Emma stalked into Archie's office that evening. She had already had a day and just wanted to see her son before she had to go home and be alone—Mary Margaret was at David's that night, so she was really going to be all alone. She had gotten into a tussle on the job that day and she could feel the soreness already set in on her left shoulder from where she landed on the ground just barely tackling the dumbass to the ground—Who the hell tries to steal when the fucking Sheriff is in the place? She thankfully had been wearing her jacket so there was no road rash, but she knew it was going to bruise.

She'd had just enough time to change into a V-neck before heading Archie's way, and she was glad because she had a feeling that by the time she walked into her apartment again, she'd do nothing but pop some Tylenol and go to sleep. She smiled at first when she got out of her car. She was going to pick Henry up from his session, but when she saw the Mercedes parked out front, she was already breathing fire, "What the hell are you doing here?" She said when she got into the room.

Regina turned around in a calm, cool, collected manner, "I'm picking up my son, Dear."

"We agreed that I would pick him up from his sessions! I hardly get to see the kid as it is!" Emma spat at him.

Regina burst back hotly, "You're lucky I allow you to see him at all! He is my son! You gave him up as soon as the umbilical cord was cut!"

"I didn't have another choice! I was 18! Irresponsible, and I knew I couldn't take care of a kid on my own!"

"So why start now?"

Archie had been staring at Henry as soon as Emma walked through the door… He saw the myriad of emotions—as he always did—before Henry composed himself. He'd been planning something as a last straw, and he knew it was time to enact it. He stood up and went to his drawer. He pulled out a pair of handcuffs and walked over to both mothers. He took a deep breath as he took Emma's right wrist and slapped one cuff, then Regina's left and slapped the other.

Regina and Emma both stopped mid argument and looked down. "Archie?" Emma raised a brow.

"I'm sorry that it's come to this, but you've brought it upon yourselves. Now… You two can come by tomorrow afternoon at two o 'clock until then… You will have to learn to get along."

"This is preposterous! We get along fine!" Regina interjected, "Now uncuff me!"

"I'm sorry Madam Mayor, but you don't get along fine. Look at your son. Does he look happy to you?"

Emma and Regina both looked at his miserable face… and they both knew it was due to their fighting, "No."

"So. I'll see you tomorrow." He led them to the door, "Henry? Good luck."

As they walked outside, Emma started for her car and Regina for hers. Quickly their arms stretched too far and they crashed back into each other, "Do you honestly think we're taking your… thing back to my home?"

"Well seeing as my right arm is the one that's cuffed I figured I'd be driving…"

"Why would you drive?"

"Because it would be easier for me than you. You'll be cross armed and that's just a hazard waiting to happen." Emma smart-mouthed.

"Just get in my damn car." Regina ordered, "Henry? Backseat."

"Yes mom." He said as he got in behind the driver's side.

Regina opened the driver's door and yanked her left arm so Emma couldn't eve try to protest, "Get in."

Emma was right… it probably would have been easier for her to drive than Regina, but the brunette refused to get in that yellow piece of trash and she refused to let Emma drive her car.

When they got to the mansion, Henry scurried off and ran up to his room immediately. He left the door open for his mothers, but it took them a while before they were out, "Come on, Sheriff! Honestly! How long does it take for one to exit a vehicle?"

"When you're handcuffed to an impatient bitch, it takes time!" Emma growled as she tried to slither out from her seat… Regina already got out and refused Emma any slack for wiggle room.

At the word 'bitch' Regina yanked the cuffs once more and Emma fell ungracefully from the car. She scrambled to get up and stared at the brunette angrily, "What the hell, Regina?"

"I will not be called a bitch on my own property."

"Then stop being one then I'd stop calling you one!" She paused and yanked her arm so Regina fell forward, "Tell me it's not a bitch move now!" She said as she watched the brunette pick herself back up.

"Alright! That's it! I am done with you!" Regina seethed, "No more talking! No more doing anything unless it's to say, 'I'm moving my arm'!"

"Fine with me!" Emma glowered.

"Alright!" Regina kicked her door closed, "Inside and to the kitchen. I need to make dinner." Emma turned silently and let her lead the way.

Emma had been standing quietly next to Regina and let the woman do what she wanted…well, do what she needed to get the dinner ready. She felt like her arm was about to fall off with the jerky movements she made, but the pain, or more so, the annoyance of it didn't register… the woman was fucking marvelous… Watching her… watching her hands as they moved about, chopping, slicing, kneading… it was amazing... and she was fascinated.

