A/N: A big thank you to my betas Slave2Writing, LovaticFever, and tonguemarksonmymirror. For anyone following The Need, an update is coming soon. I had a mild case of writers block, but now I'm back.
There is no such thing as a magic cock.
Regina knows that too well.
"You are what?" she asks Emma one more time, hoping, foolishly, that the answer will change, that her ears are playing tricks on her in her old age.
"I'm pregnant," Emma wipes away her tears, "with a baby."
"You are an idiot," is all Regina says to her before walking out of the room.
Thankfully, Emma doesn't make an attempt to find Regina, giving the other woman enough alone time to form a plan and get drunk on wine. It takes her more time, but the wine mellows her down enough not to want to throw the sheriff out of her home. Thing is, Regina is not sure she wants Emma here, but losing Emma means losing Henry and she just got her son back, she doesn't want to lose him again.
But what Emma did…
Their relationship is rocky, they both know that. She's not an easy person to live with; Emma is a lot like her father and gets on Regina's nerves without much effort. She's also a lot like her mother, meaning that she's stubborn enough to turn a simple argument into a fight more often than not.
If their relationship is rocky, the sex is nothing less than great. Probably because most times it was angry sex or make up sex, or simple when-you-don't-care-enough-for-the-other-you-don't -hold-back sex. They don't make love, they fuck. Just because you have chemistry with someone doesn't mean you have to like that person.
They are staying together for the sex…and the kid.
And the kid?
Well, Regina does have her moments, but she's not stupid to pretend that Henry is here for her. He might love her, but Emma is the hero of the story and he always roots for her. Even when Regina is right and he knows she's right, even then, he takes Emma's side.
She doesn't mind.
She's paying for the sins of her previous life, and when Henry comes to her with a math problem he can't solve or because he thinks she would love the company, moments like that she knows that the price could be higher.
But she never forgets that she lives her life with borrowed time and it seems her clock has finally started ticking.
"I wasn't enough for you?" she asks, one hand holding the wall for support, the other a half empty bottle of red wine, her vision blurry, she might be crying, she's not sure.
She never did well with rejection.
Emma is sitting on her side of the bed, hugging her legs, trying to be as small as she can, her face pale except the redness of her eyes. "Don't…"
She nods, understanding what Emma can't finish saying, not that it would matter; the wine has done its job and she wants - no - needs to talk. Slowly, she leaves her spot and covers the few steps that separate her from the bed without falling or swaying too much. She sits heavily, almost dropping flat on her back, the bottle hitting the side of the bed, and she shushes Emma with a move of her hand.
"He had mistresses," she watches as the other woman wipes her tears with the back of her palm. "Leopold, he had mistresses. Like, more than one. They used to pass me in the different rooms of the castle and look at me with pity because I couldn't pleasure the King."
She stops, her mouth suddenly dry from memories she would give everything to forget, but remembering is her curse, and takes a few sips from the bottle. The wine doesn't burn her throat like her cider or her favorite whiskey. It goes down smoothly, without effort, not as strong as the one she used to drink waiting to perform her wifely duties, but strong enough to give her a hell of a hangover tomorrow.
"They were right, you know," she laughs and this time she drops to her back and the room doesn't spin as much this way. Talking about her marriage to Leopold is something she prefers not to do and the few times Emma pushed her to talk they end up spending the night on different beds. But now, with the wine clouding her judgment and her defenses down, she admits truths she tried to hide even from herself.
"I tried. I even asked one of them, but how I was supposed to pleasure a man I never wanted in my bed?"
Emma doesn't say a word, the sound of her soft sobs the only sound in the room and Regina is glad that the blonde doesn't feel the need to fill the silence. Once upon a time, when she was young and still had hope in her heart, she hated the silence and did everything to fill it, but now, older and with no fragile dreams for anyone to shatter, she welcomes it.
"My mother tried her best to turn me into the perfect little lady when she really should have tried to make me the perfect little whore because, King or not, every man wants a whore in his bed and a lady to show off to his friends, and I was neither."
