Chapter 13: A New Kind of Magic

Aimless fingers were trailing through her hair.

Chipped-polish fingernails grazed her scalp in calming patterns, weaving methodically through her short, brown locks only to let the strands fall back towards her face, rhythmically keeping time like a metronome. Occasionally one of the digits would get caught in a tangle and the hand would still for the briefest of moments to tug out the knot. It then would resume its leisurely task as if it had never been disrupted in the first place.

Regina cracked open a bleary eye. She was sprawled haphazardly half-on top of the Savior, who was currently lounging on her back with her eyes closed. One of the mayor's arms had wrapped itself greedily around the blonde's waist while her left leg had hooked over the nearest hip, settling her olive-tanned thigh neatly in between both of Emma's creamy ones. Her head was nestled snuggly against the sheriff's shoulder; her lips barely brushing against the crook of a pale neck.

And suddenly Regina's nerves were on sensory-overload, overwhelmed with everything Emma. The blonde was everywhere at once: she was the breath ghosting over the top of her head, the leftover taste still in her mouth, the scent of the skin she was pressing against…

Oh her skin.

All of the soft skin that Regina was touching was thoroughly distracting.

The brunette blinked rapidly as she tried to remember how exactly she'd gotten here. The Queen had lost count as to how many times she and the Savior had conquered each other after about the fifth or so orgasm they'd shared… so she figured that it was safe to assume that after one of their more intense escapades she had simply fallen asleep.

How embarrassing.

Regina lifted her head to take in the stunning creature beneath her and at the movement, the hand threading through her hair fell limply against her shoulder.

Emma's princess curls were fanned out around her head like a crown, shimmering with gold against the perfect porcelain skin that was practically glowing in the dying light of the day. It was the calmest that the Queen had ever seen the Savior look, so peaceful and serene in her slumber that Regina couldn't help but think that she looked like a portrait straight out of a fairytale. It was the kind of image that made you want to kiss her.

Heavy eyelids remained closed, hiding the alluring jade she knew lay beneath them from sight. The Queen's gaze passed idly over the cute button nose to land on the blonde's demanding pink lips, which out of nowhere twitched upwards into a playful grin.

"Good morning, Your Majesty."

Regina started at the unexpected voice and Emma smirked at her, now peeking at the Queen from under a hooded eyelid, "I could feel you staring at me."

The mayor quickly regained her composure and looked down at the blonde snootily, "It's nearly evening, Ms. Swan. Your greeting is hardly appropriate."

Emma rolled her eyes and scowled. "You really are always this difficult, aren't you?"

It somehow didn't seem like a question.

Regina huffed indignantly and blew a puff of air upwards to try and sweep her tousled bangs out of her face without using her hands. She was extremely unsuccessful and Emma held back a chuckle at the adorable pout now poking out from underneath the ruffled brunette bob.

The sheriff tenderly brushed the messy strands from the Queen's face and tucked them behind her ear, grazing the brunette's elegant cheekbone with the back of her hand before letting her palm fall back to its resting place against Regina's shoulder.

The mayor's face immediately sobered at the intimate gesture, her eyebrows inclining towards each other slightly as she considered the woman splayed beneath her.

Her plump lips pursed into a thin line. "You stayed."

"Yeah. Is that a problem?"

The brunette cocked her head to the side, "Why?"

"Why what?"

"You saved the town, so why are you still here? Why did you stay?"

Emma shrugged. "I wanted to."

Disbelief colored the Queen's features, "No one's ever stayed before."

Emma retorted without thinking, "Well knowing you, you probably kicked them all out before."

She instantly realized her mistake as Regina's face hardened. The brunette's spine stiffened defensively as she recoiled from the blonde, fully extending her elbows as she tried to escape the soft skin she had been pressed into. "You should go," the mayor stated coldly as she moved to exit the bed.


Regina's skin bristled. "What do you mean, no?"

"You heard me. I said no. I'm not going anywhere. And neither are you." And with that, Emma yanked the retreating Queen back into her chest and held her there.

The mayor was less than pleased by this turn of events.

"Let go of me!" Regina demanded, shoving roughly at the arms around her.

"Nope," Emma replied, clutching the futilely struggling woman even closer to her body as she weathered the storm of kicking and scratching. She knew she was stronger than Regina, and she could out-wait her if she had to. "You're going to lay here with me and revel in the fact that you're not cursed anymore."

