A/N: If you are just reading this and haven't read from chapter 26, I would strongly advise you do. That's where the update starts. Thank you :) And this is the final chapter of the teacher/student story arc! I really do appreciate your sticking with me, all of you! I am elated that you had taken the time to read (and review) the entirety of this big, honking thing. I will honestly miss writing this storyline, it has grown on me so much. But all good things must eventually come to an end (ever about a year later).
Again, thank you kindly for reading and I hope you enjoy the last scraps that I have for you! Please review and tell me your thoughts on it. I know a few of you had suggested I create something beyond this, but I cannot promise that I will continue. As much as I love the storyline and the characters within it, I can't be sure that I will be dedicated enough to continue on. Maybe I will think about it, but I make no promises. What would you suggest?
It was better in the morning. Everything didn't seem like it would be long nor stressful. Though the pain still had a planted seed within her heart, ever growing and ever tightening. But waking up to a new dawn meant a new day. A new day that would urge time forward and leave tomorrow in the past.
Though waking up to this new day felt as if nothing had ever changed. Regina opened her eyes believing that she wasn't on her hands and knees in the kitchen last night, cleansing every crack from the tiles of the coagulated blood that stuck to them. For all that she knew that ruthless woman was still alive and planning on hunting her down in Boston to rip apart the new life she was planning to create.
"Regina?" Emma's quiet whisper sounded from beside the older woman. "You up?"
"Yes," she replied quietly, rolling over to face the blonde woman next to her, and it wasn't until then that she had realized how exhausted she felt. And she pondered for a moment to figure out the reason why. Then it hit her. Whatever she had believed to be a previous dream was all but reality.
"Are you going to be alright?" The blonde queried, immediately noticing the sudden change in expression on the older woman's face.
Regina merely nodded in response, a sigh falling from her lips. Of course she was going to be fine. What use was there mourning over something that would never return? That woman was nothing but cruel to her during her life. Shouldn't that have been all the more reason to nonchalantly pass her death off as nothing?
No, because the pain was still there.
But life moved on beyond death. No matter what she felt, she needed to press on. She couldn't postpone their move any more than she already had. The two of them were supposed to have been in Boston by this time last month, but problems with the apartment had gone awry and would have basically left them homeless until the start of this month.
She knew that Emma was kneading the floor with anxious feet to uproot from this town and plant herself somewhere far larger. Regina was feeling just about the same. She felt like a plant herself, growing as big as she could in this small town and wouldn't expand any more unless she transferred to a larger pot. The two of them needed that change to blossom to their fullest potential and show off their real beauty.
"Okay…" Emma nodded finally, her arms wrapping tightly around the brunette woman to pull her closer.
A faint smile ghosted across Regina's features, mocha eyes gazing up to the younger woman that held her. "I said what I meant last night, Emma." She murmured softly and snuggled into the warmth. "I want to get out of this house. It's… I don't think I can stay here any longer after what had happened."
"But you will be alright to move? I mean… David, Ruby, Belle, and I can just do the moving stuff. And Killian if he's coming to help. You don't have to do anything. You can be the director." She offered a sweet smile to the older woman, though it was gently rejected with a slight shake of her head.
"I will be alright, honey." The brunette offered a grin of her own. "Right now, I can't feel much of anything. I spent my tears last night for that woman and I have no more to cash in."
"I'm only concerned for your health, Gina…" Emma wrapped a leg around the older woman and kissed the top of her head. "She was your mother, after all."
"I would rather not dwell on it."
"Of course." The blonde nodded slightly, a sigh falling from her lips. "To get off the subject, then, when would you like to start our glorious day?"
"In a few minutes you can call the volunteers… or people you bribed, what have you." Regina tried for a smile which had immediately earned another in response. Her body relaxed finally after being tense for so long, allowing her to melt against the mattress and breathe.
"Good, because I like staying in bed with you."
The brunette hummed softly at those words and nodded, taking them to heart. She quite enjoyed staying in bed with Emma, as well. It was like a relaxing, warm bath. After a long, stressful day, she could always look forward to it because it would, no doubt, take away all worries and pain. And it really did. Even now, she felt as if she could take on the world, or would go down swinging.
"Starting off the day like this is…" Regina frowned slightly, not quite being able to place the word that she had intended to describe it as. It was energizing, but not quite as much as other things might be. Though it was more…
"Motivating?" Emma offered as she combed her fingers through dark, raven locks.
This had seemed to baffle the blonde and stopped the little combs that she made through her lover's hair. "How?"
"It's… like a bath, shall I say. It's rather soothing and calms your nerves. And…" She shrugged slightly, pushing herself up against the headboard with a sigh. "It makes me forget about things, for at least a little while and remember larger things that need to be done."
"… weirdo." The little blonde joked as she moved up with the older woman, flipping the covers away. Unfortunately that had brought an unwanted draft of air when the warmth was released into the air and stripped them of the heat that had gathered. Emma shivered from the sudden lack of heat, allowing for it to infuse within her as a better wake-up call.
