She Promised Me Love

A Little Moonlight

They stepped out into the mild evening air, illuminated by the pearly light of the moon that didn’t yet show her full face. Emma led Regina to the far left corner of the terrace where steps ascended onto a balcony. They climbed the steps and stood at a railing, overlooking the beautiful gardens of King James’ castle.

“It’s really beautiful and quite... romantic,” Regina commented leaning both hands on the railing, facing away from Emma.

She watched Regina’s profile for a long moment. “Really beautiful,” she repeated.

Regina turned her head toward her. “A little cliched, don’t you think?”

“Well, look where we are? It’s the Enchanted Forest all around us, cliches is what this place thrives on,” she reasoned.

“Why did you bring me here, Emma?”

“Maybe I wanted to escape the stuffy atmosphere of a hero being honored by my parents?”

“Why don’t you like Robin?” Regina asked directly.

“Because he was meant for you,” Emma answered honestly.

They looked at each other in silence.

“Jealousy is not a very attractive trait, savior.”

“Stop calling me ‘savior.’ It always sounds like you’re mocking me,” Emma said.

“I am,” Regina admitted. “You’ve never been a typical hero, Emma. For once, you’re a woman. Then you are a convicted felon, a thief who became a bounty hunter? And then a sheriff...” Regina turned her head toward the scenery again.

“I broke your curse.”

“You broke a lot of things,” Regina said quietly.

Emma reached out her hand and laid it on Regina’s. To her surprise, Regina wrapped her fingers around her own. Her hand was cold, she seemed to shiver.

“Do you want my jacket?” Emma asked.

Regina lifted an eyebrow at her. “Are you even wearing anything under it?”

“A bra,” Emma answered, smirking.

Regina rolled her eyes, but she also blushed just a little.

“And a tank top,” Emma added.

“Yes, the signature white tank top. You were wearing one the first time we met,” Regina said.

“I wasn’t just wearing a tank top if I recall correctly.”

“No, but it was still peaking out from under your other clothes.”

“You noticed,” Emma said with a lazy smile. “But you didn’t really see it until the next morning,” she reminded Regina.

“In all its glory and only accompanied by a pair of panties. I meant to ask, are you always opening your hotel room door in your underwear?”

“Are you always taking baskets of apples to people in hotel rooms at the crack of dawn?”

They looked at each other in silent challenge. Then Emma took their combined hands from the railing and pulled Regina a little closer to her. She didn’t want to play anymore.

“That’s a lot of water under the bridge, Regina,” she said.

“Not so much water for some people.”

“What people? The people in the ball room?”

“Them, the people of Storybrooke, Maine, my former palace guards. They all remember me the way I was when you first met me.”

“You weren’t the evil queen back then, Regina. I don’t believe that. There had already been other things in your life – Henry. You knew what love was even then,” Emma argued.

“I just couldn’t show it? No, Emma, I was still the queen when we met. I was still full of hate,” Regina gave back.

Emma shook her head. “I don’t believe that.”

“I threatened your life.”

“I threatened yours. I threatened to take Henry away from you.”

“You didn’t even come to Storybrooke to take him away from me; that was all in my head at the time. You returned him to me,” she argued.

“We both knew that that wasn’t the only reason I came to Storybrooke. I wanted to know who Henry was, where he lived, who his parents were. I wanted to know everything, I wanted a say in his life even then. You were right to be scared.”

Regina closed her eyes, another attempt at shutting out truths.

But Emma didn’t want her to do that anymore. She pulled the other woman closer, pushing an arm around her waist. “Regina,” she whispered.

Regina opened her eyes again. They looked at each other from a closer proximity then they probably ever had.

“I’m in love with you,” Emma said.

Regina’s hand ran over the length of the arm that held her, leaving goosebumps in its wake. It came to rest on Emma’s shoulder.

Emma leaned her head to the side, drawing Regina inexplicably closer until they both leaned in for a kiss. It was soft, breathless, a whisper onto each others lips. They parted but couldn’t stand the loss and came back together, hungrily, passionately. They kissed, and for a while it seemed to both, that they wouldn’t be able to stop. It felt just too good, too right and it had taken them far too long to get here.

But then Regina put her hand against Emma’s shoulder, pushing her away, at the same time clawing at the jacket to get a grip on something.

“Why do you love me?” she asked desperately but before Emma could answer, she asked another question: “And why do you make it so hard for me to not love you?”

