A/N: Hey guys! So... I still have to work on my other story, but this story did the same as the last and just popped up in my mind! It may be a one-shot, but it may be another chapter. It all depends on what you guys think. It may not be super fantastic cause it has more Emma talking than both of them talking to each other, but if you guys convince me to do another chapter, it will definitely have them talking in it. That's the whole point of SwanQueen... the arguments and FEELS. Anyway, this is a longer one-shot, so tell me what you think! OH YEAH! I know this type of stuff has been done before, but I hope that this is a bit different than all the others. Maybe it's not, and I'm dreaming, but HEY! It's good to dream. Anyway, thanks to everyone who review my last story! :D I have lots of reviews, and they're still counting! Makes me so happy!
Warning: Language toward the middle of the chapter to the end. Some minor, some major. You know... CUSS WORDS.
Disclaimer: I don't own OUAT!
"Hey, kid, where're you headed?" Emma takes the phone away from her ear and catches Henry by his backpack, pulling him to a stop while holding the phone to her chest. He looks back at her, excitement clear in his face.
"The stables! I really want to check on my horse. I have to clean his stall and clean him, then maybe he'll tell me he's ready for me to ride him! Please, please pleaseeee can I go?" He puts on his best puppy dog eyes. He knows that last time was a scare for his birth mother when she found out what happened with Daniel, but he's been begging to go back since then, and he thinks today's the day she'll finally cave. He is eleven now. He's more responsible, obviously.
"Kid... I really don't like that place. The last time you where there-"
"I know, I know. I was almost killed, but the thing is, I wasn't. That's the good part. Pleaseeee. Come on, mom! I haven't been back yet, and I really want to see him." His puppy dog eyes are still in action, but his face soon brightens. "Oh, I know! You can come with me! Watch while I clean the stall and stuff. You can even help! That way you can make sure I'm safe, and we can spend more time together. Come on, mom. Please?" He hears Emma sigh and smiles at his obvious feat.
"Okay, but," she quickly interjects, "I'm only watching. I'm not getting near any of those animals. They never really have liked me all that much." Henry cheers, throwing out a loud "YES!" before plopping down on the couch to wait for his mom to get ready, throwing his backpack down next to him.
"Just give me a minute, kid, and I'll be ready." She lifts the phone back up to her ear while walking upstairs. "Sorry, Henry talked me into going back to the stables. And before you say anything, I'm going with him to watch and make sure he's alright."
"You better, Miss Swan. Don't forget what happened… last time…" On the other line, Regina clears her throat. "He shouldn't ever be alone there. He could be hurt. He almost was hurt." There's a small pause on the line. "In fact, would it be better for us both to be there? Just to make sure." Emma rolls her eyes in annoyance.
"Regina, he'll be fine. That was a freak accident, okay? He's going to be perfectly okay with just me there, and I'm not going to leave him in there alone. That's just stupid, especially after what happened last time." Emma's picked out her outfit and laid it on the bed.
"Fine. But if anything happens-"
"I'll call you first. We've been over this before, Regina." Emma tries to be patient with the woman, but when Henry get's a paper cut, Regina expects to be called. And it grades on Emma's nerves severely.
"Miss Swan," she can hear the irritation in the brunette's voice, "I'm serious."
"I know you are. And you have to trust that I will hold my word. Or you're just going to end up doing something irrational, like follow us." Emma's chuckle vibrates through her chest. "Or you'll spend the whole day worrying. So just trust me to look after my… our son." The awkward pause that follows is actually somewhat painful. They've tried to stop saying that Henry is one person's son over the other, but they really aren't sure what they can call him other than that, because 'our son' opens a whole new can of worms that make them both extremely jittery and self-conscious.
"Alright… well, I have to change. So bye, Regina. Oh! Oh, don't forget the comic that Henry wanted. You can just slide it under the door if we're not back by the time you drop it off. Thanks for agreeing to bring it by."
"Of course, Miss Swan. Anything for Henry." Emma chooses not to say anything about Regina calling the kid by his name instead of their son. She's actually somewhat glad that Regina didn't say that Henry is their son. It's always so awkward.
