Disclaimer in Chapter One
AN: I'm alive! And so are you if you're reading this! We survived the apocalypse of 2012, so as promised, Swan Queen.
Regina woke the morning of the 21st. She wasn't sure what to expect, especially after Emma's visit the night before. She had to admit, the woman was bold, but she already knew that of course, what with the blonde answering the door to her in nothing but her tank top and underwear. She also had to be a little paranoid to believe the world would end today.
But her lips. Regina closed her eyes momentarily and reveled in the memory. Emma's lips were so soft against her own, gentle yet eager all at the same time. It was times like those where Regina appreciated the Sheriff's tenacity.
Pulling herself out of bed, the Mayor went about to start her day.
Regina was nursing a migraine and it was only past noon. Sometime during the night the sky had released freezing rain, coating almost all of the streets and sidewalks in a thin sheet of black ice. Henry laughed watching the citizens slip and topple over, but Regina knew that once she'd get into the office it'd be mayhem filled with resident complaints.
Seeing him off on the bus, she walked to Town Hall, scowling as she too suffered from the effects of the ice. She reminded herself not to wear stiletto boots in the winter again.
By the time the building was in reach, the weather changed so suddenly it was as if someone had a dial to it. Strong winds picked up, swaying trees and teetering power lines. She picked up her pace quickly when it looked as if a traffic light was about to come down on its ropes.
When she finally arrived in the office, she had had enough. But no, nothing would go her way. Her secretary informed her that the winds were so strong and the roads were so severe that it knocked out the town's central power lines, shutting off electricity and heat in every home, store and office alike in Storybrooke.
Then it snowed. Heavily.
We might freeze over or burn in flames or aliens might come down taking over.
Regina groaned. She was not starting to believe the superstitious Sheriff. Her curse would prevent such nonsense. Right?
Her secretary knocked on her door, sheepishly asking if she could take the rest of the day off to get home before the weather got worse. Regina agreed none too nicely, all but barking at the mousy woman to leave.
She lifted the phone to call the school to notify them that she'd be picking up Henry when she was met with silence. The lines were dead. Perfect.
"What are you doing here?"
Regina whipped her head up at the voice at the door. She internally rolled her eyes at her luck. Of course, it's her.
"I have a job to do, Miss Swan." She swiveled in her chair looking for something to keep her busy. "As do you."
"I sent out a blizzard warning urging people to stay indoors. When you weren't at the school I figured you'd be here," Emma explained and moved to the office fireplace.
"Henry?" Regina was already halfway out of her seat.
"I let him go home with Mary Margaret. Told him I'd keep an eye on his mom for him," the blonde replied while in her task of making a fire.
"What are you doing, Miss Swan?" The brunette asked exasperated.
"Looks like we're going down in ice," Emma spoke ominously.
Regina rolled her eyes and walked toward the fire, feeling the heat emanating from it immediately.
"I mean, why are you here and not in your own home."
Emma stood, surprised by how close Regina was behind her. She huffed the bobbles of her hat away before motioning towards the window. "Like I said. Blizzard warning."
Regina turned and widened her eyes. Everything was covered in a swirl of white. Hadn't it just started snowing only a couple of hours ago?
She turned to find the Sheriff removing her heavy duty Storybrooke-issued jacket and sitting by the fire.
"There's no heat, either. You're gonna freeze in that dress," Emma said not bothering to turn her head to look at her. Instead she exhaled hot air onto her palms and rubbed them, facing them out towards the flames.
Regina felt out of her element watching the glow the fire cast on the blonde's pale skin. She stood dumbly in between the fireplace and her desk, and already she could feel the cold seeping in. She stared at the woman sitting on her floor, making herself comfortable. For once, the Sheriff was out of that ridiculous tank top and was wearing a turtleneck dressed appropriately for the weather.
She couldn't say the same for herself in her short sleeve, cut off at the knee dress. She wondered why she hadn't thought to wear stockings. Giving in to the warmth of the fire, Regina sat in the chair closest to it, turning the seat to face the flame.
The two were unnaturally quiet. Whenever they were in the room with one another, fires started. Literally at one point. But it had never gotten this comfortable between them. To sit in a room, aware of the other's presence and do nothing about it.