"Aren't you the nice one this morning?" Regina light heartedly chimed, flicking a piece of the blonde's hair from her shoulder.
"But you love me anyways?" Emma offered an innocent smile. "Right?"
This had earned a rather sadistic smile from the brunette, her fingers soon attaching themselves to the blonde's sides in a frenzy attempt to tickle the hell out of her. Emma squealed in response and squirmed desperately to get away from those taunting fingers but Regina wasn't having it.
"Stop, please!" Emma half laughed, half cried, the sensation was overwhelming. Her stomach hurt from laughing and her sides felt so unpleasantly tingly when the brunette refused to obey. Instead of flapping at her to stop, she attempted to crawl away from those crazy little fingers but that was proven to be futile.
Regina, laughing at her lover's expense, finally ceased her torturous tickles to wrap her arms tightly around young woman before her. And she didn't let go.
"I do," she breathed, chin resting on top of Emma's head.
"You do what?" The blonde puffed out a breath of air, trying to regain what was lost from her lungs as she pondered over what the other woman had meant. Somehow she had forgotten the previous conversation before the tickle war and couldn't remember what had been said.
"I do love you, even if you are the not-so-nice one this morning." The brunette answered and dropped her head next to Emma's, turning her head to give the latter a kiss on the cheek.
"Oh, well, that's good to know."
Emma smiled at the sweet gesture and leaned back in the brunette's arms. Perhaps she really did get what Regina had meant by saying snuggling in bed was equal to soaking in a hot bath. It was relaxing, lying here with the woman in which she shared it with. It was much like the bath, anyhow, sans the water and soaps. The blankets were warm, and if even not, Regina was herself. They had each other to keep warm and shielded from the cold, and that made the blonde smile even wider.
She wondered what the next bedroom would be like at the apartment they were moving to. Would it be as big? Bigger? Or much smaller, cozier than this? Was there going to be a bathroom attached to it? Those questions still burned in the blonde's brain and even more now. They were moving there today.
This would be the last day that they would be spending in this house. The last day that they would be cuddling up in bed together in this room. The room that had brought the blonde so many memories. The house itself was filled with wondrous memories that Emma would never forget.
She and Regina had spent their first "date" here. The delicious lasagna that pissed the brunette off from their intimate moment together and the disgusting movie they watched after that had Regina asleep in her lap. It was sweet and innocent with the awkward and unexpressed emotions that they had for each other. The ones that were still developing and had rode out to see where they had gone.
And, boy, had they gone far? At the beginning of her senior year, Emma had never imagined that she would ever be where she was now. Of course, she had seen herself moving to Boston to attend the college she had been hoping to get into. But she would be moving in with Graham and his not-so-lovely apartment instead of moving with Regina.
To think of would have happened if she never met the brunette woman, or at least had never spent the time to get to know the teacher over her "crush." A hell of a lot wouldn't have happened if that were true. She sure wouldn't have the memories of Regina's batshit family barging in every couple months with scripts from a soap opera. She wouldn't have been nearly killed by Cora, either, if that had happened.
In fact, she would have been clueless to what the brunette English teacher had gone through behind closed doors. And who would have known what the poor woman would be suffering if Emma hadn't entered her life. Or perhaps what she wouldn't have had to suffer.
Thinking back on it, Emma had suspected that it was mostly her fault that those horrible things had happened to the older woman. She was, after all, the reason for them. She was the reason for the lies that Regina had told her mother… And more than that, as well, for she was the reason Cora had come to visit out of the blue after years of staying absent from her daughter's life.
It was also Emma's fault that she was dead.
The blonde frowned. Perhaps it would have been better not to have interfered with Regina's life. She would have been better off without the blonde, but she was sure the brunette would no doubt protest if she were to bring it up. She knew how that woman worked. She could hear her now, "Don't you worry about the 'could haves' and 'should haves' of life. That point of our lives is in the past and simply cannot be helped. Worry about today and the future. Not your regrets. Dwelling is unhealthy."
Emma leaned into the brunette as she thought over the words that Regina had told her before. At some point, she did say something about the past and how she had wished to change it for a different outcome, but the brunette had reassured that it didn't matter. It was true. Dwelling on something that could never be changed was futile. Why exaggerate alternate outcomes when they could not be applied?
Regina was correct with her advice. Anyways, why would Emma want to change this? She was comfortably warm in her lover's arms, an angel's touch that brought her straight to heaven. How could she wish for anything different than this? She would survive the insane encounters with Cora and Zelena over again if she could have this. She would hide her relationship if need be, so long as she could curl in the brunette's arms by the end of the day.
"Penny for your thoughts?" The brunette's familiar voice rang through Emma's ears and she smiled. Certainly that was never anything she could tire of hearing.
"I was just thinking this is going to be the last day we spend in this room together." The blonde shifted to make contact with the raven haired woman who had ran a gentle finger over her cheek.
"It'll be strange. I haven't lived anywhere else in… a decade or more." Regina furrowed her brows for a moment as she thought up the math before nodding, her finger sliding back down to hook under her girlfriend's chin. "But let's think of it as a new life where we can create new memories. Fresh memories."
