The few days that led up to the three of them to leave for Australia seemed to just fly by. Leaving Regina wondering if they all had packed everything they would need for the adventure waiting for them. And so as Emma had pulled out of the driveway and onwards as she drove them out of Storybrooke to the world beyond their small magical town…
Emma couldn't explain why she could feel her magic in Regina but it was there nonetheless. Though since Emma wasn't the most knowledgeable about magic she kept it to herself for the time being. As Regina had never mentioned feeling any different or that she too could feel it. So, Emma assumed Regina hadn't noticed that her magic had stayed around. Hence why Emma kept quiet about it now. She figured that Regina would tell her if something was wrong or had changed with her.
"Can you change the radio station? I don't think you can pick up the Storybrooke radio out here in the middle of Maine. I am kind of sick of hearing nothing but eighties music...I mean Bowie is great and all but I could use a bit of spice girls or P!NK every now and then." Asked Emma politely while she concentrated on the road looming ahead of them.
"Sure dear. I sometimes wonder why I even bother to continue to fund Storybrooke radio...the idiots who run it can't even figure out how to include the music from outside of Storybrooke into their shows." Replied Regina as she searched for a radio station that was available in the current part of the state of Maine they were traveling through.
Eventually Regina found a radio station with a song they both love on. To which they both start to sing along with their whole heart. It was so loud it distracted Henry from his reading. "Seriously Mum's can you sing anymore off key?" questioned Henry sarcastically. Before going back to reading his latest book he borrowed from the library. They stopped briefly at a rest stop to stretch their legs and refuel. Then continued on to the international airport in New York.
Once at the airport they grabbed a luggage trolley then proceeded on through check in then waited to be boarded. After a while their flight was called, they then presented their boarding passes to the air hostess. Who took a quick look at them then directed them towards the plane. Once boarded, Regina started to get anxious, she had never flown in an airplane before.
"I don't like this at all…this is just another death trap with wings!" said Regina anxiously. As the plane begun its take off procedures. Emma and Henry weren't fairing much better but Emma who is ever the saviour put on a brave face for the two most important people in her life.
"It will be alright Regina, this is a lot safer than say walking across a busy road in New York." Soothed Emma as she took one of Regina's hands and Henry's with the other. Since she took the middle seat on the wing side it allowed her to be able to provide comfort to both of them. Emma felt both her hands be squeezed at an almost crushing strength, but she grinned and beared it for her family. It wasn't until the plane had levelled out that she was able to feel her hands once more.
Regina having noticed Emma rubbing her hands gave her a sheepish look as to say she was sorry for hurting the blonde. Then gave the blonde a quick peck on the lips. This seemed to appease Emma for the time being and to gross out Henry as he had no choice but to watch them. "Awe come on mum did you really have to?" complained Henry.
"Yes. My little prince I did indeed. Your ma made sure both of us felt calm enough to handle the lift off when I know she was just as afraid as we were." Replied Regina, making sure to chastise him so he gets the idea not to complain.
"Kid, you will understand when you are older. A simple peck on the lips is an easy way to show love and affection. One day you will cherish them from your own lover." Explained Emma, she felt he needed to hear what she said. Lest he begin to think giving and receiving affection was a bad thing.
"Yeah, alright just try not to in front of me. No kid ever wants to see their parents doing all that kissing and other adult type stuff." Whined Henry still not quite getting his mothers' point. Though both Regina and Emma decided to leave it as it was. It seemed that he wasn't going to understand it all until he experienced it for himself. Henry then went back to reading his book, he had pulled it out of his backpack.
Emma and Regina struck up a conversation abut what they had planed for when they arrived in Cairns. Emma was of course eager to try scuba diving to explore the great barrier reef. While Regina was more inclined to check out the other tourist attractions. Like the Daintree Rainforest, the local indigenous culture and of course try all the local cuisines that Australia had to offer. At the mention of food this got both Emma and Henry excited. Causing Regina to give a hearty laugh at the two of them with the bottomless pits they call a stomach.