"And why would I want to do that with you?" the brunette spat back, still clawing at the biceps around her middle.

"Because that's what people do when they win. They celebrate."

Regina settled a little at the word 'win', her anger dying away as quickly as it had flared up, as she contemplated the prospect of actually celebrating a victory with someone for a change. She pushed feebly at Emma's arms a few more times but she knew it was no use. They weren't budging.

The mayor reluctantly relented and allowed Emma's hand to guide her head back onto the sheriff's shoulder. She crossed her arms as she sulked and groused into the blonde's neck, "You are infuriatingly stubborn."

Regina felt Emma's chuckle deep within her chest before she heard it flee her lips.

"Says the woman who held a grudge for so long that she had to enact a realm-wide curse just to make herself feel better."

The pair fell into a tense silence; Emma hugging the Queen tightly to her side while Regina laid stiffly against her, adamantly refusing to snuggle. The sheriff eventually managed to pry the brunette's arms apart and succeeded in wrestling one of the mayor's unaccommodating limbs back over her upper body. Immensely satisfied with this feat, the blonde then returned her hands to cradling Regina's back.

The mayor grunted at the gesture, but surprisingly did not remove her arm from Emma's chest. If anything her fingers curled delicately around the shoulder in question and faintly squeezed.

The silence lengthened and Regina permitted her eyes to quietly drift closed, listening to the steady beat of the Savior's heart.

Then Emma ruined the moment, just like she always did.

"The curse did break, right?"

The Queen sighed in annoyance, "Yes."

Then there was another pregnant pause and Regina frowned. The sheriff was fidgeting… which meant that another unpleasant question was currently in the making.

"So… true love's kiss actually worked then?"

Regina waited a tortuously long amount of time before she answered.

"Unfortunately yes."


The silence that followed the revelation was so loud that the room was buzzing with the absence of noise.

The mayor could feel Emma's heart hammering under her ear, resonating throughout her chest to also pound heartily in the wrists and palms pressed against her back and forearms, and Regina knew that her own pulse matched that of the suddenly nervous sheriff.

Unspoken questions hovered in the air and swarmed in their skulls, hesitating behind lips so firmly closed that the room began to feel much warmer than it was supposed to.

What are we going to do? Where are we supposed to go from here? Will Emma want to move in with me? Stay as far away from me as possible? Pretend that it never happened? Should we tell people? People are bound to figure it out eventually; nosiness infects this town like a plague. Emma is going to want me to lie. I can't keep lying to Henry. Not again. But what if she doesn't want to be in love with me? True love is hard… just because you're 'meant to be' doesn't mean that it always works out that way. What if I'm not worth all of the trouble loving me would put her in…

The doubt was starting to make Regina feel a little sick.

But the bemused chortle from Emma broke her out of her spiraling thoughts, "I mean, I knew I had a thing for bad boys, but you definitely take the cake." The blonde barked out another belly-laugh at her seeming non sequitur and tightened her grip around the mayor's back, hugging the Queen even closer to her than before as her form was wracked with laughter.

So they weren't going to talk about the massive ramifications of their actions; Emma was just going to laugh about it. Regina let out a breath she hadn't known she'd been holding. She suddenly didn't feel so exposed.

"Bedding the Evil Queen. Now there's got to be an award for that somewhere."

And as crude as it was, the brunette knew that she could always count on Emma's unfortunate sense of humor to provide her a small reprieve from her own darkness. Her father had always told her that she took life too seriously anyway.

Banter. Banter is normal. I can do banter.

Her eyebrows rose amusedly as they fell back into their old pattern, "I'm going to take that as a compliment."

"As you should. Your evil side is quite sexy… and by evil, I mean naked."

Emma placed a kiss in the brunette's hair and Regina grinned into the Savior's skin.

"You know," the Queen started, walking her fingers casually over the inviting clavicle near her nose and making sure that her forearm brushed over the blonde's breasts as she moved. "I've never really had a fondness for other princesses. Especially in your family."

Emma mumbled her response into the top of the mayor's head, refusing to let her lips leave Regina's body, "Well what if I was your White Knight instead? Word on the street is that they always protect their Queen."