"Make yourself useful, Sheriff." Regina turned and handed her two wine glasses and a bottle of wine.

Emma, realizing she was still one-handed at the moment, stuck the cork in her mouth and spat it on the counter. When she heard Regina hiss in disgust she turned, "I normally would use my other hand, but I didn't want it to get in the way."

Regina looked at the limp hand attached to hers and back up as if she'd forgotten as well, "Well it seems you've proven that you can make a horrible situation tolerable."

That was the only thing either woman said to each other throughout the rest of the cooking. Emma watched Regina…well her hands… with fascination and drank wine. And the mayor… well it was hard to forget how cooperative Emma was at that time and it was hard to forget that she was trying to give as much movement to the mayor as physically possible. She would glance at the limp hand every so often and glance at the spat on cork then immediately return to the pizza she was creating…

She was fascinated that Emma had topped off her wine for her while she put the pizza in the oven one-handedly. "Thank you." The blonde said nothing; she only shrugged, "I usually catch up on reading at this time…"

Emma only nodded and stuck her hand out to Regina to give her lead. Regina unconsciously took Emma's hand and thread their fingers together as she walked them to the living room…

Emma, on the other hand—pun intended—was completely conscious of this action… but she didn't feel the need to undo it… It was actually nice having a hand to hold… the last hand that wasn't her son's that she held… and wasn't a guy she was tricking whilst being a bail-bondsperson was her girlfriend after she gave Henry up… then before that it was the rat bastard she called a boyfriend that knocked her up with Henry… Every time she's held a hand it's revolved around her son… and every time, for a while, it's felt comforting… but this time felt more than that… she didn't know what else it was, but it was more.

As Regina grabbed her book and reading glasses from the end table she became conscious that she was holding Emma's hand. Scared, she wanted to release it, but then she realized that Emma was holding hers as well… and it felt nice. She hadn't felt so… content and comfortable in ages. They sat on the couch together and Regina looked at the large pillow on the other side of the blonde.

"Um, I usually—" Emma had seen her pointed look and grabbed the pillow then placed it on her lap, "Thank you… it's closer to the light."

"Yeah, no… I know." Emma nodded, "Is it alright, Madam Mayor, if I lay on it as well, seeing as I have nothing else to do but snooze until dinner is ready?"

"Of course." Did I just sound excited?

Did she just use excitement? Is that the tone that just came from her? Emma didn't comment, she just lay on her cuffed arm, bending it back so Regina had some leeway. She realized that after yanking each other around in the front yard, they had grown pretty accustomed to the fact that they were cuffed. That was her last thought for a while before deft fingers started combing through her hair in the most relaxing of ways.

She had been ignoring the pain in her shoulder—more than likely the adrenaline and the whole being pissed off about being cuffed to the sexy, mean, elegant, rude, regal, backstabbing, amazing, horrible, loving mother and mayor enigma of a woman. But when she was jostled awake by the very woman on said shoulder, it came rushing back. She turned into the pillow and winced and sucked in a tight breath.

"Sheriff?" Regina carefully moved her feet from under the pillow, not moving the blonde too much and sat forward trying to see her face, "Are you alright?"

"Mhmm." She groaned. "Fine." She turned her face to look at the brunette.

Regina narrowed her brows… this was the same look she'd seen on Henry dozens of times… every time he felt like he had to hide his pain when he didn't… of course, all she'd ever had to do was say, "You're really fine?" before he'd come running into her arms, but that was before… before this abrasive, sexy, rude, lovely, domineering, nice, arrogant, beautiful mother and sheriff enigma of a woman came into their lives' and ruined it all… or is helping them make it better… she couldn't be sure. But what she was sure of was that she'd seen this look before and Emma was not fine.

"No you're not." She said as she lifted the sleeve of the sheriff's shirt. There she found the darkness of part of and obviously rather large bruise, "Oh my God!" Regina said as she lifted Emma's collar to see it better, "What the hell is this? Where… When did you get this?"

Emma scrunched up again then looked at the mayor, "Just after my shift ended actually… I was at the convenience store, going to get some Swedish Fish because I had a hankering for them all day, when this idiot decides he's going to rob the place with me inside… So… I had to run him down, and during the tackle," She took a breath as she paused, "I kind of fell too…" She shrugged.

"We need to get you to the hospital."

"No we don't… I've had my shoulder broken, dislocated, everything… It's fine; it's just sore…"

"Have you taken anything?"