"Well, bye then." Emma says before snapping the phone closed, not waiting for Regina's reply. Their phone conversations are always somewhat weird. Neither of them really knows how to talk to the other without insulting them, but they were trying.
Soon, Emma's dressed in her skin-tight jeans and white tank with her red leather jacket slung over her shoulder. She bounces down the stairs to a pacing Henry.
"Took you long enough! Let's go!" He says, bouncing out the door. Emma chuckles at her kid's excitement, following him out the door after locking it. She shuts it firmly and jiggles the handle to double check the lock.
Ever since she moved out with Henry to her own apartment, she's started double-checking her lock. She's not really sure why; she's positive anyone that wanted in could easily enter, but she locks and checks before she leaves.
"Wait up, kid!" She yells as she bounces down the steps to the front of the building, Henry waiting at the bottom of the stairs for her. She puts her hand on his shoulder, and they walk to her car together.
Once everyone's settled in and the car is heading out, Emma notices that Henry's been looking at her.
"What's up, kid?" He wrinkles his nose and smiles.
"Nothing. I was just thinking." She looks over at him quickly before averting her eyes back to the road.
"Well, kid, what were you thinking about?" She probes when he doesn't say anything else.
"I'm just glad you and mom are getting along better." He shrugs, his face looking contemplative. "After everything she's done to earn redemption, only a few people see it. You, me, gramps, grandma, Ruby, Granny, and some of the dwarfs. But… I don't know. I don't think people really like her all that much. So, I'm just glad that you're being nice to her. She may have been the Evil Queen, but she's changed. I know it. I can see it. I know you can, too, cause you are being nice to her. And, she's being seen as my mom again, too, which is nice." He looks back over at Emma, smiling sadly. "I'm glad she has friends. Real friends." Emma looks over at him again, also smiling sadly.
"So am I kid. So am I." As silence stretches over the car, Henry decides to speak his thoughts again.
"I think that this is the beginning of her happy ending. At least, I hope it is. She deserves it." Emma smiles at him, thankful that he sees it that way. She's seen Regina, truly seen her, and she also believes it's about time that she gets the happiness that she's worked so hard for. Good or bad, everyone deserves to be happy. Especially Regina. No, Emma doesn't think that Regina made the right choices while she was the Evil Queen, but, then again, if she hadn't made those choices, then none of them would be where they are now. And, while at first Emma didn't see that as a good thing, she wouldn't have had Henry if she'd grown up in the Enchanted Forest. Well, she might have, but he wouldn't be the same little boy he was now. The perfect combination of the Savior and the Evil Queen. Light and dark. Or, maybe they're both grey, not black and white. Because, while Emma held things against Regina, she later came to the conclusion that she too has made many mistakes. She may not have killed people, massacred is more like it, but she did steal, lie, cheat, play people, and manipulate just like the Queen did.
So, one day she thought, "Hey, maybe we aren't so different." The only difference is that Emma didn't, and still doesn't, care what those people thought of her. So she never had to work to gain back everyone's trust. She just packed up and left. Which made her think that maybe, just maybe, the Evil Queen was better than the Savior. She didn't leave. She didn't abandon Henry when he treated her like shit. She stayed, and that takes courage. Courage that Emma Swan didn't have.
And with that conclusion came the respect that Emma gave Regina. Because, with everything in her, Emma respects Regina. Regina doesn't know that, of course, but that doesn't make it any less true. And it took Emma quite a while to get used to respecting Regina. Because, as everyone knows, Regina does not respect the Savior. At all.
Well, at least that's what everyone believes. Including the blonde Savior.
Yet, Regina does respect the Savior. Oh, don't get her wrong, she does not enjoy respecting her, but every time Emma stands up to Regina, stands up to anyone, Regina's respect for her grows. Because Regina could never stand up to her own mother, let alone anyone else. She just used magic as a shield to hide behind. Because she was also weak. She gained a title, and she used it to her advantage. But against her mother, or Rumple even, she couldn't stand up for what she thought. Because she knew they were stronger than her.
Yet Emma overcame all the tragedies that she went though, whatever they are. Nobody really knows what Emma's been though; she doesn't really talk about it. But, even after the system, Emma's deemed as good because that's all people know about her. But that's where Regina gets confused.
