Title: 12 Days of Christmas - Day 5
Author: Shatterpath
Feedback address: shatterpath@shatterstorm.net
Date in Calendar: 22 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

5 Spellcasters

Emma had no idea what drew her back to the place. It was not unlike a tomb to her old life, when things had made sense and fairy tales were mere words in books.

The ash was gone, no indication that the dragon had ever been there, had ever died at her hand on her father's sword. Nothing but gray stone, Snow White's glass casket and the ringing silence.

Over the edge of the drop, heavy mist moved sluggishly with a mind of its own, faintly lit like the entire cave by some faint light that seemed to have no source. Magic still lingered here, like the scent of perfume once a person has passed by, or heat on a surface touched by a warm body. Emma had no idea why she had come here, returned to the scene of the crime.

The dragon had been another of her kind. A spellcaster. The association did not sit well with the blonde, made her squirm like a child trying to understand the concept of the universe. Honestly the power within her was scarcely more comprehensible then surfing the Horsehead Nebula naked.

Rubbing the bridge of her nose, Emma wished for the millionth time that she might have another mentor than what had come before her; Rumpelstiltskin, Cora, Maleficent, even Regina. Each of them so tainted and twisted that Emma sometimes woke in the night, chilled with fear of what just might be her fate. She'd learned that even Regina had fought its seductive pull once, speaking of a life before Daniel's death when she was relaxed in Emma's every more common presence.

And how strange was that? Oh sure, Regina had half a bottle of wine in her at the time, but still. Emma had never heard, never dreamed, that soft, vulnerable tone in the woman's rich voice. A sweet, girlish quality, the weight of pain that drove her insane. Exhaustion and booze had finally taken their toll after that and Emma had half-carried her to bed, bewildered by the surreal evening.

They hadn't seen one another since.

Just thinking about the awkwardness of their next meeting was paralyzing. Emma was a better doer than thinker, but neither seemed the right route this time. So she remained in limbo, even as she knew the reluctant impasse had to break eventually. That night was the winter solstice, the longest night of the year.

To Emma, it also felt the most lonely.