Disclaimer: These characters are not my creative property
Summary: "No. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes seek out the things you want?" ~Hannibal Lector
It started from the moment Emma Swan appeared on her doorstep. Regina verbalized her first thought as she took in the woman before her with disbelief and trepidation, "You're Henry's birth mother?"
She scanned her from head to foot, filing away the obvious and subtle similarities in their genetics: Round faces, high cheekbones, prominent chins. In their subsequent meetings and fights, she caught herself again and again thinking, comparing, wondering…looking.
At first it was innocent, and her thoughts probably mirrored what any adoptive parent might wonder. She had always been curious about Henry's mother, and when Emma stood before her, eyes storming in anger, she imagined what she would have looked like as a young teenager, hugely pregnant. Did she carry Henry high and tight, or was her belly round and low? Did she rub her stomach and speak softly to her unborn child? Or, knowing that she would give him up: did she do her best to ignore the growing human inside of her and go about her day? Had she ever felt she had a choice in the matter at all?
Did Emma have a C-section or a natural birth? Were there scars, tattoos, birthmarks peppering Emma's body like a map of her life? Regina tried not to care about Emma. She tried to stop thinking about her, but every time she confronted the woman her eyes had a mind of their own, tracing over her curves and darting back up to seek the untold answers to her musings.
Regina began to take note of Emma's physical strength. She caught herself lingering on Emma's flexing arms when she wielded the chainsaw cutting off a branch of Regina's tree.
Her eyes continued to betray her again and again, unable to keep them off of her nemesis. Every time they met she found herself standing closer, looking a little longer. Drinking in the details, and letting her mind fill in the unseen.
At night, the time when Regina let her worries whoosh in like water breaking a dam, unbidden thoughts of Emma would drift into her head. She pictured her during different events in Emma's various life events. How did Emma like to make love? Did she like to be in control, or was she passive, letting her partner dominate? Regina wondered about how she kissed and how she liked to be kissed. Did she express her pleasure vocally through moans and verbal encouragements? What did she look like when she reached climax?
The knowledge that she was of Snow White's lineage begged an entirely new set of questions. A new anger seethed inside of Regina. A new form of hate for the woman grew, but with it also came a new desire. She wanted to test Emma, push her: physically and mentally.
The thoughts grew with each glance, each touch the other woman bestowed on her. The time at the mines- when Henry was trapped: A hand on her arm to get her attention, a hand on her back to let her know it was going to be okay. Looking was one thing, but touching threw Regina off kilter. When Regina felt off balance she lashed out.
Emma had rescued her from the fire. They had held hands, and embraced in desperation. Regina had asked, no, plead- for help. Emma had shown mercy.
A realization now troubled her. At first she thought it was her own overactive imagination, but over and over she confirmed her suspicions. The implications frightened her: Emma was always looking back at her. Matching her intensity and meeting her gaze, unfaltering.