AN: I'll be putting the asks at the top of the chapters until I run out!
Anonymous asked you: This lovely new prison concept was brilliantly written! Please continue it! It's so intriguing I'd love to see where you would take that story!
PS this chapter is extra fluffy. The next couple chapters will be this way, but there will be drama-lama to come, I promise!
The rest of that first week panned out much the same way as the first couple days. Regina would walk Emma to her cell for lights out, and she would wake her first thing in the morning. They would walk back to her office, where Emma, if she felt the want to, would take a bath or a shower then take a morning nap—the couch was much more comfortable that the cot in her cell. After waking the second time, she'd walk to the window, look out at everyone and decide that she needed to go down for a while.
When she would get hungry, she would come back to Regina's office; Regina would either have lunch already and waiting, or she would give Emma a menu and let her decide. Regina had also made sure that Sidney was to never talk or scoff or glare or really anything at Emma for coming to her office. If possible, she would give him duties on the other side of the prison until she knew Emma was safe in her office.
Emma walked in, this particular day to Milli, frustrated hands on the Matron's desk, bent slightly to have the Matron's full attention, "I think that you need to understand what could happen if she stays here for too long!" The blonde guard hissed, "This will affect everyone! This is not just you changing! Everything is changing if you continue on the positively moral path you're on."
Regina was unimpressed as she looked up to Milli, "And what is so wrong with having morals?"
Milli laughed, "I don't know why he thought you'd be able to do it. Just because you're your mother's daughter doesn't mean that you're anything like her."
"I take that as a compliment." Regina leaned off to the side, having seen movement behind the blonde guard before her. She smiled over to the blonde inmate.
"Yes, you would, wouldn't you?" Milli knew Regina ignored her, so she waved in front of the Matron's face, "Have you thought about the consequences of this? What all will happen to you?"
Regina stood, walked around her desk and leaned deadly close to the guard, "Sometimes you do things and damn the consequences because they won't matter in the end."
Milli glared and if possible took a step closer, "You once told me that love is weakness. You remember that?"
Regina glared back, "I lied."
Milli turned to look at the inmate; Emma wasn't sure what kind of look it was. It was mixed with fear and fury. Milli kept her eyes trained on her for a moment before saying nothing and stalking out of the room.
"If I interrupted, you could've said… I'd have come back…" Emma started in as soon as Milli was gone.
"Nonsense." Regina waved her hands, "Come. Sit." She gestured to the couch, grabbed a menu and walked over herself. She gave the blonde the menu choices for the day and sat back against the corner couch, one arm atop the arm and one arm draping the back, eyes closed.
Emma took it, but didn't look right away. She stared at the Matron a moment, "Really, Regina… I could've—"
"You did me a favor." The brunette calmly interrupted. "I didn't want to be in that conversation to begin with. Interrupting us was a Godsend." She opened one of her eyes, "What would you like for lunch?"
Emma looked at the menu then back at the brunette, "I had a PB&J already."
Regina arched her brown high, "A PB&J?"
Emma smiled and looked down, "I didn't want you to think that I only came up here for your five-star cuisine." She shyly looked back up to the brunette.
Regina smiled, "I didn't think that that was the only reason you came up here… I thought you came up here for my bathtub as well…" She chuckled.
"Hey! You won't let me bathe with everyone else…" Emma pointed at her. She took in a short huff of air before she continued, "Which I can't thank you enough for! I hate communal showers." They both laughed for a moment before Emma sobered, "Those aren't the only reasons I come up here."
Regina nodded again, a twinkle in her eyes, "I know… You also like my couch. It's probably comfier than your cot."
Emma sighed, playfully frustrated, "That's not it either." She said with a yawn.
Regina nodded and stood up, "Sleep."
"Sleep." Regina softly commanded again.
Emma nodded and started to lay down, "You don't have to tell me twice."
Regina smirked, "Yes, apparently it's three times: Sleep." She quietly moved over to her desk to finish the paperwork she had been working on before Milli came in. She called down to her chef as soon as she knew Emma was sound asleep and asked for a PB&J of her own.
Once the chef came in quietly and gave her the sandwich and a few sides he decided they should have—he knew that Emma was up here because Regina Mills had never ordered something so simple in her life—he walked out without a second glance toward the sleeping girl. Regina made a mental note to give the chef a hefty bonus and a raise at the year's end.
She picked up her plate and walked over to the small space between the coffee table and couch. She didn't eat any of her chips, knowing that they would crunch and wake the blonde, but she did eat the fruit he provided and her sandwich. She turned a little so she was facing away from Emma's face and towards her belly.