Because if Emma can be deemed a good person because she has a good attitude about some things, but when you press her buttons and make her mad, she lashes out, how's that so different from herself? Because she wasn't always snippy. She was friends with Katherine. And now she has people she tolerates. But, if you make her mad, of course she's going to lash out. She may not have the best attitude all the time, but she played in the park with Henry when he was younger with a smile on her face. Well, it wasn't a smile, but it wasn't a frown either. She was happy. Sort of.
Okay, so maybe she sees the difference between her and Emma. Emma was friendlier, more inviting. More… human. Regina, well, she scowled at everything, got annoyed with the smallest of things, and never did anything outside of work or eat at Granny's. Well, until Henry came along, but that's a whole different section of her life. That's when she became nicer, friendlier. Even a bit more human. But she was still cold to people. She was only the smallest bit nicer when Henry was around. Well, until the book came and ruined everything. And with it came Emma Swan. The bane of her existence until recently.
Recently… yes, that's a mystery to her. Regina has no idea that Emma's respect for her has multiplied as well. But she does know that things have changed between them. Slowly, most definitely slowly, things have started changing. They're still awkward around each other, and they don't talk much, but they don't hate each other.
Oh, they still bicker. All the time, actually. But it doesn't hold the hostility it used to. In fact, it's more of a teasing. But they don't discuss how things have changed. That would be too awkward for both of them; neither of them are ready to share their thoughts. But they both know it, at the back of their minds, they know things are changing, and will continue to change.
The fact that Emma cares about Regina's happy ending says enough on her end.
The fact that Regina hasn't killed Emma yet says enough on her end.
Also, the fact that they can sit and have a 'family lunch' at Granny's once a week says that about both of them. That's only been going on for a month, and it's awkward as hell, but they manage with the kid being there as a buffer. He doesn't know he's a buffer, but he's a smart kid. He managed to figure out the curse before anyone else; surely he can figure out that his mothers need him there to keep talking so the table doesn't go into a terribly awkward silence.
Or, maybe he already knows, and he's just waiting for the right time to walk away from the table to go to the bathroom instead of holding it all the time. Who knows; he is a smart kid.
Emma and Henry are walking toward the stables when Henry gasps.
"What's wrong, kid?" Emma asks, a little on edge.
"Nothing! Look!" He runs up to the last stall, seeing an all white horse in the stall that used to be vacant. "They got a new horse!" He rubs the horse between the eyes and watches as the horse closes her eyes in comfort. It whinnies quietly as to not disturb the small boy. Emma's left wondering how he noticed the new horse so quickly without even being in the stables. She shrugs it off as probably seeing the horse's tail swishing around.
"Kid, you sure that things not gonna bite you?" Emma shifts nervously from one foot to the other, slowly making her way past all the other horses. When the pure white horse opens her eyes and looks at the blonde, she swears the horse is glaring at her. So, she does the rational thing and glares back. It gives a shake of its head and neighs softly, so obviously teasing Emma. Emma just rolls her eyes and deems the horse plenty safe, walking over to place a hand on Henry's shoulder. He looks up at her and smiles, then looks back at the horse.
"Hey, Emma, maybe this is your horse!" Emma's eyes widen comically while Henry smirks up at her.
"Oh, god no. I'm not getting on that thing! It's… it's so big and furry, and it'll bite me! Oh, hell no! I would rather walk everywhere than get on that thing." It snuffs at her like it understands her insults, so she looks at it and shifts nervously.
"No offence, of course. I'm sure you're a lovely horse. You're very pretty. Just… not my style." Then she looks back down at Henry who's trying his hardest to keep the laughs to himself. "Oh god, I'm talking to a horse like she knows what I'm saying. Henry, I think I'm going mental." She winks at him when he bursts into laughter.
When his laughter dies down, he starts walking toward his horse a few stalls away. She smiles after him before she looks back to the white horse and notices that she's watching Henry as well. Emma smiles at the horse when she sees the horses eyes flick to her briefly. She doesn't expect the sound of a swishing tail before she's hit in the back of the head with the offending body part. She turns bewildered eyes back to the horse who's letting out soft whinnies. Almost like she's being laughed at. She narrows her eyes at the horse before slowly turning back around to Henry. She watches him muck the stall for a few minutes before she hears the gravel moving outside.
