Title: Dinner With the In-Laws
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairings: Swan Queen
Spoilers: I don't know anymore.
Summary: "One, they are not my wife and the Mother of my children. I want Henry and Addy to have you in their memories for these dinners. Plus, we're not going out to a family dinner while you're at home sulking. Two, Dad doesn't mind you being there anymore." Emma grinned as Addy let go of her hand and raced to Snow and James' apartment as it came into view Henry not far behind her.
Author's Note: Whoa, I've been gone a long time. Oops? Here's another bedtime story, guest staring the Charmings. Prompt from Tumblr: Please write more of the Bedtime Series. I really love them. Thanks!
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
The clouds moved gently above them. The cool breeze that ruffled their clothing and dwindled the leafs, shifted, easing the puffs of white in a different direction. A whistling from the air dancing in between a socket of wood sounded in the empty street that surrounded them and they could almost make believe that the world around them didn't exist and they were completely and utterly alone in the realm which they took claim to.
Regina sighed into the apple pie and it wasn't until Henry tapped her did she realize that wisps of smoke rose from her mouth.
Adeline giggled from her spot next to Emma. "Mommie dragon!" She made claws with her hands and swiped at the air while trying to growl, and failing adorably. Emma rolled her green eyes and frowned at Regina.
"Maleficent isn't going to babysit anymore."
Regina blew the rest of the grey-ish purple smoke that curled in her lungs, meeting her wife's green eyes as she did so. Emma raised an eyebrow, in a very Regina Mills fashion Henry noted. Regina frowned, switching the hand that supported her lower back and the one that balanced the magically summoned apple pie. "Do we really have to go?" The brunette was well aware that there was a distinct whine in her voice, but she didn't care.
She hated these dinners with her mother-in-law. James was nice to talk to, but they all knew that the minute he spoke more than three sentences to her that he would be on the couch for however long Snow decided he deserved it. No amount of talking could get the White Queen to let up, something that pissed Emma off, yet Regina understood. She took everything away from the young woman that was her ex-step-daughter and she expected nothing less than with what she was receiving.
Didn't mean she liked going to her dinners though.
"Yes. We only do these family dinners a few times a year and I want you there." Emma said, interrupting her thoughts. She placed the hand that wasn't holding Adeline's on Regina's lower back, next to the brunette's. Regina closed her eyes briefly at the soft warmth her wife's hand provided.
"They don't." She argued, opening her eyes once more.
"One, they are not my wife and the Mother of my children. I want Henry and Addy to have you in their memories for these dinners. Plus, we're not going out to a family dinner while you're at home sulking. Two, Dad doesn't mind you being there anymore." Emma grinned as Addy let go of her hand and raced to Snow and James' apartment as it came into view, Henry not far behind her.
"I hate going to these."
Emma picked the pie out of her wife's very capable hands and tugged the woman gently closer to her. Feeling the swell of Regina's belly against hers made Emma giddy for a moment. "I know." She pressed a light kiss to Regina's temple and pulled back. "Thanks for coming to them anyway."
"Not like I have a choice." The pregnant Queen grumbled, taking back her pie. Emma rubbed her hand down Regina's back, leading her to her parent's, noticing her children stopped before entering the building, waiting for them no doubt.
"Keep telling yourself that, babe."
"Moms, come on! It's cold out here!" Henry yelled to them, picking up Adeline as she tried to dash past him to get inside. Her high pitched hey echoed in the boy's ear, almost causing him to drop his sister.
"Let's go Regina."
"Yes, let's." Regina agreed in a tone that showed she really would rather be eaten by an ogre then dine with her parents. Emma couldn't help the grin that hurt her cheeks.
Snow smiled lovingly at Emma as she stepped through the door, hands held out to take the blonde woman into her arms. Emma fell easily into her Mother's body. Snow whispered a soft, happy hello into her daughter's hair before releasing her. The White Queen's face lit up as Adeline bounced over to her, a beaming smile across her mouth.
"Gran'ma!" The little girl jumped and Snow caught her with a laugh and a huff at the sudden weight added to her frame. Emma hugged her Father, watching the interaction between Grandmother and granddaughter. The blonde would never voice it, but a small part of her worried that Snow would reject Adeline for bearing such a strong resemblance to Regina and she knew that her wife would agree. Seeing Snow pepper kisses on Adeline's fair cheeks pushed that thought away.
"Addy! How are you little girl?"
"Good! Me and Hen'y and Mommie made a mess at home." Adeline giggled, not noticing the flicker of darkness that passes over her Grandmother's eye, but everyone else in the room did.
"A mess?" Snow made a mock shocked expression, trying not to let the mention of her ex-step-Mother ruin her time with her grandchildren. "I hope you and Henry cleaned it up and didn't leave it to your Mama."
Adeline shook her head, a toothy grin still on her face. "No, Hen'y and I had to get ready!" She squirmed to get down and ran to her Grandpa Charming to give him a hug. "Mommie and Mama gots it all cleaned." She let out a shriek as James threw her high into the air, tickling her sides as she came back down.
Henry laughed at his sister, trying not to be upset at the way Snow still reacted to his Mother. He stepped forward and hugged her, murmuring a quick hey and pulled back. "How are you Grandma?"
She smiled cheerfully. "I'm wonderful. Your Grandpa tried to help cook dinner, but you know him."
"Can't cook to save my life." James laughed loudly, now done with tossing his granddaughter. "Hi Regina." His smile was warm and the dark haired woman couldn't help, but return the gesture, feeling some of the tension ease from her body.