She looked down at the plate she moved to her lap and picked at the crust on her bread, pulled some of it up and stuck it in her mouth, "I'll bet your first word is 'Mama.'" She spoke softly and looked to the belly. "I'll bet she gets your first steps on camera so you can see them when you're grown." She picked more at her bread, "I'll bet you'll be the best-looking of all the princes throughout your kingdom when this thing ends and we all go back." She bit her lip and blinked. That was the first time she had ever acknowledged the curse in this world. "I'll bet you're a good, charming prince like your grampa." She sighed as she did it once more. She didn't know why she was talking to the fetus, she just knew that it felt right… she knew that for once in her life, something felt right. She laid her head against the cushion, but made sure not to touch the blonde so she wouldn't rouse her. "I bet all the girls will want you; I'll bet you'll fight them off."
Emma woke up. Henry had been kicking and dancing like he did when he was excited; like he did when she talked to him. The last thing she was expecting to find was the brunette head of the warden of the prison leaning against the couch as she talked to the baby inside her belly.
Regina wanted to touch her belly, but refrained, "I'll bet that more than anything else in life you'll fight for love, you'll marry for love and you'll live for love."
It felt to Emma like Henry just did a flip from excitement at that. It also felt like Regina might be opening up more to her unborn child than to her… and she couldn't help but want to stay still a little longer.
"I'll bet that your mother is there for you, that she'll put you above all else, that she'll make sure that you are wanted… I'll bet that she is the reason you decide to do everything for love. I'll be she finds the greatest father for you… or the greatest second mother in the case of the woman we're talking about—sorry to be so frank, but she said it earlier this week, not me… But, I bet that they set the example of the life you want for yourself…"
Emma couldn't help her hand as she felt it move for Regina's scalp. But she didn't regret it as her fingers landed in the soft tresses and started running along the length of her locks. She didn't even regret it when Regina turned around with a jump to look at her. She really didn't regret when that happened actually because when that happened, their eyes automatically locked on each other.
Neither dared to look away. They let the intensity of this unmasked stare go on for as long as possible, which as fate would have it was not long enough, or even long at all.
Sidney started wrapping on the door, "Matron Mills, you're needed right away in the square. It's The Captain and Jefferson."
Regina's jaw jut to the side as she tore away and stared at the door, "I'll be right down, Sidney." She looked back up to Emma, "The Captain—he doesn't go by his real name and makes everyone call him that," She gave her a look, "And Jefferson, are two of our…. Less stable inmates. I really need to go see what's happened."
Emma nodded, "Alright." Her voice was hoarse for a reason she couldn't say.
Regina swallowed a gulp then leaned over her stomach to have a private moment with Henry, "I'll bet… No, I shouldn't bet for this… More than anything, I hope and wish that I get to be a good part of your life, Henry. More than anything I hope to be a good part of someone's life… Even if I am nothing more than an evil witch." She couldn't have stopped herself if she wanted to from leaning down and kissing Emma's stomach. Before quickly getting up, grabbing her 'Matron-Mills-important-BAMF' garb and hurrying away.
Emma wished more than anything that she had been able to hear what Regina said. Henry seemed to be pretty happy about the whole thing, and that gave her a fluttering sensation all over. Knowing that she hadn't taken advantage of the tub that morning, she decided to take advantage of the tub now.
She spread the salts and scents in the warm water before she got in and relaxed. She splayed her hand on her stomach and felt the same reaction from her son that Regina got earlier, that only she had ever gotten before today. She didn't know if she believed in signs and she didn't know if that even was a sign, but somewhere in the back of her mind a thought—that would spur on more and more thoughts—quickly made its way passed everything else: what if it was a sign? What would life be like if she were doted on by Regina for more than just a few more weeks; what if she were doted on even after Henry came out; what if she got to keep Henry and Regina was there to help her; what if Regina was there to sooth her and give her an extra pair of hands?
The thoughts were almost too much because they quickly led to the beginnings of fantasies of happily-ever-afters. She didn't want to stop them right away like she normally did. Instead she left everything relax her sore back and hips.
Regina returned as quickly as she could. She knew that she was about to blow her lid as Sidney… it was nothing that he couldn't handle himself. And she wanted to talk with Emma about what she heard, if anything incriminating, and what that stare meant. But, she wasn't in her office. She needed to splash some water on her face at the very least to try and literally cool herself off.
She twisted the knob angrily and took half a step in before seeing the blonde in the tub, very, very naked, with no covering whatsoever. She saw everything. And she couldn't take her eyes off. After unabashedly looking every inch of the pregnant inmate over, she reached the blonde's eyes.
Emma on the other hand, seemed to freeze and not think to cover herself up. She didn't know if she was going to be in trouble for not asking permission, but when Regina looked at her… She knew it wasn't necessarily her that was in trouble.
Their gazes locked once more and this was when she realized that she should've averted her eyes. She looked down and covered her eyes with her hand, "I am so sorry."
Emma had never been one for good timing with her jokes, and this was no exception. She tilted her head curiously and said, "Once would think, with the look you just gave me, that you have a thing for pregnant chicks."