"And we won't have to hide anymore." Emma's words were a mere purr from her mouth, her head turning the way it was urged by that digit. Warm, brown eyes met soft, green instantly, a sudden emotion washing over the blonde. She felt… warm.
"That's true, my love." The brunette murmured, leaning in to press a sweet little kiss to the point of the younger woman's nose. "Even though I am quite sure about half the town is aware by now."
"Ah, who cares? We're leaving." Emma giggled softly, nose crinkling up cutely. "Meanwhile, Mary Margaret will remain in the dark forever."
Regina shifted onto her side with a quirk of her brow, fingers now sliding silkily down the blonde's side as if she were tracing the contour of her body. "That woman will find out eventually, even if that means we have to tell her."
"Okay…" Emma huffed softly and pushed herself up. "But I say we wait at least six months to a year after we move, okay?"
"Six months to a year?" The former teacher's eyes bugled as she gave Emma the look that told her the secret must be spilled earlier than that. "Emma Swan, no."
"Okay… okay… Maybe as we're driving away. I mean, come on." Emma giggled softly, earning another headshake this time.
"While I do understand your hesitance, you may not postpone telling her for a long period of time nor may you indirectly reveal our relationship and run off." Regina tsked, cheek pressing against the side of Emma's head. "I am not saying we have to tell her soon, but let's not put it off for too long. Your father already knows about us and I'm quite sure it will be about time that he will tell your mother as well."
"Yeah…" Emma frowned slightly. "I guess it's been… enough time from graduation, right? Or is it too soon to tell her?"
Regina merely shrugged in response to the questions and, instead, shifted away to get herself out of bed. The brunette slid off the mattress with a yawn, arms stretching high in the air before she turned to the blonde still curled up in the middle. "You will be the judge of that, Emma. You know Mary Margaret more than I do."
"Yeah… You're right." The blonde muttered. "I'll just see what David says. He'll know if she's ready."
"And you may do just that when you call him up to come over." Regina's response was from with the closet as she ravaged through the bag of her clothes on the floor for an outfit. "You'll be doing that now, correct?"
"Yeah!" Emma chuckled, struggling for her cellphone to contact their little helpers.
"Oh, and don't forget to ask him about your personal documents. You need those." She called from across the room, head lifted with narrowed eyes on the blonde.
"I know, Gina. I know…"
Emma chuckled softly and made the first dial to her best friends, who no doubt would be pissed that they had to get up this early to do physical labor. When the line picked up, they shared a small banter before Ruby had agreed to drag Belle to the house in about fifteen minutes. The next dial was for Killian who had agreed to help out as an extra pair of "manly" muscles to lift the heavier boxes and furniture. Emma would have laughed if his help were not crucial to get an early start on the day.
The last call was to David, lasting slightly longer than the others as she asked Regina's question. The poor sheriff was actually rather hesitant about coming over after the events that had happened the previous night. He felt too guilty for what he had done and Emma could hear the exhaustion in his voice. She was about to just tell him to stay home when he insisted they need the help and agreed to come over.
Besides, he did have the copies of Emma's important identifying documents. Apparently he and Mary Margaret had requested the information from the agency in which they worked through to foster Emma into their care.
"Oh, well, that's perfect!" Emma smiled against the cellular device, pacing the room in her underwear as she tried to search for the jeans she had laid out the night before. "No wonder why you never panicked about my license. I mean, aside from the natural parent thing."
"We wanted to be prepared for everything. Anyways, we needed them to enroll you into school." David chuckled. "I'll make sure to bring them over. They're yours, after all. You're going to need them more than you did before."
"Thanks, David." But it had come out as something rather snotty when she noticed the object she thought was her pants were merely a bunched up blanket.
"Are you alright?" He asked hesitantly.
"No, I can't find my fuck-" Then Regina appeared in front of her with a smile and Emma's pair of jeans in her hand. The brunette's attire consisted of something similar to Emma's own: her own pair of jeans (which had looked remarkably new) that she found hidden away in one of the drawers and a plain, white T-shirt, with her hair tied up in a neat ponytail. "-ing jeans. Thanks. Uh, where the hell were they?"
"Where you left them, sweetheart." Regina chuckled softly, gesturing towards the bureau where Emma had laid out the attire she was going to wear. "They must have gotten knocked down."
"Did you find your jeans?" David's voice rang on the other side of the line, leaving Emma to nod.
"Yeah. Well, Regina did. They fell." She made a face. "Speaking of Regina, wanna talk to her for a second? I gotta get these on."
"Emma…" Regina stared at the phone that was getting shoved into her hands not a second after she said that. The brunette stood there for an awkward moment before pressing it up to her ear, giving a sheepish greeting to the man on the other line.
Emma laughed when the brunette started up an awkward conversation with her foster father, and by Regina's side of it, she gathered they were speaking about the weather. "As them there kids say, you're an awkward little turtle. You may return to your shell." The blonde teased her partner, reaching for the phone with a sweet little smile.
"I wouldn't speak, my dear." Regina crinkled her nose and handed the cell back to its owner.