"No…" At Regina's face she explained, "I was going to after I brought Henry home… Tylenol, or really ibuprofen of any kind tends to knock me out… may me really drowsy… and tonight—"

"Was your night to have him so you've been in pain this whole time…" Emma nodded, "And I yanked you out of my car!" Regina put her free hand on her face.

Emma didn't know where this… human came from, but she liked it, "It's okay."

The timer beeped again and Emma untangled herself from the pillow and Regina's lap and stood up, pulling Regina along. Regina took the pizza out and added the cheese before, after one more glance at the obviously pained blonde, she moved to her drawer with dishtowels then to her freezer. She grabbed a package of peas and placed it delicately on her shoulder almost as if she were hugging the blonde, "If you won't take ibuprofen until after Henry goes to bed the least we can do is numb it…" She provided as she looked up and realized just how close she and Emma were.

"Thanks…" Emma was staring at Regina, her eyes were darting all over her, but never leaving. First her eyes, then mouth, then nose, then ears, then neck, then… collar, then mouth again and nose and eyes again.

"Of course… I'm the evil queen in Henry's book Sheriff, not real life."

Emma stared directly into her eyes, "No you're not."

"Excuse me?"

"You're the evil queen in his book… and if you are, the book's wrong." Emma's gaze moved to her lips.

"Emma are you okay?" Henry asked as he moved into the kitchen. He could only see his mom holding the cloth-wrapped peas on her shoulder.

Emma turned around, crossing her right arm as Regina stayed behind her, still holding the ice pack, "Yeah kid… just got a little rough at work today… but the food's almost ready so you're just in time." She said.

"Yes, in fact, can you hold this, Sheriff?" Regina indicated the coldness on Emma's shoulder. Emma just took it with the hand of the injured shoulder and barely kept it where it was suppose to be. She and Regina moved to the oven, "I believe it is finished… Henry will you set the table for us?"

"Sure, Mom."

Henry got them all drinks and set the table while Regina cut the pizza. He brought the plates over to easily serve then brought each of them back to the table so his mother's, in their limited state, wouldn't have to.

They actually had pleasant conversation throughout dinner and they sat at the table up until 9:30… Emma's 'ice pack' had become useless and the pain was coming back. Henry looked at the time and excused himself to finish his homework then go to bed, "Goodnight, mom. Goodnight, Emma."

"Goodnight, Henry."

"'Night kid."

Regina turned to Emma, "Are you willing to take ibuprofen now?" She asked.

"Please." Emma nodded.

"There's some in my bathroom upstairs, let's go." She said. They made their way upstairs after Regina shut off all the lights and turned the alarm on. They walked into the bedroom and Regina started speaking again, "So… this is where we'll be sleeping."

"Plush." Emma commented with large eyes as she took in the heavenly looking bed.

"Yes well… one should be comfortable while sleeping, shouldn't they?"

Emma nodded, "Yes."

"And if you please, the bathroom is through here." She led her inside to white, immaculate, five-star hotel like bathroom. Regina went to the medicine cabinet and pulled the bottle of ibuprofen down and a second glass as well. She let the sink run for a moment, "The water is colder after a few seconds…" She explained.

Emma though, immediately crossed her legs where she stood, "The water also makes me realize how bad I have to pee…"

Regina turned to Emma with fright… she hadn't even thought about using the restroom or showering or anything like that, "Oh dear God…" She muttered to herself as she handed the blonde her medicine and glass, "Okay… We can… figure this out."

"This is gonna be so awkward…" Emma stated for them both.

"No!... Well… yes, but…" She shook her head, "I'll just stand turned around next to you and you can… do what you need to do…"

"Right… cool." Emma nodded as she walked to the toilet, "But uh… I'm gonna need both hands to get my jeans down.."

Regina shook her head, "I knew those were going to be hard to get off. Ever since we met, though, 'How the hell does she get out of those? They're skin tight…' I mean, I understand that they're pleasurable for the eyes, but honestly Sheriff…"

"Was that a scolding way to tell me that you like my ass in these jeans?" Emma countered playfully… this wonder bottle of ibuprofen was doing wonders already… she was feeling a lot better, but wasn't in a foul disposition as per usual.

Regina opened and closed her mouth a couple times, "No, I was just… saying… I was going to offer a pair of more comfortable bottoms, if that's alright, that way, if you have to go again… I won't have to know the truly intimate details…"

Emma smirked, "If it's all the same I sleep in my skivvies, so… I can just leave 'em off if that's alright."

Regina knew that Emma was probably telling the truth… but she also knew that this was a challenge… the Sheriff was prodding to see how much she could take.

