We Can Love Again

The New York Experience

"What do you mean you want to go out tonight, I'm tired." Regina muttered, setting the dress wrapped in plastic wrap carefully on her bed. They had spent about four hours at the bridal shop, and the queen was beyond exhausted.

"We're in New York City on a summer night, how can we not go out?" Emma questioned, gesturing towards the outside world at their hotel window, the sun setting and the sky beginning to darken.

Regina then glanced down at all the shopping bags that were scattered along the floor space. "More shopping?"

Shaking her head, the blonde produced a few bills from her wallet. "You'll see. We need some rewards after all that work we did today."

Though she was highly wary of Emma's intentions, Regina contented to following her outside to see what she had in mind. Amazingly, there were still thousands of people walking about outside in the streets.

"I still need to call Robin back and apologize for you hanging up on him like that," Regina said, rather bitterly as she clutched her purse close to her body.

"Well we found your dress, so it was worth it!" The blonde justified, turning into a small store off to the right.

When Regina glanced up at the sign overhead, she was tempted to turn around and run while she still had the chance. "A bar, Emma? Really?"

Emma tightened her hold on her arm and sighed. "We can't be in New York and not get drunk. I didn't get to last time I was here, and after the hell you put me through today, I really need a drink."

"But I couldn't drink even if I wanted to," the former major argued, "I'm still breastfeeding, remember?"

They were still standing in front of the door, arguing over the noises of the traffic and people bustling about.

"Oh come on, this is only one night! Just let loose and have fun!" Emma persisted, opening the door to reveal a musty, slightly crowded bar, the far wall covered entirely with shelves of alcohol. "If you absolutely refuse to drink anything, the least you can do is request me more shots when I ask for them."

Regina let out a groan, knowing fighting against Emma of all people wasn't going to do any good. At the very least, she could get some funny videos of her being an idiot to help make up for the Big Mac incident a couple days prior.

"Fine. But I can promise you that you're the only one getting trashed tonight." She glowered, following her into the dismal building and soon regretting that she did. People were everywhere, drunk people, some dancing and some standing around and talking with drinks in hand. Music was blaring so loud, the queen couldn't even hear herself think. Emma jumped up on one the barstools and flagged down the bartender, ordering herself something called a Royal Bomb shot.

It wasn't long before the signs of drunkenness started to show on the blonde; she downed one after another in complete silence. Regina wondered what her deal was, (though she had never experienced her truly drunk before) but she had no idea that the bar they were in was the same exact one Neal had taken her to talk about things.

After a few minutes, the blonde gave Regina a smug smile and wiped the hair from her face. "I never pegged you as someone who never wanted to drink. Where's the fun in that?"

"I already told you Emma, I can't." She replied with slight annoyance, causing Emma to chuckle.

"You're so lame! Remember the days when you would try to make me look bad? Where's that Regina? What kind of shit happened to you after you had that baby?"

She scowled. "You just called me lame!"

Setting her shot down with a clang, Emma nodded. "Yeah, because you are. What's so scary about a drink?"

She could feel anger and irritation rush to her cheeks- being ridiculed was her biggest pet peeve. Before she knew what she was doing, Regina snatched the drink from her and downed the rest of it in one swallow, almost spitting it out when she tasted the burning liquid at the back of her throat. She squeezed her eyes shut and began to heave a cough.

"There you go!" Emma exclaimed, slapping a hand on her back and laughing.

"That was a Royal Bomb shot. Seems fitting, considering. Can we get some more of these waiter?" She asked, flagging the poor man down from the other end of the counter.

Regina was about to say something against it, but she just couldn't get the words out. After sitting a moment and waiting, she started to feel very light, almost as if she was floating. Regina decided she liked this feeling and grabbed another shooter off the tray.

Everything inside of her felt strange; she wasn't sure if she was going to be sick or if she would simply give out and fall off the chair and onto the floor. But, since she ended up doing neither of these things, she grabbed another one off the tray presented to them and drank it down. It didn't burn too much the second time, it did send chills down her spine.

"Look at what we have here, the mayor enjoying herself!" Emma exclaimed, soon tilting her head back and drowning herself in another shot. "Killian made this thing called The Hulk once, and it almost killed us both."

Regina could barely hear her over the blaring music. She cursed herself for caving in and taking one- the alcohol was already pumping through her veins, the things on her mind smudging and turning into a jumbled mess.

