Ok so this story has been burning a hole in my mind and I just had to write it down. I don't plan for it be long. Possibly no more than 5 or 6 chapters. But I just couldn't contain it any longer. So I decided to share it with you lovely people. The writing style is different but necessary, it wil change as the story progresses. Anyway happy reading and let me know what you guys think.

I don't own OUAT.

Chapter 1. Cold Shoulder

Strorybrooke Minimum Security Women's Penitentiary:

Emma sat crossed legged on her prison cot. The hard excuse for a bed having been the only thing that gave her comfort for the last five years. The longest time of her life. A half a decade of isolation. From her friends, her family, from…her. She sighed as she looked around the dark and dreary prison cell. Her things packed tightly into a cotton bag knotted at the top. Feelings were bittersweet. On one hand she was happy to be leaving. To be rid of this horrid place and finally get back to her life. But, on the other hand, will she have a life to go back to? Five years is a long time to go without being with someone. Feelings die and things change. How does she know that her wife will still want her, love her. Wouldn't that be just a bit much to ask for? Regina stopped visiting for the last three years of her sentence. She even stopped retuning her letters. Maybe that was a hint within itself. But it couldn't be. Emma refused to believe that was the answer. It was easier to stay in the safe confines of her denial.

And her son. Would he accept her? Does he even remember her? The young boy was only five when she was arrested. There was sure to be some awkwardness between the two of them. She wondered how different he would look now. He was sure to be taller, maybe his hair was longer. Wondered if his features started to look more like hers than the donor her and her wife picked together. She thought back to how her son came to be.

Regina was having a very difficult time conceiving. The blonde remembered the nights her wife would cry on her shoulder feeling like a failure. The burden weighed heavily on both until they came to a doctor that seemed to work miracles. He simply explained a procedure where they could fertilize Emma's egg and then implant it into Regina. Something along the lines of surrogacy. They accepted and nine months later their son Henry was born. She remembered the look on the brunettes face when he finally came into the earth. The instantaneous love and affection shown greatly. She wondered if her wife would look at her that same way now. 13 years of marriage would be hard to break. Well…8 years if you minus the time she's spent in prison. Was five years of isolation enough to break their love? Surly it would damage it. Weakened it to its last link. But certainly not enough to break it. Right?

Heavy footsteps were heard down the hall. The faint sound of keys jiggled in the distance. Emma unfolded her legs placing her feet firmly on the ground. A young woman approached the cell. She seemed to be of Asian descent given the shape of her eyes and long black hair. "Times up Swan." Mulan placed a key in to the lock, turning it and the roughly grabbing the side and sliding it towards the right, allowing the blonde to step out. Emma quickly grabbed her things and stepped outside of the cell. The prison guard showed her a small smile. The blonde mirrored it before following behind her. She was a bit apprehensive. The real world was near and she was free again. But, what did that mean now? There was so much that was missed. So much time that's passed. What if everyone gave up on her?

What if no one even remembered that today was the day she would be getting released? Suppose she were to enter this world completely alone an abandoned? A price to pay for a stupid decision. It would be her own fault.

Emma kept her head down as she walked passed all the other cells. Some of the women were giving her dirty looks. Others were clapping for her. Happy she was one of the few to get out. Mulan lead them through a door where a few more guards were standing. They nodded their heads to her as she continued towards an area where visitors usually came to see their loved ones. "Someone's here to pick you up."

The blonde looked up at the prison guard incredulously. Could it be her? Maybe she did still care. Her heart leaped in her throat as anxiety took over. Fair skinned hands shook nervously as she pushed the door open. A slim brunette with a pixie styled haircut was facing her back towards her. For a moment Emma thought that just maybe her wife decided to cut her hair and it was in fact her. But that hope was short lived as the woman turned around, proving to be Mary Margaret. "Oh my goodness Emma!" The brunette leaped quickly towards her pulling her into a tight embrace. Tears streamed down her face and onto the taller woman's shoulders. She pulled back, placing a hand on either side of the blondes face. Her eyes glassy from tears, "oh Emma, we've missed you so much." Another hug.