Regina's heart soared even though she told herself it was mushy and overly-sentimental to do so. She felt herself relax a little and snuggled closer into the sheriff's embrace in spite of herself. The world was safe in Emma's arms.

"I could live with that, I suppose," the Queen murmured quietly, nuzzling her nose a little further into the Savior's neck.

"Yeah?" The hope in Emma's voice was devastating. She tried to pull her head back to look the mayor in the eye.

The brunette met her gaze. "I kind of like having you on my side."

Emma kissed her then. Soft and slow and sweet. Like she had all the time in the world to do so.

Regina found herself sighing.

Their legs entwined as Emma twisted to face the mayor, their stomachs brushing together as they laid side by side. She cupped Regina's face in her hands and kissed her so tenderly that one might have thought the Queen was made of glass.

They toyed leisurely with each other's bodies, neither woman really making an effort to get the other one off. For now they were content to just offer coy and flirtatious touches and watch the other squirm under their purposefully unfulfilling assault. Exploring one another was half the fun.

Eyes snuck covert glances.

Teeth nipped lightly.

Emma's thumb found a full lower lip.

Regina's fingers danced across the plane of a stomach.

Nails brushed against a nipple, leaving a pebbled peak in its wake.

Muscles twitched as a bellybutton was circled.

They teased and taunted and tantalized, goosebumps scattering over caressed necks and sensitized thighs until their quickening breath heated the tiny space between their lips and the sheriff stole another fleeting kiss.

"Let me take you on a date," Emma whispered.


"You know… a date," she insisted. "With food, and wine, and flowers. I want to do this whole thing right." The earnest blonde searched the Queen's face with impassioned eyes and after a moment, the sheriff caught the glimpse of vulnerability she was looking for. So she added soothingly, "I could even bring Henry, if you want."

Regina was quiet for what felt like forever, her eyes downcast and staring intently at the finger she was tracing in graceful patterns over Emma's skin as she thought. Then so quietly that the Savior wasn't sure she'd actually heard it, a shy 'okay' fell from her painted lips.

"Really? You'll go on a date with me?" Emma couldn't hide the joy in her voice.

The mayor's eyes snapped up to the sheriff's with her patented agitated scowl back in place, "Are you deaf, Ms. Swan? I'm not going to say it again."

The blonde just rolled her eyes and taking the hand currently flirting with her collarbone, kissed Regina's palm.

"Just double-checking. For a second there, I could have sworn I heard you agreeing with me."

Regina scoffed in irritation but her lips were starting to twitch into a secret little smile without her consent. "Well, don't get used to it, dear. It won't happen again."

The sheriff ignored the comment, "Is there anywhere in particular you'd like to go?"

The answer was immediate.

"Not Granny's."

Emma nodded in agreement. "Anything else?" she pressed, her eyes dancing leisurely over the brunette in her arms.

"Mmm," Regina hummed, pushing the length of her body flush against the blonde's. "I have a few ideas."

Emma gulped as the Queen squeezed her ass, kneading the plaint flesh between her fingers. "Yeah?"

"One of them involves me making dinner for you and Henry. We could eat it here at the house." The brunette slid her knee up against Emma's core and delighted in the sharp intake of breath caused by her movements. "Would you enjoy that?" she whispered sultrily.

Emma moaned a little, the sound catching in the back of her throat. "I think I like this plan," she murmured sexily into Regina's ear. She tangled her hands into the Queen's hair. "What would you make?"

"I do have a lasagna I've been perfecting," the mayor drawled, nibbling on the offered earlobe. "I make it with red pepper flakes." She bit sharply at the sheriff's neck, "Gives it that extra kick."

The breathy groan that Emma had been trying to keep inside escaped her as Regina's fingers found her nipple and tugged on it.

"Then after Henry is asleep," the Queen continued, rolling the stiffening peak as casually as she could while still rubbing her leg at the apex of the blonde's thighs, "I'll make you cum so hard that you'll have to smash your face into a pillow to cover your screams."

And then the Savior was devouring the Queen's lips in fiery assault that left both of their bodies aching for more. She rolled on top of the mayor's lithe body and ground herself down on it, elated when Regina's hips instantly strained upwards to meet her. The blonde breathed hotly into the brunette's mouth, "Sounds perfect to me."