"Hey, David. Sorry about that." Emma narrowed her eyes at the brunette, but for some reason she just stared right back at her. Well, that was worrisome.
"It's alright, honey. I'll be over soon, alright? So I'll be letting you go here."
"Yeah, of course." The blonde smiled slightly, warily watching the hand that approached her face. "I'll see you later. Okay… Bye-bye." By the time her phone was in her pocket, Regina was in her space with a tender hand on her cheek with a thumb grazing slightly over a nasty looking scar.
"It's better today." She whispered, hand dropping to her side. "I hadn't noticed it earlier, but it is."
Emma's heart rate climbed at this, a frown tugging at her lips. Regina looked so terribly sad and yet guilty, as if she had done it herself. But she hadn't and none of this was faulted towards the brunette. It was Cora's fault. The fault of someone that shouldn't be worried about. Not today.
"Don't worry about it, Regina. It's alright. I'm alright." She attempted to offer a reassuring smile and lifted both hands up to grab the older woman's face. "I will get your mind off it if that is necessary. We have about five minutes until our first batch of recruits show up."
"Emma…" Regina frowned, attempting to shake her head with no success.
The blonde gave her a stern look before leaning up to brush her lips against the soft, tempting ones in front of her. She hummed, pulling Regina's head closer when the latter had returned it with a breathless mewl. Before they could go in for another, Emma paused. "Will that help take your mind off things?"
"Mm… Maybe just one more kiss will do it." Regina grinned and brought a palm to lay flat against Emma's cheek. She went in for another kiss, this time it lasted. The brunette's arm snaked around her blonde lover's waist, reeling her in closer for a deeper, more passionate kiss.
Unfortunately it was short-lived when the doorbell had interrupted them, forcing the two to pull away. Coy smiles and blushing cheeks followed them downstairs to answer the front door without a moment's hesitance. It was a good thing they were stopped before any more were to happen. They would never make it out of Storybrooke.
"Hey, Rubes!" Emma smiled upon opening the door, revealing her lanky friend and the shorter brunette who stood next to her with an excited smile. "Belle!"
"Girl, you got it good." Ruby immediately pushed the blonde aside as she headed into the foyer, eyes wide and impressed when she tried to swallow up everything in just the one room. "How come you never told me you lived in a frickin' mansion?"
"Ruby," Belle tsked, following the waitress inside with an apologetic grin to both her former teacher and blonde friend. "I'm sorry. Sometimes I need to keep her on a damned leash."
"Looks like it." Emma giggled, shutting the door so she could watch the amazed Ruby walk around the packed up house.
"How the hell can you afford this place? Teachers get paid shit." The brunette waitress turned towards the older woman who stood within the small group.
"It's my mother's house." Regina replied with a pained wince. "She purchased it for me."
"That's a really nice mom you have. Man, I wish mine would have bought me a mansion before she up and left." Ruby pouted slightly, disappearing off into the sitting room. "Look at this TV! Holy shit, I could watch some porn on that."
"Ruby!" Belle was after her the other brunette within seconds, her voice sounding as if she were a child reprimanding a small child. Their relationship was humorous at times. Quite better than television itself, or so Emma had thought.
The blonde turned towards her brunette lover with a smirk, head slowly shaking. "This is why I never tell them anything."
"So they can run around my house with amazement?" Regina chuckled softly.
"They aren't used to something this big. I don't know what they were expecting, though, either…" Emma smirked and turned towards the front door, opening it up once again to check for the other two parties that they were waiting on.
"And David did agree to drive the moving truck to Boston, correct?" Regina paced up behind the blonde in front of her, eyes on the large moving van parked in front of the house.
"Yeah. Just so long as we give him a ride back." Emma turned to look at the older woman, giving her a soft smile. "He said he wanted to help us unload it. Ruby and Belle agreed to it, too. They can drive up there, but I'm not sure if they'll stay."
"At least we wouldn't have to by ourselves. I don't mind bringing him back." The brunette sighed, leaning against the doorway. "If Ruby and Belle do wish to stay but do not have the proper funds to keep them out of a crappy motel, I will be more than willing to lend them the spare bedroom."
"Aw, you're too sweet." Emma giggled, turning around to wrap her arms around the former English teacher.
"I was just thinking logically, dear. David is welcome to stay and save his money, as well." She shrugged, eyes separating from the younger woman's gaze as she caught sight of something in front of her. Emma quickly released the brunette to see who the newest arrival was, blushing when she found it to be her foster father.
"Oh, hey, David."
"What is this about me you're talking about?" He quirked a brow, taking a step onto the porch. "I mean, I did hear my name?"
"Yeah, Regina was just telling me that you could stay at the apartment if you wanted to stay overnight in Boston." The blonde elaborated as she followed said brunette inside the house.
"I wouldn't want to impede on anything." David murmured, his eyes not meeting with the brunette's.
"You wouldn't be. There is a spare room... I'll go find Ruby and Belle so we can get started." Regina simply shrugged as she continued to walk, disappearing off into the house to find the girls that self-toured their way through.
