Title: 12 Days of Christmas - Day 12
Author: Shatterpath
Feedback address: shatterpath@shatterstorm.net
Date in Calendar: 15 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

12 Telling Stories

She'd stumbled across the book by accident. Down in the dingy basement, Emma rummaged about looking for the box of decorations Regina swore was down there, thankful that a simple spell of intent kept the spiders away from her hands. Just above her eye level, half tucked away behind an old lampshade, peeked the thick sheaf of heavy paper and the tattered leather cover she remembered so well.

Curious, Emma forgot her search and pulled the book from its hiding spot to look at the dusty cover.

Once Upon a Time.

Tracing the embossed letters, she let her mind wander over the time elapsed since Henry had shown up on her Boston doorstep. He'd been so determined about what he knew, so driven to make her understand. In time, it had worked, the curse breaking and their lives growing ever more chaotic and dangerous. She remembered the stories collected within and gritted her teeth over the glaring missing pieces never covered.

Neverland had broken something in Henry, put a distrustful defeat in him that never left his haunted eyes. There was nothing anyone could do and they were all as supportive as they knew how to be. That he had gravitated back to his first parent came to a shock to everyone but Emma. Who better to understand than Regina? She too had been manipulated and wounded and yet survived. And she had unequivocally proven that his best interests would always be her top priority. That included helping him cope with the darkness within. They were both becoming fascinating people, side by side.

Emma had come to love them both dearly, finding herself grounded to this place, this home, this odd little family, in a way nothing ever had before.

Once Upon a Time.

For a moment, Emma hesitated, rubbing her thumb over the edge of the stacked pages. Part of her felt as though this piece of their history should not be left to be forgotten, turned to myth again. But Henry had hidden it away for a reason and would come to peace with it in his own time. Leaving the pandora's box of words be, Emma stroked the letters a last time and returned the big book to its dusty tomb.

It was time for new stories anyway.