"Uh, come in." Regina sat up feeling butterflies erupt in her stomach and fear soon follow with regret. She wondered if the confession went too far, had she overstepped the mark, had she crossed the line of what was just kissing and flirtation by admitting how she truly felt. How when she was around the Sheriff her heart would beat just a half second faster, that she made her smile even when she was overcome with anger and frustration, how being around the blonde made that empty feeling that she had felt for so long disappear.
She inhaled deeply as Emma came into the room ducking her head and approaching her bed slowly unsure what to say now. Emma's voice caught in her throat. She kept the note in her hand, holding it like it was a golden ticket.
"I found your note." She repeated before taking a seat at the foot of the bed.
"I know I am not the most ideal of...partners but I just...I had to tell you." Regina's eyes began to tear up ever so slightly as it dawned on her in the past minute that Emma could very well reject her declaration. She nervously ran her hand through her hair as she waited for a response.
"You love me?" Emma asked dumbfounded at the notion.
"Yes." Regina gulped feeling vulnerable and exposed wanting Emma to say more but knowing from the past that if she pushed her it wouldn't give her the result she wanted. "I understand if you don't-"
Emma shook her head making the mayor stop her planned speech before she started. "No...I do." She gave Regina a soft smile with a nervous laugh.
"You do?" Regina was wary, wanting to be sure.
"I do." Emma got up from her spot and moved to sit right by the brunette. "I love you too." She pressed her lips to Regina's feeling a spark course through her body as she did. Regina kissed her back pulling Emma on top of her.
The romantic scene was crushed when Emma fell on to Regina causing both of them to burst into laughter.
"You are such a dork Miss Swan." Regina told her with a smug smile wrapping her arms around Emma's waist once she situated herself safely.
"And you are a nerd Miss Mills." She replied before kissing her again.
"Merry Christmas!" Henry burst into his mother's room at the crack of dawn with a red stocking in his hand, in his giddy state he didn't realise at first that his mother wasn't alone in her bed.
On further inspection he saw that Emma was nestled on Regina's chest with a thin blue sheet covering up their bodies.
"Crap." Emma noticed her son standing in the room in shock. She nudged Regina and pulled a sheet up as she sat up to hide her modesty.
Regina jumped awake startled but quickly looked over at her son.
"This is not what it looks like." She started feeling embarrassed that her son had walked in on the morning after.
"Santa does exist." He said in a far off voice.
"Just give us two minutes Kid."
He nodded and left to give his mother's some privacy to change clothes. He swayed impatiently as they took longer than they told him, he could hear their panicked voices through the bedroom door. He peeked into his stocking noticing chocolate money, he was about to take a piece when the door flung open, both his mother's standing past the door frame with red faces.
"Merry Christmas sweetheart." Regina bent down to kiss the top of her son's head.
"Are you two together?" He asked wanting an answer. Emma gulped and stepped aside gesturing for him to come in the room. He noticed that she was wearing one of Regina's bathrobes. He sat on the chair by the vanity mirror. "So? Are you?"
Emma took Regina's hand with a shy smile. "Yes."
His face lit up with a bright smile. "Really?"
Regina nodded confirming it. He jumped up from the chair wrapping his arms around them giving them a group hug. When they separated, Regina bent down to his eyeline which these days didn't mean she had to bend much.
"I am sorry you found out the way you did, we were going to sit you down and have a proper talk."
"I am just so happy. Does this mean we can all stay here?" He asked happily.
"You and Emma can. Your grandparents have found a new house for them...speaking of..." She held under his chin affectionately. "They can't know about us just yet."
He smiled and nodded in understanding. "Don't worry you're secret's safe with me."
"So show me Kid, what did Santa leave in your stocking."
The family sat on the edge of the bed looking at the small toys and chocolates that he got.
Emma woke up her parents before they went downstairs wanting everyone to be apart of her first proper family Christmas. She couldn't wipe the grin from her face even if she tried especially when she saw Regina burst into a huge toothy grin at Henry running towards the large pile of toys she had asked David to put out the previous night. David wrapped his arm around his daugher, reaching out to rub Regina's bicep before taking a seat in the arm chair waiting for his wife to sit by him. Emma and Regina sat fairly close on the edge of the couch, an excuse for the close proximity being a better view at their excited son.
David took out his camera phone capturing the moments on video. Snow meanwhile was holding up a large paper back for her grandson to put his wrapping paper in not liking how he just tore it and left it on the ground.
Regina smiled at Emma fondly seeing tears form in her eye as she smiled. She moved her hand over Emma's in an effort to comfort her.
"This one's from mom specifically." Henry informed them all lifting up the box. He tore open the gift wrap looking past the tissue paper. "It's a crown?"
He took it out of the box to see a silver crown with little green emeralds surrounding it, looking over the expensive item carefully.