The flight to Los Angeles international airport was rather uneventful and the in flight movie was barely entertaining but they at least were starting to get a handle on flying in the air. Their connecting flight to Brisbane was going to be a long one at least fourteen hours across the pacific ocean. Though both Henry and Emma were happy with the in-flight movie selections this time. Thor and Captain America were the two they were most interested in, though Regina was intrigued by Midnight in Paris.
The food on the plane was not too bad according to Emma, though Regina wasn't all that impressed with American Airlines so far. Perhaps they would have enjoyed it more if they flew via Qantas or Air New Zealand? At least that was Regina's line of thinking. Henry had chosen to see it all as part of the big adventure they were on.
When they finally landed in Brisbane international airport, they immediately felt the heat and humidity. That was entirely different than what they were used to back in America. Causing all three of them to take off their heavy winter jackets. Though even then they still felt like they were wearing far too many layers. The train ride to Cairns had them staring out the windows as the scenery passed them by. So that by the time they finally made it to their luxurious 2 bedroom serviced apartment, they were all completely exhausted.
They dragged their luggage to their chosen bedrooms, then collapsed onto the beds. The air conditioner on full blast allowed the tired travellers to get a very much needed nap before waking up hours later just in time to go out to find something to eat. The next morning the woke up bright and early all eager to go snorkelling along the coral reef. They got changed into weather appropriate clothing. Then headed out to where they were supposed to meet the tour guide after getting a quick bite to eat at a local café on the way.
They spent hours looking at the brightly coloured tropical fish and other marine wildlife you wouldn't see anywhere else in the world. Regina was surprised to find that she actually enjoyed the whole experience. As well as the friendly Australian locals who made the entire tour far more enjoyable then she ever thought possible.
For a brief amount of time she was able to feel the weight of being the daughter of Cora the Queen of Hearts of her shoulders and simply enjoyed herself. Truly appreciated the quality bonding time with Emma and Henry who from what she could tell was having the time of their lives. She could see the wonder in Emma's eyes, the curiosity and joy in Henry's as he learnt something new.
They spent the evening sampling the local cuisines and immersing themselves into the local culture all around them. They could feel the natural magic in the air that has long preserved the natural wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforest. With the pristine beaches just minutes away from their accommodations. They built sandcastles that could easily rival the ones pictured in Henry's fairy tale book about the Enchanted Forest had depicted. Then in the comfort of their apartment Regina and Emma found the time to explore each other more intimately.
They adored their trip to the other local tourist attractions and their hike through the Daintree Rainforest that opened up a whole new world to Henry. That he realised was much older and more magical than anything he had imagined could be possible. Emma was weary of the sighting of a cassowary who looked like it was on verge of running them all through with its sharp claws if they dared to come near its nest. Though that didn't even compare to the multitude of colours the large varieties of birds presented to them.
Regina found the lazing Crocodile fascinating as it oddly reminded her of Rumplestiltskin in all his Enchanted Forest glory. While Henry absolutely loved the bandicoot and Ulysses Butterfly. But was creeped out by the golden orb spider. And wasn't impressed with getting its vast web stuck in his hair. The vast sounds of the animals that could be heard was music to their ears and they admired the plant life around them especially the rare primitive plants only found in the Daintree.
On Christmas Day they indulged themselves in trying their hand with cooking some king prawns on a barbeque with some of the other more traditional barbeque meats and fruits and salads that some of the locals they met told them they should give a go. Regina was sceptical at first but found she actually enjoyed the laid back lifestyle favoured by the Australians they met during their trip so far.
Regina of course enjoyed the time they got to spend together as a family, as being some of the best days of her life. She never wanted here time in this wonderful country to end. As she could see herself easily getting lost in learning all about everything it has to offer. She even wanted to extend their holiday so they could get to see some of the other great wonders to be found in other parts of Australia. But then she remembered all the responsibilities waiting for her when she got back home. Then her mood shifted slightly, which naturally Emma noticed. "Hey Regina what's wrong?" asked a concerned Emma, at this question Henry looked over to them so that he too could find out what was going on.
