The Rules of her House

Random domestic SQ fanfic, based on the headcanon that Emma is really, really clumsy.

Rated A.

* * * * *

It started with a gravy boat. It wasn’t a particularly well-loved item of crockery, nor was it notable in its design, and Regina had no real sentimental attachment to it, but she’d had it since she first arrived in Storybrooke. And now it was in pieces in her trash.

“I’m really sorry,” Emma said. “I was going to surprise you with a bowl of ice-cream with hot fudge sauce on the side, and I figured you’d want me to put the sauce in a serving dish of some kind, and then I remembered the gravy thing was up there, but it just kinda fell out of my hand. So, yeah.” Emma winced. “It was an accident, I swear.”

It had never occurred to Regina that it had been otherwise. With the exception of stereotypical representations of Greek people on television and people who worked in carnivals, no-one broke crockery on purpose, unless in the heat of an argument.

“It’s fine,” she said, even though she was mildly irked. The gravy boat wasn’t the issue: it was the carelessness.

It only took a few extra seconds to get the stepladder from the utility room before reaching up to the top shelves of the kitchen cupboards. But it was Emma’s first full day living with them formally, having finally given up the pretence of keeping her own apartment, and not the time to go through the rules of the house, especially not when Emma was looking as guilty and worried as she was. In the grand scheme of things, it was inconsequential.

“As long as you’re not hurt and you’ve swept all the shards up off the floor.” She raised an eyebrow at Emma, whose flushed cheeks and lowered eyes were testimony to a lack of sweeping. “You have swept it up, haven’t you?”

“I’ve picked up all the big bits and I was just about to sweep the rest up right this minute.”

“Of course you were.” Regina smiled. Emma was as bad at lying as Henry, and even more transparent. Not wishing to seem harsh, she said, “Why don’t you go into the living room and I’ll sweep up, and then I’ll bring you ice-cream with hot fudge sauce and some of the Gummi Bears I keep hidden where Henry and you can’t find them?”

“You’re sure?” Emma still looked more worried than the situation called for, so Regina raised her hand to Emma’s cheek and rubbed her knuckles across her skin.

“Of course I’m sure.”

“Okay, but only if you’re positive.”

She nodded. “I’m certain.”


Three plates, two glasses and a salad bowl died in eerily similar circumstances within the month.


Regina’s beloved fast-boil electric tea kettle was an unexpected casualty of Emma’s inattentiveness, but perhaps Regina shouldn’t have been surprised. She had, after all, heard about the exploding toaster incidents from Snow, and Henry had mentioned that small appliances often ‘malfunctioned’ at Emma’s apartment, so finding her partner taking a screwdriver to the device should not have been such a shock. But the words left her mouth before she could stop them.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Emma?”

“Crap!” Emma dropped the screwdriver and spun around to face her, with a now-familiar guilty expression. “I, uh, had a bit of an accident.”

“You don’t say?” The lingering scent of smoke hung in the air, and the kettle itself had scorch marks on its white plastic body.

“I was tidying the counter, and I must have flicked the switch on by mistake, and then I heard this really bad hissing noise and there was smoke. I think maybe there wasn’t any water in the kettle.” She frowned and shrugged, as if that was merely her best guess, and some other nefarious forces might have been at play. “So, then I put water in it, and tried it again, but the little light wouldn’t even come on.” She scowled at the kettle. “I figured if I could get a look at the heating element, I’d see if it was fixable.”

Regina shook her head. She wasn’t sure which was more ridiculous: the ease with which Emma managed to break things, or her continuing belief in her ability to patch them back up, when all the evidence pointed to that course of action making the situation worse.

“We’ll get a new one.”

“But you really liked that one.” Emma had that worried face again, and Regina hated that look. She was certain that it was the same one that young Emma had worn when she feared she’d displeased her various foster parents, the same one she herself had had when she had upset her mother. Emma should never have cause to have that look in her presence.

“Then we’ll buy the same one again.” She walked over to the counter and wrapped her arms around Emma’s waist, planting a soft kiss on the tip of her nose. “It’s only a kettle.”

“I know.” Emma was gripping the counter behind her, her body tensed.

“And I’m sorry for shouting. You are far more important to me than small electrical goods.” This time, she kissed Emma’s lips. “So, no more trying to take apart combustible items with metal tools, okay?”

Emma was still pouting, but she gave Regina a grudging kiss in return. “Yeah, okay.”

Regina reached out to prise Emma’s hands from the counter and place them on her hips. She leaned in, kissing Emma more thoroughly, using her lips and teeth and tongue to coax a series of moans from her girlfriend. When she pulled back, she rested her forehead against Emma’s.

“On reflection, perhaps you should leave kitchen things to me from now on.”


The lawnmower was a textbook definition of an accident waiting to happen. It was almost as old as Emma, and it involved both gasoline and moving mechanical parts. The real surprise was how minimal the damage was.

Apparently, a rogue rock, almost as big as a boulder in Emma’s retelling (although Henry was standing behind her, holding his fingers about an inch apart), had caused her to veer to the left. That had, in turn, sent Emma on a collision course with Regina’s prized roses. Only Emma’s quick thinking—“Lightning-fast reflexes,” Henry added, barely able to contain his laughter—had prevented a near-calamity.