She hears a car door close before she hears boots making their way toward her. She turns her head to see a civilian walking in. He's wearing a plaid, button-up shirt with jeans and cowboy boots. She wants to roll her eyes at the cocky walk the man has, but she refrains. She hears the horse behind her shifting around, almost anxiously. The man walks over to the stall across from Emma and the white horse. He takes one look over his shoulder before muttering something and shaking his head.
Emma narrows her eyes at him, her face taking on a suspicious hint.
"What was that?" She asks, walking toward him. She makes sure Henry can't hear her, but she wants to know what he was muttering about.
"Huh? Oh. It was nothing." The man says casually, but the smirk on his face is just calling to be hit. "I was just wondering… how could a boy that grew up with the Evil Queen actually be happy?" He sneers at Emma. She doesn't know if he's asking for trouble, or if he expects her to agree with him. All she knows is a hot anger is boiling in her veins from that comment.
"Excuse me?" She hisses. He doesn't show any surprise, but somehow she knew he was asking for trouble. Everyone knows how protective she gets over Regina.
"She must have been terrible to be around. Always so cold and heartless. A bitch is the nicest thing I can think of calling her. I don't know why you always save her. She deserves to die. Let her burn for everything she's done." That cocky smirk still hasn't left his face, but Emma wouldn't know. All she can see is red. She's beyond infuriated.
"How… how dare you talk about my son's mother like that! You have no idea what kind of mother she is! She's been a fantastic mother, and I know that from how amazing of a kid he is now. If he wasn't raised by Regina, he wouldn't have turned out like he has, and I'd say that he's turned out pretty goddamn well, wouldn't you? You have no right to decide who should die and who shouldn't. The fact that you aren't grateful for everything she's done for you shows that you shouldn't have any part in that decision! She saved your sorry ass, so I wouldn't be so quick to condemn her. If she were dead, you would be to. In fact, everyone would be dead in this town. So you better be goddamn thankful for that woman. Because she's the only reason that you're alive today. Get your head out of your ass and look around. She's fucking changed. She's changing every day, and if you can't see that, then you're blind." She's got the man pinned up against the wall, hand buried in his now wrinkled shirt. He just laughs in her face.
"Protecting your little girlfriend, I see. Make you feel any better about yourself?" He sneers. Emma's shocked back from her anger, taking a step back from the man, releasing his shirt in the process.
"What? No, what? She's not my girlfriend. Wh-Where'd you even get that from? And feel better about myself? This isn't about me! This is about you insulting my son's other mother! Of course I'm going to defend her!" Her blinking in confusion and looking a little unfocused does nothing to get her point across. In fact, she sounds a bit unsure of herself.
"I'm sure… everyone here already thinks you're dating with the way you're always defending her and the looks you always give each other. You can't say that you don't have feelings for her. You'd be lying." His eyes turn cold; Emma takes another step back. "You're naïve if you think the town doesn't notice things. That little boy over there, that's your buffer. If he weren't around, you'd have no excuse to be around each other. But you'd find some other excuse to use. Which is sick if you ask me. Who could ever love a monster like her? That bitch destroyed everyone's lives." Emma snarls at him for multiple reasons. One, he's planted ideas in her head that make her nervous. Two, he's managed to take a step forward, squishing her toes. And three, he's once again insulted Regina, mother of her kid, and… well, her friend. Because that's how she's started seeing Regina. She's a friend.
Well, she's a friend that Emma tries so hard to not think about that she manages to get her stuck in her head while trying not to think about her. But she shoves that to the back of her mind.
