Regina didn't know how to look at Tinkerbell. She wasn't an enemy. Never had been, not really. Even at her worst, Regina had quickly regretted her harsh words to Tinkerbell—realizing that unlike Rumpelstiltskin and his kind, she didn't feed on that hostility. She really was hurt by it. But then Tinkerbell was gone, and Regina hadn't been able to ever make things right with her. She'd wanted to. It would've been nice to have someone besides her mirror and her father, neither of whom could really help her.
And then there Tinkerbell was, at the far side of camp. The one person Regina really remorse towards. She hadn't tried to steal Regina's son, hadn't killed her fiancé. She had just tried to help and—
"What are you looking at?" Tinkerbell demanded, facing Regina dead-on.
Regina looked away. "Sorry."
That wasn't good enough for Tinkerbell. Getting up, and casting a quick look at the others (all of whom were apparently busy chiding Hook), she went over to kneel before the log Regina was sitting on. "That's all you have to say? Sorry?"
Regina laughed to herself. "You had already your chance to kill me. If you want to start a fight now and take another shot, too bad. You'll have to live with your regret. Just like the rest of us."
"I don't want to kill you, Regina. I want you to be a good person."
Regina replied flatly, "What?"
"It's easy for me, you know. Goodness is my natural state. But you—did anyone ever teach you to be nice?"
Regina thought of her father, Daniel… Henry. "Too little, too late."
"Well, if you're really sorry, then you have to change and you have to make it up to me."
"I'm trying to change," Regina stressed. "It's not easy. People don't make it easy. You nearly killed me!"
Tinkerbell was unimpressed. "Ask me how you can make it up to me."
Regina sighed. "Tinkerbell, how can I make things up to you?"
"Well, for starters…" Tinkerbell broke off nervously, her conviction not as solid as she'd thought.
"What?" Regina demanded, irritated by now.
Tinkerbell gave her as fierce a look as she could muster. "I've been on this island a long time. Not many people are nice to me. And no one hugs. I could really use a hug."
Regina blinked. "You want me to hug you?"
"You remember what fairies are like, don't you?"
"Yes, yes, of course I do. But me? Why not Mary-Margaret? She gets off on that sort of thing."
"Because she's not my friend." Tinkerbell opened her arms. "C'mon, Reggie. Hug time."
Regina growled to herself, "I wish you wouldn't call me that," but moved in. Let Tinkerbell wrap her arms around her and embraced Tink in turn. It felt good, squeezing the warm little pixie. Something like owning a great big stress ball. She didn't even mind that Tinkerbell held the hug, rubbing her face lovingly into Regina's shoulder like she was getting the queen's scent. It reminded Regina a little of the first time Henry had hugged her. The shocking, pleasing tightness. Like how a coat protected you in the winter. For a moment, Regina could've believed Tinkerbell was protecting her against the world that had done her so much damage.
"What the hell?" Emma cried suddenly, off to the left. She was charging up to them when Regina broke away from Tinkerbell, the two women identically confused.
"Something the matter?" Regina asked, used to having to handle the young woman.
"Yeah, you two were trying to crush each other to death for a second there. I thought you buried the hatchet?"
Tinkerbell giggled. "We were hugging."
From Emma's expression, that might as well have been in French. "No, seriously. Regina Mills is not a hugger. She wouldn't hug Winnie the Pooh."
"Ms. Swan," Regina said, shifting into the usual lecturing tones she so loved to use on Emma, "while it's true I'm not the most physically affectionate person—unlike your parents, who slobber on each other like two St. Bernards—fairies are not like regular people. They're like… panda bears. They need to be rubbed, and petted, and hugged, and just generally loved."
"Yeah, uh-huh." Emma crossed her arms. "So why are you doing it? You a panda bear too?"
"Yes, Emma. I'm an evil panda bear." She rolled her eyes and turned to Tinkerbell. "Want another?"
