Here it is, the final chapter of this story. I want to thank all of you for following and reviewing. This story was a lot of fun and I'm glad you all seemed to have enjoyed it as much as I have.

Happy 'Once' Day!

Emma took a deep breath before she opened her eyes and the smell of apples filled her nostrils. She furrowed her brows, confused, and saw cropped brunette hair in front of her. She noticed she still had her arm draped over the woman's waist, both of them still fully clothed in what they'd worn the previous night. She started to slip away from Regina, but the Queen didn't approve.

Regina rolled onto her other side to face Emma and groaned before she opened her eyes. She reached out and placed a hand on Emma's hip before the blonde could roll her way out of the bed.

"You're not leaving."

Emma couldn't help but smile.

"You don't own me. You can't tell me what to do."

Emma took Regina's hand in hers and pushed it back toward the brunette before she turned and sat on the edge of the bed. She nearly stood up when Regina latched on to the waistband of Emma's skinny jeans and tugged her back onto the bed.

"You said you'd treat me like a queen," Regina said before she sat up and crawled to close the space between them.

Regina wrapped her arms around Emma from behind the younger woman and brought her mouth incredibly close to the Sheriff's ear to speak.

"If I say you're not leaving, you're not leaving."

Emma got goosebumps from Regina's low, sultry tone as the brunette's voice indicated a sense of authority and possession.

"We have to get to Town Hall," Emma said as she fought off the urge to whip around and attack Regina's lips.

Regina didn't fight that urge, however, when she looked at the bedside clock and grinned.

"We've still got two hours," Regina said in her smoky tone before she used one of her hands to pull long blonde hair away from Emma's neck.

Regina leaned in and kissed Emma's pulse point.

Emma relaxed her eyes closed and tilted her head to the side to expose more skin to Regina.

Regina licked from the crook of Emma's neck up to the area just below Emma's ear.

Emma fell into Regina and weaved her fingers through the Queen's hair. She guided Regina back to her neck and forced the brunette's lips against her skin.

Regina hummed against Emma's neck and made the Savior's skin vibrate.

Emma bit her bottom lip and continued to hold Regina in place.

Regina nipped at the skin beneath her then glided her tongue over it before she finally sucked on hot, waiting flesh.

Emma slowly exhaled with a bit of relief and satisfaction. When Regina's lips left her neck, she eased up on Regina's hair and twisted her body so one of her thighs laid on the edge of the bed. Her eyes flickered over Regina's face until they landed on brown eyes, the two of them nose to nose with Emma's hand then loosely placed in Regina's hair.

Their lips brushed against each other before Regina smirked.

"If you're always this easy to please then I'm going to have some fun," Regina purred.

"If you're always this horny in the morning then I'm going to get laid...a lot," Emma joked.

"Oh, you have no idea," Regina slowly said before she pulled away with a grin and removed herself from the bed.

Emma's jaw dropped.

" can't just... You can't just say something like that and walk away," Emma said as she stood.

Regina chuckled as she headed toward the master bathroom.

"And yet I did," she didn't even bother to throw over her shoulder as she continued to look ahead.

"Where are you going," Emma asked.

"To take a shower. You should consider one yourself, Miss Swan."

"Or...I could just take one with you," Emma suggested with a devious smile.

Regina turned and grinned back at her.

"Buy a girl a drink first, Sheriff," Regina teased.

"Oh, come on. It's not like we're going to have a normal life anyway, right? My mom is freakin' Snow White and my dad is Prince friggin' Charming. You're the Evil Queen and I'm the Savior. It makes no sense and yet makes every sense so why can't we just skip dinner and shower together. I promise no touching," Emma defensively raised her hands like someone had a gun on her.

"But chivalry is not dead to me, dear. We'll date first."

"Okay, I'm willing to work with you, but answer me this. Would you have sex on the first date?"

Regina closed the distance between them and lightly dragged a fingernail up and down Emma's arm.

"Wouldn't you like to know," Regina purred then headed for the bathroom again.

Emma threw up her hands then let them fall and hit her thighs in defeat.

"There you go again. God, you're such a tease."