"I swear to god I'll rip you to shreds if you say anything like that again. And I didn't ask you. She's not a monster; she's a human being, and you'd do damn well to remember that. And, say you are right. Say I did have feelings for her. There'd be nothing in the goddamn world that would stop me from ripping you limp from limb except for the little boy in that stall right over there." She points at Henry and waves when he sees her, putting on a smile. "What would you do about it if I did have feelings for her? Nothing. You would do nothing except talk shit behind our backs to people who really don't give a shit about what you think. Because I'm the supposed Savior and she's the reforming Evil Queen. Wouldn't that be the perfect fit? Not to mention we're both women. So, which is it? Are you a homophobe, or just against Regina trying to right her wrongs and the Savior, god forbid, falling for her along the way? Because, either way, you're answer's going to get you beaten to a bloody pulp. Because I may be the Savior, but I'm far from perfect. I could beat you to death and nobody would say a goddamn thing because I'm their Savior." The sarcasm rolls off her tongue so easily, it's hard to stop it. "So please, walk away before you make me do something I regret. Because if you keep talking, I might do just that." She steps out of the man's way, giving him the room to stalk past her, his smirk still in place. She shakes her head at the audacity of some people.
"Goddamn." She says, walking back over to the white horse who's taking in the scene before her with what looks to be fear and awe. Emma tries to loosen her stiff muscles by shaking out her hands and arms. The horse's eyes never leave her quick movements. "Some people just make you wanna explode, you know?" She looks over at the horse. It whinnies, so she takes that as a cue to continue. "I mean, Jesus, there was absolutely no need for that. And what was with the grilling on whether Regina's my girlfriend or not. I mean, goddamn. That man's crazy." She looks over at the horse and is surprised to see the horses head bowed through the bars. She reaches out a hand and scratches the horse between her eyes.
She watches silently for a few moments, letting her thoughts wander. But they're jumbled, so she decides to talk it out with the horse. Maybe saying stuff out loud will help her clear her confused thoughts. "Oh what the hell." She mutters quietly. "I've got," she looks down at her watch, checking the time, "thirty minutes to kill while Henry plays with his horse. Might as well." She looks back at the horse whose eyes are closed in relaxation.
"Well, horse, I'm just going to say stuff out loud here to help me gather my shit together." She chuckles when the horse shakes its head. "Okay, what he said. About Regina. It really pisses me off that people think like that. That she can't be loved because of what she did. It just…" she groans in frustration, "it just pisses me off like no other! God, if anything she deserves to be loved more than anyone. And Henry loves her. Henry loves her so much. She's made his life so much better than I could have ever done. And that's what makes me so mad about how people just throw out insults about her. Jesus, Henry would never have been the same if I raised him. I'd have been a terrible mother to him. Regina was perfect... still is. Strict as she is, she keeps all of the things he gives her, even the stuff from when he was little, she takes him to the park, puts him first. Hell, she's fed him, given him shelter. God, that's so much more than I could have given him. She's done everything for him, even after he turned on her. Everything." She lets out a soft, sad chuckle. "She's so much more than I am. So much better." She watches the horse as she continues to scratch. Her ears are perked in interest, and her eyes are half lidded in relaxation. Emma places the side of her head on one of the bars that holds the horse in.
"I have so many feelings towards her I don't even know where to start. I was so angry for so long, but that seems to have disappeared over all this time. I still get frustrated with her, obviously, but it's still different. We've been through so much together, horsie. I just don't know what I feel anymore. I'm always so confused." She closes her eyes for a second, letting a single tear drop down. She wipes it away quickly. "It's so hard and frustrating and confusing sometimes. I can't get her out of my head, and I don't know why. It just kills me." She laughs lightly, wiping another tear away.
"You know, what he said, about us dating. Well, my ex and I, Neal's his name, broke up a few months ago. After the trip back from Neverland, we were together for a few weeks, but we broke up. He'd brought up Regina. Said that I look at her like I used to look at him. He accused me of cheating. Told me that he thought Regina and I had something going on behind his back. I'd laughed at first, but when I figured out he was serious, I really didn't know what to think. So, idiot me, I said the first thing that came to my mind as a defense. I told him that she'd never go out with someone like me. That ended up being the wrong thing to say, I guess. But, it's true." She looks back over at the horse, whose eyes are fully open now, staring right at her. She drops her eyes again.
