Emma jumps a little at the sound of Regina's car in the driveway.
Looking down at her outfit one more time, Emma rewards herself with an eyeroll before checking the back in the mirror. As the front door opens, she picks up the glasses of eggnog and moves towards the bedroom door.
It's totally game on, and Emma's not sure whether to laugh or cry about how much panic she's currently feeling. She takes a deep breath at the top of the stairs, because heels have kind of always been an issue and breaking her neck is not going to set the mood she's hoping for.
Halfway down she stops to watch Regina shrug out of her coat, dropping bags stuffed with even more last-minute gifts on the cool marble floor.
"What happened to 'I won't spoil him'?" Emma asks, and Regina jumps at the intrusion.
"These aren't for Henry," Regina lies. "Well, not all of them. It occurs to me that I should bring something for the other people present."
"So you went shopping on Christmas Eve," Emma says, descending the rest of the way in careful steps. She sways her hips a little, to make it deliberate. "When I told you it would be the one part of the holiday we got to ourselves."
Regina turns around fully then, her eyes widening comically as she takes in the full effect of Emma's ensemble.
"Ho, ho, ho?" Emma ventures, her nose crinkling just a little in embarrassment. But it already feels less ridiculous, now that Regina's eyes are on her, devouring the serious amount of skin that the deep red lingerie leaves exposed. The Santa hat is Emma's nod to the holidays, and it's the first thing Regina yanks off when she crosses the space between them to plant a searing kiss on Emma's mouth.
"Wow," Emma says when Regina lets her go. Handing over the glass of eggnog, she asks with a smirk, "now do you see why it was a good idea to send Henry to my parents'?"
"Well, look at that, Emma Swan finally had a good idea," Regina says, sipping the eggnog and wrinkling her nose. "You bought the kind in a carton?"
"There's no way you can tell that from one sip," Emma accuses.
"Alright," Regina concedes, pressing the crystal of the glass against Emma's pushed-up and lingerie-clad breast. Carefully, Regina pours a rough line of creamy liquid over the rounded flesh, before just as deliberately licking it off. "Yup," she says, pulling back and licking her lips. "Definitely store bought."
"I hate you," Emma sighs, because the problem is that she absolutely does not. Regina takes Emma's own glass from her and puts them both on one of the countless fancy little tables that are peppered throughout the house. She must be keen, if she's allowing the crime of glasses without coasters.
"Tell me you didn't turn my bedroom into Santa's Grotto," Regina warns, smacking Emma firmly on the ass and turning her towards the stairs.
"For that, you'd have to give me a key," Emma snarks.
"And yet, here you are anyway," Regina reminds her. "Be sure to pass on your breaking and entering skills to our son, it's just such a wonderful legacy."
"Only if you stop pretending like you don't get off on the whole 'bad girl' thing," Emma teases, unsurprised to feel Regina's arms wrap around her from behind and warm lips against her neck.
"Who's pretending?" Regina murmurs, as they stand together at the top of the staircase. "And more to the point, you haven't gotten me off yet."
Emma huffs a little in protest, because Regina just can't seem to give credit for past performance, always asking a little bit more, demanding things from Emma that would make her laugh in anyone else's face.
"Well, you've been home for about three minutes, give me a chance," she growls.
Regina laughs then, so sudden and warm that it takes Emma's breath away. She didn't expect to ever hear something like that two years ago, rolling into town with a kid to return and a bad attitude. They've put each other through hell and back, and somehow this turned out to be the other side of that.
"You can do great things in three minutes," Regina grumbles, her fingers now skirting dangerously along the waistband of Emma's red panties.
"Yes," Emma agrees. "And so can you. Now less talk, more taking me to your bedroom and enjoying the fact that we're the only two people home tonight, okay?"
"When did you get so bossy?" Regina sighs, but she peels herself away from Emma just long enough to take her hand and lead her down the hall.
"I've always been this way," Emma reminds her. "It's just that lately you've worked out why you should actually listen to me."
"I have?" Regina questions, as they pause in the doorway of the bedroom. Her dark eyes search Emma's face for a moment, reaching out to smooth blonde curls mussed by the Santa hat and the making out. "I have," Regina concludes, in an argument she was only ever having with herself.
"Merry Christmas," Emma breathes, before drawing Regina close once more.
"Is it worth pointing out that I don't even believe in-"
"Sssh," Emma interrupts, placing a finger on Regina's full lips. "Nobody likes a Grinch."
"A what?" Regina snaps, her lips moving against Emma's finger, and it's almost ticklish.
"Never mind," Emma sighs. Regina pulls her hand aside and kisses Emma soundly, yet another statement of intent that has Emma's bare back pressed against the doorframe in about a second flat.
"Next time," Regina says, as she starts pulling Emma towards the bed. "Put a bow on your head instead of the hat."
"Consider it done," Emma says, falling back against the mattress. "Wait, does that mean-"
"Sssh," Regina says, repeating Emma's gesture of a finger against lips. They smile at each other in the soft light, a predatory quirk to Regina's lips as Emma remembers that what's gotten them this far are all the things they didn't say.
"Okay," Emma whispers as Regina reaches for her. For the first time, she thinks it actually might be.