Disclaimer: I do not own Once Upon a Time or any recognizable characters
AN: Prompt from Kmsiw101 who was the 800th reviewer of Incoming Messages: family fic - so I've set this one in my Henry's Gift universe. There's no need to read that one, though I do suggest it just to boost my ego. In that universe, Emma and Regina are married and there is no curse. Thank you for the awesome prompt, and I hope you like it!
"I can't believe you convinced me to go camping," Regina spat out the last word as she swatted at a mosquito, angry that her usual glare wasn't doing its job at keeping everyone and everything away.
Henry popped his head over the back seat in the bug where his mothers were talking by the open truck, his blonde mother lifting the cooler and placing it on the ground. He held up a camcorder and directed it to them. "Do you think we'll see a bear?"
"There are no bears in Storybrooke," Regina reasoned though her tone wasn't entirely certain.
"If there are they tend to eat little boys who don't get their butt out of the cars and help out," Emma teased and pulled out the tent. She poked Regina in the side. "They also eat brunette women who don't help either."
Regina smirked and took a folding chair from the trunk and pulled it open, sitting in it promptly, her legs crossed and her arms spread on the armrests. She eyed Emma up and down with a smirk. "I think I can handle the bear."
"Well," Emma raised her eyebrows catching on. "Carry on then."
Henry came out from the backseat, filming his surroundings. He zoomed the camera in on Regina who was hidden in a thin mist. "Sweetie, come put some bug spray on."
The boy put the camera away and went to his mother, automatically holding his arms out for her to spray. "Are you sure you're not afraid to stay in your own tent?"
The seven-year old puffed out his chest. "I'm not afraid."
The Mayor furrowed her brow. "If you get scared-"
"You heard him," Emma interrupted as she set up the child-sized tent. "He's a big boy."
Regina sighed and got up, helping the clearly struggling blonde. "You just don't want him in our tent," the brunette whispered.
"The things that will be going on in that tent will make him thank us for getting him his own," Emma smirked boldly as she straightened the poles.
Regina rolled her eyes with a shake of her head and swatted the air at gnats. "I hate camping."
She eyed the blonde whose face was scrunched up in confusion, staring at the poles. "Where are the instructions?"
"I don't need instructions."
"Clearly you do."
"And we witness my mothers in their natural habitat," Henry narrated with the camera back on and inching closer as if approaching a dangerous creature. "Their arguing, while in most species signals hostility, it really just means they love each other."
Both mothers looked to their son with an amused expression on their faces. "Come on, kid," Emma spoke first motioning to the tent. "Come help or a mountain lion will get into your tent tonight."
Emma hid behind a tree, snickering to herself as she heard Regina and Henry approach. The family had opted on taking a hike shortly after hitching their tents, but Emma, being the teenage boy that she was, went ahead to make sure the path was clear.
Or so they thought.
She found the biggest tree along the path and morphed her body to it, preparing for the perfect moment to pop out.
"-and then wolverine had to face this girl-wolverine, and her claws came from her fingers like this, and then-"
Emma jumped from behind the tree, roaring at the approaching brunettes. Henry screamed and hid behind Regina, tugging her back before even comprehending there was no real threat. The Mayor, however, just stood in her place with an arched eyebrow. "Really, Emma?"
The blonde laughed as her son peaked his head out from behind his brunette mother. "You scared me!"
"Yeah, Henry," Emma managed between laughs, "that was the point."
"Do you want our son to have nightmares?"
Emma wrapped an arm around the still edgy boy as the family continued their walk. "You weren't scared, right?"
"Right," Henry said immediately grasping onto an escape before turning to Regina. "I was trying to get you away."
The brunette smirked and patted his hair down. "Thank you, dear."
Emma and Regina sat on a blanket by the edge of the lake the family had found on their hike. After lunch, they trudged through the woods again with their swimming gear in tow, and as soon as they approached the water, Henry sprinted to it, losing his shirt in the process before wading in and splashing recklessly. He found a cliff not too far from view that overlooked a deeper patch of water and immediately began jumping in.
Emma hollered as she filmed her son tucking his legs in mid-jump into a cannonball. Regina sat up straighter and yelled. "Henry! Come away from there!"
"He's fine," Emma assured. "He's done it like ten times."
"There could be rocks."
Emma kept the camera focused on Henry as he swam further into the lake. "I checked. It's all good."