"Coming from the woman who refuses to wear anything other than skin tight pants that look as if they're painted on," Regina quipped before she smirked through the double doors and shut them.

Emma heard the notable click of the lock and groaned. She balled up her fists and pressed them to her forehead. She spun around, her back to the bed, and collapsed on top of it. Her hands fell to either side of her head when she heard the water start to run behind closed doors and sighed. After a few seconds, she smiled up at the ceiling.

Suddenly, the walkie talkie crackled with static before Henry got through.

"Mom? Are you awake?"

Emma sat up and rolled onto her stomach on the bed. She pulled herself across the mattress like someone going through a barbed wire exercise of an obstacle course. She reached out and grabbed the walkie talkie off the nightstand then rolled onto her back toward the foot of the bed.

"Henry, it's Emma."

"Mom! You're there. Where's Regina?"

"Taking a shower. What's up?"

"I woke up this morning and I missed you. I just wanted to hear your voice first thing."

Emma smiled.

"Well, I'm glad you got on the walkie because I miss you too."

"Is Regina gonna take long? I kinda want to hear her voice too."

Emma smirked.

"Give me a minute."

Emma made sure she didn't press the button on the walkie so she wouldn't scar her son for life with what she was about to do.

Emma wasn't sure how magic worked yet, but she bit her bottom lip and pressed her palm to the crack between the double doors to the bathroom. She closed her eyes and listened to the shower run on the other side before she took a deep breath.

Suddenly, she felt a magical charge spark within her and within seconds, the lock clicked. She opened her eyes and smiled down at the door handle before she reached down to grab it. She opened the door and her smile widened until it turned into a proud smirk.

She quietly closed the door behind herself and crept inside. The steam hid most of the little details from Emma's view, but the glass walls of the shower gave her quite a show anyway. She stared with lust filled eyes as Regina's backside glistened with water. It moved occasionally when Regina shifted her weight from foot to foot.

"Regina," Emma yelled over the running water and startled the brunette.

"Miss Swan," Regina exclaimed as she jumped then turned to face Emma. "This is hardly appropriate."

Regina used one hand to cover her breasts and the other to cover between her legs.

Emma laughed.

"How did you even get in here," Regina asked after a moment, her brow knitted in confusion.

"Magic," Emma answered after her laughter subsided.

Regina rolled her eyes.

"And that is why you won't be learning it from me."

"Oh, come on. Imagine all the fun we could have using magic together," Emma said as she suggestively raised an eyebrow then looked Regina up and down.

Regina cocked out a hip,though not as much as she normally would have if she were clothed and not using her hands to conceal herself.

"Your point for rudely barging in?"

"Right," Emma said as she straightened up and looked at the walkie talkie in her hands. "Henry wanted to hear your voice."

Regina smiled.


"Yeah," Emma nodded with a smile of her own.

As if on cue, Henry started to speak from the walkie talkie.


Emma held down the button.

"Which one," Emma asked.

"You, Regina there now?"

Regina frowned at the use of her first name. Emma didn't miss it.

"You should really call her Mom too," Emma told Henry.

"Then how will you know who I'm talking to?"

"You can start calling me Emma again," the blonde offered.

Henry paused.

"Okay," he sadly responded.

"No," Regina told Emma. "He can call you...Ma and still call me Mom. That's okay, right?"

Emma warmly smiled.

"I'd kiss you, but I know that me just being here makes you uncomfortable."

"Open the door," Regina said.

Emma stared at Regina with confusion for a moment before she inched toward the shower door. She opened it, but kept her hand on it.

Regina leaned over and gave Emma a slow, lingering kiss.

"Mom," Henry asked as the two women mutually, though hesitantly, broke the kiss.

Emma pressed the button to talk, but kept quiet.

Regina waited a few seconds until she realized Emma wasn't going to say anything.

"Henry, it's me. Regina."

"Mom," he excitedly exclaimed.

Regina beamed.

"Hi, sweetie. Listen, I think I've got a way to fix the whole Mom confusion."

Regina told him about the different versions of the name he could call each of them and he shouted into the walkie talkie.


Emma and Regina shared a laugh.