Emma wanted nothing more than to stay forever in the little fantasy world she had created for herself nestled in Regina's bedroom. Here she had no presumptuous child, no meddling parents, and no town that needed her to fix all of its trifling problems. It was only her and her strikingly beautiful former-nemesis wrapped around each other inside of an impossibly-comfortable Queen-sized bed filled with glorified dreams. The idea of ever leaving this spot sounded horrible.

But as it is with all things bright and idyllic, they must come to an end. And reality found them quickly, bursting through the window like a cold draft in the middle of summer.

A rumbling tremor shook the mansion in its moldings and Regina yanked her mouth away from the woman on top of her, listening intently with an odd expression on her face.

"Those are Hook's cannons."

"Fuck that guy," Emma muttered, and went to claim Regina's lips again. But the brunette stopped her with a gentle hand on her chest.

"Didn't you say that my mother was with him?"

"…oh shit."

"My thoughts exactly."

Emma fell off of the Queen as she wrapped the bed sheet around her naked form with one arm and rushed to throw back the curtains from the white-paned window.

And there it was. Backlit by the setting sun on the horizon was a darkened pirate ship, lurking on the distant harbor, probably about a mile from shore.

A rock settled in Regina's stomach and her heart sank down to meet it, the old heaviness of her past threatening to squash her fragile newfound happiness. Her jaw clenched as she scowled at the menacing silhouette.

"How'd they even get into Storybrooke?" Emma wondered aloud as she came to stand behind the mayor. She hadn't bothered to cover her nakedness and had decided instead to use the brunette as a human shield between her and the town outside, wrapping her arms around the Queen's waist as she glared out the window for herself.

"I don't know," Regina deadpanned, "But whatever she's doing here, it's not good."

"What do you think she wants?"

"Me, most likely." The fear laced through the Queen's words was not lost on Emma. "And being that the last time I saw her she was in a coffin after being falsely assassinated by Hook, who I sent for her, I don't think she exactly has my best interests at heart."

"Shit. And I told her about Henry."


The Queen whirled around in an instant fury and Emma put both of her hands up as she backed away, naked as the day she was born and terrified of the raging woman in the bed sheet.

"She heard me mention him in passing and when she asked I didn't know who she was and so I said that he was my son but that I kind of share him with you," the blonde stammered. "I also said that it was complicated," she added, as if that fact would redeem her slightly.

But Regina was still seething. "I can't believe you told her that! Have you no sense?! She'll use my love for him against me! To hurt me… to hurt him." Her livid eyes flashed menacingly back to the steadily retreating sheriff, her voice suddenly a dangerous calm, "I learned how to destroy people's happiness by watching her, Emma. She is not someone whose threats should be taken lightly."

"Okay. Okay. I get it. You forget that I have met the woman before; had my heart tugged on a few times…" Emma closed the distance she'd put between them as she saw the despondent bleakness that came with loss causes start to infiltrate the Queen's expression. "But we've got the advantage. We know she's coming." She grabbed Regina's free hand in both of her own. "And we'll fight her off together, alright? I will not let not let anything happen to Henry."

The Savior looked deep into Regina's watery eyes and she felt herself falling. She knew that she'd work her whole life to keep this helpless expression off of the mayor's face if it was the last thing she did. "I promise."

Purple fumes spun out around their joined hands and lingered there like a puff of perfume. And then a shower of miniature golden sparks crackled inside the cloud for a moment before the whole thing dissipated in a matter of seconds.

Neither of them moved. Emma raised her wide eyes to meet Regina's and was met with a pair equally as disbelieving.

"You have magic?" The Queen's voice was reverent and she whispered the question under her breath like she was afraid that outside ears would hear.

"I… I don't know," the sheriff stuttered. "Gold hinted that I might…" She pulled her hands off of Regina's and stared at them with shock, scouring her palms like she had never seen them before.

Regina rolled her eyes, "Tell me what it feels like."

Emma pried her eyes away from her own flesh long enough to give the mayor a confused look. "What what feels like?"

The brunette sighed and interlaced each of her hands with one of Emma's, letting the bed sheet surrounding her flutter to the ground. Then poised in front of the Savior, the Queen brought both sets of their hands up to chest level and cleared her throat to get the blonde's attention.

The intensity in those emerald orbs almost made her falter. Almost.