"I usually drink with Ruby at her grandmas place, but she can't hold more than four shots in a night," Emma continued to mutter on, though her friend clearly wasn't listening.

"You talk too much." Regina told her, starting to giggle for no apparent reason. She had to drink the damn shot. "New York is so big. How in the world are we going to get back to the hotel?"

"Who the hell cares?" The blonde shot back, almost slamming her drink down on the counter as she grabbed for the queen's hand. "Let's go dancing before all the weirdos come in."

Regina had no choice; she was dragged off her barstool and pulled into the dance floor. Emma Swan was quite the assertive drunk. The sky had blackened outside, though it didn't seem to have been that long since they had entered the bar.

"You gotta dance better than that! Come on, all you have to do is move your hips!" The savior yelled over the music, making known the fact that Regina honestly had no idea how to dance. Not only that, but a thought kept nagging in the back of her mind- she may have been intoxicated, but she knew very well that she was getting married in a month. Robin wouldn't mind her having a little bit of fun... Right?

There was a deafeningly loud song playing over the speakers, the bass causing everything to vibrate violently around them. Regina heeded to Emma's advice to the best of her ability, soon finding herself with her hands in the air, loosely singing along to the words and simply not caring. Every once in a while, a tray would make its way over to them, filled with assorted shots filled with who knew what. It was as if Regina's common sense had been shoved into a forgotten place in the back of her mind, because she couldn't even help herself from grabbing one and forcing the liquid down the back of her throat. She had no idea what she was doing in a New York City bar with Emma, but she knew the woman was right when she said she needed to get out and live a little. It was relaxing knowing that for once she didn't have to pick her son up from preschool, or change another one of Caroline's diapers. Here she could be whoever she wanted to be, and nobody would care.

"Miss Swan, you're not taking pictures are you?" Regina asked with wide eyes, snatching the phone from her hand. Instead of getting angry, she broke down into another bout of laughter, right in the middle of the dance floor. "We both look so horrible! I can't have Robin knowing that I did this!"

The jacket she had been wearing over her sundress had been abandoned about an hour prior (it had fallen off sometime during all the drinking and dancing) but Regina hardly even noticed.

What she did notice, though, were a pair of gigantic hands that suddenly gripped her hips, instantly causing her to freeze in her place for a moment. The man pressed himself flush against her body, making it difficult for her to turn around and face him with darkened eyes.

"I'm sorry, do I know you?" She asked, sizing him up in the few seconds it took him to answer. He was quite tall, brawny, and looked like a college student- think headed and downright obnoxious.

Though she gave him the most daunting look she could offer, he kept his hands clenched tightly around her. "Loosen up babe, you're so uptight."

Hearing that, Regina jabbed him in the stomach with her elbow and managed to turn around to face him. She opened her palm, ready to obliterate him with one of her fireballs. When she did, though, absolutely nothing happened.

"There's no magic here!" She yelled to herself, "I want to turn you into a toad or something because you won't leave me alone! I... I have a fiancé!"

He sent her a cocky smile with extremely white teeth. "I don't see him with you."

Before he could continue on, the man was rudely interrupted by a sudden contact with Emma's fist; she slammed him right in the face, so hard he staggered backwards a few steps and hit the wall face first.

"I told you the weirdos would come!" The blonde exclaimed, taking amusement in the woman's terrified expression. "He was cute though. Too bad we're both taken by even hotter guys."

Regina took out her phone and filed through her contacts until she found Robin's name. She didn't know why she did, but she supposed she just wanted to see his face again. All the pictures of him and her together made her head spin, the musty atmosphere, the bright lights, and pure exhaustion beginning to catch up with her quickly.

"Let's go back Emma," Regina pleased over the noise, tugging at her shirt sleeve, "it's almost midnight and I think I'm going to be sick."

The blonde sent her a menacing look. "But we're having fun!"

Everything around her became dizzy, as if someone had spun her stolid a thousand times and let her free.

"Fine, we'll go back," Emma muttered, seeing she was so pale she practically looked dead. "Goodbye, New York City. It's been fun."It was a miracle the two of them found their way back to the hotel they were staying at.

Regina had never been more drunk in her life; hr experience with Emma was far worse than her first time drinking beer with Robin in the Enchanted Forest. She was out like a light before she even hit her pillow.

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