Regina pulled Tinkerbell into another tight hug, eying Emma as she did so.
Emma turned on her heel and walked back to where Hook was explaining how eyeliner was originally a male invention.
"You haven't had a friend in a while, have you?" Tinkerbell asked, walking beside Regina the next day.
"Well, there was a woman back in Storybrooke," Regina explained. "But I made her husband a gym teacher and set her up with Charming to cockblock Mary-Margaret."
"Not the best way to make friends," Tinkerbell said.
"It's less dangerous than falling off a balcony."
"True!" Tinkerbell giggled. "Wanna hold hands?"
"Okay." Regina held out her hand, and was surprised when Tinkerbell so enthusiastically took it. Ever since the Curse had been broken, people tended to associate her making hand gestures with death and destruction, taxes, things like that. But she was even more surprised to like having Tinkerbell's hand tight as a glove around her own. It made her feel like she was walking on a ledge, but she had a rope around her wrist to keep her from falling.
Emma looked back, as she had twelve time in the past ten minutes, and saw him. With a huff, she stared straight ahead, where Hook was leading the way. And even his ass in leather pants wasn't enough to make her forget that Regina and Tinkerbell were fingering each other.
"So," she whispered to her parents, "we're all agreed. We don't trust Tinkerbell and she's probably up to something with Regina!"
"I didn't say that," Mary-Margaret said. "Did you?"
Charming shook his head. He seemed rather pale, and his eyes were bloodshot, but no one was paying attention.
"Look at them back there!" Emma whispered, more urgently. "They're practically joined at the hip! They must be plotting something! Probably… selling us to Pan as meat in exchange for Henry."
Mary-Margaret corrected Emma gently. "They're holding hands. I'm glad Regina has someone to open up to. You could stand to do the same."
"I open up to you plenty, Mary-Margaret."
"You're still calling me by my first name. The first name Regina made up for me. That's like me calling you by your gamer tag."
"SwanLeet? Go ahead. I don't mind."
David stopped for a moment to double over and vomit into the bushes, then wiped his mouth and continued on.
"You okay, honey?" Mary-Margaret asked.
"I'm fine. Just the heat."
Behind them, Regina and Tinkerbell giggled to each other. Emma's teeth gnashed.
"They're probably talking right now about ripping our hearts out of our chests and juggling with them. There'd be three in all; that's a prime juggling number."
"No one's going to juggle our hearts," Mary-Margaret assured her. "You know what I think it is? I think you see Regina having herself a faithful female companion and wish you had one of her own."
"You think I'm jealous of Regina because she has a BFF?" Emma gestured wildly, nearly hitting David's nose, which was already bleeding profusely. He pinched it shut. "If anything, I pity that pixie. I give it forty-eight hours before Regina's come up with some reason to set her on fire, if she hasn't done it to us by then."
There came a somewhat loud "MMMMM" sound, and when Emma looked back, she saw that Regina and Tink had their hands on each other's hips and had pulled each other together.
"It's okay to admit you want a faithful female companion," Mary-Margaret went on. "Ruby was my faithful female companion, and I miss her every day. Although at least I have David. Right dear?"
David had stopped to hold his heart and breathe heavily, but now started walking again. "Yes sweetie."
Emma's brow furrowed. "What's up with him, anyway?"
"Allergies, I think."
Emma was getting real tired of camping in the jungle. Especially when her son was out there somewhere, waiting to be rescued. If she could just figure out the stupid map…
"I'm a… big fat lesbian…" she muttered, and was shocked to see writing appearing on the blank parchment. "Nope!" she said quickly, and it faded. "Okay, I'm… possibly bicurious?" A few rivers appeared. "Real funny."
For now, there were more pressing matters. The others had gone off to get food, firewood, and water, leaving Emma to watch Tinkerbell. And Tinkerbell was watching her. Just two women, alone in the woods, watching each other.
