Pairing: SwanQueen

Rating: T.

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters and make no profit of them.

AN: Set a while after Emma and Snow was brought back from fairy tale land. Cora has been sent away again, not killed. It assumes Emma and Regina have sort of been together-ish for some time. One Shot.

Regina is both annoyed and curious when Snow shows up at her door looking something between worried and angry.

"You need to stop this."

"Whatever are you referring to?" the mayor drawls, knowing it will irk the other woman. It's an honest question though. She really does wonder what it is she's done wrong now.

"This grudge you have against me has to stop."

"You know I'll never forgive or forget what you did," Regina spits out harshly before she can help herself and she has to remind herself to stay calm before speaking any further. "Still, I will admit I find myself curious as to what you think it is I have done."

"Emma!" Snow breathes and the other woman has to stop herself from rolling her eyes. It seems her former step-daughter has finally found out about them and is none too pleased. Just like she suspected.

"Why don't we take this inside?" Regina asks politely, plastering on her best mayoral smile. She really doesn't wish to have whatever conversation is coming out where prying eyes or ears can catch anything. Snow seems to have other ideas though.

"I don't think so," she hisses and the former 'Evil Queen' can't help but feel the dark haired woman is half expecting to get killed or something the like if she steps foot inside the mansion. With a sigh Regina takes two quick steps forward and closes the door behind herself, pleased at how the other woman stiffens automatically at the sudden movement.

"What about Miss Swan?" the mayor asks with feigned innocence. No point in revealing anything if it turns out Snow doesn't know what she thinks she knows.

"I want you to stay away from my daughter."

Her former step-daughters voice is uncharacteristically low and filled with warning. Had it not been Snow uttering the words, she might have almost felt threatened.

"I'm not forcing her to spend time with me, dear," Regina replies sweetly, but her smirk is filled with a smugness that makes the other woman scowl.

"I can handle whatever you throw at me, but you keep Emma out of this. She has nothing to do with us."

And it hits her that of course Snow White would think this is all about her. That this is some sick, twisted way of punishing her. And the anger that she's managed to push to the back of her mind rushes out into her bloodstream like a waterfall.

"I know you think everything is always about you, but it's not," the former Queen spits out with disgust she doesn't bother to conceal. God, that girl is an insufferable, selfish, narrow-minded idiot.

The other woman actually looks a little perplexed at the statement and Regina has to fight the urge to just strangle her so she can get rid of the ever meddling girl once and for all.

"Have you even talked to her?" she questions irritably, suspecting that the dark haired woman rather prefers to lash out at her 'enemy' than have to actually talk rationally with her long lost daughter about what is going on. They've always liked to jump to the worst conclusions that family.

As Snow folds her arms in front of herself and juts out her chin slightly, she's given all the answer she needs.

"I can assure you that I'm not making Miss Swan do anything she doesn't want to do."

She has to really fight the urge to add 'or do anything to her that she doesn't ask for', but at some point this conversation will be known to the sheriff and the unnecessary cruelty if she adds those words will no doubt come back to bite her in the ass. And not in a pleasurable way.

They've been having a sort of relationship for quite a while now, she and Emma, and it has resulted in a most annoying dependence on each other. So apparently the blonde has figured out that she can actually punish the former 'Evil Queen' whenever she misbehaves. And again, not the pleasurable kind.

No, instead it's the kind that means she's denied any release from her lover until she shows regret for her behavior and promises to be better. Emma Swan is not known for being very patient, but damn, she can hold out when she really wants to.

The first time it happened, she laughed it off, finding it amusing that the blonde thought she could gain the upper hand. But the sheriff hadn't caved to any of her tactics; be it threats or seduction. When it was clear Emma wouldn't indulge her and was actually serious, Regina promised her that as long as she wasn't coming, neither would her lover be.

The sheriff just nodded her head like she already knew that would happen and leaned over to peck the furious and frustrated mayor's lips before disappearing with their son.

In hindsight, that had been a good idea as Regina sort of had a minor tantrum in the living room. Okay, maybe a major one.

At first, she cursed the other woman for her nerve and promised herself that she would end this silly thing between them as soon as Emma got back and Henry had gone to sleep. She would not let anyone dictate what she did. The fact she even entertained the idea of giving in made her huff in disgust as it only proved that she had let herself get attached to something that could now be used against her.

But then she realized that she was actually kind of happy with her life right now and that she didn't really want it to change just because of her own pride.

