"Wait," Emma says once her parents have taken off in the opposite direction. "Are you..." she grabs Regina's arm. "Are you actually okay? That thing-the wraith-should we be getting you checked out?"

"Well, your concern is touching," Regina mocks, as she strides ahead to open her office doors. "But I assure you, I'm fine."

"No need to be a bitch about it," Emma grouses, following Regina inside and holding her breath until the lightswitches are flipped and the monochrome masterpiece of a room comes fully into view. Emma can fault Regina on a number of things, not least her suffocating approach to motherhood, but there's no denying the woman can decorate.

"My head hurts," Regina sighs. "I hate headaches. There, happy now?"

"Where does it hurt?" Emma asks, all business as she steps in close once more. Without thinking she grasps Regina's head, the soft strands of dark hair bunching around the grip of her fingers as she explores for any sign of injury. "Do you think you might be concussed?"

"I think," Regina grumbles, grabbing Emma's wrists and jerking her hands away. "That nobody invited you to manhandle me, Miss Swan."

"I saw you get your soul sucked earlier," Emma points out. "Could we maybe, finally, cram it on the formalities?"

"As you wish, Emma," Regina says, looking around the office thoughtfully, but neglecting to release her grip on Emma's arms.

"That was pretty scary," Emma hears herself admitting. "And you know, I thought I was stuck fighting with David and Mary Margaret, not..."

"Spare me the tales of the Charming family reunion," Regina snaps, but it's more pained than bitchy.

"Hey, you try finding out your parents are secret fairytale badasses after twenty-eight years, see if you want to talk about it," Emma counters.

"I don't want to talk about parents," Regina says quietly, and Emma takes the hint. If Henry's been telling the truth this whole time, that means Regina really did kill her own father, and Emma has no idea what to do with that information.

"Do you have a plan B?" Emma asks, because she's finally (after a year of so many missteps) learning not to impulsively bet everything on the first idea that comes to mind. "I mean, if this doesn't work?"

"No," Regina admits, finally relinquishing her grip. "If this doesn't work, then..."

"You die?" Emma demands. "That is not okay. I don't accept that."

"I won't be dead, exactly," Regina says, her voice trembling just a little. "My body will live on, but without a soul."

"Kind of like a sleeping curse," Emma accuses.

"Yes," Regina admits, closing her eyes for just a moment. "A lot like a sleeping curse."

"You'd be gone," Emma says, reaching for Regina before she realizes what her hand is doing. "This could be the last conversation we have..."

"What are you-" Regina starts to ask, but she's silenced by Emma's kiss. Emma can't breathe, has no idea where this impulse came from but she knows she's been lying to herself for hours now (and who knows how much longer before that). She isn't keeping Regina alive for Henry; at least, that's not the only reason, and right now it isn't even the most pressing.

"Don't die," Emma mutters when they break for air. "Make your damn plan work, and stay alive, okay?"

"I'm trying," Regina grumbles, but this time she's pulling on long, blonde hair, drawing Emma into a kiss that feels a lot like one or both of them is going off to war at any moment; Emma wishes that were a hell of a lot further from the truth.

There are surfaces everywhere in this ridiculous room, with a sofa that probably cost more than Emma's apartment back in Boston. She can't decide where to steer them, content instead to let her hands roam beneath Regina's blazer, feeling Regina's cool touch beneath Emma's own leather jacket.

"This is ridiculous," Regina gasps as Emma backs her against the conference table that dominates the room. "They'll be back at any-"

"So we'll be quick," Emma promises, already slipping a hand inside Regina's blouse, which has been straining at the buttons since they locked Regina up in the first place, and Emma's been trying really hard not to stare in front of her parents.

"I don't want to be quick," Regina admits, her hand grasping now under Emma's black top, squeezing through the flimsy cotton of her bra. "I want-"

"So get through this," Emma says, breathing heavily now. "Get through this and we'll do it again, take our time."

"I thought you only ever did one night," Regina says, impatient fingers now moving to unbutton Emma's jeans.

"Didn't anyone ever tell you not to look a gift horse in the mouth?" Emma asks, before dipping her head to kiss the skin she's exposed by yanking Regina's shirt and bra aside. Seconds later she's teasing an already hard nipple with deft flicks of her tongue and Regina can't bite back the shuddering little moans.

"God," Regina gasps as Emma's mouth closes around the tight bud and sucks. It's nothing compared to the keening noise that falls from Regina's mouth when Emma bites down. "Is this the most ridiculous time you've done this?" Regina asks, seemingly without meaning to."

"Nope," Emma confirms, cupping Regina between her legs, pressing down with the heel of her hand.

"Really?" Regina asks. "There was a situation more ridiculous than this?" She pinches Emma's nipple to make the point, smirking at the hitch in Emma's breathing.

"Oh yeah," Emma says, nodding. "Not least the one that gave us a son."

"Oh," Regina says, but then Emma's undoing the button and zipper on Regina's pants, and slipping determined fingers beneath Regina's underwear, and suddenly it doesn't matter how long Regina's been stuck in these clothes, or how they're both hungry and badly need to sleep, because the adrenalin of doing this, of being together like this at last, is lighting them both up like goddamn fireworks.

"I'm sorry we have to hurry," Emma says, moving her fingers back and forth at a pace that makes Regina tremble along the entire length of her legs. "I just need..."

"I need it too," Regina confesses, clutching Emma closer to her, kissing in slightly frantic, erratic lines along her jaw, pushing aside that blonde hair to nuzzle Emma's neck while rocking harder and harder against Emma's hand.

When Regina comes, it's with a short, sharp cry. Emma feels the tension ebb out of the woman in her arms, withdrawing her fingers reluctantly but pausing to lick them experimentally.

"Very nice," Emma breathes. "I'm definitely going to want a round two sometime soon."

"But what about you?" Regina asks, not releasing the grip she has on Emma.

"Consider yourself on a promise," Emma says. "Now you really have to get rid of the cloak thing."

Regina laughs, still a little breathless. They freeze at the sounds of doors opening and closing somewhere in the hallway. Regina starts to fix her clothes, and Emma pulls away reluctantly, fumbling as she tries to button her jeans again. It's taken almost superhuman strength to resist letting Regina do the same to her, but time is already ticking away and Emma can't face Henry if she has to admit that some spooky flying curtain got his Mom because Emma was too busy getting it on with said Mom.

Regina struts over to one of the corners, retrieving a weird-shaped leather box and carrying it back to the table. She sets it down with care, lost in thought. Emma leans forward, disguising the slight tremble in her hands by laying them flat on the table. She notices the slight sheen of sweat at Regina's hairline, at the base of her neck, and smiles quickly to herself at the sight.

"Did Henry really ask you to protect me?" Regina asks, and Emma sees the doubt in her eyes now. If Regina assumes Emma had designs, had plans for a moment like that, it could well mean that Henry doesn't still care for the mother who raised him, and Emma understands now how thinking that could break a person's heart.

"Yes," she says simply, because the truth needs no embellishment. The smile-the genuine, radiant smile-Regina gives in return makes it all worth it. This moment, this day, this year of lies and insanity and dangers Emma can't even begin to name; it all feels worth it, if they can make it through this next part.

Regina pulls the hat from the box, and suddenly Emma understands the plan.