Chapter 5: I Don't Believe

A/N: Edited by yours truly, all mistakes fall down to me. Set after Regina has found out that Greg is Owen. Making Henry less of a brat because I just want him to be! Sorry about the on this chapter. Between relatives being around for the holiday, my birthday, carving out time for my wife (and dog), and class this was hard to pay the right amount of attention to. Sort of a filler-y chapter. More plot and more smut next chapter. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Set after S2E18- Selfless, Brave and True. I do not own these characters. I do not own the settings.

Regina's eyes dart to the clock on her bedside table. 1:11 a.m. the same eyes roll up toward the ceiling as the brunette twists, planting both feet on cold tiles. It is not without some annoyance that she makes her way to the door.

If it is Snow again, begging her for death, she will be obliging.

What if it's Emma? Her mind supplies. But it wouldn't be Emma. Not after the argument they'd gotten into that evening. Regina supposes it was out of line, her comment about blackened sole to that idiot Snow. But dammit, it was a good pun.

Silk robe envelopes a slight frame, the fabric whispering against olive skin. The knocking persists. Regina slips down the stair and opens the front door. She is startled to find her son standing on her step.

"Henry! What are you doing here? It's late! Did you walk here by yourself?" Regina throws the door open further, ushering the boy inside.

"Mom..." Henry begins and falters. His eyes are tired and glassy.

"What's wrong, sweetie?" She worries about her son's haggard appearance. She worries about how it will look in the morning when Emma wakes up and finds her son isn't where he should be.

He is where he should be. Her mind reminds her. But she knows the kind of worry finding your son isn't in his bed can instill and she doesn't wish it on the blonde.

Small arms wrap around her waist, she feels her son's cheek pressed against her stomach and cannot help the tears from welling in her eyes. "Everything is wrong." The words are mumbled into her robe. Three words that somehow, neatly, sum up the world.

"I know, Henry. I'm sorry that it's like this." Her son's eyes peer up at her, gaging the truth in her words. He appears to be satisfied.

"I'm sorry about... your mom. Thank you for detroying that curse. I know you want to be better." Regina tightens her grip on the boy. The boy who is saying all the things she has wanted, so desperately, to hear.

"Thank you Henry, you don't know how much that means." She says. Henry pulls from the embrace gently.

"I... I guess I should get back. I just wanted to see you." Regina sighs.

"Hang on for a moment. I'm not trying to force you to stay, let me just call Emma. I don't want you walking home alone at this time." The front door closes as the boy is ushered inside. He takes a seat in the living room, noting the broken mirror in the foyer. Regina picks up her phone and dials Emma.

It takes four rings before a groggy sheriff answers. "H'lo?"

"Good morning! Do you know where my son is?" Regina asks, purposely over cheerful. Their spat earlier hadn't been pretty. Emma hadn't taken kindly to her twisting the knife in Snow's chest. The heavy sigh on the other end speaks volumes of how deep she's dug herself.

"I can only guess that he's not in his bed." Regina rolls her eyes. Henry listens closely, trying to catch the other half of the conversation.

"No, he most certainly is not. And I don't want him to walk home at this time... So you should come and get him." Henry's eyes widen. He waves his hands in front of his face, signalling that this is not a good option for him.

"Why can't you bring him here?" Emma demands, knowing exactly what Regina is doing. Its nearly half past one. Henry will, no doubt, be fast asleep in the fifteen minutes it'll take her to get dressed and drive over. The woman is just trying to get her over there so she can force Emma to forgive her.

"It's too dangerous for me to drive around this town at night. There are still people who would like to harm me and I won't put Henry in that position." This argument is truth. Regina really didn't like the look of Owen. He seemed crazed and she wasn't about to find out if she was right. Not like this. That was an investigation for another time.

"So let him stay the night. I know you aren't going to hurt him." Her heart softens at this. There is trust there, even if Emma is pissed at her. Regina recalls the night outside Granny's. How far they'd come now from it being 'Not such a good idea' for Henry to spend the night.