"We?" The blonde finally returned the embrace. Still a little taken aback by all the sudden affection. It wasn't something she received much of in prison. In fact she didn't receive any. Expectantly, after five years, a simple touch can seem so…foreign.

"Yes, we, every one. Granny, Katherine, Ruby, David, Leroy. Everyone."

Emma should have smiled. People missed her. They wanted her back. To be amongst them. She should be happy. But she couldn't. There were two names that should have been at the top of that list. Their absence speaking louder to her negative side. It's right in front of your face. They forgot about you. Moved on…all because of a mistake you made. She fought back a tear. Not wanting to ruin what was supposed to be a happy occasion.

"How about we get going?" Mary Margaret mentioned in a soft voice. She could see the sullen look on her friends face, knowing exactly what was causing it. Her thoughts would remain to herself though. No need in bringing up the obvious. Grabbing a hold of Emma's things, they continued to walk towards a beige door. Pushing the metal bar across it they stepped outside in the bright light.


The car ride was silent. Too silent. It saddened the slim brunette. This wasn't how it was supposed to go. They should be chatting away. Catching up. Emma should be doing backflips from the mere thought of being outside. Except, all she did was look out the window. Her head sitting in the palm of her hand. Mary Margaret sighed at the sight. She didn't know what to say to break the silence. What could there possibly be to say? Nothing. Absolutely. Nothing. The two drove longer in silence.

It wasn't until they pulled in front of the dinner that Emma decided to speak. "What are we doing here?" she figured that Mary Margaret would just be bringing her home.

"You'll see." The pixie brunette smiled; shutting off her car and getting out. The blonde followed suit. She walked leisurely up to the front door. From where she stood the diner was dark. Almost as if it was closed. Blaming the darkness to her own eyes not having adjusted to the brightness of the day fully, she shrugged and opened the door.

"WELCOME HOME EMMA!"

The former mentioned jumped back in shock. The entire diner was decorated with ribbons and balloons. Hanging from dead center was a large banner reading 'Welcome Back.' A smile spread across pink lips. She scanned the dinner amazed by all the people who were standing in front of her with stupid grins across their faces. It would seem almost all of Storybrooke was packed into the diner. All but two. Green eyes skimmed across more in hopes of finding the two faces she's been missing. But to no avail.

She let out a loud squeal as Ruby side blinded her with tight hug nearly knocking her to the ground. "Emma I'm so happy your back. Are you ok? Did anyone hurt you?" the red streaked brunette was turning her face comically from side to side.

"Ruby, stop I'm fine." She batted her away fruitlessly as she was only brought into another hug. Soon there were others surrounding her. Pulling her into hugs and asking if she's ok. Granny was the only one who was different from the rest. Asking how many fights she got in. she just smiled in return. Not really wanting to answer any questions about her past experience. It was over now and she didn't want to go back in any shape or form. Not even in recollection.

This party was supposed to make her feel happy. Welcomed. It did…for the most part. Yes for the most because it was unintentionally reminding her of the possible damage she's done to her marriage. She sighed as she took a sip her glass of whisky.

Music was playing loudly. People were definitely buzzed by now. Even though it was only the early afternoon. Emma looked around watching everyone have fun. Smiling and joking with each other. If she slipped out now, no one would notice. It was a chance. She should face her fears now. The blonde grabbed her things and headed towards the door. The bell chimed as she walked out. Her abrupt leaving only catching wind by two individuals.

"Should we go after her?" Ruby asked.

"No, let her go." Mary Margaret responded.


Emma stood in front of a large white door. The numbers '108' written in gold brought back memories. The door opened wide as they brought in large moving boxes. Emma in her usual white tank top and Regina in a short sleeved V-neck t-shirt. She remembered picking her newly wedded wife up by the waist laughing as she squealed. The two of them making it only to the foyer before getting caught up in love making.