"If you really have magic, we should be able to recreate the effect given the right circumstances. If this turns out to be a fluke we're looking at another thing entirely. Now tell me what you were thinking about when it happened."

Emma blushed. "I was… well I… I was thinking about… you."

Regina tried to keep her voice neutral as she fought a blush herself, "Oh. Okay. Well then… that means you must concentrate on all of the things… about me… that make you feel."

"Make me feel?"

"Yes! Make you feel!" Regina was getting exasperated and increasingly embarrassed the longer this went on. "Magic is fueled by strong emotions, and if I am the thing that has unlocked your power, you must focus on all of the things about me that make you feel."

She grimaced as she wove their hands back together, the sheriff looking sufficiently cowed, "Now would you please," the mayor asked, failing to hide her frustration, "just try it again?"

Emma shifted her weight experimentally back and forth between her feet before biting her lip and locking her knees to still herself. "Okay," she muttered uncertainly, "here goes nothing."

It took a moment, of Emma scrunching up her forehead and nearly boring a hole through their hands with how hard she was staring at them and Regina trying desperately not to imagine what kind of images the blonde was conjuring in order to make this work, but sooner than she expected magic erupted from their combined fingers; swirls of purple threaded with twists of gold spiraled and popped through the air like a miniscule thunderstorm. The collective cloud thrummed around their palms in a shape that closely resembled an amorphous sort of basketball.

The blonde's mouth dropped open in joyous astonishment. "I did it!" she yelled, jumping up and down like a child but never letting go of the Queen's hands. "I actually did it!"

"Yes, you did," Regina replied proudly. "Now concentrate. Tell me what it feels like so you can replicate it later."

"Well its warm… and a little tingly," she shot a nervous glance at the Queen which was met with a grin. "Is that normal?"

"Yes, that's normal. Anything else?"

"I feel happy. I feel powerful. I also feel… really sexual."

Regina cocked a knowing eyebrow before drawing her lips together in a tantalizing pucker and lightly blowing a puff of twinkling purple sparks from her enticing mouth. The magic scattered like seeds from a dandelion and danced over Emma's face; everywhere they landed feeling like a smattering of feather-light kisses over her flesh.

"That," the Queen rasped, "is completely normal as well."

Emma closed her eyes in pleasure, welcoming this new way of feeling Regina on her skin and when she finally managed to look at the brunette again her pupils were blown wide with desire.

Regina shivered as the Savior accidentally sent a tendril of shimmering gold from their joined palms snaking up her arm and gasped when the jolt disappeared under her skin. Warmth exploded in her chest and shot back down to her fingertips like an adrenaline rush. The faint tingling sensation Emma's magic left in its wake was pleasant too.

The brunette's eyes also darkened with lust.

"You have magic." The radiant smile the Queen was aiming at her was worth every high-maintenance second she had endured so far.

Emma smirked. "I have magic," she repeated.

Regina ran her tongue over her lips and eclipsed the space between them. "I find that so… incredibly… sexy."

The mayor released the blonde's hands only to shove her forcefully back onto the bed and collapse on top of her, kissing her senseless. Regina's tongue pushed for entrance into her mouth and Emma happily complied, keening lightly at the intoxicating taste she now associated with the Queen.

Regina's leg easily found its way between both of Emma's and she slid her toned thigh mercilessly against the sheriff's needy clit, sending the blonde into an immediate pleasure-fit of shudders. The Savior moaned as she reached for Regina's ass but the brunette caught her questing hands before they could reach their destination and pinned them over her head instead, interlocking their fingers. At this, another rush of warmth flooded Emma's senses as little jolts of magic raced down her arms and into her torso; little harmlessly golden sparks popping out of her bellybutton.

With the Savior captured underneath her, Regina attacked the sheriff's neck with her teeth and sucked violently on the tender skin at her disposal. Emma mewled with pleasure and noted with some resignation that there would definitely be a very visible hickey there in a few minutes. Explaining that to her mother was going to be a pill, but with the way all of this felt… it'd be worth it.

But then the Queen caressed the mark she'd made with her tongue, soothing the tortured flesh and sending little tendrils of purple magic skittering out wherever she tasted, easing the fresh sting of the bruise. The blonde sighed breathlessly, her back arching up off the bed at the conflicting sensations careening through her system. She didn't know whether to plead that it was too much or beg for more.