"That's good. I'm glad you didn't try to get me to call one of you Mommy because I'm way past that now."

Regina chuckled.

"If you say so."

"Oh, uh, grandma and grandpa are up."

"You should get ready," Emma said. "And I hope you don't mind, but your mom and I have been talking and you're going to have to say at the apartment for another night."


Emma held down the button, but Regina was quick to talk.

"Emma and I have made plans."

"Plans? What kind of plans?"

"The kind of plans we should discuss as a family and in person," Emma explained.


"Henry, who are you talking to," Snow's voice came through the walkie talkie from a distance.

The walkie talkie went silent for a little while.

"Maybe our first date shouldn't be at Granny's," Emma frowned as she thought about it.

"Why not," Regina asked. "It's not like we have anywhere else to go."

"I could take you out of town."

"I can't leave Storybrooke, remember."

"Not true. I helped Gold get to New York and he didn't lose his memory. We can do the same for you. You just have to enchant something."

"Maybe on our next date. It's a lot of work for such a short amount of time."

"Wait, there's gonna be a next date?"

"Sorry," Henry interrupted the conversation. "Grandma came in and got suspicious."

"What'd you tell her," Emma slowly asked as she tried to take her mind off her unanswered question.

"I told her I was talking to you and that Mom wasn't there. She still wasn't too happy about that at first, but I told her I just wanted to say good morning."

"Good call, especially since that wasn't really a lie," Emma said more to herself but had accidentally held down the talk button.

"I know, right? I'm getting good at this stuff."

Both Emma and Regina could heard the smile on his face from his tone.

Regina tilted her head as a silent way of saying, "You see what you did?"

Emma winced and mouthed "sorry."

"Operation Black Heart is still on, right," Henry asked.

"Yeah, it's still on," Emma answered.

"Good. I can't wait to see you guys. I can't believe we're all gonna live together too. This is gonna be great. You two will stop fighting, I won't have to feel torn between my two moms. We can be a family."

"Family," Emma softly said as she blissfully stared off into space.

Regina smiled.

"Family," the brunette echoed, though not distant at all as she focused on Emma's face.

Green eyes met brown and Emma's heart soared.

"We're still gonna fight," Emma told Regina.

"Of course."

"But this is gonna work."

"Definitely. Now all we have to do is convince your parents of that, which...I can't really do in my current condition."

Emma wickedly grinned and looked over Regina's naked form, though the older woman still had herself covered.

"I can't wait to kiss every part of that body," Emma confessed.

Regina's chest heaved as she felt a little warmer than she had felt only seconds ago.

"I'll you later," Henry interrupted again. "...I love you."

Emma and Regina spoke at the same time.

"I love you too."

Emma and Regina stood outside the double doors to the hearing room. Regina took a few deep breaths to calm herself while Emma tried not to worry.

When Emma looked over at Regina, she smiled.

"Are you actually nervous? You, the Queen, the Mayor, Regina 'I'll Burn This Town to the Ground' Mills, nervous?"

Regina flashed a smile that quickly disappeared before she turned to Emma.

"I've tried to get back to this part of me for a long time, one in there accepts me. They won't accept that I've changed. That I want to change."

"You've waited almost a lifetime to be the person you were before. Just be that person and let me take care of the rest."

"Let you deal with whether or not they accept me," Regina made it a statement though she didn't quite believe it and needed confirmation.

"Trust me," Emma smiled as she took Regina's hand in hers and laced their fingers.

Emma squeezed Regina's hand as reassurance and caused the brunette to warmly, genuinely smile. It was a look Emma hadn't seen before the previous night and quickly learned she'd see a lot more of it if she stuck by the other woman's side.

Regina took a deep breath and slowly exhaled before she let go of Emma's hand.

"Let's do this," Regina said as she stared at the closed doors to the court room.

Emma stepped forward and opened the doors. She walked in first and the townspeople's chatter rapidly died down.

Regina followed close behind, her posture slightly defensive and her expression unreadable for the most part.

"Emma," Snow breathed out with a small smile. "We're glad you're okay."