The blonde grabbed her wife's hand and gave a squeeze. "Let him have some fun. He won't be a kid forever."
Nibbling her lip in worry, Regina remained sitting up keeping a hawk's eye on Henry. The Sheriff turned the camera onto her wife. "Smile, Regina."
The brunette gave her a sideways glare, keeping her protective gaze on their son. Emma reached up and poked her in the cheek and quickly earned herself a swat.
"Emma." Regina's tone meant business to leave her to her watchfulness.
"Regina," Emma mocked, poking her again.
This time the brunette turned and directed a full blown glare that would have sent even the bravest of men scurrying away, but Emma was used to it and kept the camera up. "Smile!"
"Can you grow up for two sec-"
Emma put the camera down halfway through the sentence and stood, using Regina's position of her knees to her chest to her advantage and scooped the older woman in her arms. The brunette yelped in surprise and struggled. "What are you doing? Put me down right now!"
Emma just grinned and picked up speed before getting to the edge of the lake and throwing Regina into the water. Henry turned at the commotion and watched as his brunette mother floundered in the water before surfacing. He grinned at his blonde one who was standing at the bay, her hands on her knees laughing so hard she turned red. He paddled towards them, eager to join his mothers.
"Emma!" Regina yelled before finding her footing and standing in the knee deep water. Her plain white T-shirt was soaked through and clung to her skin making the red bikini she wore beneath it stick out. She ran her hands through her hand to wipe the dripping water away from her face before planting them on her hips. "I am going to end you."
"Oh yeah?" The blonde asked with a smirk before whipping off her tank top and tossing it to the side as she entered the lake and closed the gap between herself and her wife. "What are you gonna do, Madame Mayor?"
When Emma was close enough, the brunette smirked, and, with a move Emma was not expecting, pushed the blonde over, letting her fall over Henry who had stealthily crawled behind his blonde mother and remained on all fours.
Emma's eyes widened before she fell head over heels into the lake. She spluttered to find her wife and son laughing their heads off. She pulled apart the blonde tresses that curtained her face. "Oh. It's on."
The two brunette began splashing immediately, but Emma moved quickly and used Henry as a shield. The boy quickly changed sides and used his feet to kick water at Regina.
Regina exited their tent, towel drying her hair and hanging her wet clothes on a low branch. She sat on the picnic table beside Emma's portable grill station and scowled. "I can't believe you threw me in that leech-infested lake."
Emma snorted as she put a few hot dogs on the grill. "If it was leech-infested you wouldn't have let Henry swim in it in the first place."
At the mention of their son, both women looked up to see Henry not too far away investigating a fallen oak.
"And you're the one who dunk my head under water," Emma added for good measure.
"Oh, don't be such a baby." Regina turned her head when she felt Henry wiggle his way beside her. "Tell your mother she's being a baby."
"You're a baby," Henry said simply accepting the juice box Regina opened for it.
"We'll see after all the ghost stories tonight," Emma pointed with her tongs.
Henry cheered. "Will we have a fire?"
"After dinner," Regina added.
Emma just shrugged at the pout on Henry's face. "Mom said."
Regina placed a hot dog in front of their son, grimacing at the obscene amount of ketchup he was pouring on it. That grimace only deepened when she noticed Emma doing the same. Wrinkling her nose at the processed meat in front of her, Regina sighed and took a tentative bite.
"I knew you'd like it," Emma smirked nudging her wife.
"Do I have a choice or would you like me to starve?"
"We can have smores instead?" Henry attempted with a sly grin.
Emma laughed out loud. "Good try."
Regina looked around the area, wiping at Henry's ketchup-stained mouth. "Where's the bathroom?"
Emma just waved her hand all around her, not at all surprised at the incredulous stare the Mayor was sporting.
Regina laughed insanely to herself, placing her head in her hands. "This is barbaric."
Regina sprayed herself with bug spray for the tenth time that day. Not only did the spray feel dry and sticky on her skin, but she swore it made the bugs swarm to her all the more. Emma, who didn't even bother to put any on, remained bitten-free while Regina had a mosquito bite on a spot on her back that itched so fiercely but was in a perfect position that whatever angle she attempted could not be reached.
She leaned against a tree, watching as Emma and Henry blew on embers in an attempt to get the fire started before it was too dark. Grinning at how they crouched on the ground and leaned in close, Regina retrieved the camcorder from Emma's pack and began filming them.