That, in turn, caused her to rage at the fact she had let herself care enough for the sheriff to actually let her manipulate her and have a say.

It felt good to let out her frustration in the form of thrown glasses and shattered mirrors because she knew she could restore it all with magic later.

So when Emma and Henry tentatively tip-toed their way inside an hour later, the living room was as pristine as ever and Regina was the perfect picture of calm and composed.

She delighted in the slight hesitancy of her lover as they went to bed that night, knowing the blonde expected something to happen. It took all of 3 minutes before she took pity on the rigid form next to her and told her they were fine as she wrapped her own body around the other woman's and informed her that she was still in no way going to cave.

It took her all of 8 days and 9 hours, give or take a few minutes, to do just that. Not that she was counting or anything.

It wasn't nearly as humiliating to admit defeat as she thought it would be. It might have had something to do with the way they were both seriously suffering from withdrawal, but Emma had smartly not gloated about it, instead showing just how much of a reward she could give the brunette for her efforts to be better.

Nowadays Emma can just give her a look and she will breathe out an annoyed apology to whomever she apparently offended. Or, as with Snow right now, she finds herself thinking twice about her words to avoid any repercussions with the sheriff.

It's all sickeningly relationship-like.

"What Emma thinks she wants isn't necessarily what's best for her," Snow says stubbornly and the mayor purses her lips in annoyance.

"Emma is a grown woman who can take perfectly care of herself."

Snow seems almost startled at the way the mayor says her daughter's name.

"Maybe, but that doesn't mean she doesn't make mistakes. And she doesn't know you like I do."

Damn, Miss Goody two-shoes is really determined today it seems.

"Well, let's be honest dear, you don't really know much about me." Regina thinks the implication is pretty obvious, but she's forgetting she's talking to one of the two idiots. They need everything spelled out for them.

"I know enough."

"Frankly, I don't care what you think. I'm not forcing your daughter and I'm not going to push her away just because you can't handle that she sees something in me you can't. I'm long past sugar coating things just for you to keep living in your little fantasy bubble. If you have a problem, you'll have to take it up with her."

Without waiting any further, the former 'Evil Queen' turns and opens the door, slamming it a little harder than intended after her. When she's sure Snow White has left, she leans her back heavily against the door, pushing herself away in annoyance as she feels the tell-tale sign of weakness against her cheeks; tears.

Emma Swan is furious as she storms into her parents' shared apartment.

When she arrived at Regina's mansion earlier, it was to find her lover with tear stained cheeks and red-rimmed eyes. It took her almost 20 minutes to get the comatose-like woman to make enough sense to give her a general idea of what happened with her mother and the anger at Snow's idiocy is only overpowered by her need to comfort Regina.

Then she used the better part of an hour trying to convince the woman that she was not better off without her and she did not make her miserable and that she'd never leave until Regina literally threw her out on her ass no matter what she did.

When the mayor finally seemed to compose herself somewhat she practically begged her lover to ignore it and let it go.

But there's no way the blonde will stand for behavior like this, even if it's from her own mother. She'll be damned if she lets anyone get in the way of her happiness.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" Emma asks her mother as soon as she sees her standing in the kitchen.

"Emma!" twin cries of admonishment sounds from the other two people, but she ignores it.

"You need to get off your fucking high horse and butt the hell out."

Charming opens his mouth to say something, but Snow prevents it with a squeeze to his arm. Emma is glad her mother appears to take her anger seriously or else this could all go rapidly downhill.

"Give us a moment?" she pleads with him and they share a look of support and understanding that only further annoys the sheriff, before the man reluctantly gets his jacket and disappears outside.

"Emma, I can understand that you're angry, but-"

"You don't understand anything," the blonde breathes, wiping at her eyes in frustration. She feels pathetic at the wetness forming there, but her emotions is running haywire. She's had enough of the double standards people like to go by in this town.

Snow looks at her daughter with anguish. She can count on one hand the times she's seen Emma cry and it throws her completely off kilter that a conversation between herself and Regina can cause this reaction.

"Emma, I don't understand, I-" she tries to say meekly, fumbling for words and fighting the urge to wrap her daughter up in her arms and comfort her.

"Why can't you just leave us alone?" the blonde shouts exasperated.


"Why do you and everyone else in town have to make everything so damn hard all the time?"

Snow has to fight her damnedest not to reach out for her daughter as Emma swipes furiously at the tears of frustration making their way down her cheeks.

