Disclaimer: I've only watched the first season, I don't know the layout of Regina's mansion, so I'm taking liberties.


Regina and Snow stood together in front of the French doors leading to the backyard, watching as Emma and Charming played a convoluted game of tackle/touch football with Henry. Judging by observation, it involved three teams (but sometimes only two?) and tackling was only allowed when certain conditions were met.

"They look so happy," Snow said, a not-unwelcome statement of the obvious.

Regina agreed. "They really do." She felt eyes on her and tilted her head slightly, looking at the younger woman out of the corner of her eye.

"You look happy, too." The addition was quieter, with a hint of hesitance that spoke more of being unsure the statement would be welcome, but not of its validity.

Taking a moment to consider that, Regina thought about the life she had. Her son was living under her roof again, was free with his smiles and welcomed her affection. He helped around the house and told her he loved her when he went to bed.

And then there was Emma. Regina's gaze drifted outside again, catching on a lithe form topped with long blonde hair. She felt herself soften, as she did every time she looked at the woman who shared her house and her bed and her heart. She thought of the good morning kisses and the good night love-making. The lazy day cuddles and the walks down the street with their fingers casually intertwined.

And she thought of what it took to get here. The pain — both physical and emotional. The years of hatred and anger and betrayal. The fear. So much fear. Before this, before everything had changed, Regina had thought she would spend her entire life in fear and darkness.

But then there was Emma. Her light and her rock and her saving grace. And she didn't know how this life came to her, what she had ever done to deserve it, but she knew one thing for certain.

"I am happy."