I could definitely get used to this whole 'using magic in bed' thing.

Emma managed to raise her own thigh up to rub up against the apex of the mayor's and Regina let out one of her beautiful groans that the sheriff so loved to hear. A faint purple mist wafted up from her shoulders as a gratifying tremor rocketed through her core.

The Queen sucked in a ragged breath as she rocked against the blonde's thigh, simultaneously crushing her own in between the sheriff's, and Emma noticed amid thrusts that occasionally the brunette's eyes would glow with a faint purple hue before fading back to its usual earthy shade of brown. Her hands must have been sending little pulses of magic up through Regina's body as well.

The Savior's entire body was tingling, the combination of magic and sweaty skin setting her nerves on end until she felt like she was fraying, her synapses short-circuiting until she was a mess of crisscrossed wires and writhing impulses underneath the Queen. For all she knew she could have been glowing as she felt Regina's magic mix with her own in the most delicious sort of way.

All she wanted was to feel the brunette everywhere.

Emma launched her head off of the pillow and claimed the brunette's lips in an assault that was reckless and wanting, and Regina returned it in equal force, smashing their lips together even harder as they felt the pull of each other's magic tugging on their heart; binding them insatiably closer together than ever before.

"Mmph." A troubling thought slammed into Regina's mind with enough force to make her break the earth-shattering kiss she was currently in the middle of and she frowned down sadly at the sheriff in realization. "Henry's going to think that I've corrupted you somehow. He hates magic."

Emma's brow knitted together in concentration as she contemplated this. "Well, our son is just going to have to get over himself then," she finally said. "His mommies have magic; and I don't know about you but I'm not going to get rid of mine any time soon. When I was his age, I would have thought that this was pretty badass– what?" she stopped taking in Regina's slightly struck facial expression.

"Our son?"

Regina rolled the phrase around in her mouth like she was tasting a fine wine. She was still fiercely possessive of Henry and wanted to keep him all to herself, but she couldn't deny that the word 'our' had a pleasant ring to it.

It sounded like family.

The thought filled her with a pulse of warmth and a small wave of magic ran across her fingers, which were still pressing Emma's into the pillows above her head. The blonde gasped at the unexpected joint sensation.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves, now," the brunette stated firmly, but she was fighting not to smirk. "Henry is still very much mine. Legally anyway. And you know how much I hate to share."

She ground her hips forcefully into the Savior's undulating pelvis and the unspoken statement that Emma was now hers as well was received loud and clear.

The blonde's magically aroused state left her mind with no objection.

But they would have the Henry conversation later. Right now the mayor's mouth had much better things to do than bicker with the mother of her son. Regina grinned wickedly at her willing captive.

The Queen caught the sheriff's lips in a blistering kiss before she finally released Emma's hands, freeing herself to blaze a path down the taut and panting body; her mouth making a wet trail towards the Savior's sex. Regina paused briefly on the way to dip her tongue into the blonde's navel, where she playfully caught an errant spark in her mouth before continuing her descent, her cropped hair falling around her face and tickling Emma's skin as she moved.

But then another cannon blast shook the foundation of the mansion and Regina's head snapped up towards the window, again reminded of the possibly disastrous situation they should be trying to head off instead of what they were currently doing.

The Queen muttered furiously under her breath, "Damn it. We don't have time for this."

Emma whimpered in frustration, "Regina…"

But the steely mask of the mayor slipped into place as the brunette reined in her emotions and fortified her resolve. She had things to do.

"Not now, dear. Later." Regina said it like it was the end of a discussion, like the statement held as much importance as a minor business deal, before she immediately began to extricate herself from the blonde.

The sheriff locked her legs around the other woman's torso so that she couldn't leave and Regina suddenly found herself crashing back down against Emma's chest.

"No," the Savior smirked. She was really starting to love the fact that she was the only one who could get away with saying that to the Queen.

"Emma!" Regina exclaimed. "I said not now! I need to find my mother before she does something terrible to Henry!"

The sheriff pouted at the growing urgency in the brunette's eyes. "Can I come with you?"

That stopped Regina in her tracks: Emma was asking for her permission.