"Uh, here's the papers." He frowned at the brunette's response, handing the yellow packet to his daughter. "Is she…"
"No." Emma quirked a brow, grabbing the documents. "She's anxious, is all."
"Anxious, huh?" David narrowed his eyes slightly as he slowly leaned in, inspecting something on the young woman's face.
Emma immediately responded, dodging his curious gaze with the sudden insecurity over the wound on her face. "What the hell are you doing?"
"What is that on your face?" He asked curiously, straightening back up as soon as he had noticed her discomfort.
She shrugged, eyes falling to the ground. "What does it look like?"
"Lipstick." His simple answer had Emma sputtering, eyes wide on the man's face.
"Guess who's here?" A voice rang through the still open front door. Emma was relieved when she saw Killian standing in the doorway to interrupt that awkward moment.
"Hi. Look who's here. Now we can start." Emma was quick to get away from her father and urged her male friend inside with a smile.
"Are you happy to see me, Swan?" The younger man smirked vainly, standing stark in the middle of the foyer. "So eager to get me inside."
"No. Shut up." The blonde hissed at him, immediately regretting her excitement at the opportunity to get away from the previous subject with David.
But Killian still smirked at Emma, though his brows soon furrowed upon looking at her face. "What on earth happened to you, Swan?"
"Nothing!" She turned away, forearm immediately coming up to wipe away the remains of Regina's lipstick from her lips. This earned a shared look between the brunet man and her father, exchanging their confusion.
"Alright, are you boys ready?" Ruby marched into the room as if she owned the place, head held high while Belle simply walked beside her with Regina trailing behind.
"I found them," the brunette stated as she came into the room.
Emma smiled when she caught sight of the older woman and puppy-trailed over to her, a look similar to her trot. "Hi."
"Hello, sweetheart." Regina returned the grin, something familiarly sweet, and moved to gather the younger woman into her arms. "Now, do not fret. I will compensate your work with lunch and beverages. You're welcome to the fridge whenever you wish."
"Yeah! We have sandwich stuff in there, some sodas and waters, and I made her pick up some pistachio salad." Emma beamed, leaning into the brunette.
"And I saw pie in there. Are we getting pie? Can we have pie, please?" Ruby gave her a wolfish grin, hands clasping together. "Please?"
"Of course, Ruby. And I also have fresh apples that you may help yourselves to." The brunette woman released her young lover and moved towards the front door. "I'll get the truck open if you would like to start grabbing things, preferably furniture."
"Aye aye, captain." Killian saluted her before taking a step towards the sitting room where he saw bits of the furniture left. "You heard the lady, let's get our asses moving."
"Who died and made you boss?" Ruby scoffed behind him as she and Belle followed.
"What do you want me to grab?" David paused in the foyer, looking to his daughter for a moment. "Because I have no clue…"
"We're only bringing some of the furniture. That's what I know. She wants the stuff from the living room. Eh… The table, too, I think." Emma shrugged and headed off in the direction her three friends had left in. They'd figure out what the hell they were bringing eventually. The queen was currently out, but they would meanwhile follow the orders they were given and hopefully not screw it up.
Luckily, they hadn't throughout the day, bringing furniture and boxes out to pile into the large moving truck. Each cycled to take turns to organize the back of the truck, which ultimately gave them a break of sorts. By lunch, the group had over half the downstairs level cleared of its boxes. They rejoiced in taking a well-deserved break and feasted on the various (junk) foods that had been purchased the night before.
When the exceeded break hour was over, they went back to work and finished moving out the rest of the first level's items. Then started on the second with great haste to get the house finished. It hadn't taken nearly as long as the first, for only a few pieces of furniture and minimal boxes were taken down to the truck.
Regina had thought it a smarter idea the previous week to move most of the boxes downstairs to make it less hard on everyone. And it really did make it easier, and far faster because they were done with the house by the late afternoon when the sun burned brightly in the sky.
Rejoice they did when the last box was stacked in the truck and the door was locked shut. The day had turned hot and dreary, leaving them often times pausing inside to cool off. As they did now, all collapsed on the living room floor trying their damnedest to cool down.
"I am melting!" Ruby dramatized, first to speak out of the six.
"I know." Emma concurred, rolling onto her stomach. She removed her shirt at some point to cool off, stripping down to the tank top that she had worn under it for that purpose. "If I melt away, somebody please catch me."
"Shut up, Killian." Ruby huffed, kicking the man beside her. "Leave her alone or Regina will stick one of her heels up your ass."
"And I just might." The brunette woman in subject piped up. She leaned against the wall with a miserable expression on her sweat-glistened face.
"No you can't." Killian had to speak up, smirking over to the older woman. "Your shoes are packed in that truck."
"Oh, damn you."
"Why did we do this?" Belle whined from her spot, adding her two cents in. "It the hottest day of the year and we moved boxes. I feel like my brain melted. All I will see is brown for the rest of my life. If we move, Ruby, we move in the winter."
"What the hell are you blabbering on about?" Ruby chuckled, wiggling closer to the brunette splayed face-first on the ground.
