'What the hell are you doing here, Swan?' came the sour reply from the living room. Emma followed the voice.
'Just checking how are you holding up?' she offered shrugging.
Regina looked at her with mocking disgust.
'Are you kidding me? And no one allowed you to enter. I ignored the doorbell on a purpose. How did you bypass the wards?'
Regina was sitting in front of the TV, no make up, dressed in casual clothes consisting of sweatpants and loosely fitting black t-shirt.
Emma plopped down on the sofa without invitation and ignored affronted look on Regina's face.
'Henry gave me the keys.'
The mayor only sighed, returning her gaze to the TV. Emma followed her.
'Do you have a problem, Swan?'
Emma pondered that for a moment.
'I think your problem is bigger anyway' she replied finally.
'Oh, thank you. Now kindly shut up. I'm watching. And I love that scene.'
On the screen Alexis and Krystle started to fight, trashing furniture, flower vases and ripping out pillows and each others clothes.
'It's so cathartic' Regina said with almost a smile.
'Yeah, you may be on to something' Emma nodded, not looking away from the screen.
'Though I'm always disappointed that she's not destroying that painting over Alexis' head.'
'I thought you'd be on Alexis' side. You two have such a similar style.'
'Oh, thank you, miss Swan' Regina snapped with venom. 'Just be careful so I won't recreate that scene here and now.'
Emma actually looked at the mayor. Regina had her brows furrowed, but something was amiss in her trademark Evil Queen expression.
'Okay, I'm sorry' Emma admitted. 'I suppose now it's Marian that showed up as unexpectedly as Alexis did.'
'No, you're right. I'm more like Alexis. It's Marian who's married to the guy, being obnoxiously good, and suffering from her evil rival.'
'You're not evil anymore.'
'I'm more evil than Marian. And few times as angry.'
'Well, yeah, that may be true.'
'You're such a wonderful support, Swan.'
'Hey, I'm here and I'm doing what I can' Emma said. 'It's not like you want to be coddled and told that everything's gonna be alright.'
'No, I don't. And I'm also sort of disappointed that Alexis lost. Like any evil character ever.'
'Whoa, stop that right now. Self-pity is not like you. What about going for a drink and then we can do something cathartic? There must be something that we can destroy and then restore by magic.'
Regina looked at her sharply with her eyebrows raised high.
'First, I am the queen and I will have all the self-pity I want. Second, I'm not in the mood for loosing control over myself, so no drink. Third, you're such a hopeless good hero already thinking about restoring things.'
'Oh, yeah? What would you suggest then?'
'Hmmm...' Regina stared intensely at the ceiling. 'If I were drunk I would break into Gold's shop.'
'Gold's shop? What for?' Emma immediately had dozen suspicions going in her head at once.
'Relax, sheriff. Just to show him that we can. We could leave a note that we did it. That would infuriate him to no end.'
That sounded like a healthy enough joke on old teacher, even if the man in question was the Dark One. But lately somewhat domesticated one, so perhaps the innocent joy of creating chaos was safe enough.
'Okay, then let's do it.'
'No, Swan. You forgot. No drinks, no break-ins. Oh my gods, that sounded like some horrible proverb. Also, I doubt he would see it as intended after his latest adventure with my happily deceased sister.'
'Happily? You were going to give her another chance...'
'Oh yes, but now I don't have to. Relax, Swan, I would give her that chance again. But it's easier for everybody the way it is. And through no fault of ours. Everybody wins. Can we discuss something else, please?'
'Okay... So, Robin as Blake Carrington?'
Regina just rolled her eyes.
'What? It's logical, and who know, he may even look the part in the future.'
'The day when Robin is seen in a tux will be the day the world ends.' Regina sighed. 'Though I would pack him into one if we ever...'
'Yes. Well, no point in thinking about that now. Men are such a weak creatures. With the sole exception of Henry, I guess.'
'Or I've been cursed by my mother at birth.'
'And the really scary thing is that it somehow makes sense.'
'Yes. But mother dear taught me something after all. Namely, that it's either me or the other person, so better be sure you are the strong one. Everybody just wants to get as much profit as they can. When they want to do something for someone another they must sacrifice something of their own, so they're not too hot on that. Magic isn't the only thing that comes with a price.'
Emma sighed. She was going to need a drink for herself after this.
'As much as I want to say you're wrong, Regina, I can only say that there are people who don't think and act like that.'
'Oh, I would be surprised if you said I'm wrong. Your parents are better suited for saying sappy things like that.'
'And your father?' Emma risked. 'What kind of man was he?'
Regina's face crumpled involuntarily.
'Weak' she said very quietly. Emma just waited. 'But we really loved each other. If not for him, I don't think I would be able to raise Henry without destroying him or start to change from the Evil Queen into... something more.'
'And I killed him, Swan. I killed him to cast the first curse. I killed him to have my ineffective revenge.'
Regina's eyes were actually full of tears and Emma felt like seeing something that only few, selected people could see. Carefully she wrapped her arms over Regina.
'That was wrong, of course' she said slowly. 'But it's not like you've seen any better ways out of pain.'
'No, it took Henry to show me the way' Regina admitted. 'I hope my father can forgive me, wherever he is.'
'Sure he can.'
'On the other hand, if not for the curse, I wouldn't have Henry. I wouldn't ever regret having him, so...'
'I know, it's just the way it happened could be better.'
'Yes. Without all the killing at least.'
After that there was a minute-long silence, interrupted only by Alexis and Blake discussing things in a rather hostile manner. Then Emma decided to lightened the mood.
'I wonder what Henry would think I we really broke into Gold's shop.'
She was rewarded by Regina actually laughing aloud at that.
'I hope he'd be suitably impressed but not enough to try to repeat it. I think your parents would scold us so much that he'd finally think it's not worth it.'
'I think he'd have too much laugh at our expense to try it himself.'
'That too. Damn, now I really like the idea, Swan.'
'And now I really don't.'
'You're no fun'.
'If that's the worst that you can tell about me, I take it gladly.'
'You're also stubborn as hell.'
'Pot to kettle.'
'I know. I can really appreciate it that way.'
The silence now was far less heavy and Emma found that she rather enjoyed watching soap operas with the former queen. Enough to magick up a pint of chocolate ice-cream anyway.