Title: 12 Days of Christmas - Day 1
Author: Shatterpath
Feedback address: shatterpath@shatterstorm.net
Date in Calendar: 26 December 2013
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairing: Emma and Regina, eventually.
Rating: soft PG. Barely!
Date Written: December 2013
Word Count: still a work in progress!
Summary: (sing it with me now) For the Twelve Days of Christmas, my OUaT author gave to me...
Warnings: nope
Website: ShatterStorm Productions – Doggie Duo
Link to: http://bdkk.shatterstorm.net/
Archive: ShatterStorm Productions & AO3 only…all others ask for permission & we'll see…
Feedback: Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW13

Disclaimer: "Once Upon a Time," the characters, and situations depicted are the 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.

Author's Notes: I enjoyed the challenge of using the famous Christmas song for this! It took some finagling to get the verse titles right-- not to mention come up with an fic idea for a few of them-- but I enjoyed myself writing this. It was written just before the half-season finale, so keep that in mind. Much of my story will contradict the final ep.

Beta: ariestess

and One Boy Who Always Believed

This Christmas was different. Henry had been through so much, his life an emotional rollercoaster that had changed him, forcing growth and leaving scars. He would never be the same again.

Blinking awake, he focused on his familiar room in the big house on Mifflin Street. Here, in this safe space, he could just be himself, cling to the last threads of his boyhood before they slipped away forever. The melancholy that had plagued him for so long eased when he spotted something not of his doing perched on the floor beside his door. Every year that plate lay just there, a glass beside it. When he'd been barely old enough to sleep by himself in his big boy bed, it had been a sippy cup and only one cookie. As he grew, the glass grew too and the cookies more elaborate and numerous.

This year his mother had gone overboard, the pile of confections nearly overflowing the tiny old plate so familiar to him. And the mug was enormous, urging him from the warm bed to sit cross-legged on the floor and gather it up. He still couldn't identify exactly what the drink was, only that it contained milk and chocolate and he suspected honey. And only on Christmas morning. No matter all his boyish wiles over the years, his mother would not give up what the glass of deliciousness was.

As Henry savored the special treat, he barely cared.

With a mouthful of wonderful cookies, Henry paid attention to the other gift, a funny-looking teddy bear that had fallen to its side when he'd removed the support of the mug. It was ratty-looking and wore a funny striped cap. The tiny plastic sheriff badge stuck to its chest would have given it away even if he hadn't known who left it. He had to swallow hard around the lump in his throat when he read the card tucked under a hairband around the bear's neck.

'Thanks for making me stay.'

Desperate suddenly to find the women who meant more to him than anyone, Henry gathered up his prizes and carefully made his way downstairs. As he always did, he wanted to peek in on the tree and the decorations, even though the collection was sparse this year. So much had happened and rituals had slipped here and there. While some part of him mourned the change, the insecurity of things being different, the trade off was worth it. His first mother, making such amazing strides to be the sort of person that they could both be proud of, and his new mother, determined to stay and sink down roots with him and this strange community.

Things would never be the same again and Henry wouldn't want it any other way.

Instead of a cheerful tree in an empty living room, he was shocked to find his mothers sound asleep on one of the couches. But not just sleeping, but Emma sprawled loosely on her back, body open and relaxed, snoring softly, one hand trailing to the floor, the other woven into thick, dark hair. Sleeping peacefully, her lovely face completely relaxed, his first Mom was snuggled down into Emma's body, their legs intertwined.

Suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, Henry had a wish that he never even knew he'd wanted until that moment. A wish that love could anchor these lonely souls, not only to him, but to one another. That the white knight could save an evil queen and a villain that learned to love could give a broken hero a home of her own. Hardly daring to breathe, Henry crept over to them, setting his treasures on the table and kneeling down by the couch. With gentle hands, he rested his hand on Emma's feeling the thick, dark hair against his palm and fingers. The rich earthy eyes that had always treasured him blinked open at his touch, echoed in the hazel-green he shared, and he smiled with all the adoration he felt for both.

"Merry Christmas, Moms."