Snow glided across the floor to greet Emma with open arms, but Emma held up her hands and kept the pixie-haired woman at a distance.

"Of course I'm okay. I can take care of myself. And Regina wasn't going to hurt me."

David looked at Regina who stood a few feet from the family, her eyes cast down.

Snow finally acknowledged Regina's presence and frowned as she looked over Emma's shoulder at the woman.

"I believe you have something to prove," Snow icily said to Regina.

Regina looked up and Emma took a step back, away from her mother and toward Regina. She held back a smile at how the blonde stood to protect her though there was no immediate threat.

"I'd like to apologize," Regina started as she kept her focus on Snow for a few seconds.

Regina then addressed the crowd.

"To all of you," she continued. "The things I've done to you and your families, enacting the curse to rip away your happiness. I'm sorry. I know what it's like to be unhappy and that's why I wanted you all to suffer. Mostly I wanted you..."

Regina focused on Snow again.

"To suffer because I blamed you for what happened to Daniel. I realize now that I can't blame you for that misfortune. It happened and I can't go back to change that, but I think...maybe...that's a good thing."

Snow furrowed her brow in confusion much like most of the townspeople did.

"I..." Regina trailed off as she looked around the crowd.

Regina sighed and tried again.

"I am truly sorry for the pain and destruction I've caused. I know you've given me plenty of chances before, but this time I think I can actually change."

"And why would now be any different," David asked.

Regina hesitated.

"Because she has me," Emma spoke for her.

Regina's jaw dropped in shock.

"She's not to be trusted," Snow said. "She's-"

"If you say the Evil Queen, this little 'meeting' is over and we're leaving. And that's 'we're' as in me, Henry, and Regina."

Snow closed her mouth and tried to think of another way to put it. David spoke instead.

"Why are you defending her?"

"Because I know her."

"I don't mean to interrupt," Neal slowly started as he took a few steps toward the family. " thought you knew me. Then I turned out to be Rumpelstiltskin's son."

"Yeah," Leroy and a few others agreed.

Emma shook her head.

"You were a liar and a thief and I was young and naïve. I've seen Regina's heart, literally, and it can be healed. You may have given her chances," Emma looked to her parents. "But you were never really on her side. You let her deal with the heartache and the temptation of dark magic alone. You cast her out and expected her to just figure it out. After all the stuff she had to go through. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be married to someone twice your age without having a choice. Something a little girl desperately wanted and a pushy mother made happen. No one ever asked Regina what she wanted, how she felt."

"If she was unhappy, she would've said something," Snow said.

Emma looked at Regina as she let go of her hand.

"I can't really speculate you're feelings about the whole thing so you'll have to explain," Emma told Regina.

Regina nodded then looked to Snow.

"You were only eight. What was I supposed to tell you, your father only married me to help take care of you? He never loved me. He only used me and not just to mother you. I kept the other side of his bed warm at night. When ruling the kingdom became too stressful, he turned to me for companionship. He didn't want to feel alone and having a young wife trapped beneath you does wonders to fix that."

Regina had started off sympathetic and sad, but by the end of her confession she was bitter and upset as the memories came flooding back to her.

Snow shook her head in disbelief.

"No, my father would never do that," she softly argued, on the verge of tears.

Regina looked down at the floor and bit her tongue to keep from saying anything more about it. She wanted to spare the woman the heartache of slandering the memories of her late father.

"It doesn't matter now. I did what I had to do. I took care of you. Until I'd gotten better at magic."

"We all know who we can thank for that," Emma muttered as she looked to Rumple.

Neal, still standing relatively close to his father, locked eyes with Emma for the briefest of moments. He could tell she wasn't happy with either of them. He didn't blame her.

Neal turned to Rumple.

"Dad, is that true?"

Rumple took a deep breath as he looked from Regina to Neal.

"Yes, I taught her magic. But she wanted to learn and she knew what she was getting into. She sought me out, dearie."

The last sentence was directed at Emma.

"That didn't stop you of taking advantage of her, though, did it. She was desperate," Emma said.

Neal shook his head, disappointed.

