Title: Is There a Future For Us?
Pairing: Emma Swan and Regina Mills
Rating: T (for some swearing)
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters and I'm making no profit.
Summary: Snow and Emma have been brought back to Storybrooke, but not without consequences. Along the way 'the Evil Queen' and 'the Savior' might have to reconsider the nature of their relations. Post 2x09.
AN: For those who have been reading my first fic 'A Christmas Redemption' this is thought to be a prequel to that story. There's no need to have read that one first, but I'm hoping this story will give a deeper view of that story.
The first thing Emma Swan becomes aware of when she's brought to consciousness is that she has to pee. And that her head feels heavy and is throbbing.
Ugh, I hate hangovers.
She lies still for a moment before forcing one eye open to take in her surroundings.
Comfortable bed, check. Drapes drawn so the room is still blessedly dark, check. Wait a moment, these furniture's aren't mine and the room is too big.
She sits up abruptly in bed, groaning and grabbing her head as her world spins for a moment and the throbbing becomes near unbearable. When it subsides a little, she carefully looks around trying to get a hint as to where she is. There's soft light coming from a door slightly ajar opposite the bed and she scrambles out from the duvets. She really, really has to pee.
She squints in the light when she opens the door fully, but let's out a sigh of relief when it is indeed a bathroom. She quickly sits down to empty her pressing bladder and looks curiously around to get any indication of where she is.
She doesn't like the regal and expensive look she sees. It makes a nagging dread start somewhere in the back of her mind that is not related to her current hangover.
At least I still have my clothes on.
She deliberately ignores looking at herself in the mirror as she washes her hands, hoping that she can just do a quick escape from wherever she is.
She pauses when she opens the bedroom door and enters a hallway that feels faintly familiar to her. Carefully she starts tiptoeing forwards listening for any sounds and looking at the doors she passes. And then she stops abruptly when she notices a sign on one door.
Henry. Oh shit.
No wonder the place feels familiar and looks so perfect. She's in Regina Mill's mansion.
Oh Crap, what the hell happened last night?
With renewed urgency, she continues as silently as she can manage to the stairs, peeking down apprehensively. But when she sees or hears nothing, she continues quickly. She sighs in relief when she sees her boots by the door and bends over to pick them up when a throat clears and she freezes.
Emma is sure she looks comical in her bent state, arm outstretched toward her shoe as she turns her head to look with fear at the brunette standing in the foyer not far from her with her eyebrows raised and a cup of something in her hand.
"Going somewhere Miss Swan?"
"Oh, I-Of course not," she replies meekly as she straightens and turns to face the woman fully. "Morning," she adds quickly as she tries to smile.
"Is it? I had the impression eleven thirty is a little past morning." Regina replies gleefully as she takes two quick steps toward the blonde and presents her with the cup in her hand. "Anyway, I figured you'd need this," she continues with a smile that's all white teeth, reminding Emma of when she was given the sheriff's badge and giving her the feeling of walking into a lion's den unarmed.
Her fingers close automatically around the proffered cup and had she not been feeling like crap in her current morning after state, she would have paused at how quickly the former mayor retreats when their fingers brush. Instead she looks down in surprise as chocolate fills her nostrils. She sips carefully and lets out a groan of pleasure at the rich taste. She has no idea why Regina would bother making her homemade cocoa and not just give her a cup of coffee, but she's not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth when presented to her.
"Thank you," she says as she takes another sip and looks at the other woman currently regarding her curiously.
"Why don't you join me in the kitchen?" the brunette offers after a moment and Emma is pretty sure there's an unspoken 'you better' in there somewhere.
So it's not with a little sense of trepidation that she follows the woman, taking the indicated seat and sipping her hot chocolate as she tries to imagine what's gonna happen next.
"Do you want anything to eat Miss Swan? How is the head?"
"Uh-" the blonde replies stupidly, feeling like it's a trick question and she is walking into an ambush.
"As eloquent as ever. Quite different than last night when you wouldn't keep your mouth shut."
Here we go.
"You know what Regina? I have a killer headache and I feel like shit so can you just get to the point so I can go and stick my head in the ground?"