Emma got bored of that fast. She got up, walked over to Tinkerbell, and gave her the stink-eye point blank. "Just so you know—I'm onto you. And whatever it is you and Regina are cooking up, I'm gonna kick its ass!"
"Oh, Emma. Emma, Emma, Emma." Tinkerbell knotted her hands in her lap. "I know what this is about."
"You're jealous. Jealous that Regina and I are faithful female companions."
"Why does everyone keep saying that?"
"I just want you to know that it's okay to want what we have. Regina is a very attractive woman and, let's be honest… not a bad kisser. Not at all."
Emma's eyebrows braved the peaks of her hairline. "Whoa! Whoa, whoa! You're not suggesting—me and Regina…"
"Of course not. There's nothing between you and her. And I know how that grates on you, when Regina has such full lips, and such magnificent breasts, and that ass…"
"I am not," Emma emphasized, putting her hands on her hips, "in any way, shape, or form attracted to Regina! I hate her! She's tried to kill me, like twenty… okay, three times, but for normal people, that's a lot!"
Tinkerbell didn't seem to hear her. "And I know how hard it must be, seeing two faithful female companions so happy together, especially when you're all alone… starting to get on in years… and a son already, that won't help you find a man."
"I've found plenty of men! I have boyfriend material coming out the wazoo!" Emma protested, before wincing inwardly over that mental image. "It's just a lot of them seem to die…"
"I'm sure," Tinkerbell said. "Just don't try to ruin Regina's happiness just because she won't take you to the same heights of sexual ecstasy that she does me."
Emma sputtered. "That is not—you're completely—I do not want Regina to take me to heights of sexual ecstasy!"
That would be when Regina came through the bushes. She—very carefully—set down her basket. "I found some clams down by the river. Anyone want some?"
Tinkerbell smiled at her. "I'd love a clam!"
Another day of searching, another night of restless sleep. Regina rubbed her cold arms and thought of Henry. She was his only hope. Trust Emma to become some raving lunatic in his hour of need.
Tinkerbell approached her, still nibbling on the night's dinner. Regina was surprised to see her still up. All the others had gone to sleep.
"Hey," Tinkerbell said, sitting down beside Regina and rubbing her nose against hers like they were Eskimos.
Regina chuckled despite herself. "Hello."
"I didn't think it'd be so easy to forgive you," Tinkerbell admitted, offering up the mango she'd brought. Regina shook her head. "But it feels really good to have a friend again."
"Same here," Regina nodded.
Tinkerbell took a bite and set the mango aside. "But, what are you still doing awake? You need your sleep for tomorrow. Who knows what dangers Neverland will bring?"
"It's hard to sleep when I don't know how I'm going to lose my son—to Pan or to Emma."
"Maybe it's just the cold, making you so melancholy. C'mere, lie down." Regina held still, so Tinkerbell gave her a reassuring smile and faintly begged. "Reggie, it's been years since I spooned with anyone…"
"Alright," Regina said, lying down with her back to Tinkerbell, immediately rewarded for her trust by Tinkerbell sliding in behind her.
"Here, use my arm as a pillow."
"Thank you." It was a lot softer, and a lot warmer, than Regina's blazer wrapped around a log. "Not that there's been much competition, but you may be the best friend I've ever had. I want you to know that."
"You're my best friend too," Tinkerbell said, and rubbed her forehead against the back of Regina's neck. Regina cooed softly in relaxation.
The fairy had always been good at putting her at ease. In a few minutes, she was more than used to having the petite woman somehow wrapping her all up in arms and legs. And, even with all that'd gone wrong in her life and all her worlds, she found herself able to close her eyes and enter a deep, dreamless sleep.
Emma had very carefully chosen a sleeping spot behind a bush in the middle of the clearing they'd camped in. The bush was between her and the Terrible Tinks, allowing her to spy on them without being noticed at all. She'd stay up all night if she had to if it meant finding out what they were up to. If only she could stop yawning.