"She'd never date someone like me. Not that I've been thinking about that, but… oh what the hell, you're a horse. You're not gonna go blab to Ruby who'd tell everyone." Emma rolls her eyes at her childishness. "I used to think about it a lot. When we were saving Henry, before we found Neal. On the ship, I'd think about following her out of the cabins at night, because she didn't sleep at all on that ship, and just talking with her for a while. But, I never know what to talk about. Or, I know what I want to say, but I'm always so nervous about what she's gonna say that I just freeze up. I thought it over so much; I worried over it until I was sick. And I came to the conclusion that she'd never go out with someone like me. I'm… well, I'm not her type. She's perfect with everything she does, and I'm just… me. She's put together and strong, and I'm a wreck. She's the reforming Evil Queen, and I'm the floundering Savior. She can only go up, while I can only get worse. She's so much more than anything I could ever be. And I think that scares me." Emma tries to breathe evenly, but she can feel the heat gathering behind her eyes, slowly getting hotter. She closes her eyes, screwing them tight.
"I don't deserve someone like her. She's everything I'm not. I'm nowhere near good enough for her. She's… she's just amazing. Everything she does is for love, whether it be good or bad. All the things I've done… they're all selfish. They're for me, or they somehow help me in the end. Plus, she's already had a true love. You don't get two, apparently. I'm not even sure if she'd want to love anyone else. After everything, walling up is all she knows, and the last thing I want to do is hurt her." Emma listens to herself for a moment, mulls over the words she's been saying.
"Dear, god. Everyone's right. That sounds so stupid. Of course they were right. I just didn't see it. You never see what's right in front of you, I guess. Even in your own head." The horse nudges the hand that's still scratching between her eyes. Emma laughs and says her thoughts out loud.
"Horsie, I think I'm falling for her. I mean, she's breathtakingly beautiful, the whole magic thing with the saving everyone together really brought us closer, and then the ship, not to mention threatening anyone that says Regina's name wrong. Oh, shit!" She laughs loudly, throwing her head back. "I've got feelings for my son's other mother. Oh, god, that's rich." She calms down a bit, looking at the horse again. Her laughter dies out completely, her smile fading with it.
"Oh, god, horsie. This is bad. Oh, shit. She doesn't even like me. She barely tolerates me! Oh, fuck," she groans, "I'm so screwed. I can't do anything about it either. I just have to wait and hope that she's actually into girls. I'm so stupid. Ah, shit. That could take fore-" The horse neighs loudly, jolting Emma out of her little rant. She looks at the impatient horse and nods.
"You're right. I need to calm the fuck down and breathe." She paces for a bit, looking over at Henry to make sure he's still alive before she turns back to the horse.
"What should I do, horsie? Nothing, I guess. Just act normal. Of course that's what I'll do. Just act natural. God, when did this all become so complicated? Alright," she looks down at her watch, "we're outta time, horsie, but I'll take your advice. Just act naturally normal. Easy enough. Sorta." She looks over to see Henry putting all of his stuff away. She gives the horse's nose one last rub before patting it gently. "Bye, horsie. Until next time." She jogs lightly over to Henry, leaving behind the white horse.
"Ready to go, kid? Maybe we can catch your mom before she drops of your comic that you wanted by, and we can all go to Granny's. Maybe watch a movie after?" Henry smiles up at Emma, nodding eagerly.
"That'd be awesome! Let's go!" He starts to jog off, throwing a "Bye, Lucky!" over his shoulder, ushering out his birth mother. They get into the car, and start driving home...
Completely oblivious to the small flash accompanied by purple smoke coming through the stables.
Regina stands in the stable that held the beautiful white horse, stunned. She'd just come to make sure Henry didn't get hurt. But now...
"Oh my god," is all she can say, the words echoing around the empty stall before she makes up her mind, quickly poofing out of the stall and to her house to grab the comic that Henry wanted.
She decides to walk to Emma's apartment. It'll give her time to think. Think about everything Emma said. About how Emma's words, feelings, and tears stirred something deep in her heart that she never thought would stir again.
She also needs to think about which movie she wants to watch.
A/N: So... what'd you think? Was it too much? Too little? Want more, or should I be finished? Thanks for reading! :) PM me if anyone thinks of a prompt they want me to try. I'll try to surprise you with what I come up with. Anyway, leave me a review so I can see what you think. Cause, honestly, it matters what you think of my stories. It really does. You guys mean a lot! :) Thanks for taking the time to read my story! Love you all!