A/N: Thanks for the lovely words last chapter! I think Elsa liked it. ;)
Don't forget to ask any question you might have in mind, I'll answer them! :D
evilregal01 asked: "Will there be any other Frozen character introduced in your story?"
They will make an appearance, but only in Elsa's speeches about her past, since, in my story, they're all long dead. :/ But other characters from other forgotten Disney movies will be there. ;) Still struggling on who will be the villain though.
SOPPNATION asked: "Was there ever a fourth dawn?"
'Course there was, I just didn't write it. :p
11. Seventh sunset
The following evening, Regina was running from one corner of the kitchen to another, Henry rolling his eyes sporadically from where he was putting the plates and cutlery on the living-room's table.
Snow had been ecstatic at the thought of dining in the presence of Elsa, whom she had heard about growing up. But she was pretty much ecstatic about everything...especially since she had given birth to such a little gem as Neal.
Regina had been sad to hear that her godson would not be attending, rather spending time with his big sister and her pirate. But she also was relieved, because in his presence, she doubted she would have paid attention to any of her guests.
Tinkerbell had been even easier to convince. She had jumped off her booth to hug Regina, which had startled her and amused Granny who had been spying on them from the counter.
So when the doorbell rang at precisely seven, Regina was not sad, was not trying to keep her thoughts occupied by anything but the outlaw plaguing her dreams. No, none of that. She was genuinely looking forward to spending a nice evening with people she liked, and her son. And that was it.
Henry hurried to the door and opened it with a flourish his grandfather would not have denied.
It was Tinkerbell. Clad in a green sparkly dress and black boots, she sauntered inside the house with a big grin and kissed Henry on both cheeks, soon doing the same to Regina while handing her a bottle of white wine.
"Fairy made. Hard to find, but I did. Save it for a very special day." She was grinning so wide it almost made her hostess blush.
She took the bottle and thanked the fairy, directing her to the living-room.
Tink took the room in, eyes wide and smile still in place, and she turned to Regina. "I've never been invited anywhere. I mean, since I met you the first time."
No hard feelings in that sentence. That's why Regina smiled back. "That's a shame. It is nice being invited by someone else. Especially someone who likes you."
The fairy got the message and the smile reached her eyes even more, making the green almost sparkle as much as did her dress.
The doorbell rang again. This time, it was Elsa.
For the occasion, she was wearing a light-blue tunic that reached middle thigh, and simple ballerina shoes.
She blushed when she realised there was already someone in the house. Henry first, then Tinkerbell.
Regina smiled to her friend and went to stand by her side. "Tinkerbell, Henry, this is my good friend, Elsa. Elsa, this is Tinkerbell, who I met a little before you, and my son, Henry."
Elsa nodded to both, still a little uncomfortable by the look of it.
Thankfully, Henry was there to lighten the mood. "So, you are the Frozen Queen?" She nodded shyly. "Awesome! And you can make snowmen and ice skates and things like that?"
Elsa couldn't suppress a chuckle, and soon, she was following Henry to the living-room, her hand on his shoulder in a friendly gesture.
Tinkerbell accompanied Regina in the kitchen, stealing a canapé under the queen's stern face. "She looks sad."
"That's because she is. But I intend to change that. This is why I invited her tonight with all of you. I wanted...to make her feel better."
"Well, by the sound of it, Henry manages very well on his own..."
Regina nodded and chuckled a little. "Indeed."
Snow and David arrived shortly after, and when they were properly introduced to the latest addition of their party, Snow started harassing Elsa with questions about her land and powers and likes in food and so on. She looked almost as if she had a century of news to gather at once.
Which she had, in a way.
When Regina served diner, the doorbell rang again.
From her place at the table, Snow's brow furrowed, her eyes, full of worry, flying to Regina's at once. "Were you expecting someone else?"
Regina shrugged, trying to hide her obvious unease. "No. Don't move, I'm going to see who it is." She walked to the door slowly, a sense of fate downing on her. Please don't let it be him...