Emma had just stifled a particular bone-rattler when she saw Tinkerbell was staring directly at her. That bitch, wrapping Regina up in her arms like an octopus. She raised her hand. Emma watched closely. Did she have something in it? Was it a gesture for some spell? Tinkerbell had said she didn't have magic, but she couldn't be trusted. Movement! With most of her fingers in a fist, she'd stuck out her forefinger and middle finger to form a V. It was a spell! Emma pressed herself low to the ground, ready to rush the bitch if she targeted Mary-Margaret or David or maybe Hook.
She watched as Tinkerbell brought the fingers to her mouth and—stuck her tongue out, flicking it rapidly between her spread fingers. Then Tinkerbell pointed at Regina and nodded meaningfully.
She knows I'm watching! Emma thought in a panic, as well as And she still thinks I have a thing for Regina!
Well, two could play at that game. Emma stuck her hand through the bush and gave Tinkerbell the finger. There was no coming back from that. If you gave the finger yourself, you just looked like a copycat.
Tinkerbell didn't. She made Vs with both of her hands and brought the gaps between two fingers together, like she was trying to cut a pair of scissors with another—Emma suddenly figured out what that gesture meant.
"I've tried that, it doesn't even work," she said to herself.
Tinkerbell didn't even stop. Now she circled her hand like she was holding an invisible lightsaber and began jerking it up and down, finally making the universal symbol for ejaculation (well, Emma didn't know if it was universal, but she certainly recognized it) at Regina. Then she took long licks at Regina's face, her tongue almost touching Regina's skin.
"You have a dick?" Emma asked.
Now really pleased with herself, Tinkerbell got up on all fours (as best she could with Regina's head still on her arm), oriented herself over Regina, and began to pump her hips in frantically mimed coitus with her. Emma supposed that made sense, now that they'd established Tinkerbell's penis.
She scrambled around the bush on all fours so that Tinkerbell could see her as she made a circle with one hand, held out the pointer finger on the other. She poked the finger into the hole several times, then turned her hole hand around and poked her fingers through the other way.
"Emma, what are you doing?" Regina asked blearily, her eyes opened as slightly as a newborn kitten's.
Emma froze with her fingers buried to the hilt in her other hand. She put her hands behind her back. "Nothing! What are you doing?"
"Sleeping." Behind Regina, Tinkerbell had managed to get back into perfect supporting big spoon position. "What were you doing with your hands? Were you trying to perform magic?"
"Yes!" Emma cried, too grateful to be quiet.
Regina's mouth was open in a long yawn. When it closed, she said "You shouldn't try magic on your own. Too dangerous. If you're interested, let me teach you."
"Yes, Emma," Tinkerbell said, resting her head on Regina's shoulder. "Regina knows a lot about magic. She even has magic fingers."
Emma hoped it was too dark for them to see how red she was getting. With anger. Anger! "Well, I should get back to sleep." She scrambled back behind her bush.
"Sweet dreams," Tinkerbell replied.
"Reggie?" Tinkerbell said softly, minutes later, just after Regina had gotten comfortable again.
"It's been years since I've been tickled. Do you think you could—just a little?"
Smiling to herself, Regina reached behind her and brushed her fingers over Tinkerbell's ribs, quickly finding a vulnerable spot to skate her fingertips over. Tinkerbell let out a shrill giggle before clapping a hand over her mouth to avoid waking anyone.
Nonetheless, Regina heard a rustle from the leaves where Emma was sleeping.
"No more," Regina swore. "Not until morning. Okay?"
"Yes, Regina." Tinkerbell sealed the promise with a quick kiss on Regina's ear.
Regina found herself blushing. Tinkerbell always made her feel so… befriended. How had she ever given that up?
The night passed quietly. Regina heard the rustling from Emma go quiet. A few owls hooted, a few she-didn't-know-whats howled. She was safe and warm in Tinkerbell's arm. Even Graham hadn't gotten so close to her—always rolling over and leaving when services were rendered. Her idea. But she quite liked how Tinkerbell held her tight. It was very… friendly.
