Green Looks Good On You: Chapter Twenty Five
I don't own Once Upon A Time.
Please enjoy (this incredibly fluffy last chapter).
Word travelled quickly around town. Storybrooke was a small town and everyone had everyone else's number – and, if they didn't, someone they spoke to most certainly would. And so it was that when Regina entered Granny's that morning, not a single person glared at her or threatened her or eyed their implements to see if they were sharp enough to attack with. There were still the occasional suspicious glances, but even they were fewer and farther between.
Regina felt a weight lift from her shoulders when she saw the aggression and fear was being kept in check.
"Hmm," Emma grumbled. "They can't be a little less obvious, can they?" Regina shot her a surprised glance.
"What do you mean?" she asked quietly, loath to draw attention to them when she was, for the first time ever, successfully ducking under the radar.
"I mean, I wasn't expecting them to applaud you when we walked in or bake you a cake or anything but they could at least stop glaring at you."
It occurred to Regina that Emma had never accompanied her anywhere since she had broken the curse. "Emma," Regina chided, taking her hand. "This is more than I was expecting."
"Yeah, well, it's less than you deserve," she said grumpily. Henry nodded his agreement, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Oh come now. Don't be children." Regina ignored Henry's amused grin. "You know I cursed all of them. The fact that I'm not being run out of town with fire and pitchfork is good enough."
Emma and Henry shook their heads. In this, like many things, they were agreed. Regina deserved better. Emma crouched next to her son when he tugged her down and she nodded along thoughtfully as he whispered in her ear. He had cupped his hands around his mouth so that only his blonde mother could hear the hushed words – and so that Regina couldn't read his lips, a skill she was secretly quite talented at.
"Are you quite finished with your little secret?" Regina huffed. "Miss Lucas is prepared to take our orders.
Emma stood slowly. Inconspicuously, Regina supported her, moving a little closer and letting Emma rest on her for a moment to catch her breath. She saw the frustration in Emma's eyes and was content to just let her be for now, though she would certainly talk to her later. If she wanted to.
"Yeah, we're ready."
"Cool. Come on guys, there's a booth free now if you want to sit-" Ruby was interrupted as Henry sprinted to the booth, claiming it loudly as theirs and eyeing the other patrons suspiciously.
"No running!" Emma and Regina both said. Ruby grinned when her new favourite couple glared at each other, remembered that they were a team, and then smiled at the other.
"What can I get for you guys?" the waitress asked. Henry rambled off their orders for them quickly, finishing with a wide grin and a please and thank you. Ruby kept up with ease, hardly needing to write down the order. "Got it. Cocoa, Emma? On the house." Emma pondered for a moment and drew the moment out longer and longer until Ruby sighed and rolled her eyes. "Yes, you can have extra cream."
"You've twisted my arm, Ruby," Emma said with mock-reluctance. "I suppose I can stomach a cocoa."
"Don't make me force you," Ruby retorted flatly.
"No, no, if you insist." Emma grinned and turned to her son. "Cocoa for you too, kid?" He nodded and Ruby jotted it down. They all turned to Regina who pulled down the menu that was hiding her face. Emma laid a gentle hand on the woman's wrist and lowered the menu entirely. Regina stiffened as she became more exposed but, when no one attempted to murder her or shout accusations and the only reaction was the minute tightening of the hand on her arm and the reassuring brush of Emma's thumb over her pulse, Regina relaxed.
"Cocoa, Madame Mayor?" Ruby inquired. She too had seen Regina's nerves and she liked her well enough now that she was happy to help Emma and get the woman to relax. It might have been easier with a nip of a stronger type of liquid, but cocoa would have to do.
"It's Regina, dear." Emma flinched and it was Regina's turn to comfort her. She turned her hand and manoeuvered Emma so they were holding hands, moving their joined hands below the table. She gave the blonde an apology squeeze. She'd forgotten. "And yes, why not?"
