talented swanqueen shippers
I swear to god, this fandom.
Regina and Emma agree to go out for drinks, but Emma says she gets to decide what they do for the night. She claims Regina needs to loosen up. Emma enlists Ruby’s help, and they come up with an outfit for Regina that includes Ruby’s sleeveless t-shirt and some long necklaces. Regina doesn’t understand why she has to wear this, but she just sighs and rolls her eyes and accepts because she knows that it is important to Emma and their healing friendship to allow Emma this night, this space to be the one to give Regina one fun night, or what Emma thinks a fun night looks like anyway because Regina is pretty sure she doesn’t need to be wearing so many overly long necklaces to have fun. But whatever. Regina is learning to accept.
Apparently, accepting is also going to include drinking beer from the bottle. They get to the Rabbit Hole because there really aren’t enough late night spots to choose from in Storybrooke, and Regina is cursing herself for not thinking ahead. Why does everything shut down by 9 or 10 in this town? So they enter the bar and Emma insists she drink beer that Emma chooses from the bottle because Emma says she needs to try new things. And tonight, new things include a beer called Dead Guy Ale from Oregon with a picture of a skeleton wearing a hat (like those guys who guard the palace in England) sitting on a barrel. Emma cannot explain the hat, and Regina wonders if there is some kind of Evil Queen joke in the choice of beer (but she figures that if Emma really was teasing her that they would be drinking Angry Orchard or Certified Evil or something like that). The beer turns out to be enjoyable.
New things also means dancing. Emma insists, and Regina finds herself surprised she’s not protesting. Maybe it’s the beer or maybe it’s the company or maybe it’s part of accepting, but Regina finds herself in the middle of a small crowd dancing with Emma. And pretty soon dancing evolves into silliness and laughing and Regina wonders when this happened, when this playful side of hers was something she felt she could show to Emma Swan of all people. She didn’t even know she could be this playful, and yet here they are quoting lines from movies Regina doesn’t even like to admit she’s watched like Clueless and Mean Girls and The Breakfast Club and pretending to dance like they’re in Footloose and Grease and why are they even doing this? Regina doesn’t even realize she’s asked Emma until Emma laughs and says because they need to. Because they just need this. Because they can. And Regina really can’t argue with that because this strangely makes sense, and they do need this and Regina loves how warm she feels with all the beer and dancing and laughing.
Since they didn’t drive, they have this long walk back, and even though Regina paced herself, Emma insists on walking her home. She’s the Sheriff, Emma reminds her, and it is her duty to safely escort citizens who might be inebriated. Regina just laughs. Really, she’s delighted that Emma is walking her home because she doesn’t want the night to end. She can’t remember the last time she had this much fun. Maybe never. Maybe this is the most fun she’s ever had, and Emma’s laugh as they walk warms Regina much more than the beer did or the dancing.
Then they are at the mansion door. They’re standing in front of the door and Regina has her keys out, but they’re still talking, and it occurs to Regina that maybe Emma doesn’t want this night to end either, this tender, precious connection, this moment where they are just Emma and Regina without all the baggage that Storybrooke forces upon them. Just two friends. But Regina wonders if they really are friends because friends don’t stand quite so close together. Friends don’t look intently at each other. Friends don’t keep glancing down at friends’ cleavage, or at least Regina doesn’t think they do, but she’s not completely sure because she’s never had many friends and never a friend like Emma. But Regina is sure that friends shouldn’t keep looking at each others’ mouths the way they both are doing right now. And when did Emma get so close that they are practically standing nose to nose? And when did Regina decide she was going to lean in just a little bit more so she’s close enough to feel the gentle warming sensation of Emma’s breath against her lips? And then there is no more thinking or considering because one of them or maybe both leaned in just that last bit so their lips touched. The kiss is just gentle, brushing, pressing, questioning, hoping, and then smiling.
Emma has the sweetest grin on her face, soft and happy and Regina wants to see Emma happy because she has that sad pout on her face too often. And Regina realizes that she probably has a smile on her own face as well from the way Emma is looking at her. Now Regina has stopped wondering if they are friends and what friends do and don’t do.
Then Emma is saying something about how they should definitely do this again soon, especially that last part. And Regina agrees but doesn’t say anything because she doesn’t know when “soon” is, when they will next do “that last part” and suddenly “soon” doesn’t feel soon enough and Regina is definitely leaning in and bringing her hands up to gently hold Emma’s face as she kisses her, and this time they don’t part for what feels like a really long time but Regina knows is definitely minutes. Actual minutes passed where her lips were connected to Emma Swan’s lips, and she just wants to find ways to make that happen again and again because there will never be enough of “that last part” for Regina.
Now they’re smiling again, and Emma says that she’s glad she didn’t have to wait for next time. This time, Regina does speak and it’s to ask Emma what she’s doing for breakfast because next time needs to happen as soon as possible, and Emma smiles so big and announces that she has a breakfast date with the most beautiful woman in town, and Regina sure hopes Emma means her, but she doesn’t have to wait more than five seconds before Emma adds that the most beautiful woman in town is standing right in front of her. Then the smile on Regina’s face is so big and so genuine and she knows from the look in Emma’s eyes that there will be many, many, many more of “that last part.” In fact, the way Emma is looking at her says there will be so much more, that what is between them is so much more. And Regina just wants more. More everything.
Regina thinks she should try new things more often.
Perfect. Just… Perfect. *Happy sigh*