Regina tugged the quilt more tightly around herself. Not that she needed to; she was burning up already, it simply felt like the appropriate thing to do on a late November evening. It’s what everyone else seemed to do when they were sick in bed—pull the covers over themselves and grab a glass of tea and a bowl of hot soup. And yet the last thing Regina wanted was to warm herself even more. But Emma had gone out of her way to find that quilt buried in the back of Mary’s closet. Emma hated cooking, and yet that steaming bowl of soup was resting on the nightstand next to her. And Emma was currently working on a second batch of tea—the first was a mishap that ended in curse words and frantically trying to keep the water from boiling over.
Regina shook her head and smiled to herself a weary smile. Emma was giving it her absolute best, how could she not take at least one spoonful of the soup. Regina dipped the spoon into the bowl and drew out a generous amount of broth. She didn’t particularly feel like fighting to get the more stubborn noodles to stay on the spoon. She blew softly and pressed the metal to her lips.
She had to admit, Emma could cook quite well if she put her mind to it.
“What do you think? Did I do good? It’s not too hot, is it?” Emma asked as she rearranged the nightstand to fit the cup of tea.
“It’s wonderful Emma. Thank you.” Regina set the spoon back in the bowl and placed a hand on her throbbing head.
“Fine, it’s just a headache.” Regina replied.
“So, no David Bowie tonight?” Emma asked.
Regina sighed. “Just keep the volume low alright.”
“Right. Keep David Bowie, David Lowie.” Emma grinned.
“I hate you.” Regina muttered before fluffing her pillow and putting her head down. Its softness offered her a moment of relief before the pounding resumed.
“How does ‘Survive’ sound?” Emma asked holding up the ‘Hours’ album. “That one’s your favorite, isn’t it?”
“It sounds good, Emma.” Regina nodded. She wondered to herself how Emma managed to remember all of these mundane and little things. On the night Emma had insisted on introducing Regina to her favorite music, the mayor had mentioned that she liked a lot of the songs on Emma’s playlist.
“Here ya go Regina.” Emma held out the cup of tea. “I couldn’t remember if you said you liked chamomile or green tea.”
“But you can remember that I liked ‘Survive’?” Regina sat up once more to accept the cup, the quilt drooping off of her shoulder.
“Well someone has to remember the important stuff.” Emma laughed. She secured Regina’s quilt and gave the woman’s shoulders a loving squeeze. “After Bowie I was thinking we could watch a movie or two. I’ve kind of been wanting to show you how silly some of these versions of you and my mom are.” She held up a few versions of Snow White. “We can wait until Henry’s out of school.”
“I suppose I wouldn’t mind that.” Regina finished her tea. “Pretty good, though next time you forget which flavor I prefer, just pick one.”
“Don’t blend teas…got it.” Emma noted.
Regina peered out of the window, Henry would be walking down the sidewalk hand in hand with Violet any time now, all bundled up in cozy sweaters and kicking leaves as they passed. She felt Emma’s hand fall atop her ankle.
“You should get sick more often, this is kind of nice.”
“Says the one who can breathe through her nose.” Regina pointed out, grabbing a tissue from the nightstand.
“You can’t tell me you don’t enjoy taking a sick day off of work to read, watch movies, and enjoy my top-class cooking.” Emma declared.
“Well, I do enjoy all of those things, dear. But I could do without the ‘sick’ part.” Regina was set on saying that she could take a day off without being sick when she heard the door open.
“I’ll go let Henry know we’re having a movie…evening. Be right back.” Emma kissed Regina’s ear and made her way down the hall.
Regina smiled to herself. Not too long ago she probably would have been lying in bed back at her mansion suffering. Hoping that the medication would finally kick in.
On that late November evening, Regina found that she didn’t even need the medication to relieve the mild pains. Emma had a way of making things that were once unbearable into things she could practically desire.