"Alrighty then. Your usuals and three cocoas coming right up," Ruby said with a broad smile. She slipped her notebook into her apron. "It's good to have you guys back," she said in a softer voice. "We missed you."
Regina nodded her thanks. She was mildly surprised by the werewolf's inclusion of her in the statement but not wholly. After all, she had brought Regina lunch and the girl had always been friendly – no doubt understanding the feeling of being out of control, of hurting others and knowing there was no path to redemption but only a continuation, an attempt nonetheless.
Their meals were delicious and they remained undisturbed for the majority of it. Just as Henry was loudly scraping clean his plate, and his mothers were scolding him quietly, the seven dwarves shuffled into a line away from the family's table and removed their hats. A quiet hush fell over the diner.
Granny paused her wiping. Ruby stopped her ordering. All knives and forks and spoons halted in their scooping and cutting and scraping. All eyes turned to the dwarves and their target.
Led by Leroy, the dwarves inched closer to the table. They nodded in deference to Emma, not quite a bow but more than a nod, and smiled.
"Emma, we're real pleased to see you again," Leroy said gruffly. A chorus of six nods and agreements followed. There was a pause. "That's all we really wanted to say, sister." Another pause and then, after he cleared his throat, Leroy managed a stiff nod in Regina's direction. "Madame Mayor," he said, his voice clear of anything other than polite distance.
He shuffled off then, smashing his hat back on his head, and exited Granny's with a wave to Ruby and Granny. Six mostly identical "Madame Mayors" and deferential head bobs followed. One of them was interrupted by a sneeze, for which an apology was muttered.
Regina's eyes were wide with shock and Emma was grinning like a madman. She and Henry high-fived. The mayor shook herself out of her shock and narrowed her eyes at her son and her Emma suspiciously.
"Whoa, missy." Emma held up her hands in surrender. "Don't point those eyes at me like that."
"Did you make them do that?" Regina demanded of Emma.
"Oh yeah, because I really had time to organise something like that," Emma said while she rolled her eyes. "Hell no I didn't. That was awesome." Henry echoed her sentiment with a loud 'awesome!' and Emma high-fived him again. Their excitement could not be contained. Emma turned back to Regina. "I really didn't plan anything," she assured a still suspicious Regina. "Oh hey, I guess we don't even need Stage One anymore, do we kid?" Emma asked Henry, who widened his eyes innocently and pretended he wasn't gorging on Emma's fries. He swallowed and grinned.
"Stage One is complete," he confirmed. "Should we move onto Stage Two?"
"Nah, I'm pretty tired. I say we just finish up here, go and take a nap, and then start Stage Two another day."
He nodded and yawned. "I'm tired too." He closed his eyes sleepily before frowning up, eyes bleary, at Emma. "You've been sleeping for ages. You shouldn't be tired."
"Don't tell me what to do," Emma replied, scrunching her face up. Henry giggled at her childish reply and Emma poked her tongue out at her son. Regina interrupted.
"What on earth are the two of you plotting?" she inquired.
"Aw come on, Regina. Don't call it plotting. That makes it sound so evil." Emma's eyes brightened. "We call it super-awesome-planning." Henry nodded, eyes still closed. "But nothing much. Don't even worry about it." Henry held up his hand like he was in school and asking a question. Emma called on him. "Yes, Henry?"
"Can I tell her?"
"Do you want to?"
"Yes," he said with absolute certainty.
Emma leant back in the booth, folding her hands over a pleasantly and completely stuffed belly. "Well then sure, kid. It's your plan."
Henry yawned. "It's Operation Happy Ending," he said. "It's for our happy ending," he supplied helpfully.
"That's not a particularly secret secret-code name," Regina said.
Her son shrugged. "That's because it's not a secret. We want everyone to know about it because there's no way that it's not going to happen." He opened one eye and smiled softly at Regina. "I promised you'd get a happy ending, mom. I'm not gonna let anyone stop us."