"Sweetie, not too close," Regina warned as she came closer.
Henry obediently inched back. He looked around and grabbed the discarded piece of cardboard that Emma had tossed when wrestling the air mattress out of its container and began flapping at the embers. Soon enough a flame erupted on Henry's side and spread throughout the firewood.
Regina gasped and grinned at her proud son. "I did it!"
"Geez, kid, way to show me up in front of my wife," Emma grumbled ruffling his head.
Regina set the camera down just as the sun was ending its descent then handed over the sweater and pants she'd obtained from Henry's tent to the boy. "Put these on, it'll get chilly."
"We just built a fire," Emma reasoned plopping herself down in a folding chair and tearing open the bag of marshmallows. "And the smoke keeps the bugs away."
"That useless can promised the same thing, but here I am every inch of me bitten," hissed Regina.
"Not yet," Emma smirked with a wink and tugged Regina into the chair next to her.
"Can we have smores now?" Henry asked, bounding over from his tent where he changed. "And ghost stories?"
"Henry, are you sure you want to hear ghost stories? Remember how you had nightmares after watching that film where the house comes alive?" Regina worried in her motherly tone as she stuck a marshmallow on a stick and handed it to her son.
"I want to hear the stories." He immediately stuck the marshmallow in the flame, letting it get charcoal black. "It's not working."
"You gotta do this," Emma responded and directed her own marshmallow to the tip of the fire and rotated it until it was lightly golden and handed it to her son.
He gobbled up the gooey creation and went about copying his mother's direction.
Regina sat, mentally counting how many sweets Henry had consumed when a marshmallow covered stick entered her vision. She looked to her wife who was offering it up but shook her head. "No thank you, dear."
"I'd rather not."
"Come on, Regina. We're camping." Emma pushed the marshmallow closer to the brunette's mouth who sighed and opened her mouth to be fed. Emma grinned and placed the tip of the sweet into her wife's mouth who bit down and did much to hide her pleasure . Emma just smirked and continued feeding the brunette who didn't refuse but was too stubborn to make her own.
The moon had finally settled in the sky, and the family was sated with the numerous smores they'd consumed, Regina included. No matter how many times the brunette had said the cracker, chocolate and sugar concoction was an awful, messy dessert choice, she never turned one away when Emma would make one for her.
The family sat away from the smoke with the boy hidden in his brunette mother's side as Emma told a ghost story.
". . .before long the girl was alone in the woods, her boyfriend long lost with the agonizing wail of his scream. The leaves rustling behind her sounded closer, fast, footsteps right on her heels." Emma approached her son with a hunched back, her voice low and her hands curled into claws as he cowered deeper and deeper into Regina until she stopped directly behind him, her voice hovering above his ear in a whisper. "Until it stopped. She looked all around her and then-" Emma yelled and grabbed Henry, who screamed and flailed, around the middle and tearing him from Regina, continuing her story. "The man with the hook was right in front of her and the very last thing she saw was a bloody hook!"
"Mom! Stop!" Henry screeched with the hint of laughter as he reached for Regina.
The brunette stood and shook her head at her wife who settled their son down on the ground. He huffed and straightened his sweater. "That wasn't that scary."
"Okay, children," Regina clapped to get their attention. "Time for bed."
Both mother and son pouted, but a look from Regina had Henry trudging into his tent before sticking his head out and grumbling a good night. Regina moved to pour water onto the fire, turning her head to the side when she felt a hand around her waist.
"Did I scare you?" Emma smirked pressing a kiss to the older woman's cheek.
"Watching you eat seven smores was more frightening than your tale," replied the brunette.
Emma just chuckled and turned on a flashlight as soon as the fire was out and led the way to their tent. "Come on. I think that bear is still hungry."
Somewhere off to the distance a wolf howled, and the persistent hooting of an owl sounded every five minutes. Regina lay wide awake on their air mattress with her wife's arm draped carelessly around her middle. She stared up at the tent's ceiling and shifted at every crackle and sizzle Emma's bug zapper made. She could hear twigs crunching outside the tent, and she swore she heard heavy breathing not too far from where her head was positioned.
"Emma," Regina whispered, nudging the blonde. "Emma, wake up."
"Mmm?" The Sheriff moved from her stomach to her side, wrapping herself completely against the older woman.