Her eyes wondered towards the gate she just walked through bringing back another memory. This one much less happy. The focus was on Regina's face filled with horror as a cop was set on either side of the blonde walking her towards the police car in handcuffs. The backseat being opened as Emma looked back to see the tears streaming down her face. A small boy was peeking behind her legs, clutching as if he would float away any minute. His face filled with confusion. She remembered his voice. 'Where's Mama going Mommy? Why are they taking her away?' His question was unanswered. Her wife quickly shooing him inside and closing the door. It was the last thing she saw before her vision became engrossed with the dark cement walls of her cell.

Fair skinned hands searched her pockets for her keys. Empty. She patted herself down in hopes of feeling them. "Damn, I must have left them in the car or at the diner." I wonder if the locks would have been the same anyway.

White knuckles rapped against the door. Moments passed briefly before she heard the faint sound of heels approach. There it was again. The anxiety. Her heart fluttered. Sweat began to accumulate across her brow. The sound came closer before stopping completely. The door began to come unlocked and was pulled open slowly. Emma took a step back.

The look on the other woman's face was unreadable. Her demeanor was stoic yet cold. White button up sleeved arms were slowly brought up and crossed in front of her chest. The two stared at each other. Neither one knowing what really to do. She seemed to be waiting for something. Maybe for Emma to speak. Give her some kind if indication of what she should do.

"Hi." The blonde started rather timidly.

Regina only raised an eyebrow. To say she was upset would be an understatement. She was damn mad. Furious. But she couldn't bring herself to show it. To show anything. This was supposed to be a happy time. She should be running in her arms, embracing her, welcoming her wife back home. Except that wasn't what she felt. Wasn't what she wanted. The brunette wanted to scream at her, hit her. Make her feel all the hurt she's gone through for the last half decade. Let her see just how much damage she's done.

Emma sighed, "Regina, I'm sor-"

"Don't." Her hand was raised in negation. It's been five years since she's heard this woman's voice. The sound alone should bring her to tears. But it didn't. It only infuriated her more.

The blonde rubbed a hand through her hair, looking off to the side. It wasn't supposed to go this way. They should be inside, making love to each other, telling each other they forgive one another. Letting their love be a symbol of how strong it should be. Perhaps, she was wrong. Maybe their love wasn't strong enough to withstand this. Another sigh. "Can I come in?" She inwardly cursed herself for misplacing her keys. This situation could have been completely avoidable. Maybe. Because if her wife had opted in changing the locks it would have been exactly the same.

The brunette stayed in front of the door. Seemingly contemplating the answer. Brown eyes looked her over before she stepped to side. Emma slowly trudged forward into the foyer. Regina closed the door behind her. They stood distantly face to face. The brunette's arms crossed in front of her chest. Emma's hands buried in her pockets, looking everywhere but her wife's eyes. The house…their house, hasn't changed much. The same photos were placed exactly where she remembered. Their wedding photo still hung above the mantle. That was a good sign. Right?

The furniture was set differently though. Sitting more towards the corner than usual. The new movement giving the living room more space. She mused as to why they never had it there before. Her eyes scanned more noticing the game system sitting under the television stand. Apparently her son has gone past the toy stage and into video games. The memory hit her why the couch was in the corner now. That same corner used to be occupied by Henrys toy box. She remembered the countless nights of watching her wife clean up behind him. Muttering words of annoyance. Claiming the millions of times she told their boy to clean up behind himself.

Green eyes moved to the dining room. The same dark brown table was there. Three chairs tucked inside. The booster seat was gone from the one in the middle. Another sign that she's missed quite a bit of growing up on her son's behalf. Finally her eyes settled on the brunette in front of her. It felt as though she was seeing her for the first time. Her looks were the same nonetheless. Her figure was slightly different, a little thinner than she remembered. Must have been from stress.