Regina switched her gaze to the blonde back to the window every so often. The snow was not letting up. What if they got snowed in? What if they, and everyone else in town, were locked forever in their houses with only the resources inside to last them gods knew how long?
Regina whipped her head away from the window. Dammit Swan.
"Are you okay?" Emma asked. "You seem tense."
"It is December 21st," Regina mumbled and stood to walk to her side table under her mirror. "Drink?"
Regina took her time in pouring two glasses of cider before walking over and handing one to the Sheriff. Before sitting back down, she walked over to her coat rack to retrieve her trench coat, wearing it and cinching it tight around her waist.
Emma raised an eyebrow as she sipped her cider. "You could always come closer to the fire. Looks like we could be here all night."
She chanced a glance at the clock before returning to her seat. It was only 3? She leaned over to take a sip of her cider before relaxing back in her chair.
"Do you think this is it?" Emma asked. Regina looked to the blonde on the ground. "Do you think today's the day."
"I prefer not to think of such things, Miss Swan, seeing as I'm away from my son and you're talking like the Earth will implode on itself."
"Freeze over." Emma pointed thoughtfully. She got up and pulled her hat off of her head and offered it to Regina. "You're shivering."
"I am not wearing that," Regina scoffed and began rubbing her crossed legs.
Emma rolled her eyes. "Well, you're getting cold, and if there is a tomorrow, I don't want to have to explain to the town that the Mayor froze to death on my watch."
Regina scowled and got up to sit close to the fire beside where Emma had previously vacated. She had to admit, she was feeling much warmer now. Her body tensed when the Sheriff sat down beside her, knees up and her arms leaning casually on them.
They went back to their silence.
Regina was acutely aware of every movement, every inhale, each exhale, every flip of her hair that the blonde did. She watched in her periphery whenever Emma licked her lips or brought her glass to them to drink. She reached behind her to grab her drink and downed the rest of the glass. Now was not the time to be thinking of Emma's lips.
Or maybe it was? Maybe this was the only time she'd be allowed to do such thinking because if, and that was a big if, the blonde was right, there wouldn't be a tomorrow.
"Why did you kiss me?" Regina asked quietly after an eternity of silence, her eyes never leaving the fire.
Likewise, the blonde's gaze remained fixed at their source of warmth. "I didn't want to die without having kissed you."
Regina turned, gawking at the blonde who continued to stare at the fire.
"I wasn't lying when I said I think you're pretty." Emma finally turned to face her.
Regina couldn't stop the blush from rising to her cheeks.
"It was worth it," Emma grinned and turned back to the fire.
"If the world wasn't ending," Regina spoke in a more reserved tone, "would you have done it still?"
"Probably not," Emma admitted.
"So I was just a lesser extent of a one-night stand?" Regina asked offended. "Get one in before the world blows up?"
Emma laughed and turned to face her again. "Believe me, if I wanted a one-night stand we would have had one." Regina glared but the blonde kept speaking. "You were my biggest fear."
That was unexpected. Regina squinted, confused at her answer.
"If I did that any other day you would have thrown me out on my ass."
Regina chuckled at that. The blonde had a point, but she realized she didn't necessarily push her away. In fact, she'd kissed her back and liked it.
Steeling her expression, she put on a practised mask. "I have to say, Miss Swan, you're quite revealing this evening."
"Not yet," Emma smirked and laughed when Regina made an annoyed face. She shrugged. "If I'm not gonna be here tomorrow, I don't have any consequences to face for what I say today."
Another silence took hold over them.
"You aren't a terrible kisser," Regina muttered, untying the belt from her jacket. She suddenly felt too warm.
She groaned internally at Emma's amazed smirk. "Is that so?"
She ignored the blonde's question, finally getting her jacket opened and removed it, tossing it on the chair she was glued to earlier.
"You wouldn't happen to have any food in that oversized coat of yours?"
The blonde rose from her spot on the floor and grabbed a small duffel hidden on the opposite side of the couch that Regina hadn't noticed. She dropped it beside the brunette and knelt to pull out the provisions. Water bottles. Trail Mix. Protein bars.