For a moment, the brunette looks taken aback and then seems to contemplate how to move forwards. Clearly it's not as much fun to goad the sheriff when she's not receptive to the insults.
"Always so hostile Miss Swan," Regina replies with a sigh, ever the picture of pretend innocence.
"No, just not in the mood for your games and insults," she snaps back irritably.
"Fine, off you go then," the former mayor replies tersely, taking the still half-full cup away from the other woman. "It's not like you could show some gratitude after you came here drunk of your ass in the middle of the night, complaining about everything in your life and making yourself at home in my house."
Emma felt like tearing at her hair and scream. The former Queen was right of course, she should be grateful, but it was impossible to be so when the other woman was always putting her down.
"Whatever," the blonde replies as she moves to the hallway and starts putting on her boots furiously, Regina following close behind.
"I hope you at least had enough sense to not let Henry see you like that," the brunette says when the other woman opens her door.
Emma turns to look at the woman staring at her with crossed arms and say the only thing she can think of in her anger.
"Fuck you!" And she slams the door harder than she really has to, stomping her feet as she stalks away.
When the door slams, Regina jumps a little, before turning away from the door in disgust, but her face soon distorts in pain instead. She looks quickly down to her hands as a feeling not unlike liquid fire races down her arms and she fists her hands as a green glow seems to pulse around them. She trembles at the pain shooting through her as she tries her best to concentrate on controlling the magic trying to force its way out. It takes a minute – it feels like forever to Regina – before the glow and pain subsides and the brunette lets out a breath she hasn't realized she's been holding, her heart beating fast in her chest.
It doesn't take long before Emma regrets her abrupt departure from the mayoral mansion as she finds herself without her jacket and phone. She thrusts her hand inside her pockets and sighs as she realizes she has no keys or money either. And as if to spite her a wind has started blowing.
She hurries along the street as fast as her hangover will allow her, and unwillingly her mind goes back to the comfortable bed she was in and how she had ended up there in the first place.
She's drunk. She knows she is. That's the only explanation for why it seems perfectly reasonable in her mind to go to Regina Mills at one in the morning.
She's pounding on the door impatiently as she shifts her weight continuously because it's getting pretty damn cold outside as autumn has clearly come to Storybrooke, unlike where she's been stuck for weeks.
She's vaguely aware of lights flicking on as she starts yelling the other woman's name impatiently, switching hands as she continues knocking incessantly because the first one is getting sore.
"Reg-" She is stopped mid shout as the door flies open and a very irritated and slightly disheveled former Queen appears in a black robe.
"What the hell do you think you're doing Miss Swan?" she asks incredulously, scowling when the blonde gives her a full smile and moves inside, forcing the other woman to take two steps back to avoid contact.
"Good, you're still up," the sheriff says as she struggles out of her jacket and kicks off her boots inelegantly, almost toppling over.
"And you're drunk," Regina states and her face shows nothing but disdain as she picks up the other woman's carelessly discarded belongings and put them carefully aside, realizing it would probably be futile to inform the blonde she had actually been sleeping.
"Just a little," Emma exclaims as she squints and moves her fingers slightly apart to indicate how little.
Had the former mayor not been so irritated she would have found the sight a little cute.
"Why don't you take a seat in the living room?" she coos, not knowing how a drunken sheriff will respond to hostility and finding it safer to try the gentle approach. When she's sure the woman is settled on the sofa, she moves swiftly into the kitchen.
"Here," she says when she returns with a large glass and Emma takes it obediently - even raising it to her lips - before she seems to remember something and gives the brunette a suspicious look over the rim of her glass.
"What is it?"
Regina rolls her eyes at the skepticism. "It's water dear. I figured you could use some."
"Oh," the blonde replies with a crooked smile as she takes a large gulp.
"Where's Henry?" the brunette asks with pretend calm, her mind screaming that the sheriff had better not let their son see her like this.
"Oh, he's at Mary Margaret's-I mean Snow's." Emma laughs for a moment before suddenly going somber.
"How weird is it that my roommate really is a fairytale character? And my mom."