"Wake up." Despite her fear, her tone was not to be taken lightly.
"Yeah?" Emma sat up abruptly at the sound of her wife's voice. "What's wrong?"
"I'm hearing things," Regina whispered.
Emma rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "We'll go see Archie when we get back."
Regina glared but curled closer when she heard a twig snap. "Did you hear that?"
The blonde stared at her wife incredulously. "Seriously?"
"There's someone out there. Do you have your gun?"
"No, I did not bring my gun to camping," Emma groaned. "Regina, there is nothing out there."
"Do you know for sure, Sheriff?" Regina asked crossly.
"Breaking out the titles, huh?" Emma muttered to herself before rearing back on her knees and reaching over to slip on her sweats. "If I die-"
"Then Storybrooke will honour you a fearless hero," Regina provided.
"They better," Emma said, turning on the flashlight and zipping open the entrance of the tent.
Regina waited with bated breath, watching the beam of light move haphazardly as Emma moved first to Henry's tent then outward to their surrounding area. Suddenly it got quiet. The light stopped moving then dropped to the floor.
"Emma?" Regina hissed. She crawled near the opening of the tent but lowered her voice to a soft whisper. "Emma?"
Receiving no reply, Regina fumbled around the small area and grabbed her own flashlight before sticking her head out of the flap. "Emma."
Just two feet from the fire pit was the blonde's flashlight lying carelessly on the ground. Regina's heart pounded at the numerous possibilities of where her wife could have gone.
Another twig snapped.
Regina whipped her head to the source, but all she was met with was the sound of silence and pitch blackness. "I swear to God if you're trying to be funny, Emma Swan."
Silence. The hoot of an owl.
Cautiously Regina stepped out of the tent, ready to use her flashlight as a battering ram. Keeping a watchful eye on her surroundings, she inched to Henry's tent, pleased to note the boy was sprawled out on his sleeping bag, sound asleep. She shut it tight before creeping over to the fallen flashlight, sprinting was more like it, as she picked up the light and whipped around.
Leaves rustled behind her, but everything was too dark to see. Another bush moved. Footsteps in front of her now. She whipped every which way before she had the sense to move her feet and run to Henry's tent.
A loud roar pierced through the night sky, and Regina screamed willing her legs to move faster, but all she felt was her feet lift the ground as arms wrapped around her waist. Reflexively she kicked and flailed, her elbow making contact with her attacker which worked when she felt the safety of the ground. She scrambled away when she heard a groan and chanced a look behind her.
Emma kneeled on all fours on the ground, clutching her eye, but judging by the shake of her shoulders, she was trying to contain her laughter. "I got you," the blonde managed to gasp out. "I got you so good."
The brunette's heart still beat rapidly, but the realization of the situation had her on her feet and smacking recklessly at the still laughing blonde. "I thought you were dead!"
Emma attempted to block the slaps but was finding it much too difficult when she couldn't breathe from her laughter. "Your face was priceless."
Eventually Regina stopped and crossed her arms, letting her stupid wife get up. Emma's eye was beginning to swell, but despite the fact that she looked like she had just gotten into a bar scuffle, she was all smiles at how successful her prank was. "Come on, Regina, you have to admit that was good."
The brunette just glared and stomped over to their tent, zipping it tight behind her. Emma just finished the last of her chuckles before following the older woman and lying cautiously beside her. The blonde poked her side. "Regina."
"What?" Her tone was harsh, and she kept her back to her wife.
Emma just shrugged and molded herself around her, pulling her in close and pressing her lips to the brunette's shoulder. "I'm sorry," she whispered.
After a few moments of silence where Emma was sure Regina had fallen asleep, she felt a hand tug her own tighter around Regina's middle. "You're an idiot."
Emma grinned moving the short locks from the neck in front of her and placed a kiss just below her wife's ear.
Emma lay wide awake staring at the ceiling of the tent. Somewhere off to the distance, a wolf howled. Her heart sped up.
"Regina. Do you hear that?"
The Facebook Page "The Butterflies of Swan Queen" want to do a #swanqueen Trend Topic for this week. They think that the best moment is on Sunday (the 10th) two hours before the show, so for those of you on Twitter, be sure to start tweeting with #swanqueen two hours before The Miller's Daughter airs. We need more Emma hugging Regina pictures!