She hears a gasp coming from the other side of the bed and she chuckles; maybe her confession is a little too Game of Thrones for the blonde. Or maybe Emma's just pissed that she dares to speak evil of Snow's father, a man that everyone but his wife loved. Regina takes comfort in the thought that everyone wasn't in their bed chambers with them when he forced himself into her.
Despite Leopold's many faults, sharing his wife wasn't one of them.
"Regina, no, it wasn't, I didn't want it…" Emma sniffs and Regina doesn't have to look to know that the younger woman used her sleeve as a handkerchief. Disgusting habit.
She takes comfort in the fact that Emma sounds as terrible as Regina feels.
Regina takes one last sip of the bottle. She knows her limits. If she drinks more, she's going to spend the night puking her guts, berating herself for drinking too much, pissed at the blonde for letting her drink so much, but if she stops now she's going to sleep in minutes and that will give her a few hours of peace before the battle that is going to be tomorrow comes.
"Here," she offers the bottle to the sheriff, misjudging her and Emma's position on the bed, forcing the blond to stop with the self-pity and almost dive to catch the bottle before it hits the covers and colors them red with wine. "Don't drink it," she states matter-of-factly. "You can't drink in your condition."
Henry's voice comes from a distance, like a dream. She doesn't try to open her eyes, burying her face into the pillow and covering her head with the blanket.
"Mom, wake up. Mom!" Henry whines the last word and she groans because she's not ready to wake yet. "I'm going to be late, mom. Wake up!"
She opens her eyes then, still blurry from sleep and the wine, her mouth and lips dry, a wet spot on the pillow and she rubs her cheek to get rid of any hints of dry drool. "What?"
"Pfft," Henry closes his nose with one hand, cleaning the air with the other, a grimace on his face. "You smell of alcohol."
"Come on, kid, let's go to Granny's me and you, eh?" Emma's voice sounds like heaven to Regina and, when she feels the weight of the bed shift, she covers her head with the blankets one more time; let Emma deal with Henry for one morning.
It's the afternoon when a gentle hand to her shoulder wakes her again.
"Are you feeling okay?"
Emma's lips are a thin line, her green eyes dark with worry and questions that need answers she won't get because she won't ask. She sits at the edge of the bed, an arm covering her front, and if she didn't have a killer headache, Regina would roll her eyes at Emma's protective pose; the sheriff doesn't even show yet!
"What time is it?" she asks, wiping the sleep from her eyes.
"Um, a quarter after one. Henry will be home soon. Some kid thought it was the perfect time to test the fire alarm of the school, so David is going to drop him in a few." Emma runs a hand through her hair. "Are you feeling better?"
"You are pregnant."
"Yeah," Emma looks down when she hands her two pills and a glass of water. "I am."
"Who's the father?" Regina asks at the same time Henry yells that he's home from downstairs and while she's glad they are not going to have this conversation since she's not ready for the rejection, she can't help but feel a sharp pain in her chest at seeing the relief in Emma's eyes.
For some reason, perhaps because she got drunk on a school night and usually when she drinks she makes sure that he's nowhere around, Henry wants to spend time with her, and since she is in no condition to cook, Emma drives them all to Granny's in an awkward silence. The trip to Granny's is short, but every few minutes Henry attempts to start a conversation with her and any other day she would be happy to be included in his life, but today isn't any other day.
"That's great, Henry," she says because he said something to her and waits for an answer, missing the exchange of looks in the front-view mirror between him and Emma.
"Are you okay?" he asks and this time she groans with frustration.
David finds them in the diner while they are still waiting for Ruby to take their order, with plans for a fishing trip with Leroy and Henry, smiling widely like he has no care in the word. Henry is excited, of course, and while Regina is a good enough actress to pull off excitement, Emma is at the corner of the booth, playing nervously with a napkin, and taking no part in the conversation, which is enough to get a worried look from David.