"Sheriff I don't care if you sleep buck ass naked, I just don't want this whole restroom situation to become an issue…"

"I keep my jeans off then." Emma said as she moved to her ankle high boots and slipped them from her feet before undoing her pants.

A few minutes later, Emma was washing her hands and the mayor was looking anywhere but in the mirror at Emma… she was also moving from side to side, "You have to go now too."

"Unfortunately."

"Alright… same deal, but reverse."

Another few minutes later Regina was good to go as well, "Now, Sheriff, I have a nightly routine and I do hope you let me do it before that medicine gets too much?"

Emma was already yawning, "Sure but get to it 'cause there are no guarantees that I won't just pull you onto that little piece of heaven you have there and pass out."

Regina nodded, "Part of my nightly routine is to put on pajamas and not sleep in my clothes of the day." Regina sat at her vanity and pulled a pair of thread scissors from her sewing kit and started cutting her left sleeve and side.

Emma who was still looking longingly at the bed turned slowly, "Regina, I don't think you really have a choice—What did you just do?" Her eyes were wide as the woman had just cut off her shirt.

"I'm not planning on wearing it again Sheriff, don't worry…" She threw the shirt in the garbage and stood to go to her dresser. She pulled a nightie out that opened from the left side. She silently thanked the lord that Archie had cuffed that hand then put it on. After it was on, she took off her strapless bra she had been wearing as well as her slacks. She put them in her hamper then moved back to the bathroom to take her make-up off.

Emma had gotten over her shock by this point, "You just… cut the damn shirt off! What are you gonna do for tomorrow before we see Archie?"

"Simple, I have a dress that opens from the left." Regina turned to her as she cleaned her face.

Emma looked, no stared into Regina's very soul, "You amaze me… half of the time it's not good amazement, but you… fucking amaze me."

Regina stared back then turned to finish with her face, "You must be a light weight with medicine, that has to be the pain reliever…"

"Nah… I figure we're stuck like this for a reason; might as well get something off my chest…" At the word 'chest', Emma's gaze traveled to the mayor's.

"Sheriff?"

"Huh?" Her gaze didn't move for a good minute, and when it did move it went to Regina's lips.

"You were staring."

"Well… I tend to stare at beautiful things…" She looked back into Regina's eyes, "And no matter how damaged you are, or how damaged you become, you, Regina, mayor of Storybrooke. You are beautiful."

Regina swallowed hard and looked to Emma's lips, "Thank you." She said in a shy tone.

"You're welcome." Emma started to yawn, "Bed?"

"Excuse me?" Regina's eyes popped back up to Emma's

"Can we go to bed? I'm about to fall asleep on my feet…"

"Oh.. right… yes."

Regina led them to bed. She got in first then let Emma crawl in and minded the blonde's shoulder as much as possible. Emma tenderly put her left arm under her pillow and laid her head down swiftly letting sleep succumb.

Regina stayed up a while longer… no one had ever called her beautiful… not even her own parents… Gorgeous was the word they used… She knew she was fair, but no one had ever called her beautiful before… not even her true love… At this thought she wondered if he was her true love or just her first love that, of course, was true, but not her true-true love. She glanced over to the blonde's face… She called me beautiful… she called me amazing… She got knots in her stomach at this thought… the happy knots.

She turned to her side and stared over the blonde's form, her face looked like she was feeling discomfort, she was about to wake her up when the blonde spoke a single word…err, almost all of a word, "R'gina…" this halted all movement… she was frozen, "Ihurrrr!"

Regina bit her lip… What hurt? And what was she supposed to do about it?

"Babe." Emma scrunched her face then started almost yelling, "Come b'ck!"

"I'm right here." She didn't even feel like it was her saying the words… they were out before she even processed she spoke.

"Good." Emma calmed, "It hurts." Emma then jerked awake before Regina could respond. She saw Regina awake, "Was I talking in my sleep again?"

"Umm… mumbling more so…" was Regina's answer.

Emma shook her head, "That position is not working… not when I move so that I'm directly over my shoulder at least… Do you mind if I turn over?"

"No, just…" Emma waited for Regina to speak… she had no other choice, "Just… in the language of our son a happily ever after…" She grinned then turned and laid so it was like she was scratching her back with her right arm, giving Regina a little bit of tug room… it was a little uncomfortable, but she'd already fallen asleep that way once that night.

"That can't be comfortable." Regina moved their arms so that her left was draped around Emma and Emma's arm was under her the way normal sleeping limbs are under a person.

"Is this not awkward for you?"