"While I appreciate the offer and the trust, truly. What about when your charming parents awaken to find their daughter is home but their grandson is gone? How will you explain that he is here and you did nothing about it?" Regina looks up at the sound of soft snoring. She smiles at her son. There are no words to describe how comforting it is to hear that again. To know he is comfortable enough to fall asleep in the home they shared for ten years.

"Okay, I'll be right over." Emma finally replies, officially out of rebuttals, no matter how much of an obvious trap this might be.

"The door is open. Just come right in." Emma's eyebrows rise at this. Yeah, it's a trap alright.

"Yeah, okay. See you in a few." The phone call cuts.

Regina walks over to her sleeping son. She knows he is too heavy to carry upstairs, nearly eleven years old and he is close to her height already. She shakes him gently.

"Mmm, mom? Is Emma here?" He asks, wiping his eyes. Regina shakes her head.

"She's coming, but she's very tired, and so are you. So you're going to spend the night." Henry looks confused.

"Emma is gonna sleep here?" He asks. Regina nods.

"Yes, so that in the morning she can take you home. Now, let's get you up to bed, hmm?" Henry nods, standing and letting himself be led to his old room. Regina lays out his pajamas and turns her back to him, giving him privacy to change. The sound of a bed dipping reaches her ears and she turns back. Henry's clothes are folded and placed on his bedside table. Sleep sits heavy in his eyes.

"Would it be okay if I tucked you in?" She asks. She doesn't want to push. This is all so... surreal. The boy nods, yawning. Regina pulls the quilt up to his shoulders, cacooning him like she did when he was small.

"Thank you. I'm sorry I woke you." Regina smiles at her boy.

"I'm not." She whispers, placing a kiss on his forehead. He smiles and begins snoring again even before she has closed the door to his room. Her boy is home. She smiles brightly. He came to her because she did something good. She chose to do the right thing and for once, he came back to her.

1:58 a.m.

Full lips pull into frown. Emma should have been here already. As if on cue, the front door opens. "Hey." The blonde says, trying to keep aloof. Regina is in a silk robe. Emma cannot tell what is beneath the silk robe and that is driving her mad.

"You got dressed? You came to sleep here and you got dressed to do so?" Regina asks, perplexed.

"I wasn't sure if that was an invitation to spend the night, or if I was coming to scoop up Henry. And I'm angry with you. But you're really, really attractive, so pajama shorts seemed... too easy." Emma admits. Regina can't help the smirk, nor the accompanying dark chuckle.

She crosses to the blonde, placing her hands at the hend of her jacket. She pulls it up slightly. "You even wore a belt? Dear, I can't help but think these are half-hearted attempts at keeping me out from between your thighs." Regina says, pulling Emma further into the house by the belt.

"Even if you were in full armor, I'd find my way in." Regina all but purrs. Emma shivers at the sultry tone.

"I'm angry with you..." The brunette sighs.

"How anrgy?" She asks, fingers working the buckle of Emma's belt. It comes undone with ease, worn leather folding easily in her hand.

"Very. Couldn't you just leave it alone?" Emma asks, resolve weakening.

"I could have, but I'm me. I don't just leave things alone. You don't seem very angry." Deft fingers move to the buttons of blue jeans. "And you freshened up. If you don't want this why do you smell like you took a shower?" Regina demands cheekily.

"I never said I don't want this. Of course I want it." Emma groans. "Where's Henry?" She asks the two reach the foot of the stair.

"Asleep in his old room. He sleeps deeply." Regina smirks, her fingers pulling on Emma's collar, urging her to the second floor.

Emma can't figure out how her resolve is non-existent when it comes to the brunette. She used to be so good at staying away from dangerous things. Ever since one of those things landed her in prison, pregnant. But the fact is, she can't stop playing moth to Regina's flame.

"Would it make a difference if I said no?" This stops the shorter woman.

"Of course it would. Are you saying no? I have guest bedrooms." Regina calls the bluff, dropping her hands from Emma's clothing. The two women stand halfway between the first and second floor, regarding one another.

"What is it we're doing here?" Emma asks. Regina sighs. "I know this isn't the sexiest conversation, but... I don't want to invest too deeply in something that's all physical. We have a son. Someone will get hurt. And... we're both going to get backlash for whatever this is if someone finds out, which they will." Regina nods.