"It was my father's; a crown for a prince." She took it out of his hands and placed it on his head. "It suits you...He would have really loved you."
"Regina stay there, Emma get in, I wanna take a picture." Emma flushed red padding over to the two brunettes.
"Perfect, the Queen, The Princess and the Prince."
"Emma is more a knight." Henry added making his mom's smile a second before the flash went off.
He took it off, not wanting for it to fall as he finished opening up the rest of his gifts.
"Tink, you and Ruby are here." Henry showed the happy couple to their seats in the dining room. Mr Gold sat at the end of the table with his son and girlfriend on either side of him. David and Snow's chairs were empty as they were getting the last of the starters that had almost been forgotten. Granny rolled her eyes at the pair, she knew what those two were up to when they sat that they would meet her there. Henry sat at the other end of the table in his mother's usual seat so she could sit next to Emma and hold hands under a tablecloth.
Everyone sighed with relief that the last guests had arrived, the starters sitting out in front of them that were to be left untouched until everyone was there.
"What took you guys so long?" Snow asked as she took out fresh salmon adding it to the table.
Tink blushed and hid her red face in Ruby's shoulder not wanting to tell everyone why they were delayed.
"We were just deciding on what to wear." Ruby added.
"Sure you were." Neal murmered with a smirk making Regina lean close to Emma's ear, her warm breath sending shivers down the blonde's spine.
"What did you ever see in him?" She whispered, Emma flushed. "I was young and confused. Also, didn't know about you."
Granny and Ruby shared a look with each other smugly having heard what everyone else at the table missed.
Snow and David waited to take their seats, both clearing their throats.
"Guys we have an announcement."
"We spoke to Eugene yesterday and well as of the 30th we will have a new house, or well cabin." They smiled happily. "It is a bit small but I am sure we can make it fit with the four of us."
"Um, Grandma, Grandpa; I was actually hoping to stay here with my mom...and I wanted Emma here too. I mean we have the space for her. Right mom?" He winked not so subtly at her.
"Emma can stay here if thats what you want." She responded catching on to her son's way of thinking.
"I'm sorry, I just don't want to leave my son." Emma confessed which was the truth, being able to stay living with Regina was just a bonus, a very big bonus.
Her parents looked disappointed but hide it quickly, plastering on fake smiles. "Whatever you want."
"So where's Scarlet tonight?" David asked as he chewed on a piece of turkey only covering his mouth when both Regina and his wife stared him down for talking with his mouth open.
"I stuck her with Happy. He's not religious...doesn't believe he should celebrate something that doesn't exist." Ruby filled them in as she wolfed down another roast potato.
"Whose Scarlet?" Belle asked curiously.
"My secret santa gift from Charming. She is the cutest, a little retriever." She made out the size of the puppy with her hands to give Belle an idea on her size.
"She sounds adorable. Oh! Granny I tried something from the basket you gave me that I never had before...Root beer, it is delicious."
"That's my favourite! After hot chocolate with cinnamon that is."
"And it will rot your teeth out." Regina scolded not liking the idea of all the sugary drinks her son had daily.
"Mom!" Henry groaned getting embarrassed.
"I would listen to her deary." Rumple told him not wanting a grandson of his to be whiny. "Oh by the way thanks Snow for the fishing rods. Bae, Henry and I will have to break them in some day when the weather picks up." He patted his son's shoulder with an easy smile taking over his face.
"I am glad you like them."
"What did you get?" He asked cutting a slice of ham as he waited for her answer. "For secret santa."
Snow blushed; her whole face burning a dark red. "Uh, a book."
"Must be some book, you look like you are about to past out." Granny added watching the former princess squirm. Regina grimaced as the image she witnessed in the shower on that faithful morning not so long ago. Emma squeezed her hand lightly rolling her eyes.
"It was a book on painting." Belle informed them all with a blissful smile not understanding why it was in any way embarrassing to read.
"It was Fifty Shades of Grey." Ruby told everyone at the table making David and Snow shoot daggers at her while the rest of the table minus Henry and Belle burst into laughter. Including Regina even if she found the information more disgusting than funny.
"It's not about an artist and his muse and finding colors on the palette of life?" Belle asked the group making them laugh louder. "Ruby!" She threw a brussell sprout at the waitress who held her hands up in surrender.
"I'm sorry it was meant as a joke. I was gonna tell you but you gave it to her early."
"Is that the twilight porn book?" Henry asked wanting to be in on the joke, his father nodded at him from the other end of the table.
"If it makes you any less embarrassed I sorta got some too." Neal added giving Tink a pointed look making Emma and Regina cover their mouths with their hands as they sniggered remembering the day she gave it to him.
