Title: That Redemption Thing
Author: Layla Aaron
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 25 June 2015
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairing: Regina Mills/Maleficent
Word Count: 686
Summary: Regina and Maleficent renew their friendship
Spoilers/Warnings: Once Upon a Time Season 4
Feedback: Always appreciated
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD15
Author's Disclaimer: "Once Upon a Time" and the characters depicted are the intellectual property of Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, Kitsis/Horowitz, and ABC Studios. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "Once Upon a Time," ABC, or any representatives of the actors.
Regina flipped through the stack of papers on her desk. She scanned each one, noting how much collateral damage there was from recent events. There are times when her job as the Mayor of Storybrooke sucked. This was one of them. The amount of money that was going to come out of the city's coffers left Regina feeling more than a little depressed. She let out a weary sigh and began perusing the reports once again.
A soft knock on the door brought her head up. At the second, more persistent knock, she called out, "Come in." Regina pasted on a smile, one that she hoped looked genuine. The smile went from pated on to genuine when she saw her visitor. She rose and extended a hand toward a chair in front of her desk. "Maleficent, what a pleasant surprise."
Maleficent gazed at Regina. "I hope you don't mind me dropping in unannounced, but I don't feel comfortable around many folks here and I needed a, a bit of an escape from my room at Granny's."
Regina walked around her desk, extending her hand out to the other woman. Giving Maleficient's hand a gentle squeeze, she smiled again. "I'd like the company. We have a lot of catching up to do now that all that mess with Rumpelstiltskin is over, wouldn't you say?"
Maleficent nodded. "Yes, I suppose we do."
Clasping her hands in front of her, Regina glanced at Maleficent. "Would, would you like some coffee?"
The other woman nodded. "That would be nice."
Regina took a few sips of her coffee, watching the other woman over the rim of her fine China cup. After drawing a bracing breath, she set her cup in the saucer and murmured, "I'm sorry." She paused for a second then continued. "I, I really fucked up and owe you an apology."
Maleficent settled her cup in the saucer with a clatter. She blinked several times. "Wh-what are you talking about, Regina?"
Regina let out a soft sigh then continued. "I let my need for vengeance cloud my better judgment and you suffered as a result." She took a sip of her coffee, using the brief moment to collect her thoughts. "I didn't realize the price I would pay, either, turning my back on a friend in my war against Snow."
The other woman stretched her arm out, covered one of Regina's hand with her own. "I'm not sure why you're apologizing now, but thank you."
"I'm making amends, Maleficent. Part of my redemption process." Regina let out a wry chuckle, then gave a shake of her head.
"How do you do it?" The other woman asked.
"Do what?" Regina replied.
"That redemption thing. I," Maleficent paused, let out a sigh. "I want to do the right thing, set an example for Lilith, but I'm not sure I'm cut out for it."
Regina chuckled. "Some days are easier than others." She gave a shake of her head. "When what I want or desire matches up with the greater good, it's easy as baking an apple pie. But on those days," Regina let out another chuckle. "On those days when the greater good and my wants do not sync up, it takes a lot not to torch every goody-goody with fireballs."
Maleficent laughed, and she smiled at her hostess. "I can see how certain citizens of your little town would elicit that response from you. I would be tempted too, but I would like to give redemption a try. For you, it's fireballs; for me, it's going all dragon on them." She shrugged. "I don't know I'm up to that challenge."
"I'll make a deal with you," Regina said, a smile on her face. "On those days when you're tempted to turn into your dragon form and torch the town, call me. On those days when I'm ready to turn Storybrooke into a roasted marshmallow, I'll call you."
Maleficent lifted her cup. "That sounds like the beginning of a wonderful friendship."
Lifting her cup in a toast, Regina said, "Well then, let's drink to temptation, avoiding it, and that redemption thing."