Title: Igniting the Flames of Happiness Again
Author: A. Magiluna Stormwriter
Feedback address: stormwriter@shatterstorm.net
Date in Calendar: 20 December 2016
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairing: Ingrid/Kathryn
Rating: G
Word Count: 751
Recipient: theonlyspl
Prompt: Opia - Ingrid/Kathryn from the 23 Emotions people feel, but can’t explain tumblr meme
Summary: I didn't even know her and I wanted nothing more than to remove that stricken look from her face. It didn't matter who put it there, I would make sure they paid for stealing this woman's happiness.
Spoilers: Canon divergent AU of the Frozen SL of S4. Just go with that at this point.
Warnings: No standard warnings apply.
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:DW16

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: This fic has been in my tumblr inbox since 23 February 2015. It's taken me this long to get around to it. This is one of those pairings that began as crack, but may turn into a legit pairing for me to write. SPL is very good at giving me pairings like that… LOL!

Opia: The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.

Dedication: My muses, as usual…

Beta: theonlyspl is my beta babe, now and forever more…

The first time she stepped into my shop, she was with the Evil Queen. Not that she knew she was best friends with that woman, of course, thanks to the curse. She ordered a boring single scoop of vanilla with chocolate sprinkles. She looked troubled as she speaks with Regina in hushed tones. I have never wanted to eavesdrop on a conversation more than I did that day. But I didn't. I just stayed behind my counter, serving my customers, and watched her when I could get away with it.

She glanced up at me once. I'm not even sure she meant to do it. I think she was rolling her eyes at whatever she and Regina discussed. I happened to be watching her, but was able to cover it by flicking my gaze just above her head and out the large front window. Her eyes were red-rimmed and glassy with unshed tears. The redness intensified the pale blue of her irises, making her eyes look almost ethereally fluorescent. It took everything in me not to go to her.

I didn't even know her and I wanted nothing more than to remove that stricken look from her face. It didn't matter who put it there, I would make sure they paid for stealing this woman's happiness.

But I didn't even know her name. And it wasn't like I could ask Regina without arousing suspicions. Besides, if I interacted with Regina too much, my glamor might wear off and she'd realize that I wasn't all that I seemed. So I kept quiet and tried to surreptitiously learn more about the haunted woman with coloring so like mine.

She came into the shop at least once a week after that first day, sometimes alone, sometimes with Regina or that Spencer fellow. He always seemed creepy to him in how much attention he paid to her, both positively and negatively. And she always had the same order and the same look in her eyes, especially when she was with Spencer. After four visits, I finally had to break her out of what was becoming a horribly boring habit.

While making her ice cream, I happened to give her the vanilla infused with lavender and honey accidentally, or so I told her. She'd already taken a bite when she realized the error and tried to exchange it. I told her to finish it if she liked it, and even offered her a free pint of ice cream of her choice for the error. That brought a smile to her face, and the haunted pain was replaced with a sparkle for a brief time. I felt the ice around my own heart begin to crack ever so slightly. That was the day I learned her name was Kathryn. I still had no idea who she'd been in the old lands, but I didn't care.

I vowed that day that I would do whatever it took to make her smile. It became a habit to tease her about her vanilla obsession and entice her with one of the other, more exotic flavors I was experimenting with. She began to keep a notebook in her purse after the third or fourth time I offered a new sample. She said she wanted to remember all of the variations, so she could offer possible suggestions.

And then the holidays hit, and she brought me a small tin of fudge she'd made. She said it was for me to eat, but she didn't object when I turned around and added it into a special batch of ice cream just for her. She began to spend more time with me then, talking about the husband that left her, but wouldn't honor her request for a divorce, and the disillusionment she had with her job.

I harbored no guilt whatsoever for subtly maneuvering her under the sprig of mistletoe I hug in my shop. That first kiss was chaste and on the cheek. The second one, which was not initiated by me, involved lips gliding gently against mine, and ended with her teeth leaving small impressions in my bottom lip.

By the end of the end of the year, her deadbeat husband didn't come up any longer, and the redness rarely made an appearance. In its place was an incandescent shimmer of happiness and really good ice cream. And my heart began to thaw, my thoughts turning away from the need to reunite with Emma or my sisters.

I had found my family.