"Are you okay?" He asks, his eyes never leaving Regina and she rolls her eyes because of course the shepherd will blame her for his daughter's state.
"Just tired, I guess."
And while Regina is getting a little worried (the sheriff is paler than usual and she looks as if she hasn't slept for days) she's not ready for a talk with the "in-law". David gives Henry a fake smile before he asks to talk to her and Regina is two seconds away from turning him into something without vocals cords or eyes that are blaming her for everything.
"David, please." Emma tries to protest and Henry opens his mouth to say something when Regina cuts them both.
"Order me a burger with a small salad on the side, would you?"
When she steps outside she can see that David is furious with her. Hands on his hips, his gun showing and the way he turns his lips into a thin line reminds her of Emma so much that she wants to punch him.
"You did something to her?"
Yes, Regina wants to scream at him, I let my guard down and that idiot daughter of yours broke my heart.
But she's not going to admit that to him. She's not sure she's going to admit that to Emma either. Because Emma is pregnant with someone's child and that means that whatever Regina thought they had was nothing but a lie. So she lies because lies come easy.
Because lies hurt less than the truth.
"We had a fight."
She nods. "That's all."
David goes back inside without another word, leaving her alone with her thoughts.
Henry is her son after all, because later that day, he gets Emma to spill the beans.
They are watching some movie Regina has seen before and while she stares at the screen her mind is elsewhere. She hears Henry laugh at something that happens in the movie, hears Emma's voice, stronger, almost normal, and Henry is laughing again. It brings a smile to her lips, the sound of her son laughing and for a few moments Henry is four again with a gap where his front teeth should be, hugging her legs with all his power, laughing with all his heart and she doesn't realize that Emma told him about the baby until he jumps up from where he sits with excitement.
"I'm going to be a brother?" He smiles wide, thinking of his baby brother or baby sister before another thought darkens his face. "But you are with mom."
"Henry," Regina stands up and tries to calm him, but he's not her little boy anymore and he doesn't let her.
"Did-did you cheat on my mom?" He is angry now and Regina is glad that they are at home and not at Granny's with curious bystanders. "Did you cheat on her? Answer me!"
At thirteen, Henry looks more like his father than his grandfather with the way he stands, his hands tight fists on both sides of his body, and he steps in front of her, protecting her with his body, and if it wasn't for the terrified look in Emma's face, Regina would be in tears because that's the last she expected after everything she did in her life.
She strokes the back of his neck the way she did when he was a baby and teething, when he was a toddler and had a nightmare, when he was seven and sad because he didn't have a dad, feeling his body instantly relax beneath her touch.
Just one word, but she understands the meaning behind it; Henry is thirteen and has seen more than kids his age should and he's asking her to tell him that his life is not about to change again. That his trust is not about to shatter into a million pieces once more.
And because Regina knows too well about trust and broken pieces, she lies to him.
"I have magic, Henry, and so does Emma." She turns him so she can stare him straight in the eyes, a trick she mastered while she was a young Queen and mourning for Daniel. "I'm not sure how, I won't lie to you about that, but Emma is pregnant with my child."
"But you are a woman!"
"I am aware of that, dear." She smiles at him, waiting for him to do the same and when he doesn't, she lies some more. "I think it's because Emma is the product of True Love. My magic and her magic…I'm not sure, but I think it's the combination of both of them."
"Have you heard of something like that before?"
"Honestly? No." She looks at Emma, afraid that the other woman will say something and ruin the whole thing, but Emma's face is drained from color and has a distant look in her eyes. "That's why you have to keep it a secret at least until I learn more. Now, can you please bring your mother a glass of water because I'm afraid she's going to pass out."
Regina helps her to the bed while Henry is making chai for her, something he saw online and is his way of saying sorry.
"Why did you do it?" Emma whispers to her when Henry is out of reach.
"For him, not for you."
"You shouldn't have."
"But I did."
Emma opens her mouth to ask something, but Regina stops her.
"Tomorrow. We'll talk tomorrow."