her face before masking it over with a 'wow, this is yummy' face thanks in full to the dessert in her mouth.
For Regina and Emma it started that night after they settled in for bed. Emma released her hold of Regina and turned on her back, "Babe?"
"Yes, darling?" Regina turned around to look at Emma in the dark, moonlit room.
"Why was it bad… what Ruby did?" Emma asked as if this was her first time to wonder about something. She looked so innocent and curious… Regina almost wanted to laugh… almost. But the fact that Emma didn't know the answer to her question was what kept her grounded.
"You really don't know?"
"Would you have accepted a purple tulip from a man that looked like that if I were right there?... Or really any other time for that matter?"
Emma knit her brows, "No…?" She clearly asked Regina if she were right.
"Honestly, Emma… would you have?" Regina sat up in their bed.
"I don't know probably… if it came with the free drink, sure.. then I could give you the flower and we could share the drink…" Emma sat up with a shrug.
"Oh you are just ridiculous!" Regina huffed and punched her pillow a couple times for good measure before she threw herself down into it.
"Don't you 'Babe' me!" She grit out.
Emma waited a moment or two before she put a tentative hand on her shoulder which was shoved off immediately, "I don't get it… tell me why it was bad." She tried to touch Regina again and was successful with not getting the jerking shoulder.
"The red and white rose is their flower… like the purple tulip is ours…" Regina paused. Her head tilted just a little so she was completely on her side and her eyes moved so she could see part of the long blonde mess of hair, "You do know that the purple tulip is our flower, right?" She asked.
"I know it's your favorite flower… so… when I get in trouble it's my go to… Like tomorrow, I'll probably be getting you a bouquet…" Emma tone ended on a sarcastic note.
"And when I get in trouble I get you a bouquet as well."
Emma knit her brows, "I've never gotten a bouquet…" She says as she hovers over her lover.
"That's because I've never gotten in trouble…" Regina said.
"Right because you can do no wrong." Emma rolled her eyes with a slight huff as she combed her fingers through her hair behind her ear before she rested on her palm.
Regina turned onto her back, "I never said that… I just offer sex before it gets to the point of needing a bouquet and that tends to work out just fine." She smirked.
Emma gave her a look then acknowledged, "I do like 'I'm Sorry, Emma' sex…" She looked down keeping her cool for a moment before she broke out into a bright grin and leaned in to kiss Regina.
Regina though, started speaking again as she pushed Emma back up, "I can't believe that you don't know what our flower is!"
"I do! It's purple tulips!" Emma shot back.
"Did you know that before I just told you?" Regina asked as if she were proving a toddler wrong so they could see what they did that was bad.
Emma visibly deflated, "No…"
Regina shook her head. She moved Emma's hair from her face and spoke sweetly, "Darling, just to be clear…" She smiled that faux smile that generally scared Emma shitless, "If you ever do anything like accept a flower—really of any kind, but especially a purple tulip, you will be at Mary Margaret's and Ruby's or the station for a long, long time." Her tone stayed sickly sweet despite her threat.
"Because it's bad, because it's our flower…" Emma looked at her, making sure she understood the stupid-ass reasoning behind it.
"Yes." Regina nodded. "And why any other flower?"
"Because it's bad because… it's a flower?" Emma asked.
"And why would a flower given to you by anyone but me be bad?"
"Because… flowers are special?... For a couple?"
Regina sighed, "That's good enough…" She turned back on her side away from Emma.
"Hey Regina…?" Emma hovered over her.
"If I do something stupid… you have to tell me why, you know? Like you usually do… otherwise I won't learn…" Emma said.
"I know, my love."
"I love you…"
"And I you."
"Are you still mad?"
"Only slightly frustrated, now don't make me more so by doing that thing that you do…"
"What do I do?"
"You continually ask questions like you are four years old."
Regina turned, moving the mass of blonde hair from her view to Emma's eyes, and raised a brow.
"Sorry." Emma sunk down behind her again she squeezed her tight then asked her final question of the night, "Will you just do one thing for me?" She asked.
"What?" Regina sighed, obviously frustrated.
"Tell me you love me."
"I do." She rolled her eyes even though they were closed.
"No… tell me you love me…" Emma said again.
Regina's frustration melted into a smile, "I love you, my darling."
Emma hovered over her once more and kissed her lips, "I love you too." She said once again as she kissed her.
It has started for Ruby and Mary Margaret that night as well… but they weren't getting along as well as Regina and Emma.
"I cannot believe you did that!" Mary Margaret threw Ruby's pillow and a blanket from the loft down onto the couch.
"Seriously? The couch? I don't even know what I did wrong!" Ruby turned to her girlfriend after staring longingly at her pillow.
"Maybe a night or two on the couch will open your eyes!" Mary Margaret pointed down at the couch, telling Ruby she was no longer welcome upstairs for the time being.
Ruby sighed and walked sluggishly down the spiral stairs and to the couch.
The next morning, she got up and found her clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, flat iron and make-up all on the coffee table. She sighed and took the stuff and got ready for work. She heard her girlfriend wake up and take a shower upstairs, "Hmph" She whined, wishing she could take a shower… upstairs… with her girlfriend.
Ruby hadn't seen Mary Margaret all day. She didn't stop into the diner for breakfast or lunch. She was currently serving the dinner crowd and still there was no trace of her.
Regina, Emma and Henry walked into the diner, "Hey guys." She pasted a fake smile on her face and walked over to them.
"Hey Rubes… how are you?" Emma asked.
Ruby slumped forward, "I'm have M&M withdrawals."
"Why? Don't you guys live together?" Henry asked.