Regina chuckled softly, hands on her lap. "Oh, we aren't moving in the summer again, Emma. Never."
"I concur." Emma struggled on the ground, attempting to worm her way out of the jeans she wore. If only she could get those off, she would be much cooler.
"Emma, do keep your pants on, please." The older brunette watched her, giggling at the struggling teen.
"Oh, since when do you want me to do that?"
"Since we have company."
"Okay," David coughed from his spot in the doorway. He was the only one that appeared to be unaffected by the heat the other five exhibited. His arms were crossed, his expression ready as if he were waiting to go somewhere. "If you want to be in Boston before dark, we must be on our way about… Oh, now?"
"Really?" Emma furrowed her brows before popping onto her hands and knees to stand. "Crap… What time is it?"
"I want to say it's close to four, but don't count on my word." He answered, arms dropping to his sides as the group protested in a collect groan while getting up from their spots. "Don't worry. You'll still be able to rest. Just not here."
"Yeah…" Ruby huffed. "I feel like a noodle. I don't want to do anymore."
"You won't have to until tomorrow." Emma smiled, heading towards Regina to collect the shirt she picked up. "I mean, if you're going to help still?"
"Yeah, probably. We'll hit the road up with you. But I definitely want to change first." The lanky waitress smiled, looking down at her current attire of her white tank and red shorts. "I'm sweaty in all the wrong places. Maybe I'll shower…"
"Lucky. I wanna shower." Emma playfully puffed out her lip at her friend before hugging the brunette with a sigh. "Thank you for your help, though. I really appreciate it."
"No problem. If it's to get you the hell out of this small town." She teased, kissing the blonde's cheek before moving so the shorter brunette could get a hug from their blonde friend as well.
Belle smiled softly when she pulled from Emma, a sad look on her face. "I'll miss you when you're gone."
"You're coming with us."
"I know, but…" She shrugged, that smile slowly dissolving. "We won't be five minutes away from each other after that. It'll be more like five hours."
The blonde frowned, reaching up to tuck a piece of her friend's hair behind an ear. "We'll still be able to talk to each other. And see each other. You two can come down whenever you want and visit. I'll come see you, too! Gotta pick up my Bug at some point, you know?"
"Good," Belle smiled widely as she back away, much happier than she had been before. "Well, we oughta get going if we want showers before you leave."
"See you in a few, okay?" With a nod, the two left and Emma turned towards the last of her friends.
Killian stood with an awkward smile. "I guess I won't be able to help you since I can't get my ass there and back."
The blonde shrugged, offering him a friendly smile. "Hey, don't worry about it. Will you still be here when I come back to get my car?"
"Depends when that is." He chuckled, looking between David and Regina.
"Soon, I hope."
"I might be. I'm not sure, though. I'm heading to New York to move into the dorms towards the middle of the month." The brunet bit his lip, a frown suddenly creasing them. "Think you'll be able to visit by then?"
"What about you? How do you plan on getting places?" The blonde quirked a brow, but he merely shrugged.
"I'll figure it out."
"I hope so. Text me later, will you?" Emma smiled softly, holding her arms out for a hug. He look baffled at the offer, but hadn't hesitated to accept it for he wrapped his arms tightly around her in a tight hug.
"I will." Releasing her, Killian took a step back. "I already miss you, Swan, goddammit. I don't want to piss these two off any more than I already am, though. Stalling is my thing, but I never seem to win that game."
"You better get your ass out of here before you get a heel up your ass." Emma joked, nudging his arm with her own. "But, seriously. Thanks for your help."
"Anytime," he nodded towards her before heading off to the foyer without another word.
The blonde sighed, looking between her foster father and Regina, ending on the latter. "Think we should quickly change?"
"I see no point to. We should wait until we reach Boston and shower at the apartment, unless you wish to lodge at a hotel for the night? It will be rather dark by the time we get settled into the apartment and we'll have nothing to sleep on." The brunette joined the two by the doorway, the question lingering in her eyes.
"I don't mind sleeping on a floor, but I don't want you to get too uncomfortable." Emma frowned, a hand floating to the older woman's lower back. "And what about everyone else?"
"I hadn't thought of that for some reason…" Regina rubbed the bridge of her nose, sighing heavily. "Perhaps we should swing by the store and grab a few comforters and pillows for the night."
"How about a B.Y.O.B.?" David quirked a brow, embedding himself into the conversation at hand to add his two cents. "Bring Your Own Blanket? And pillow."
"We could do that." Regina murmured, lifting her gaze to the third party. "Alright. Are you able to message your friends that? And, David, you could always run home to grab your items?"
"Yeah, I'll do that."
Emma and David responded, respectively.
It was David that had elaborated his problem when Regina gave him a horrified look. "I walked."
"Can't he drive the truck there, then?" Emma quirked a brow. "You can, right? Then we can just have Ruby and Belle meet us at the apartment."
The two of them nodded in concurrence to the blonde's suggestion, leading them to the conclusion that they should leave and do just that. David was out of the house first, leaving Regina and Emma behind to soak up their home one last time.