"Again, none of that matters," Regina piped up. "Look, I just wanted to apologize. I was unhappy and I blamed you and took it out on everyone here. It wasn't really fair that I had to live such a miserable life while all of you seemed to get what you wanted."

Snow frowned.

Even David seemed a little affected by that.

"That doesn't mean I was right in what I did, but I thought you should know that's why I did it," Regina finished.

Emma smiled at Regina then turned to her parents again and walked up to them.

"They may just seem like words," the blonde started. "But she means every last one of them."

"How do you know that for sure," Snow asked. "How can you believe her, knowing all that she's done? Seeing the magic she wields and how she's tried to take Henry."

Emma opened her mouth to answer when the doors burst open again. She spun around and saw Hook standing just inside the doorway as the doors closed behind him. His jaw was clenched shut and his attention was angrily directed at Regina.

"Revenge is a funny thing," he started as he pulled a vile out of his pocket then popped the cork with his teeth. "You start off looking for one thing then stumble upon a new problem entirely. Well, you're my new problem, Regina. And this time.."

Hook brought the vile to his lips and tossed back the swirling green liquid in a shot.

"I promise you'll stay dead."

Hook smashed the empty vile against the floor and devilishly grinned before his eyes flashed green.

Regina held her hand at her hip, palm up, but before she could conjure anything, Hook sent a wave of green magic toward her.

"No," Emma yelled, eyes wide as she ran in front of Regina.

"Emma," Snow and David cried out in unison.

Regina gasped when Emma stood before her with her back to the brunette, her arms held out to shield the other woman.

The second Emma stepped in front of Regina, the blast of green struck her like lightning.

Emma convulsed only once as though she'd been shocked and squeezed her eyes shut before she started to fall.

"Mom," Henry yelled as he ran to Regina and Emma, forgetting all about the name issue they'd resolved that morning.


Regina spoke softly as she reached out to grab the blonde before she could hit the floor. She followed the blonde to the ground and sat on her knees as she held Emma.

Hook noted the tears that had started to form in the brunette's eyes and claimed his attack a victory, though he hadn't physically harmed Regina, the way he'd intended to harm her. He shrugged and turned to see Rumple among the crowd.

"Hello,crocodile. Guess I'll be having the two for one special today," Hook said as he approached the older man.

Rumple stood protectively in front of Lacey who watched everything play out with confusion.

Lacey bit her bottom lip and grinned as she noticed Rumple prepare for a face off.

"No, no, no, no," Regina started to cry as she looked at Emma.

The blonde's eyes were closed and Regina didn't feel a pulse.

"Why would you do that," Regina softly asked as a tear streamed down her face. "You shouldn't have saved me."

Snow and David were both in shock as they slowly made their way to Emma.

"Mom," Henry frantically cried as he knelt in front of Regina, Emma between them.

He shook his head.

"She can't be dead. Mom," he looked up at Regina that time. "Tell me she's not dead."

Regina's heart felt as though it had broken twice in a matter of seconds. The first when she watched Emma take the magical hit for her and again when she looked at Henry. Tear were evident on her son's face as he sniffled, looking to her for an answer she couldn't give him without lying.

Instead of crying more, Hook's voice broke her out of her melancholic mood.

"I'm gonna finally skin my crocodile," Hook nearly growled.

"That's never gonna happen," Rumple said.

Hook raised his hand to expel magic from it when suddenly, he was thrown across the room. He slammed into the wall with a grunt. The back of his head made contact with the wall as well. Instantly he was knocked unconscious.

Rumple looked from Hook slumped against the wall on the floor to the cause of his unconsciousness.

Everyone else did the same.

Regina sat with one arm around Emma's shoulders while she held the blonde across her lap. Her right hand was extended as she panted, her jaw clenched as a tear streak on one of her cheeks glistened in the light.

Snow recognized the look on Regina's face.

"David, take Henry," Snow said as her eyes never left Regina, though the brunette didn't return her gaze.

David could tell Regina was angry, but didn't know what she was capable of in that moment. He trusted his wife and did as she told him. He crossed an arm over Henry's chest and placed a hand under the boy's arm before he pulled his grandson away from her.