"I'm actually wildly comfortable…" Regina answered softly, then whispered in Emma's ear, "Babe."

Emma's eyes burst open, "You uh… you heard that, huh?"

"Yes…" Regina scooted closer to Emma, "So what was going on in this happily ever after?"

"You know… the usual… I guess what's going on in anyone's happily ever after…" Emma started, "I hurt my shoulder again on the job, and came home to my beautiful wife… She tended to me and made pizza for me and Henry and herself… we had words—because we're both firecrackers and think we're the stink on cheese, so fights of passion are bound to happen… She started walking away, but I yelled for her to come back… the fight was over with an amazing kiss...and of course make-up words… then we went to bed… then my shoulder started hurting and I woke up…"

"And your wife in this dream…" Emma audibly swallowed as Regina whispered in her ear, "Her name?"

"Did you hear it and now you're testing me to see if I admit that I have a secret burning passion for you?" Regina didn't answer that, she only moved so she was hovering over Emma. They stared for a minute, "I'm not scared to admit that if we could somehow change the fighting into love we'd have the most kickass relationship of anyone here… I'm scared to know your feelings on the matter."

Regina leaned down a little more so that they were mere millimeters apart, "These handcuffs… they really did do what Archie wanted them, didn't they?"

"I don't know what Archie was wanting from them…"

"Archie wanted us to get along… and… ever since we walked inside this house, we've done only that… We got a taste of what could be and now we both want it… at least, based on what you told me I think you do… and based on how I feel right now, I know I do…"

Emma launched her head up and captured Regina's lips with her own. They didn't pull away for what felt like hours… glorious, awesome hours, "Damn… we should have done that after our first fight…" Emma said out of breath.

"Indeed… we wouldn't have wasted so much time…" Regina whispered out.

"No we wouldn't have.." Emma swallowed, her eyes closed slowly the shot back open.

"Go to sleep." Regina kissed her again.

"But I want…" Regina kissed her hard once more.

"Go to sleep." She commanded this time.

Emma rolled back onto her side, and Regina scooted closer behind her and held her tighter.

The next morning… after Regina changed from her nightie into her dress and got ready—looking as elegant as ever, and of course after Emma jumped repeatedly until her jeans were on, she and Emma, laced fingers, stopped by Henry's doorway before school and told him that they were going to go to Dr. Hopper's.

"But he said not until 2!" Henry ran to the top of the stairs after processing what his mom said.

"We're going to see if he can make an exception seeing that we both have jobs, the job he put these things on for is done and Emma's shoulder is in pain…" Regina looked up from the foyer.

Henry looked down and saw their hands… he said nothing. He only shrugged and went back to get his backpack, "I'm coming too." He called as he ran down the stairs.

The three of them walked down the street, waving at passers by but not noticing their stares as they saw the joined hands of the sheriff and the mayor.

They walked into Archie's office, starling him to say the least. They shoved the handcuffs in his face, "Please." Regina asked.

"And thank you." Emma added.

Archie looked between both women then down to Henry, "Is this an act?"

Henry shook his head, "I think they're in love or something… they were holding hands all morning and the entire trip over here…" He whispered.

Archie raised his brows, "Well then ladies… I'm glad that cuffs helped… No more fighting?" He asked as he took the cuffs off.

Emma and Regina both rubbed the wrists that had been cuffed. Emma 'pffd' before saying, "Of course we're gonna fight… there's no kickass in relationship without fighting…"

"But we're going to work on actual fighting and arguments… and just what we argue over will be completely different…"

"No arguing over Henry?"

"No… just like… kickass relationship arguing like, 'do the dishes!' 'no, you do them!' 'do them or else you're in trouble!' 'yes ma'am'… things like that…"

"That's kickass relationship fighting?" Henry asked like it was the dumbest thing he'd ever heard.

"Yes the dishes…"Regina started with a tone as she turned to the blonde, "And how dare you put those words in our son's vocabulary!" She gave her the death glare.

Emma turned completely around so that her bad shoulder was closest to Regina, "Please don't put me in time out already…" She jutted her bottom lip, "I'm hurt already."

Regina's eyes softened and she smiled a small, genuine smile. She turned the blonde back around and leaned into her, taking Emma's right hand in her left, "Thank you Dr. Hopper." She gave him a genuine smile as well before she turned for the door.

"See?" Emma said as she turned to Archie and Henry, who was walking behind her, "Kickass relationship."

And as word spread around town of the newly developed pair, and as time went by, everyone decided that a 'kickass relationship' was exactly what it was.