Of course, Emma’s definition of preventing a near-calamity had resulted in the lawnmower overturning and sending Emma flying into the base of a tree, leaving her with a nasty cut above her eye and a growing lump which would hurt like a bitch for days. She would have a black eye as well, although, knowing Emma, she would probably think that was bad-ass.

The lawnmower had not been so lucky: its axle was cracked and the gas tank was ruptured.

As Regina fixed a bandage to Emma’s forehead and absently kissed the wound better, she said, “Maybe we should get a gardener.”


“Ow! Bastarding mother of humping God!”

Regina winced at the sound of Emma’s expletives (even though she had to admit that Emma had a particularly inventive way with swear words).

As she climbed the stairs, she could hear more curses, punctuated by thumps which she took to be either kicks or punches against one of her walls. Pushing open their bedroom door, she took a few calming breaths. All thoughts of being annoyed or dismayed by Emma’s latest mishap were immediately quelled by finding her cross-legged on the floor of the en suite. She was sitting in a puddle of water and kicking at the base of the shower stall. Her clothes were saturated and, like her hair, plastered to her.

“Emma.” It came out more like a sigh than a caution.

“Don’t.” Emma folded her arms across her chest and turned her face away, although not before Regina caught the fact that Emma was starting to cry.

“Don’t what?” She stepped through the bathroom door and picked up some towels. She dropped a few onto the floor and let them take up the worst of the mess.

“Say whatever it was you were going to say.”

“I was merely going to ask what happened.” She held out another hand towel for Emma, who snatched it from her.

“Stupid fucking stupid wet fucking thing.” Emma used the towel only to dry her hands, which was so utterly ridiculous, given that Emma was soaked from head to toe and still dripping pools of water onto the floor, that Regina had to bite her cheek to hold in a laugh. Emma really did not look ready to see the funny side of what had happened.

“So?” Regina held out her hand and pulled Emma to her feet. She wiped her thumb under Emma’s eyes, brushing away the tears.

“The shower’s been bothering me.” Emma tried to pull back, but Regina flapped away the flailing hands and started unbuttoning her girlfriend’s shirt. “It doesn’t flow equally, and that usually just means the shower head’s blocked. I’ve done this a million times in a hundred different apartments, and I thought this was one thing I could do. One fucking thing, Regina.”

Regina nodded, concentrating on peeling the shirt from Emma, which wasn’t easy at all, especially when Emma was more interested in venting than in helping in any way.

“It’s the easiest thing in the fucking world. You take the shower head off, clean it in the sink, put it back on, and you’re done. Simple, right?”

“Simple,” she agreed. She knelt down, unbuttoning and unzipping Emma’s jeans, then working them over her hips. At least Emma shimmied, although the wet denim seemed determined to stick to her skin.

“Only, I slipped when I was putting the shower head back on and my elbow hit the mixer and turned it on full blast. And the stupid fucking shower head just made it worse. It was like a fucking waterfall and it went everywhere. And then the fucking shower head hit me on the fucking head.” She lifted her feet one at a time so that Regina could remove the jeans entirely. “And I’m tired of this. I’m tired of fucking up. I can’t do anything around here. You do all the cooking and the cleaning. I’m not allowed in the kitchen, and I’m not allowed in the garden, and I don’t do anything to pull my weight around here at all. And I just want to be useful.”

Emma was crying again, so Regina stood, grabbing the largest, fluffiest towel to hand and wrapping it around her.

“I can’t touch anything around here without breaking it. I don’t even know why you bother keeping me around at all.”

And, oh, there it was, the reason for the rage and the tears and the frustration.

Regina shook her head, kicking off her heels and feeling the water seep into her pantyhose. The bathroom floor could wait, though, and Emma couldn’t.

“I keep you around,” she said, dropping her hands to the buttons of her own blouse, loosening them one by one and smiling when Emma’s eyes followed the action, “because I love you.” She cupped Emma’s cheek. “Because you bring joy to my life and to this house. Because I would give up everything I own for you.”

“But I’m a disaster.”

“I don’t care.” She wrapped her arms around Emma’s waist and buried her face in Emma’s neck, nibbling along the tendons, scraping with her teeth in a way that she knew Emma loved.

“I ruin everything.” Emma was caught between petulance and breathiness, tilting her head to the side to give Regina better access, her hands pushing Regina’s open blouse from her shoulders. It fluttered the ground, where it joined the pile of Emma’s wet things.

“No, you don’t. You are my everything.” Regina pulled back enough to look her in the eye. “How about a new house rule?”

“Hmmm?” Emma didn’t seem convinced.

“From now on, you don’t touch anything but me.” She stepped out of Emma’s reach, easing down the side zipper of her skirt and letting it fall. “I promise, I won’t break, although you’re welcome to try your hardest to prove me wrong.”

One Comment

  1. Posted 23 January 2015 at 2.24pm | Permalink

    Regina makes me feel so shallow for even thinking of tying Emma to a chair, but the poor darling has me positively twitching with anxiety at what’s next:)

Post a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s