Henry staggered backward as David dragged him to his feet, away from his two mothers.

Snow stayed by Emma's side, but still didn't take her eyes off Regina.

"She'll always turn to magic," Rumple said as he started to limp toward Hook. "She'll never change."

"Shut. Up," Regina barked as she glared at the man, though her voice was broken by choked back tears. "I just saved your life, you bastard."

"But that's not why you used magic, is it," Rumple said over his shoulder as he closed in on Hook.

Neal clenched his jaw tight as he carefully approached the fallen Emma and watched the exchange between Regina and his father. He was only a few steps away from Regina, but stopped.

Regina didn't dignify Rumple's question with an answer. Instead, she looked down at Emma and lowered her right hand. She ran the backside of it down Emma's cheek then ran tips of blonde hair through her fingers.

"There has to be a way to bring her back," Henry said as he tried to wriggle his way out of David's hold.

Regina looked at Henry and thought about it. She knitted her brow and looked down at Emma again.

"You'll never be good, dearie. We all have our crosses to bare," Rumple softly said in a low tone as he threateningly raised his cane over Hook.

"Don't," Neal yelled as he grabbed Rumple's wrist to keep him from attacking Hook with his cane. "Be the bigger man for once and just walk away."

Rumple looked over his shoulder at his son as he tried to decide what path to take.

Suddenly, everyone gasped and caused both Neal and Rumple to turn back to the rest of the crowd.

Regina's lips were pressed to Emma's in a chaste kiss. With her left arm supporting Emma's head and her right arm draped over Emma's stomach to hold her close, she opened up her heart to the woman in her lap.

A burst of magic appeared from their connected lips and everyone felt the sensation of good, powerful magic rush through them.

Regina broke the kiss and gasped as she opened her eyes wide and stared at Emma. Within seconds, Emma took a deep breath as her eyes shot open with life then locked them onto Regina's.

Hook groaned as he started to wake up.

Rumple turned his attention to the pirate and hastily grabbed him.

Neal was about to protest when Rumple aggressively brought Hook to his feet and shuffled him over to David.

"You'll want to lock him up, Deputy," Rumple said through gritted teeth as he pushed Hook into David.

David let go of Henry and caught Hook then held the man's bicep tightly to hold him in place, no handcuffs on him.

"Looks like I saved you this time," Regina smiled at Emma.

Emma returned the smile and lightly laughed.

"Only because I saved you first."

Regina chuckled and a few tears of joy escaped her.

"True love's kiss," Henry piped up as he knelt beside Emma again then looked at Regina. "Mom, you did it!"

Snow stared at Regina with a bit of confusion and maybe a little shock and disgust.

"True love is pure," Rumple interrupted. "If she's capable of that, she's capable of being good."

"Who's side are you on," Regina asked, angered by the man but also confused.

"Mine. But, to tell you the truth, Regina, I didn't know if you had it in you. I knew the day would come when you had to choose between dark and light. I didn't think you'd choose light, but true love has surprised us all today. Congratulations, dearie. Looks like you'll finally have a chance at that happy ending."

Emma started to sit up and caused Regina to direct her attention to the blonde.

Regina let go of Emma and eased the younger woman into a sitting position beside her.

Henry immediately hugged his birth mother.

Emma hugged him back then separated from him a bit so she could turn to Regina.

"I told you I'd help you have your happy ending," Emma said, an arm still wrapped around Henry in a loving embrace.

David looked at his wife. When she met his gaze, eyes wide, he flashed a small smile and shrugged.

"Emma's happiness is important to us, right," David asked.

Snow sighed then nodded.

David looked from Snow to Regina.

Snow soon looked at the brunette as well before David spoke.

"We'll have to come up with a way for you to pay for your crimes that doesn't involve locking you up, but...Snow and I will forgive you."

Regina looked from David to Snow.

Snow nodded after a moment.

"As far as being with our daughter," David added as went into 'protective dad mode'. "If you hurt her in any way, we will not hesitate to imprison you for life."

"Understood," Regina said. "As far as paying for my crimes, I can return all the hearts I've taken and vow to never hurt any one of you," Regina turned her attention to the townspeople. "Unless you hurt my family. Then I can't guarantee your safety."