"It's not much, but it'll get us through a couple days." The Sheriff spoke placing the items of the table.
The Mayor looked to the window, and despite the darkness that came with the prematurely setting sun, the blizzard raged on strong as ever.
Taking a proffered bottle of water and a package of trail mix, Regina nodded her thanks before tearing into the food. "I hope Henry's okay," she whispered quietly.
"He is. I basically turned Mary Margaret's place into a bomb shelter last night," Emma replied sitting back down and chugging her water.
"Thank you," Regina said making eye contact with the blonde. "For taking care of him."
Emma smiled with her eyes making Regina smile back unconsciously.
"You know, you have a really great smile," Emma said around her protein bar.
"Is this another one of your end-of-the-world truths?" Regina chided.
The blonde shrugged. "It's a regular truth."
The Mayor popped some trail mix in her mouth to distract herself from the blush forming on her cheeks.
The hours dwindled down until the entire room save for the small section where the fire was burning was consumed in pitch black. Already, Emma had to add more logs to the fire.
Regina watched Emma as she tended to it. She could see the beads of sweat form on the younger woman's brow, trailing down her face and falling down her cloth-covered neck.
"You must be warm in that," the brunette commented. "Do you have anything under it?"
Emma turned her head with a sly grin. "Trying to get me out of my clothes, Madame Mayor?"
Regina rolled her eyes, but the blonde chuckled sitting back down. "Yeah, but that was the last log. Won't be long till we're out of heat."
She was right. Two hours later when it was closer to nine, the fire dwindled to embers.
"Why would you start a fire in the middle of the day, Miss Swan?" Regina asked aggravated. "Now is when we need it the most."
"I didn't think about that, okay?" Emma defended.
Regina shook her head at the younger woman's stupidity and reached over for her coat. The thin material did nothing by the time the fire went out completely. She heard Emma rummaging through her duffel and was pleasantly surprised when the blonde found a few candles and placed them on the table, lighting them up.
"Better?" Emma asked.
Regina nodded, the sincerity in the Sheriff's voice was evident.
She felt a tug on her folded arms and looked over to see the silhouette of Emma tugging Regina over to her, pulling her to sit in between her legs, Regina's back to Emma's front, and draping her Sheriff department jacket over them like a blanket.
"What on earth are you doing?" Regina squirmed but the bite in her tone was gone.
"Body heat." Emma explained simply.
The brunette scoffed almost playfully. "You just want an excuse to wrap your arms around me."
"Two birds with one stone." Emma admitted, her hands finding purchase on Regina's waist.
Regina was clearly tense in the blonde's arms, but not because of the blonde. No it had nothing to do with the blonde. It had nothing to do with how deliciously warm Emma felt behind her, how intoxicating her scent was, how perfect her chin rested against her shoulder or how safe she felt under the Sheriff's hold. No. Regina was just naturally tense.
"I wouldn't mind going out this way," Emma admitted. "If we were to fall asleep like this and not wake up, this would be my position of choice."
"You do have a way of romanticizing imminent death," joked Regina.
She felt the vibrations of Emma's laugh against her back, finally losing all her resolve and just leaning into the Sheriff. With hesitant movements, she removed a hand hidden in her pocket and casually placed it on top of Emma's, their fingers weaving together.
Relaxed, Regina leaned her head back on the blonde's shoulder, feeling the soft weight of the younger woman as she pressed her cheek against Regina's temple.
"It wouldn't be a terrible idea to go out this way," Regina mused.
"If there's a tomorrow," Emma spoke softly, "do you want to have dinner with me?"
Regina took a moment to consider. What did she have to lose? "Perhaps if there's a tomorrow."
Outside, Storybrooke was covered in a healthy four feet of snow. It was well past midnight by the time the storm of the century had settled down to a calming, peaceful snowfall. Every citizen of the small town was bundled in their homes by their makeshift heaters, cuddled together with their loved ones.
Inside town hall, the Mayor and the Sheriff were cosied up together on the floor beside the fireplace, nestled under the Sheriff's jacket.
Tomorrow had come.