"I THOUGHT IT WAS YOUR JOB!" Tink shouted defending herself. A squeak escaped past Emma's hand as she tried to keep the laughter in.
"You thought what was his job?" Belle asked glad that the focus was off her gift and wanting to keep it off it.
"Well when I followed Regina in the jungle, she called you 'The sperm donor' and I asked the Darling sons what it meant and they said that you read those magazines and touch yourself."
Emma let out the laugh she was holding in, gripping Regina's bicep to hide her face in her arm while Regina laughed openly with rest of the group except Henry who again didn't get why his mom would call his dad that.
"Still it's a better gift than a stuffed animal." David groaned thinking about his gift
"David!" Snow scolded.
"What did you get?" Ruby asked Emma once the laughter had stopped.
Emma grinned widely. "A new leather coat."
"Oh wait til you see it on Red, it looks great on her." Snow cooed as she crossed her utensils on her plate.
"Who was your secret santa?" Neal asked as he got more meat and carrots on to his plate relishing Regina's cooking.
Emma pointed her thumbs towards the brunette beside her who looked up realising that she was being gestured at.
She wiped the corners of her mouth with her napkin placing it back on her lap. "She was mine too."
"What did Emma get you?" Tinkerbell asked wanting to see her friend happy.
"A doll that's like me." She told everyone as her cheeks tinted a light pink.
They waved everyone out when they left just as the clock stroke 7pm. Henry pulled Regina aside to talk to her in private. He went to a cabinet and took out a badly wrapped gift resembling the books Emma wrapped for him when she left her in control.
"You got me a gift? You didn't have to." She opened it up to see he got her a barbie. "Dream Wedding Barbie?" She turned it over in her hands to see a blonde barbie with wavy blonde hair in a white and pink wedding dress.
"They didn't have any Sheriff barbies. It's meant to be mom. She said she got you one and I wanted you to have another to play with...like how Ava acts out weddings with her and her ken dolls. Now your doll is not all alone. Do you like it?"
She pulled him in for a hug. "I love it."
"Can I do one of the chemistry experiments? Grandpa said he wants to try one with me." He pleaded pushing his hands together.
"Of course you can. Just be careful with the chemicals."
"I know mom."
She let him go and watched as he set it up on the messed dining room table. David moved dishes out of the way so he had a place to set up before the table was fully cleared. "Buddy, you set up everything and I will be in in a minute okay?"
Regina helped him take out the viles of chemicals and the instruction book when she saw a bright light.
Emma smiled from behind the camera. "My two nerds." She whispered to them sticking out her tongue while they furrowed their brows at her, scowling. "I knew you'd love it."
She rested her arms on the back of Henry's chair, reading the experiment he was.
"Okay, buddy. What one are we doing?" David asked as the table was cleared and the kitchen was cleaner. Snow sat watching them, being an assistant to them as they worked.
Emma held onto Regina's shoulder. "I don't think they need us here at the moment." She jerked her head in a not so subtle gesture.
Regina picked up on the hint and followed the blonde upstairs to her room with her dream barbie in her hands. Emma looked down at the doll when Regina placed it on her vanity mirror next to the one Emma got her.
"Did Henry get you that?" She asked picking it up before doing the same to the Regina doll.
"Yeah, looks kinda like you, except for the dress."
"Haha very funny. 'Oh Miss Swan I want to kiss you.'" Emma acted out with the mayor doll making Regina cross her arms and roll her eyes.
"I don't think I ever said that."
Emma ignored her and took the wedding dress barbie in her hands. "I guess I could kiss you Madam Mayor.' She made the dolls kiss making puckering lip sounds. Regina saw an opportunity and threw the stolen Snow White doll at the blonde shouting "Porn!"
Emma lost it, dropping the dolls on the table as she burst into loud laughter causing Regina to laugh too.
"You are so silly." Regina told her, wrapping her arms around the Sheriff's waist pressing a soft sweet kiss on her lips.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
Downstairs Henry watched as his mothers came downstairs hand in hand with goofy smiles on their faces and he couldn't help but smile too. Snow and David were oblivious to the couple as they tried to figure out where the experiment went wrong.
"What's going on?" Emma asked taking a seat across from everyone.
"We are missing a chemical somewhere for this one. Must have misread it." Snow told the two women barely looking up from the booklet in front of her.
Regina knelt down in front of her son with a genuine smile on her face. "Did you get everything you wanted?"
He grinned back looking between his two mothers.
"Yes." And though he was grateful for the gifts he had gotten they didn't even cross his mind. He got what he asked Santa for, not a crown, or a game console or even toys. He got happiness for his moms and seeing them smiling happily made his secret wish to Santa come true.
Merry Christmas. I hope you have a good one.
I have an idea for an additional chapter to cover a New Year's Eve party. Let me know if it is something you guys would be interested in.