"You want to know if I'm worth the consequences." The brunette challenges, tilting her nose up. Emma shakes her head.

"No. I know that you're worth the consequences." A pale finger lifts her chin. "I want to know if you have more to offer me than your body. I want more. In fact, I need more. I want to know if you'd give this a chance to become more." Green eyes implore the brunette. "You see, for just sex? I'm less incline do that to myself, to Henry. But... for a chance at more, I would happily take the backlash."

Regina feels the lump rise in her throat. "I- Emma, I don't know."

Love again... But she isn't ready to.

"I don't know how to love very well. I'm possessive, Emma. I say things I don't mean. I can't see any reason for you to want more of me. No one has wanted more since Daniel. I don't know how to not be broken and evil. I keep fucking it up." Tears shine in chocolate eyes.

"We all fuck up. Even the ones who are supposed to be perfect. I know you don't think I never screw up. You have a great time pointing it out when I do." Emma jokes, nudging the brunette.

"People don't die when you fuck up. You just make yourself look uncouth." Regina returns with a sniffle. The blonde laughs.

"We're quite the pair, aren't we? Just screwing everything up." Emma jokes.

"Tell me why. Why do you want more than just..." Delicate hands gesture to regal figure. "...this?" Emma's gaze follows those hands, certainly appreciating what she sees, before sliding back up to meet the hard brown gaze.

"That's a big question. I like the fact that you challenge me. That you take no shit from anyone." Regina scoffs.

"You like that I'm a bitch?" She clarifies. Emma shrugs.

"Yep. A lot." She grins, cheekily. Regina wants to hit her, but ends up smiling with her. God what was this woman doing to her?

"What? Bitchy looks good on you." Emma winks.

"I thought we weren't talking about physical details." Regina counters, feigning indignation.

"Technically, that was a compliment on the congruence of your personality and your looks. Very different." Emma resits the urge to shrink back when Regina turns an incredulous look on her.

"You're a pain in the ass. And so far what you've said is that you enjoy the fact that I'm a bitch and that I look the part. Not exactly a solid foundation for a relationship." She opens the door to Henry's room.

"Well, why are you entertaining the idea at all?" Emma demands.

The two women peer in at their son. "You gave me the very best thing I've ever had in life. You gave me my son. You've been the only one to give me a chance. To believe I want to change. And... well, that ass." Regina whispers, smirking. Emma places a hand around the smal waist before her, pulling Regina flush against her front.

"And you raised the son I couldn't provide for. You molded him into the young man we're both proud of. We could be a family, the three of us. Like I said, I would defend you against anything for the chance." The sincerity takes Regina by surprise. She has been telling herself for so long that all she needs is Henry, but now? Now she isn't so sure.

"But I'm the evil queen dear." Emma smirks at this.

"If we're talking points in my column, I'm more than willing to take the brunt of your evil queen-ness in the bedroom." A green eye winks in a charmingly, lascivious manner. Regina can't help the shiver that runs down her spine.

"That is a big check in the pro column. Almost offsets your complete lack of decent wardrobe." Green eyes flash at Regina.

"Not all of us have to be label whores. And I'll have you know my boots are high end." The two back out of Henry's room as Regina sniggers.

"To whom?" The brunette demands as the door closes. They cross the few steps to the master bedroom. Regina gasps as she finds herself pressed up against her own door.

"To me." Emma growls, taking full red lips with her own. Regina moans and presses forward, seeking more contact. Her hand blindly seeks out the door knob, twisting. The two tumble into the room.

Regjna immediately changes their positions, pressing Emma against the other side of the same door. "You don't want to change me?" The brunette demands.

"No. I want you as you've been, as you are, as you will be." Regina moans at the answer. She has been waiting to hear those words for as long as she can remember. Emma allows her hands to be held at her sides. She can tell that the brunette needs control. She's happy to give it over.

Regina doesn't bother going through the motions of removing the blonde's clothes. She watches green eyes widen as hers flood with purple. Emma recognizes the signs of Regina's magic and isn't surprised to find herself naked.

"And you?" Emma ventures. Regina shakes her head.