"Honey, it's Regina-"

"That's always everyone's excuse. It's Regina. So what? Sure she did some horrible things in fucking fairy-tale land, but we're not there. And no one here can say they haven't done things they regret. You're all so eager to forgive and forget everything and everyone except when it comes to her. She's your scapegoat of convenience."

Snow tries to ignore the stab in her chest at the words that she refuses to admit might have some truth to them. "Emma, that's not fair, we-"

"Listen to me," the sheriff shouts angrily. "She is really trying and she has helped several of you on more than one occasion. People here aren't suffering and she's a great mayor and a great mother. Why do you keep insisting on hurting her?"

The dark haired woman feels so confused. When had this become about Regina?

"I'm just trying to look out for you-" Snow tries but she stops abruptly as a palm slams against the counter. Apparently that was a rhetorical question and the blonde isn't finished with her venting yet.

"You're supposed to be the 'good' people. You need to let all your shit go. This, hurting her and not giving her any chance, makes you no better than she was. If any of you ever bothered to look for a reason for why she's done what she has, you would realize that she did what most of us would have done with the limited options she had after all the shit and manipulation she was put through."

Emma takes a deep breath and slumps a little against the counter, obviously deflating and calming down a little now that she's been able to word some of her frustrations. Snow is unsure whether she's allowed to speak yet though, so she remains awkwardly quiet.

"The point is," the sheriff starts with a heavy sigh, "she makes me happy. And I love her." Emma tries her best to ignore the sharp intake of breath from her mother at her confession.

"I know all of you have only seen the bad part of her, but she's so much more than that. And I thought, since you're all freaking fairy-tale characters and have happy ever after and magic and all that shit, maybe you would actually forgive her past mistakes."

Emma sends a dejected look the other woman's way before she lets out a sigh. "But I guess that's not gonna happen. So instead I need to ask you to respect that I love her and leave her alone."

"Emma, are you sure about this? She's played us so many times, how do you know she's not doing the same to you?" Snow asks tentatively, not wishing to start another round of shouting, but unable to not voice her worry.

"How can anyone ever know that? Maybe she'll break my heart in a month, or a year, or in ten years. Or maybe never. No one can predict the future, but either way it has nothing to do with the fact it's Regina. David could do the same to you. It's part of the risk of trusting someone else."

Snow opens her mouth to argue, but her daughter beats her to it.

"I'm not you. And you can't make this about you and your past with Regina. I'm your daughter. Don't you want me to be happy?"

"Of course I do," Snow replies instantly, disturbed that the blonde would ever think or insinuate that she doesn't have her best interest at heart.

"Then please, leave Regina alone. She is what makes me happy," Emma pleads to her mother, begging with her eyes for the other woman to listen to her.

And what can a mother do when faced with their child's desperate plea other than agree?

"Are you absolutely sure about this Emma?" Snow asks, needing to make sure there's no way she can get her daughter to change her mind.

"I am."

Emma's voice is unwavering and certain and it makes the dark haired woman frown. It's clear there's no changing the blonde's mind.

"I just don't understand. You say you love her. How can that have happened?"

"Quite easily it appears."

"But when?" Snow asks frustrated and confused, her voice rising slightly in desperation.

"A while ago."

"What's a while ago?" The dark haired woman asks warily, not sure she really wants to know the answer.

"Well, we've kind of been in a pseudo-relationship for close to 9 months," Emma replies with a sheepish shrug of her shoulders, forcing herself not to flinch at the obvious shock on the other woman's face.

"That long?" Snow whispers more to herself than the blonde as some sort of realization seems to dawn on her. If this is true – and she has no reason to think Emma is lying – then whatever is going on between her daughter and 'nemesis' has to be pretty serious. If Regina can make the sheriff stop running and settle down and Emma can make the 'Evil Queen' stop her need for destruction and vengeance, then maybe she really should give them a break and trust in their desire to be happy.

"I'll try," she finally tells the blonde. Emma reaches out for her over the counter and wraps her in an awkward hug.

"Thanks mom, you have no idea how much that means to me."

Snow is pretty sure she has an idea.

As soon as Emma leaves, Charming comes back inside. He doesn't even bother with his jacket before striding over to his wife and catching her as she buries her face in his chest and cries. She cries for the gesture and words she has wanted from her daughter for so long.

The irony that Regina is what gives it to her is not lost and it only makes her cry harder, tears of joy and frustration mixing together as her True Love holds her tight and promises her that everything will be okay.