“Because you deserve it, Regina. You deserve love. I want it to be my love, it has to be mine,” Emma breathed the answer into the air and it only barely reached Regina, even though they were standing so close.

“Robin was meant for me,” Regina said.

Emma recognized it as an attempt to push her away emotionally while Regina was still unable to do it physically.

“No... no, he never was.”

Regina looked at Emma questioningly. “I told you--”

“What if... what if the pixie dust had it wrong, what if... I wasn’t even born then and the pixie dust only pointed out the person through which you would find love. If it hadn’t been for my jealousy of Robin, I might never have realized that I love you,” Emma rambled and looked pleadingly at Regina for her to believe it.

“That sounds pretty constructed. The pixie dust could have shown me Snow White, we lived in the same castle, and she is your mother,” Regina said.

“Yes, but that would have been awfully confusing, wouldn’t it? She was a child... and a girl.”

Regina stopped and thought about it for a moment.

“It would have been confusing,” she admitted.

“Robin brought us together, Regina, it makes perfect sense. And I even hate to give him that much credit, believe me,” Emma said with a reluctant smile. She put her forehead to Regina’s. “Please, believe it.”

Regina gave a small smile, then she put her hand to Emma’s neck and drew her in for another kiss. It wasn’t quite as needy as the one before but it grew deeper than either had expected.

When they parted they were breathless once again.

“I’m in love with you, savior,” Regina finally admitted.

Emma closed her eyes as the beating of her pulse quickened. She felt like crying, and laughing and dancing.

They stood like that, in a tight embrace for a long while. Just feeling everything. When they finally pulled back a little to look at each other, they both smiled.

“We’re going to change a lot of lives tonight,” Regina said.

Emma nodded. “For the better,” she agreed, though the look she received in answer was doubtful. “Henry will be happy.”

“And that’s the most important thing,” Regina consented.

“I think we’re both fairly important too. In this, at least.” She grinned.

Regina rolled her eyes once again. “In this,” she agreed after a moment and drew Emma in for another kiss. “I like this,” she whispered against Emma’s lips.

“There’s going to be a lot of it in the future,” Emma promised.

They both started giggling.

“This is so ridiculous,” Regina said.

“No, it’s love.”

“Love’s ridiculous,” Regina argued.

“Love’s just love, it’s us who’re ridiculous.”

“People will notice.”

“They should.”

“Your mom,” Regina reminded Emma who nodded.

“She’ll get over it or with it or whatever. She’s strong,” Emma sounded like she needed to convince both of them. “It’s not gonna be easy, Regina. Not everybody will understand, but it’s not like they ever tried to understand you. And I don’t care. If they’re being mean, we’re leaving Storybrooke. There are other places to live, not just in America, in other realms. We’ll just find the place where we can be perfectly happy.”

“As long as it’s not here,” Regina said.

Emma smiled.

“I mean... I will be happy anywhere with you,” Regina tried to sound sincere, but it came out a little sarcastically.

“Are you turning into a genuine princess on me?”

“I’m a queen, Emma, you’re the princess.”

Emma laughed. “Let’s just be Regina and Emma. And let’s find Henry to tell him the good news.” Emma tugged at Regina’s hand, suddenly eager to share her love with the world, but especially their son.

“He won’t be surprised.”

“He knows us very well,” Emma agreed. She led Regina down the stairs and onto the terrace.

Regina pulled at her hand and they embraced once more. Then they kissed.

“I’ll have to tell Robin,” Regina then said.

“You don’t owe him an explanation.”

“No, I don’t. Just some consideration. He deserves that.”

Emma nodded. “He brought us together.”

“Don’t blame him for something you’re solely responsible for. I know you had an eye on me from the start,” Regina teased.

Emma laughed. “You’re not wrong, you know,” she teased right back.

Regina made a surprised face.

“I always thought you were beautiful - even though I didn’t want to,” Emma confessed.

“I always thought you were obnoxious, but I guess I tried hard to overlook those... eyes.” Regina said, leaning into Emma’s arms a little more fully. “It’s been so long, Emma,” she murmured against her cheek.

“I hear it’s like riding a bicycle,” Emma joked.

Regina looked at her sharply for a second before her eyes melted against Emma’s smirk. “Well, at least we know where Henry gets it.”

They parted reluctantly and went back into the ballroom.

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