The blonde stops to contemplate this for a moment and Regina feels something tugging slightly in her chest, prompting her to open her mouth, but before she can say anything the other woman continues.
"It's so fucked up. Suddenly my friend is my mom and everything's changed. She's nagging and overprotective and disapproves of almost anything and there's no way I can live with her any more now. She drives me fucking crazy."
"Miss Swan-" Regina tries when the sheriff is forced to take a breath. She really doesn't want to listen to the other woman's tirade. But Emma's on a roll now.
"I mean. She's my own freaking age and still she expects me to call her mom and listen to what she says and be obedient like I'm a child. She can't expect me to change just because she's suddenly Snow White again. I don't have freaking dual personalities, I've always been just Emma and I can't change who I am."
"Miss Swan, I really don't think-"
"And Snow is probably gonna want to live with her 'prince Charming' now so even if she didn't drive me completely up the wall, I'm definitely gonna have to get away, because it's just 'eww' to think about what they'll be doing and where the hell am I gonna stay?"
Emma lets out a huff of annoyance as she leans back on the sofa and crosses her arms defiantly, looking imploringly at the brunette sitting opposite her.
It takes a moment for Regina to realize the blonde is expecting her to say something. She's still trying to make sense of all the things the other woman has blurted out in her drunken state.
"I don't know what you want me to say."
The sheriff sighs dramatically before turning so she can lie down on the sofa, wiggling to get comfortable.
"Say that everything is going to be okay! Because right now I feel like there's too much going on at the same time, too many expectations and I just need a freaking moment to try and figure it all out."
"I'm sure everything will work itself out Miss Swan," Regina says briskly, taking note of the other woman's more slurred words and drooping eyes. The blonde doesn't respond and when the former mayor sees the closed eyes she quickly rises from her seat.
"Miss Swan, you are not falling asleep on my sofa," she shrieks, making the blonde jump slightly.
"What?" she replies groggily. She feels so drained.
"Get up!" the brunette demands as she start poking the other woman.
"Alright, alright," Emma shouts as she struggles into a sitting position.
"Follow me," Regina says as she grips the blonde's arm and pulls.
A prickling starts in her arm where the brunette is touching her skin, quickly spreading outwards and feeling almost like a soothing stream of water. Suddenly she's much more awake and aware, but before she can try to process the feeling the other woman has recoiled from her as if burned.
"What the hell was that?" Emma asks with a mixture of interest and fear.
"I…don't know," Regina replies shakily, trying to brush it off. The sheriff notes that it's not a complete lie, but not the truth either. She's gonna have to investigate when she's sober and not so tired.
"I can't believe you're gonna kick me out," she says with a pout, pretending she's letting her curiosity go.
"Of course I'm not Miss Swan. Who knows what could happen to you in your current state. Henry would be furious if you were found dead in a ditch somewhere because I let you stumble around in the middle of the night drunk off your ass."
"Then why won't you let me crash on your couch?"
"Because I don't want to have to clean it afterwards when I have several perfectly pristine guest rooms you can sleep in." Regina replies in a tone that states the blonde clearly should have managed to think that up for herself.
"Now again, will you please follow me?"
Emma rolls her eyes theatrically at the woman's back, but trails obediently behind her. She briefly entertains the idea of reaching out to touch the other woman when they're walking up the staircase just to see her reaction, but she doesn't want to risk actually being thrown out in the cold.
Regina opens a door almost at the end of the hallway and gestures for the sheriff to move inside. When the blonde sees the big bed, her mind finally catches up with her body and a sudden fatigue crashes over her. She throws herself unceremoniously at the bed and wriggles around comically to get under the duvet.
When she's finally under it and looks around, the brunette is standing next to the bed with an unimpressed expression. Emma just gives a goofy grin in response.
"I've left the bathroom lights on and the door ajar in case you need it."
"Awesome, thanks." The blonde replies as she turns on her side and wrap the duvet all the way around her and up under her chin.
"Well, goodnight then Miss Swan," the former mayor says a little uncertainly as she turns to walk away.
"Night Regina." And had the sheriff not already had her eyes closed she would have seen the slight faltering in the other woman's steps at how softly her name was spoken.