It wasn't Robin.
It was Jefferson, and Grace.
Regina's eyes widened. "Jefferson? What are you doing here?"
The Hatter made a face, his eyes peeking inside from where he could hear the rumour of conversation. "We are interrupting something."
She nodded but a small smile formed on her lips. "I'm making diner for my friends, actually." Her eyes went to Grace. "Did you want to see Henry?"
The young girl – who had grown as fast as her son if not even quicker – nodded. "I wondered if perhaps he'd like to dine with us tonight, but I guess I chose a bad moment."
Regina's mind worked quickly. Her eyes went back to Jefferson's, then Grace's, then Jefferson's again. "Why don't you join us?"
Jefferson shook his head frantically. "Regina, you said so yourself, you made diner for your friends. We should not interrupt."
"Don't be silly. You are a friend. Sort of. Long ago. Sort of." She chuckled. "Anyway, I think it the best moment ever to come at my door. The more the merrier. And I owe you for that wonderful day drinking our asses off."
Grace made a face clearly intended to show her discontent, but her father ignored her and nodded. "Then, by all means, we'd be honoured to join."
"Good." She gestured them to come inside, and with a smile, she took their coats, directing them to the party.
Henry stood as soon as he saw his best friend, running to the kitchen to fetch two other chairs.
David stood too to great the Hatter and his daughter. The women stayed sat but Snow smiled widely at Grace, who she had had in her class for a long time.
Tinkerbell didn't seem to be familiar with the Hatter, but when Regina introduced him, she stated that 'she had heard about the crazy mad hermit in the woods' which made him laugh.
Elsa was slightly uncomfortable as she was introduced, but as soon as Jefferson's eyes fell on her, something really strange happened.
A third party that had not had his eyes straight on them wouldn't have noticed. And Regina and Tink were currently the only two looking.
Jefferson outstretched his hand for Elsa to shake, and as soon as their skins touched, there was a spark, and their eyes met, not leaving each other for a split but long second.
After that, Elsa sat back down, mumbling a faint 'nice to meet you', a faint blush covering her usually white cheeks.
Regina and Tinkerbell exchanged a look and smirked before taking their own places at the table.
Regina could not remember an evening she had spent in such joy and laughter. It truly was one of her favourite days in her entire life. Beside this, all seemed dull and without taste.
Henry was regularly teasing his grandfather with jokes that made everyone laugh and Jefferson add something to it so they would even double over in laughter. Snow had started wiping her eyes at one moment as she was crying, and Tinkerbell had almost choked on her water.
Elsa, overall, seemed to enjoy herself. She answered any question honestly and asked some back, trying to learn things about these people that, to her, were the most important in Regina's life.
She was just two short, but she did not know that.
She had been even more interested to learn that her arrival had somehow been provoked by Regina's long lost sister Zelena. She admitted knowing about Oz and having met Glinda once, but had been genuinely surprised to hear Henry tell her about their adventure in Neverland, a realm she had never heard of.
She had met Regina's eyes when he had talked about his other mother Emma, but upon seeing the queen taking it stoically, she didn't ask.
The evening stretched and ended rather late.
Tinkerbell, completely pissed after her fourth glass of apple cider – which Regina passed on, feeling a little sick to her stomach – was brought home by Snow and David, who, this time, kissed Regina on both cheeks as if she was their closest friend. Snow even promised to visit with Neal the following day at the office.
Elsa, Jefferson and Grace left together, the Frozen Queen and the Hatter stealing glances at each other when they were not looking, and Regina's brow furrowed as she noticed. Was she witnessing a blooming love? So soon, and so unexpected?
Jefferson invited Regina over with Henry for lunch the following day, and with Grace jumping up and down with a pout that could have taken on Henry's, she agreed.
So, as she went to bed that night, a hand on her bubbling stomach, Regina was content.
Really truly content.
And that night, no scent on her pillow, not nightmares, nothing plagued her night...