The Queen considered the woman underneath her, holding the blonde's face still as she clutched the strong chin between her tapered fingers; an unreadable expression masking the brunette's features. All Emma could tell was that she was being looked at very intensely, and were it anyone other than Regina staring at her like that, she would have found it extremely unnerving.

But unnerving was what Regina did best, and so on some level the tiny bubble of dread in the pit of her stomach was expected; and on another completely different one, Emma couldn't help but find the ferocious predictability of the woman in front of her a little endearing.

Then suddenly the brunette's eyes softened and the ghost of a joyful smile flitted across her lips like a fond memory, and for one crazy moment Emma thought that Regina was going to say 'I love you'.

But she didn't.

Instead she brought the Savior's face to her own and kissed her so hard that Emma was sure her lips would bruise. There was no tongue or extraneous movement; just passionate pressure that sought to impart all of the feelings the brunette couldn't bring herself to say until neither of them could breathe anymore and they had to break for air.

They'd work up to the words. For now, this was better than enough.

"I would like nothing more."

At the goofy smile spreading across the sheriff's face, Regina good-naturedly slapped Emma in the stomach, her toned abs making a satisfying smacking noise against the brunette's hand.

"Stop that," the mayor chastised, finally making it off the bed and waltzing into the adjoining bathroom.

"Stop what?"

"Smiling like you've won something."

Emma's infectious smile only widened as the Queen leaned herself over the sink as she tried to hurriedly fix her smudged mascara before they left, unintentionally presenting the blonde with a stunning view of her true love's perfect ass.

The blip from before was back. Yes. The Savior decided. A leather corset was definitely somewhere in their future.

Emma regretfully tore her gaze away from the enchanting woman in the bathroom to creep back over to the open window and hide herself behind the curtain so she could assess the current damage to the town.

It was an awful mess.

Random buildings were missing roofs, the pavement on at least two roads had buckled, and intermittent telephone wires were crossed and sparking, with some of them having snapped completely off of their supporting pole. And there was no doubt in the sheriff's mind that Regina would make her fill out paperwork for all of it.

Add on to that the fact that remnants of the angry horde from before were still milling about in smaller groups and the picture was complete. Some were rushing around animatedly (most likely already panicking about the cannon fire coming from the bay) while others were still trying to sneak peeks past the mayor's hedges to catch a glimpse of the Evil Queen's fate.

Even so, Emma could not make herself wipe the smile off her face. Because there in the yard below her was Regina's mutilated apple tree, the unsightly stump where she had hacked the limb off months before still forcing the shrubbery to appear lopsided.

The disfigured stub was growing back.

Tiny twigs of fragile green littered the wound she had made in it so long ago until you could no longer really see where she had made the cut. The tenderly fresh but resilient sprigs stood out boldly in their youth against the aging bark and dared to keep on growing, even in the face of adversity.

Time heals all wounds.

Emma glanced back at the woman who was now madly combing her hair into submission. This was not going to be easy. They had a lot of factors working against them: Regina had personally cursed everyone in town, both of their mothers loathed at least one person in their relationship, and their son was temperamental in his opinions on his best days.

Not to mention all of their own personal baggage that they would have to deal with.

The blonde's shoulders deflated a little as the weight of their situation bore down on her like an angry cloud.

But then the brunette caught her eye through the mirror on the wall and smiled. It was the kind of smile that could light up a room and blow the cobwebs right out of a person's soul. And suddenly that cloud didn't seem so dark.

Regina was worth it.

Everyone deserved to find their happy ending. And maybe, just maybe, Emma dared to think, she had just found hers.


A/N: So this is where my tale comes to a close. I originally wrote this story to fix the unfinished business that was the death curse placed on the well and I did. It's been eradicated with the help of true love and now Swan Queen is canon. Yay! (See, was that so hard OUaT screenwriters?)

But quite a lot of you have expressed an interest in more Henry vs Mom(s) moments and scenes involving the townsfolk dealing with Emma and Regina as a couple. AND Cora just showed up so… yeah. Maybe one day I'll write a sequel that deals with Cora and the town full of idiots. But for now, this is where I'm going to leave my favorite ladies: at the beginning of their happy ending :)

A massive thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed, favorited, and followed this story! Your support and love has been overwhelming and it means the absolute world to me. Swan Queen Nation, you are the best.