Regina tilted her head to the side. "That's very sweet, but—"
"Nope." Emma stuck her fingers in her ears. Henry quickly did the same. "We're not listening," she said only slightly too loudly. "You're getting your happy ending and that's that."
Regina sighed. "Children. I'm surrounded by children," she bemoaned.
Emma grinned wickedly. She lent in and lowered her voice. "I'm no child, Regina. And I'll prove it to you sometime." She winked. Regina blushed and Emma found the colour so appealing that she kissed the woman's cheek lightly.
"Lame, Emma!" Ruby called from way across the diner. "Claim your woman properly!" she demanded.
Emma quirked her brows at her Regina, asking if it was alright. The woman sighed and rolled her eyes. "Henry, cover your eyes." Henry lifted a heavy hand and laid it over his face. His eyes had already been closed but he didn't want to see something he couldn't unsee. Emma grinned and lent in. Regina smirked a little – no only did she get a kiss, but she got to show all of these people exactly who Emma belonged to now.
Ruby whooped loudly at the kiss – it was everything a kiss should be: passionate, hot, sweet, soft and tender, all at once. Their lips slid softly together and Emma caged Regina in with her arms, one wrapped around the shoulder, the other out in front of them and palm flat against the wall of the booth. She twisted a little and tilted her head to gain better access to Regina, who swallowed a moan (she didn't want Henry hearing that) and let herself be pressed against the red seat. Her hands came up to pull Emma closer, closer, but it wasn't close enough.
Henry sighed very loudly. "Are you guys done yet?" His words caused Emma to pull back and laugh. Collectively, an enormous sigh was released. More than one of the diners' occupants witnessed the kiss (all of them did, actually) and found themselves smiling despite their dislike of Regina. How could the woman be truly evil if Emma quite obviously loved her? Some believed their Saviour was under a spell or love potion; others simply accepted it as insanity – but an insanity that tempered Regina – and were content to let them be. And a very, very few recognised true love in one of the purest forms that had existed and knew very intimately how it could change a person and force them to be exactly who their soul, and the soul of their partner, demanded them to be.
Gold turned away from the family with a little smile. He had witnessed the kiss from outside the diner and he stumped away, his cane thumping rhythmically on the pavement with every step. He considered buying some flowers for his Belle. But not from her father.
Henry stole a few more fries from Emma's plate, no longer attempting to be sneaky. She nudged the plate closer to him. Regina offered him her salad and he plucked at a few leaves to appease her. He liked the happy glint in his mom's eyes. He liked the broad grin on Emma's face. He liked that Operation Happy Ending was starting and he knew without a doubt that it would be a success.
Granny liked that no one was starting a riot.
This was the very last chapter of Green Looks Good On You. I hope you all enjoyed the ride. Please leave a comment below if you did – if you didn't, I guess you can leave one as well (I don't discriminate) – and tell me what you liked.
As I mentioned in the author's note last chapter, I am hoping to write a sequel of sorts to this story. I would like to publish a series of one shots about this AU Emma and Regina and Henry and, while I have a couple of ideas, I would love to get some from you. This is the easy part: give me anything. Do you want to see a family dinner or Christmas or birthday? Do you want to see an angry Emma? Or medicated Regina? Give me anything, anything at all, and I'll see what I can do. When you give me an idea, I will try and write it to the best of my abilities and I will acknowledge you in the chapter.
In order to see these stories, keep checking what I've posted. (This might be easier if you follow me as an author as I know a few of you have done.)
I have loved writing this story and hearing back from you guys. Thank you so much for all of the support. Have a wonderful day and many more to come! Happy reading, readers :)
Added (29th July): I have posted a semi-sequel! It's a series of one shots called "Operation Happy Ending" and I'd love for you all to read and review. Feel free to send me scenarios you would like to see/read and I will do my best to make sure that they are fulfilled to the best of my ability. Thanks so much for all the fun. Happy reading, readers :)