He had noticed a change within her and he was worried that something had gone terribly wrong while they were so far away from Storybrooke and the magic it offered. "I just love it here and I am finding that I don't ever want to go back to Storybrooke. Here I could truly get a fresh start, but then I remembered that I was a Queen and I have responsibilities that I can't run away from. I also have felt a little off the last couple days and I am not sure if it is due to the heat or the food. Or if it is something else entirely." Said Regina as she sat on one of the lounge chairs in the apartment they were staying in for the duration of their time in Cairns.
"Did you want to go get checked out by a doctor while we are here? or do you just want to wait and see if you get better?" asked Emma who was wondering if the abrupt mood change and off feeling that Regina mentioned might be due to how she could still feel her magic within her. Even after all that has gone on since they left Storybrooke.
"No, I think it is just the humidity I will be alright again soon don't worry. I am sure it isn't anything life threatening." Replied Regina who now that she was being held by Emma felt the nausea and her mood get better. It was like all she needed was to feel her true love's embrace to bring her back to the happy feeling she had earlier. Henry had tuned out as soon as he heard that his dark haired mother wasn't seriously ill. He had gone back to flicking through the many channels on offer on the tv.
"Well alright then, hopefully you feel alright to fly tomorrow we have new places to see and explore once we get to Sydney." Said Emma, who was loving the new closeness between the two of them. She felt like this holiday has been the best thing to ever happen for three of them. They are working better as a family now and Henry has been on his best behaviour. Something that Regina had noticed herself. Both women felt immensely proud of him. He had truly began to see the world as it is. As the complex reality that it is. They could only hope that his personal growth will continue when they eventually got back home to Storybrooke.
Their days and nights in Sydney were spent visiting the many museums, aquariums, art galleries, Taronga Zoo, the botanical gardens and lastly Luna Park. They even dared to brave the harbour bridge climb. With the high winds and possible plummet to the deep watery depths bellow staring hard in their faces.
Regina and Emma enjoyed the shopping very much, that Emma was even able to find herself a new leather jacket that felt like an even better armour than her trusty red leather jacket had ever provided her. The fact that this new jacket was wool lined seemed like it was meant to be. As Regina even mentioned that it would be handy to have to wear back in Storybrooke. Though Regina suspected that this leather jacket's thick sheep's wool lining was woven with magic she had felt all around her when they visited the Daintree Rainforest. It was old magic, older than even the powers of the dark one. Much to her surprise, she found a store when they visited the Rock's markets that was dedicated to magic found in the oldest parts of the Enchanted Forest.
So naturally she bought everything she could recognise and then bought the books that explained all that she didn't. Which made her wonder just how old Australia was. That she could possibly learn of its own ancient history not told to the general public. that perhaps maybe the true founders of magic originated from this country and not the Enchanted Forest that Rumple and other magic users she learned from had her believe.
Though Emma would say about Sydney that the best time she had was the VIP cruise down Darling Harbour as the best fireworks display she had ever seen in all 28 years of her life brought in the new year. Only for her to change her mind to say that the fireworks cruise came in second to when they got back to the hotel. When Regina asked her to move in with them when they got back to Storybrooke. To which Emma gave a hearty yes to. Pulling both Regina and Henry into a group hug that she pour all her love into.
That night Regina and Emma made love in their bedroom in the hotel they stayed at while Henry slept blissfully unaware in the other room on the other side of the suit they booked. The two women spent a lazy but much needed day in bed while Henry went of on his own to check out what the hotel had to offer in entertainment for someone his age. He did this on purpose knowing in his heart that his mother's needed this time alone before they had to go back to their busy and hectic lives back in Storybrooke where he felt that things were going to change for him drastically.
Though he hoped it would be for the better. He was certainly going to find out just how much things were going to change when they were finally crossing over the town line. As both Regina and Emma lit up like a Christmas tree as their magic flowed back into them. With a furious looking Rumplestiltskin barring them from reaching main street Henry knew that their fun filled happy adventure had come to an overly dramatic end. One he truly believed would change life in Storybrooke for everyone. Whether or not if the change was good or bad it was hard for him to tell. Because his time away in the sunny Australia had opened up his mind to the various possibilities that life with magic can bring.
Though one thing he wishes with all of his heart is for everyone to have themselves an Australian Christmas adventure like they had just come home from.