"Yeah… but apparently I did something… I don't know… but I'm in trouble and on the couch…"
Emma leaned over to her son, "Take notes kid, you're going to need to know how to avoid this later in life.." She then turned to Ruby, "It was the flower." She said matter-of-factly.
"The flower? From the guy?" Ruby asked.
"Yuh huh!" Emma nodded, "You weren't supposed to take it…"
"But how could I take the drink and not the flower… that would be rude."
Emma sat up straight, arm raised, finger pointed, breath in… and then she paused with her mouth open for a second. She went for the truth instead of making something up, "I don't know." She pointed at the waitress.
"You don't take the drink…" Regina shook her head, knowing now that her girlfriend was completely hopeless when it comes to relationships… but very, very trainable.
"Don't take the drink?" Emma and Ruby both looked taken aback.
Emma looked up at Ruby, "And we thought not accepting the rose was rude…" She looked at the mayor.
Regina rolled her eyes.
The door chimed and in walked the pixie-cut brunette, "Baby!" Ruby said excitedly as she skipped over to her and tried to kiss her.
Mary Margaret clamped four fingers on Ruby's mouth and her thumb on Ruby's chin, "No." She shook her head, "Not for you… not while you're in trouble. I'm here to get y dinner to go." She said as she dropped Ruby's face and walked to the diner to one of the other waitresses.
Ruby stood there for almost a full three minutes before she turned to look at her girlfriend, "Baby.." She walked over to her and sat down next to her, "I shouldn't have taken the flower." Ruby said cautiously, "It was bad."
Mary Margaret cocked an eyebrow, "You seem unsure…" the teacher in her came out.
"No! I know it was bad! I'm sorry! I won't do it again… ever… if it happens."
The shorter brunette looked around the diner and found three sets of eyes staring intently. She knew then and there that Regina and Emma must have talked about it and Emma told her what was wrong. She looked back to Ruby, "Why was it bad?"
"Because.. it was…" Ruby said.
Mary Margaret thanked the waitress that brought her order out to her and gave her a few bills, "Thank you, keep the change." She smiled then turned to Ruby, "Not… good enough… as soon as you know why it's bad, then you can come sleep in out bed, but until… you're just S.O.L. my love." She picked up her bag and walked out of the diner.
Ruby walked back over to Regina, Emma and Henry, "Can you believe that."
"Yes." Came from Regina and Henry. While "NO!" came from Emma.
Emma then turned to her son, "'Yes?'" She asked him, "You can believe that?"
"Well, yeah… I mean, it just happened, so I believe it… and I believe that Ruby—no offense, Ruby, but I believe that Ruby would do something silly to have to sleep on the couch, just like you do when you sleep in the guest bedroom…"
"SHHHH!" Emma slapped his arm lightly.
"Guest bedroom? Really?" Regina raised a brow.
"Whoops." Henry said deadpan as he saw his mother's reaction.
"UhhhhhhI love you?" Emma asked her girlfriend.
Regina could only smirk before she turned to Ruby, "Ruby dear, sit down and let's try to figure this out… I tend not to enjoy fighting so much when Emma isn't back in our bed by the next night…" She scooted into the booth more and let the brunette sit down.
After listening to Emma and Ruby sprout their 'I don't understand's and after Regina tried to answer each question to the fullest extent possible, Ruby locked up and the four people walked out of the now closer diner.
"Good luck, Ruby." Emma hugged her friend.
"Fingers crossed!" She showed them her fingers and walked to her and Mary Margaret's apartment.
Ruby walked in and kicked her heels off. She walked quietly up the stairs and found her girlfriend, back turned to the door. She stripped down to her skivvies and got in on her side of the bed. She wrapped her arms around Mary Margaret and started pecking her neck.
"What have you learned?" Mary Margaret asked.
"That accepting a drink and a flower at all, let alone 'our flower' is bad." She didn't let Mary Margaret ask why before she continued, "It's bad because it makes it seem like I am available to the giver and I'm not. It's also a slap in the face to you because I accepted something from someone that was a complete stranger that I should have only accepted from you… because flowers are for lovers, or broken-hearted friends, or funerals… they are not for strangers or to be accept by strangers for those reasons… they are intimate. They mean things… and when it's our flower… it means even more…"
"Wow! Well that was a very good recited answer…" Mary Margaret turned around and looked at Ruby, "But I'm just glad you understand…"
"You can tell me the reasons too… I don't have to go to the Mayor and the Sheriff when we get in fights…"
Mary Margaret leaned in and kissed Ruby, "I know" She said.
"Hey, you know what I realized?" Ruby asked as she and Mary Margaret got reacquainted.
"You and Regina are a lot more alike than you think you are… maybe that's why you butt heads all the time… Because… she was actually on your side… she was the one explaining everything, helping me understand…" When Ruby looked at her girlfriend's face, sudden fear came through her eyes, "Please don't make me sleep on the couch again!"
Regina and Emma were walking hand in hand back to the mansion with Henry in front of him, "You know what I just realized?"
"You and Mary Margaret… the woman you probably most dislike in this town, but have to tolerate because of little old me… you guys were on the same side for once…"
Regina turned and glared at Emma.
"Ohhhh!" Henry said ahead of them, "You are so on the couch-slash-in the guest room tonight!" He said as he turned around and started walking backwards.
Emma Henry a look then looked to Regina for confirmation of his words. She rolled her eyes at herself then remembered something. She dug into the inside of her jacket, "I love you!" Emma pulled a purple tulip from the secret breast pocket and handed it to the woman.
"Do you just keep a stash of them now? And then once they go bad, switch them out?" Henry asked with a smirk.
"Shut up, Henry!" Emma started chasing him.
Regina grinned as she smelled her tulip… it smelled more of her lover than anything else, and that was all fine… She was going to need it if she was going to send Emma to the couch.