"Regina? Are you asleep?" Tinkerbell whispered, as low as her already light voice could go.
"Almost," Regina groused, but lightheartedly. "What is it, Tink? We really need to get some rest. This isn't a slumber party."
"I know, Reggie. It's just—well, it's been years since I've gone down on someone…"
"What?" Regina began to say, half-asleep, when she heard the thud of a body coming down beside her.
It was Emma, and she wore a smile so wide that Regina's reptile brain immediately reacted to all the teeth and urged her to climb up a tree or something.
"Hey guys!" Emma said. "I couldn't help but notice all the cuddling you two were up to and I was hoping I could get in on that."
"Are you fucking kidding me?" Tinkerbell asked, but Regina patted her on the thigh reassuringly.
"She's Snow White's daughter. I guess some things are hereditary."
"And I'm sure Tinkerbell wouldn't mind a little cuddle puddle." Emma turned her beaming smile on Tinkerbell like a spotlight. "Since we're all friends here. You can never have too many friends, can you… 'Tink'."
"No. You can't," Tinkerbell answered coolly.
"Great!" Emma wiggled up against Regina, sandwiching her between the blonde and Tinkerbell. "C'mon, get in here, Madame Mayor. You're getting the shit cuddled out of you."
"That sounds unappealing," Regina replied, but shook her head and closed her eyes nonetheless. She really did need her sleep, and she supposed she should take pity on Emma, since the girl had quite obviously taken a blow to the head in one of her fights.
After a few minutes of her not noticing the staring contest Emma and Tinkerbell were holding, Regina began to snore gently. In a few more seconds, her head settled on Emma's cleavage in front of her and she made a low yawn of comfort. Emma stared at Tinkerbell smugly.
Staring challengingly back on her, Tinkerbell slipped her hand under Regina's waistband, down to cup her ass. In her sleep, Regina moaned appreciatively.
"Looks like your girlfriend's straying a little," Tinkerbell whispered.
"Regina is not my girlfriend."
Nearby, David coughed up some blood in his sleep, but neither of them noticed.
"Do you think we should wake them?" Hook asked. On the one hand, he'd put quite a lot of effort into making a banana smoothie out of some very limited resources and he would like to hear the ladies' appreciation of it. On the other hand, Regina had somehow fallen asleep with Emma's hands on her backside, Tinkerbell's hands cupping her breasts, and two sets of lips on her throat, which was bared exquisitely by the angle at which her head was tipped back in apparent pleasure.
While he didn't care for the modern world, he very much would've liked a camera at that particular moment.
Beside him, David looked like he was leaning toward the banana smoothie option. But… "It looks like they… need their sleep."
"And it's not a bad view to have with one's breakfast."
"Hey, that's my daughter in there!"
"Yes, but there are two other fillies involved."
"Actually, one of them's my mother-in-law."
Hook raised his prosthetic, lowered it, and finally turned away from the spectacle to face David. "What the hell is wrong with you people?"
Some blood trickled from David's eye, but Hook didn't notice before he wiped it away. "I'm gonna go distract Mary-Margaret. You let me know when they're awake. I don't think Snow would take it well, seeing her daughter—" He gestured.
"I don't know," Hook replied, "if I had a daughter, I'd think she'd done quite well for herself, bagging those two."
David just walked away.
"Of course," Hook said to himself, "I myself would hate to be cuddled with like that. All that warmth and intimacy—pah! Who needs it? Not a manly pirate like me, certainly. I'm glad they didn't ask me. Wouldn't want to break their hearts by denying them my savage heart, much as they might like to tame it with their soft caresses and… lady-eyes. But I'm sure they knew that. That's why they didn't ask me. That's why. Those bitches…" He shuddered. "Don't cry. Don't fucking cry…"
It was no use. He knew soon he'd have to reapply his eye-liner.