Stress, which she's caused.

Pink lips opened themselves to speak. "Did you know I was getting out today?" Her tone was soft, timid.

"Yes." Regina's arms remained crossed. Cold. Closed off.

Fair skinned hands ran through blonde tresses. "I…well…you didn't-"

"Didn't what? Jump into your arms the moment I saw you."

"No…that's no-"

"-than what is it?"

Emma sighed. This was going a lot harder than she thought it would. Of course she wasn't expecting Regina to just jump into her arms. She knew her wife. The brunette was more difficult than that. Emma would have liked for her to at least show up to pick her up. Maybe even show up to the welcome back party that was thrown for her. Maybe, it was too much to ask. But sometimes, sometimes, she just wanted things to go her way. Easy. The blonde didn't want to do this. This arguing. All Emma wanted to do was embrace the woman in front of her and tell her how sorry she was. For everything. Alas the unfortunate tactless reality of life is here to slap her in the face to let her know that things are just not that easy.

"Gina-"

"-no." She cut her again. "Don't call me that. You don't deserve that right." A tanned finger was pointed towards her. The tension in the room was beyond palpable. And even though the space was large. Emma felt small and confined. More than she's ever felt while in prison.

"Ok, fine I won't." Anything, to appease her, just so she could get a chance to explain. To let her know she was here now. That she wasn't going to go anywhere. "Please, just listen to me."

"Why!? Why should I? After everything you put me through, why should I listen to you?" She gestured with her hands. Her voice slightly rising.

The view shot the blonde arrows of guilt in her system. Her wife looked more hurt than she did angry. Emma took a step forward, stopping in place as Regina took a step back. Clearly not wanting to be comforted. At least not by her. She started to speak again but was interrupted by the sound of the front door opening.

A boy with short brown hair walked in. "Mom, I'm home." He dropped his bag near the side of the door and walked up the short three steps into the foyer. "Mom?" he question before turning the corner and spotting his two moms. He stopped in his tracks as he took in the blonde woman standing in front of his mom. Henry's face displayed confusion briefly before realizing who exactly the other woman was. "Mama?" He asked in almost a whisper.

Emma turned towards the sound. Green eyes widened at the sight in front of her. "Henry?" She asked in disbelief. The last time she saw the boy he was only three feet tall. A chubby little thing asking for piggy back rides. His front teeth missing when he smiled up at her. But that seemed so very long ago. For this was no longer that boy in front of her. No, he was different now. Tall and slim. His hair was the same length she remembered. The brunets feature more mature. More like her. She smiled as a tear rolled down her face. The boys hazel eyes resembling her own. She took a step forward. Happy when he didn't step away. It was nice to know that at least, someone, from her family was willing to put everything behind. Make room for new and better things to come. A fresh start. Clean slate. A slim hand stretched outward gently touching his face. A soft sob escaped her lips as both her hands were placed on either side of his face.

Regina watched the interaction; fighting back her own tears from the reunion of her son and his mother. She uncrossed her arms and walked away to the kitchen. Unable to bear the sight any longer.

Emma looked down at her son. The tears spilling freely down her cheeks. A soft smile displayed against her features. "You've gotten so big." She choked out. Henry looked up back at her, smiling until breaking away from her hands and pulling her into a tight hug. His rested against her abdomen with his eyes shut tightly as tears cascaded down his own face. Leather clad arms embraced him securely, her chin resting in his hair. A familiar scent filled her nostrils sending her emotions over the edge. The close proximity to her son made her sob even more.

"I missed you Mama."

"I missed you too Henry."

So what do you guys think so far? Do you like? If so then seduce my inspiration with reviews, follows, PMs and all that jazz. Oh and if you're reading To Love and to Handle, new chapter will be up soon. Perhaps later today or no later than Monday. Thanks for reading.

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