"Hello James. It's lovely to see you." Henry took the pie from her and walked past his Grandparents to their small kitchen. She sent him a grateful smile, letting her fingers lightly run along his back when he moved past her.
Emma, knowing that her Mother won't greet her wife, led her from the front door into the kitchen after Henry. Adeline rubbed her hands over James' face, giggling at the prickly feeling beneath her palms, so different from her Mothers and brother's smooth cheeks.
"Come in, you must be tired." He ushered her in. "Snow's back killed her when she was pregnant with Emma." James playfully dropped Adeline onto the couch, before turning to help Regina sit next to her youngest. The King held her hands, ignoring the glare he could feel from his wife, and eased his daughter-in-law onto the cushions.
"Thank you." Regina said, adjusting her turquoise maternity top so it didn't stretch uncomfortably across her stomach, also choosing to ignore the burn on the back of her neck. Adeline scrambled to press herself into Regina's side, all the while smiling at James who returned the child's gesture. She rested her head on her Mom's swollen belly, listening for her sibling to make any sort of noise. Regina subconsciously smoothed back her child's equally dark hair, shifting to make herself more comfortable.
James hid his smile at the action and walked into the kitchen to get Regina a glass of water. As soon as Henry saw him enter, the teenager bolted from the room. If that action alone didn't tell James he was in trouble, the look on Snow's face definitely screamed it at him.
"What was that?" She snapped when Henry was out of earshot. Emma glanced at him sympathetically, inching closer to her family in the living room.
"What was what?" He asked, pulling a mug from the cupboard, quietly closing the wooden door to not draw attention to them. Emma chose that moment to follow her son and left the room in a quick jog, not quite running, but certainly not walking.
Snow placed her closed fists on her hips and glared. "You know what."
James sighed. "She's our daughter's wife and our grandchildren's Mother."
The woman in front of him turned a bright shade of red, her anger now visible. She stepped closer to him, dropping her voice to a whisper. "Do you not remember what that woman did to me, James?" Snow hissed. "In case you've forgotten, that woman tried to kill me multiple times, destroyed our home, took away Emma from us, and separated us for twenty eight years." She poked him in the chest to emphasis each point.
James grabbed her wrist, not roughly, but firm. "She did, yes. I could never forget, but I can forgive. Snow, Emma loves her. Addy and Henry love her. Doesn't that mean anything to you?" He stared straight into his Queen's green eyes, flickering back and forth to find an emotion that he hadn't seen her give Regina since the poison apple. Compassion.
She closed her eyes and rested her head against his chest, feeling the sting of tears. "Of course it does." Snow said quietly. She shook her head. "Of course it does," she repeated, "but what if she hurts them? Like she hurt us?" James chuckled.
"Have you seen them, Snow?" He wondered as he gently pulled her away from him.
Snow rolled her eyes. "Yes, James, I've seen my daughter and her children."
"Yes, your daughter and her children, but not two women in love with their children. Look at them, Snow. Right now, look at them." He turned her so she faced the area where her child and Regina, Addy, and Henry sat. "Look at them, see Regina too. See…" He paused, watching with her as Emma laughed wholeheartedly at something Adeline and Regina were talking about. They watched the blonde shake her head and kiss Adeline's forehead. She faced Regina and a slow smile danced across her lips, a twinkle in her eye stood out, and a look of adoration crossed her face, right before she leaned in a pressed her lips to Regina's smiling ones.
"See that look? That happy, over the moon look Emma just gave her?" James whispered into her ear. "She loves Regina. Regina Mills. She loves her, Snow. Now look at Regina, I know you don't want to, but please, for me, for Emma, just look at her and tell me what you see."
Snow let her gaze fall on the woman who ruined her life, who took away her child, and her ability to raise that child. The woman who convinced Henry that he was crazy and killed Graham and tried to kill Emma, only to kill Henry in the process. That's who she expected to see. The Evil Queen. Ruthless high bitch in charge Regina Mills.
That's not who was before her.
The Regina was more like the one who rescued Snow White off her wild horse when she was a child. Her eyes, when she turned to talk to Henry and Snow could see them, were soft, full of love, the same adoration that shined in Emma's reflected in hers. Her touch was soothing to Adeline who seemed to be falling asleep on top of Regina's enlarged stomach with Regina's hand running through the loose strands of the little girl's deep brown hair.
Henry leaned close to Regina, telling her something funny that happened at school that other day that he just remembered and Emma crossing her eyes at the end that had Regina chuckling and nodding appreciatively to her son. Her hand was interwoven Emma's, thoughtlessly caressing the pale hand with the tender care of a newborn.
Snow blinked, wondering how she missed this transformation. "Do you see it?"
"How did I miss it?" She faced him, a rare tear falling down her cheek. He reached up with a smile and wiped it away, kissing the apple of her cheek. "Charming, how did I…I-"
"You were trying to protect our little girl," he told her, kissing the corner of her mouth. "We all understand. You were trying to keep her from being her hurt by the same force that hurt you, but you don't have to worry so much. That woman, Regina, loves them all so dearly. She wouldn't do anything to jeopardize that." James sneaked a kiss to her lips and pulled away. "Now can we have a civilized dinner that doesn't end up with me sleeping on the couch for three weeks?"
Snow laughed and nodded, looking back at her ex-ste-no, looking back at her daughter-in-law with a smile. She would still make Regina sweat it a little bit, but maybe they could both move on now.