"I'm not going to do everything for you." She takes control of Emma's lips again, pushing the pale hands into the wall and binding them there. She knows Emma has magic, she wants to see it.

Emma groans when teeth sink into her collarbone, wrestling with the invisible bonds at her wrists. "This is cheating." She grinds out between teeth.

"So do something about it." Regina teases, pinching a pink nipple and tsking the other in her mouth. Emma's head falls back against the door.

"How?" She moans. Regina chuckles.

"Think about what's fueled your magic before and pull from that place." Regina explains, hands running down pale waist. Abruptly she stands straight for another kiss.

She stops short at the blue glow of Emma's eyes. She feels the purity of her magical signature, nearly blinding in its ferocity. She can even smell the magic, disctinctively Emma Swan, like a field of grass after a lightening storm.

She registers her robe opening, her negligee rising, her panties sliding down. She decides to allow it, lifting her arms and allowing the garment to come off, stepping out of her panties gracefully. When she looks back up at Emma she is surprised to find that her hands are free.

She is even more surprised when those hands push her easily down onto her own bed. "Emma, that's enough. Don't do too much, it'll weaken you."

Slowly electric blue fades back into green. "I can see why you find it hard not to use magic. That felt fucking incredible. I don't feel weak." Emma revels in the feel of Regina, naked and soft and hot. Pale hands knead the smooth skin of the brunette's waist. Regina responds by way of lips. Pulling herself up with a hand on the blonde's shoulder, brushing her red mouth across Emma's jaw.

"That's good, you'll need all your strength if you're going to keep up." Regina teases, nipping an ear.

"Regina... you didn't answer my question." The words sre stunted, difficult to say with the beautiful woman on her.

"Can't we just let this be what it is? It's lovely right now." Regina murmurs against pale throat. Emma stiffens.

"Actually... no. No I can't do this." Brown eyes widen, watching Emma disengage from her. The blonde stands, free of modesty, as if to torment Regina. She is quite the sight, tall and strong, all curves and lines. "I'll see myself to one of the guestrooms." She says, making her way to the pile of her clothes.

Regina rises when Emma reaches the door, opening it halfway. "Don't be ridiculous!" The former mayor commands. Suddenly the air feels thick. The door knob slips from Emma's hand as the door slams shut. "You... you will not do this. Come back here. Right. Fucking. Now!" The blonde turns around, seething.

"I'm not just a woman from whom you can take. I, like any other human being, require give. So, no. I'm not going to let you pick and choose which parts of me suit you." The brunette crosses the room in just a few furious steps. Slamming the blonde against her door for the second time.

"Oh, but I quite like your parts. And we both know you enjoy what I do to them. Stop being so difficult. I'm giving you what you said you wanted. To raise Henry together. But to love you? I don't know how to do that. I'm not asking to take, I'm asking only for what we have. A friendly enough relationship with some fucking thrown in." Emma watches red lips as the word 'fucking' spills from it. She is perplexed by the way the cuss is so attractive on that mouth.

She can't pretend she doesn't want Regina's touch. There is enough physical evidence to prosecute. But for all the bravado and all the running she's done, Emma craves something that is hers. Green eyes harden. She can see now what she is worth to the brunette.

"Fine. You want it like that? You want to be friends who fuck and just happen to have a son together? Fine. But you'd better mean it, because if that's your decision, I will never, ever allow myself to love you. Do you understand? You'd better make sure you don't have feelings for me now or ever. You choose my body over my heart? Then that's all you'll get." Regina isn't at all sure about this.

"Why is everything absolutes with you? Why can't it be that this is where we are and we see where it goes? Why does this need to be decided tonight? " Green eyes regard the witch.

A sneer takes hold of thin lips. Too many times Emma has heard those same words.

We'll foster her and see where it goes from there.

And always, they threw her back. Not again. Not ever again. "Because I don't believe in tomorrow. I find I'm not in the mood, Regina. And I'm still angry with you. So thanks for calling about Henry and goodnight." This time the door allows her to leave and she walks down the hall. Regina flinches at the sound of one of her own rooms closing her out.

She wonders, again, why it is that she destroys the things she cares for.

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