"I'll miss this house, surprising enough. I never thought I would." Regina spoke first, her voice cracking slightly. "It was never a home to me until you came along."
Emma smiled sadly, a watery one that couldn't last as she leaned into the brunette next to her. The older woman wrapped a tight arm around her lover's waist, sniffling softly.
"We will always have this house." The blonde looked up to Regina, a frown quickly appearing on her face.
"I know. I'm not selling it." She simply stated, rubbing the younger woman's side. Emma leaned her head in to rest against Regina's while she stared fondly at the house she had become so accustomed to. It was her home as well, and for some reason, she was glad that Regina wasn't going to sell it. She legally owned the house now, so she was able to do whatever she wished.
But she wasn't selling it and that meant the world to Emma.
"Do you think we would ever come back?"
"Perhaps," Regina whispered. "If we wish to expand…" but she didn't complete her thought, letting it drift off into the humid air.
"What are you saying?" Emma blinked, turning to look at the brunette who immediately averted her gaze. She gave a coy smile, shaking her head.
"Nothing but mere fantasies."
"What are they?" The blonde released Regina from their side-embrace and stood in front of her, instead, reaching for the hands that hung absently at her sides.
"When we talked of children, it got me into a state of imagination. Such as us…" she laughed for a moment, nothing of humor, but more self-loathing. "If we were to get married, at some point in our lives. If you would ever wish to stay with me long enough for that to happen. And perhaps make a family and expand it."
"Oh…" Emma nodded slightly, squeezing the brunette's hands when she closed her eyes and shook her head quickly. "Hey… Hey, I would love to stay with you, Regina. I could never imagine myself anywhere else, okay?"
"You're young, Emma. You have your life ahead of you, and once you see that and notice that I'm just an older woman weighing you down…"
"Regina Mills, I would marry you today, I would marry you tomorrow, and I would even marry you in fifty fucking years. Remember that." Emma brought the tawny hands up to her face and pressed soft kisses to the knuckles.
"You would..." Regina swallowed, heart thumping rapidly against her chest. "Marry me?"
"Of course!" The blonde grinned, leaning forward to press a sweet kiss to the older woman's lips. She was immediately gripped by strong arms that brought her closer for the shared moment, teeth nibbling on her lips and a hand squeezing her ass.
"What." The masculine voice broke the two of them apart, each hopping to opposite sides of the foyer with eyes as wide as saucers and cheeks as red as blood.
"What, what? I thought you were going away?" Emma stared at her foster father, heart lost somewhere in her throat.
"Did I just hear you two get engaged?" He looked just as bewildered and mortified as the two. No doubt he saw the way Regina had groped her like no tomorrow.
"I believe you walked in at the wrong time." Regina cleared her throat and smoothed down her already pristine shirt. "We were merely having a discussion about marriage and Emma had-"
"I said that I would marry her because she didn't believe me. But we aren't, so don't you worry." The blonde shrugged, casting a sideways glance to the older woman who had a spark of sorrow in her eyes as if those words struck something deep. But she was great when it came to throwing on her usual mask with a forced smile.
"I mean… we aren't, right? Or… are we?"
"Wh- What?" Regina blinked at the question, her entire face had resembled that of a fire truck. "We… don't…."
"People can get engaged and don't have to be married right away." Emma shrugged, smiling softly. Wait a moment. What was she talking about? They were talking about marriage? Did she really volunteer to be engaged to Regina? It wasn't exactly a bad thing. And she did make a point. It wasn't like anything would necessarily change, right?
"Oh, honey, I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable. We can wait for the right time." Regina cooed, making her way towards the blonde. "It honestly means the world that you would consider marrying me."
"Why wouldn't I?" Emma tilted her head. "It would be an honor to call you my wife."
"Emma…" The blonde was engulfed in Regina's arms faster than she could ever make a single peep. It wasn't a problem, though. She enjoyed it. The smell of fresh linen and the faint scent of sweet apples clung to the sweaty T-shirt. This was one warmth she had no problem with.
"Okay, I don't know what I walked into…" David murmured before beside the two of them, reminding Emma that he was waiting on them. "But we should be hitting the road. I've still gotta pick my blanket up."
"Of course." Regina pulled from the blonde, grabbing her hand as she headed towards the door without a second look back at the house she was leaving behind. The three of them were back out into the hot, late afternoon sun for the last time that day.
Emma broke away from Regina to follow David to the driver's side of the moving truck, the question she had never got to ask burning hotly on her tongue. "Hey, David?"
"Yeah," he turned to look at the blonde, a frown creasing his face.
"Can I ask you a crazy question?"
"Yes, I give you the blessing to marry whoever you want." He joked, but Emma merely rolled her eyes.
"I wouldn't care for you permission. I'd marry her even if you disapproved. But that's beside the point," she coughed, arms crossing over her chest and eyes falling to the ground. "What about Mary Margaret?"
"What about Mary Margaret?"
"When should I tell her?" Emma lifted her gaze, lower lip disappearing into her mouth.
"Oh…" He sucked in a deep breath and whistled it out, a hand scratching the back of his head. "I don't know, Emma."
