Title: 12 Days of Christmas - Day 7
Author: Shatterpath
Feedback address: shatterpath@shatterstorm.net
Date in Calendar: 20 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

7 Mermaids Singing

"I could sing," Ariel offered tentatively and drew the other's attention. Clearly embarrassed at being the sudden focus, she tried not to shrink into Eric's side and found herself babbling. "It would be strange to not sing with my sisters, but there must be others here who sing too, right? And your Christmas carols are so beautiful and some are so fun, I'd love to have others to sing with again. And music sounds so different above water. Are there musicians as well? We could make a real production out of it."

The surround sound amusement finally stopped the torrent of words and the red head blushed furiously.

"I'm sorry, it's just good to be able to speak again."

Regina didn't quite wince, but Emma could see it in her expression. She startled, the dark eyes jerking around, when Emma laid a bold hand on hers, curling strong fingers around her palm to squeeze with gentle reassurance. "You're trying. Remember that and don't give up."

"For Henry."

Emma merely nodded at the statement, knowing the truth of it now. Any doubts of the woman's devotion to the son she adopted had been worn away. Even if some of her methods were still pretty dark. Emma understood better than most, how desperation drove a person to do horrible things. She was only faintly surprised when Regina's hand turned over in hers, gripping tightly as though seeking reassurance. Only Emma had seen glimpses of the wounded woman beneath the armor and only she had earned the right to offer comfort. Even Henry did not see as much, for he simply did not have the life experiences to understand. Though he certainly had a better grasp now.

Snow and some of the others had jumped in on the planning for adding music to the town's festivities, snatches of song traded between them. Both had beautiful voices, high and clear like their laughter. But Emma was far more intrigued with the low, smoky hum beside her. Like the soul within the body, Regina's voice reflected who she was; throaty, dark, charismatic. But it also reflected her burgeoning hope, even joy. Subtly looking at her companion from the corner of her eye, Emma was warmed by the peaceful expression, so rare on the dramatic, beautiful face. The dark eyes were unfocused and clearly elsewhere, lost in memory, and Emma prayed that the others would ignore them for just a little bit longer.

When Regina finally grew aware of the soft green eyes watching her, the melodic humming slowed and stopped, her expression closing off. But a hard squeeze on her hand stopped that short.

"Don't stop on my account," Emma murmured softly, for her ears only. "You have a beautiful voice."

Sweetly embarrassed, a sensation so unfamiliar as to be nearly brand new, Regina squeezed back. "Later."

"It's a date then."