The townspeople looked at one another then to David and Snow.


"That seems fair," several of them shrugged as they agreed with her.

"But," Leroy started as he stepped forward. "We'd also like that same courtesy extended to us as well. If there's something you can do to help or protect us, we'd like it. Am I right?"

"Yeah," came the staggered reply of the crowd. "That'd be nice."

Regina sighed.

"If the circumstances are dire then I'll do what I can."

"Correction, we will do what we can," Emma said. "Oh, and she gets her title as Mayor back."

David opened his mouth to protest, but Emma cut him off.

"Come on, you know she's the only one that really keeps this town together, right? What do any of you know about running a small town? Not a kingdom, a town. With a bunch of paperwork to file and send out. Really. Who wants to spend their time trying to figure that out."

David shut his mouth then nodded.

"Right. It's a deal," he conceded.

"Thank you," Regina said.

Regina sat in the tub, relaxed. It had been a week since she'd reclaimed the title as Mayor and every other night was date night with Emma. She smiled as she thought about the last date, the one they'd had that night. Emma found something for Regina to enchant and took her to a restaurant outside of Storybrooke, memories safely intact.

The evening had gone well and Emma had thoroughly surprised her all through the night. Regina thought it was only fair she reward Emma for her good behavior and for a glimpse at the world Regina had barely started to see. And that date wasn't completely over yet.

"You love me," Emma said as she sat between Regina's legs in the shared bubble bath, her back against the brunette's front.

Regina smiled and teased Emma by running her hand up and down the blonde's arm.

"No more than you love me."

Emma smiled as she leaned further into Regina. She closed her eyes and sighed with relief as all her tension melted away.

"I'm never going to let you go," Regina purred in Emma's ear.

"Good because I'm taking this true love thing like wedding vows. 'Til death do us part, right," Emma smiled as she took Regina's free hand in hers.

Emma laced their fingers and kissed Regina's knuckles.

Regina chuckled.

"Well, when the time comes, I hope you know we're writing our own vows."

"Oh, I can see it now," Emma smirked. "Regina, the day I met you, I thought you were beautiful, but then you kept trying to run me out of town and then everything with us became this sort of unspoken challenge. Sometime after you tried to poison me, I realized how much life would suck without you even though you've spent most of the time we've known each other trying to destroy me. I'd be honored to spend the rest of my life wondering every time we fight if you'll actually succeed in killing me."

Regina laughed.

"Emma, when I first saw you, I knew there was going to be trouble. You had that awful red jacket and Henry was with you. When he said he'd found his real mom, I hated you. Maybe even more than hated your mother. But you kept saving me even when I felt I wasn't worth saving. Then you started to believe me when I said I didn't kill Archie and the rest of the world became our enemy. You were on my side and it was up to us to stand together to prove my innocence. That didn't last very long, but when I thought nobody would notice, or care, I was gone on Henry's birthday, you came and saved me yet again. I'm so unbelievably happy to spend the rest of my life trying not kill you every time we fight."

Emma laughed.

"You know, I think I kind of like those vows. It fits. I mean, we come from the Enchanted Forest. We're the fairy tales every kid thinks they know and we're both too scarred, screwed up people. Why not have strange vows? It's not like what we just said wasn't the truth."

Regina gently pushed Emma off her.

Emma frowned and as she turned to face Regina.

"Did I say something wrong," Emma asked.

Regina beamed and shook her head.

"No, I like those vows too."

Emma slowly smiled then closed the space between them. She pressed her lips to Regina's and kissed her for a long moment. When she broke the kiss, she smiled again and waited for Regina to look at her before she spoke.

"I love you."

Regina grabbed Emma by the hips and pulled the blonde back to her. She sunk a little into the tub to give Emma a more dominant position over her and brushed her lips against Emma's. She pulled Emma flush against her and pressed her thighs into Emma's sides to hold her there.

Regina kissed Emma as she trapped her fingers in wet, tangled blonde hair. She broke the kiss for only a moment.

"I love you too."

The Happy End. :)