Regina took her hand from her eyes, turning candy apple red as she blushed furiously, all the while shaking her head vehemently, "NO!" She started, "No I…" She gulped and walked forward, "I just wasn't expecting to find you there, naked in my tub at this time of day…" She sat down, crisscross applesauce and started picking at the strands of carpet on the bathmat, "I… I don't have a thing for pregnant women." She knit her brows and shook her head a few times more before feels herself flush even more as she just barely gets out, "Though I do have a thing for beauty…" She refused to look at the blonde inmate and focused on the bathmat.
Emma couldn't help the awkward, embarrassed chuckle that came from her before she said, "You're blushing." She watched as the brunette only focused even more intently on the rug and decided to say what she was thinking to see if the brunette would even catch it, "If you have a thing for beauty I'm really, really surprised that you're not vain…"
Regina knit her brows confusedly, but still refused to look at the blonde.
Emma smiled at this reaction. She turned a bit on her side and leaned forward so that her chin rested against he porcelain lip of the lip of the tub, "I'm surprised you're not vain because you said you had a thing for beauty, and if I were you, I'd be looking at myself in the mirror all the time."
This made Regina looked up questioningly, her brows still knit.
Emma swallowed and made sure that she had Regina's eyes before she continued, "I think you are the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." She was the one to now avoid eye contact as Regina looked at her.
The brunette smiled. She dared to do what she wanted for once; she scooted as close to the tub as possible, took Emma's face in her hands and kissed her forehead, "Take your time in here." She spoke softly, "I'm going to go for a walk." She walked out to her office and saw the time. Dealing with Sidney on top of dealing with The Captain and Jefferson and talking to Henry and the stare and the other stare and… the entire bathroom thing took longer than she thought it had. She called down to the chef and asked him for a dinner in the garden before she darted to said garden to try and think.
Emma sat there for a moment or two longer. She knew where the brunette was going to go, but hearing the brunette confirm her words to the chef on the phone only brought a smile to her face. She didn't want to take her time in the bath when the Matron had just fricken kissed her!… Granted it was her forehead, but it was still a kiss! She got out, dried off and dressed as quickly as possible.
She headed straight for the garden. She didn't see her there at all, but knew that she had to be on the other side of the large trunk of the apple tree. She cautiously made her way over and around to see that Regina was in fact leaning her back against the tree. She bit her lip, deciding on if she wanted to tell Regina this bit of information before she ultimately decided that she deserved to know, "You know… Henry has only ever kicked for me."
Regina nodded then tried to look away from Emma. Emma's hand grabbing the inside of her elbow held her in place though.
"When I woke up this afternoon to you… talking to him… he was responding to you. He was excited because of your voice. He likes you."
The brunette turned to look at Emma not knowing what to say.
Emma smiled, "I think he likes you because you were the first person I've been around that's relaxed me since I got knocked up… You're the only person that's ever relaxed me actually…"
Regina looked down at Emma's protruding orange belly and smiled. She blinked and looked to see a drop of water land on Emma's stomach; she realized it was from her and was tears though. She wiped her face quickly not knowing why she was crying to begin with. She swallows the lump in her throat as she actually does know why she was crying. She just knows that she can't tell her. She stared at the wet droplet on the orange jumpsuit before finally looking up at the blonde, "You are the only person that has ever made me feel so strongly so fast." She turns away and looks at the yellow-orange haze that covered the sky, "I've always been a… a passionate person, but I've never been happy for too long." She paused as she contemplated her next words, "You scare me."
"I scare you?" Emma asked more as a prompting for the brunette to go on if she could.
She placed her hands on the trunk behind her for cushion on her tailbone, "You are the most beautiful thing I've ever seen…" She mumbled the repeated words to the blonde. "I've only known you a week. I mean that's nothing; that's a blink of an eye…" She shook her head, "But already in this blink that's gone by, I don't know what the hells gonna happen to me when you leave me… when you leave the prison."
Emma smiled and placed her hand on the brunette's cheek, "Regina… I like to think I'll have reasons to come back…" She put her finger over the brunette's lips, "And it won't be for your couch or your five-star cuisine or your tub." She grinned and inhaled then looked back to where the table was to see food laid out, "Although I do love your chef and his five-star cuisine…"
She pulled one Regina's arm and linked their fingers together as she led them to the table. They had a lovely dinner, though it might have been a bit awkward—a good awkward; neither of them were women that shared their feelings. So that was a feat in itself. They talked a long time in the garden. It was well passed lights out when they realized the time.
Emma heaved herself up, refusing Regina's help, and before they opened the door to go back inside, Emma stopped her. She leaned up and placed a peck to her lips. Regina barely understood what just happened and by the time she completely processed that had just been kissed for the first time by someone that actually wanted to kiss her in 20 years, Emma was halfway down the hall. She quickly ran after her and took the blonde's hand, as she usually did to lead her to her cell. They both knew that this time, there was something electrically different in the fact that they were holding hands, and they were both excited about it.