"Think we should tell her before we leave? She'll be alone to for at least twenty-four hours to vent?" It was an offer, a silly one not meant to be taken seriously but David actually contemplated it.
"How would you tell her?"
"I don't know. That's the thing." Emma bit her lip, looking away. "See, I just wanted to do something to Regina and have her see so we didn't have to tell her, but Gina wants to flat out tell her."
"… Maybe it's not best to tell her just yet." David shook his head and turned to open the door to the truck.
"Yeah…" Emma giggled softly. "Well, I'll let you go off to do your thing. We're going to follow."
"See you on the other side." He nodded with a smile. "Love you, Emma."
"Love you, too." The blonde returned the smile before nodding as well and headed off to the Benz where Regina await for her.
"What was that about?" The brunette flashed her girlfriend a playful smile.
"I was asking when he think would be the best time to tell Mary Margaret. Obviously not now." She chuckled her response and clicked on her seat belt as Regina shifted the gear to pull out of the driveway.
"I assumed just that." Regina took off down the street still wearing that smile on her face, though it had transformed into something wider. "We're leaving this town, Emma. We're actually moving."
"I know." Emma bit her lip to contain the squeal bubbling in her throat. "I never thought that when I moved into the Nolan's this would be happening. That I would run away to Boston with my high school English teacher."
That had earned a laugh from said teacher, the older woman shaking her head in response. "I had never imagined that I would fall in love with one of my high school students. It sounds wrong and is wrong, but I simply cannot help it."
"I'm sorry. I just have that effect on people." Emma gave her a saucy little smirk, earning a playful dirty look in return.
"Emma." Regina clucked, pulling onto the street the Nolan's apartment was located. She parked across the street, leaving the space in front for David to nab with the truck.
"I know, Regina. Everything that happened to us… all of it. It's strange, but…" She shrugged, smiling softly. "I wouldn't have it any other way if it meant I couldn't be right here in this moment with you."
The brunette grinned as wide as she could manage and reached for the back of Emma's head, urging her closer. Silently, the blonde had obeyed and leaned in as commanded for her lips to be seized by Regina's in a passionate kiss that rekindled the one they had lost in the foyer. The blonde gasped softly, planting a hand on Regina's thigh as she attempted to get closer and deepened the kiss into something fiercer.
The groan that had left Regina's lips was swallowed up by Emma's greedy mouth as if moved over the older woman's sweet ones. Olive fingers tugged at the blonde strands they were tangled in, forcing Emma's head to a position that allowed better access. Her little pink tongue slid across the thin, pink lips in a taunting gesture, the corners of her own mouth tugging into a smirk when this had earned a soft moan. The younger woman pressed closer, lips coming down upon the plumped ones; her hands finding purchase on the older woman's body, grabbing whatever she could to find ground.
"Emma," Regina murmured, placing a sloppy kiss to the corner of her mouth and continued forth, making her way down the ivory skin of her jaw.
The blonde panted into the hot air, her breath growing ragged the more Regina made her way across the palette of skin displayed before her. Emma's fingers dug painfully into the older woman's hip at the sensation patterned on her neck with that sweet mouth, tenderly nipping and sucking.
"Gina…" Emma gasped her nickname for the brunette. She shifted from Regina's delicate teases to seek out her lips and soon found them with a hand keeping steady on her cheek.
"Wait…" The brunette pulled away far too soon, lips parted as she tried to regain her lost breath. "Do you think it's wise to be doing this out in the open?"
"Probably not." The blonde's cheeks heated to a perfect apple red as she had noticed exactly where they were. Poking her head up to peek outside, she had noticed the moving truck to be parked outside the apartment, empty.
Had David seen them?
"Wow…" Emma chuckled after a moment's silence, sitting back in her seat. "I can't believe we did that."
The older woman seemed to be mortified, yet the look of desire in her eyes had never died. "We would have completed that fantasy of yours if not for being in the middle of everyone's viewing pleasure."
"No shit." The blonde chuckled, looking back towards the apartment.
"We are going to be screwed tonight."
"What do you mean?" Emma picked slide her phone out of her pocket, intent on messaging David how long he was going to be.
"If you wished to fool around tonight, it would be impossible with a houseful of people." The brunette simply stated.
"Not really." Emma shrugged. "We would have to be quiet, yeah. But we can still do it. It'll be risky, but wouldn't that be the most fun?"
"… I do suppose you are correct." Regina grinned, biting her lip at the thought.
"Dammit, what the hell, David?" The blonde opened up a message from her foster father that had been sent minutes before she could have messaged him. That was one of several that had Emma nervous.
"What is it, dear?" Regina leaned over to take a look at the message displayed on the screen. "Oh, great."
"I suppose that's one less problem to worry about." Emma chuckled humorously, reading over the messages on the screen.
Mary Margaret now knows. She saw you through the window in the loft. Next time, please refrain from making out with Regina in front of her. She's having a meltdown over what she saw.
At least I won't be here for the rest of it.
And neither will you.
Oh, and, one last thing:
I'll be out there in five.