Emma's heart was breaking at the look of hurt and dismay in her son's eyes. She had just told him that she was going to leave Storybrooke for his own good. All she had ever managed to do was turn everything upside down, and not just for herself.
Henry was the one who more often than not paid the price when it came to Emma's actions in the little hamlet. He was a boy who needed stability, not the rocky edge of the cliff that she always seemed to teeter upon.
Hot tears were spilling down her face as her body was slammed hard by the little boy launching himself against her. His arms wrapped tightly around her middle, and she could feel him positively willing her to change her mind. He needed her to stay. He needed her to see what she was: The Savior. Most importantly, he needed her to stay for him.
The 'deal' she spoke of was not a compromise; it was a prison sentence. She was condemning him to misery under the rule of the Evil Queen. He would never again know the joy he felt when he was sitting across from his mother at Granny's, drinking cinnamon hot chocolate, or whispering to each other late at night through their walkie talkies. He could never be happy without Emma.
Henry clung tightly to the woman he loved so dearly, and feeling her arms wrap around him, hearing the sobs struggling to escape from her chest broke his heart even more. He opened his eyes, trying to search for something that would get her to stay. He didn't know what he would find in Mary Margaret's little kitchen, but the unassuming-looking pastry sitting on the island counter was not one of them.
"Where did you get that?" he inquired cautiously.
"Regina gave it to me."
Henry sniffed it. "Apple!" He looked at her as though expecting her to understand exactly what he did.
"So?" the ever-doubtful sheriff stated.
"You can't eat that! It's poison!" He looked earnestly up at her.
"Don't you see? The deal, it was all a trick to get you to eat that, to get rid of the Savior!" He hoped that this would be the last bit of evidence that Emma would need to start believing exactly what he had been trying to get her to far too long.
"Henry, come on. Why would she do that when I just told her I was gonna go?" She was at the end of her emotional rope, and it was getting harder and harder to play along with Henry's fantasy.
"Because as long as you're alive, you're a threat to the Curse!"
"Henry, you've gotta stop thinking like this!"
"But it's the truth!" Henry's frustration was beginning to rival that of his mother's, and this was his final chance to show her once and for all what she needed to see to open her eyes. He would never let her slip away from him. Not now, and not like this. "And you leaving, isn't gonna change that!" His voice grew louder with the intensity of his feelings. "I'll prove it to you!"
He made to snatch for the pastry, but Emma was faster. "No! This is nonsense!" she brandished it at her son. "There is no poison in here!" To her son's utter horror, she sank her teeth through the flaky crust and felt a gush of spicy apple flow into her mouth.
"See! There's no... No..." But her mouth was numb, and her limbs felt heavier than they ever have in her entire life. When she crashed soundly against the wooden floor, Emma felt no jolts of pain that would normally be slicing through her limbs. And then felt cold darkness lording over her entire being.
"NOOOOO!" Henry screamed, falling next to the Savior's motionless form. "EMMA! Wake up! Emma you have to wake up!" The boy shook her hard, rolling her onto her back. Her limbs lolled around, and no amount of screaming or jostling was going to wake her.
He shot up and ran to the phone, dialing the hospital number that Regina made him memorize in case of an emergency. He half-screamed into the receiver for an ambulance, barely containing his hysteria. The moment they confirmed their departure, he hung up and dialed Mary Margaret's cell phone.
To say that she was alarmed was a massive understatement. The woman could barely understand the shrill pleas coming from the boy, but she knew that it had to do with Emma. She set off at a run, her stomach sinking straight to the bottom of her feet.
When she arrived at her home, an ambulance was outside the building, and EMT's were carting a blonde woman on a gurney into the vehicle. Henry was flitting around, tears streaming down his face, trying to get information out of them.
Mary Margaret stopped cold in her tracks, completely out of her element. When the boy saw his teacher, he flew right into her, wrapping his arms around her. "Ms Blanchard! You're here! Emma's been poisoned!"
Everything in her brain ground to a solid stop. "What?"
"Regina gave her an apple turnover, and I tried to tell Emma that it was poisoned, because the Evil Queen hates her! But she wouldn't listen, and she took a bite to show me it wasn't going to hurt her and then she collapsed! And now-"
"Henry! Stop! Just stop for a moment, and breathe." The words had been flying out of his mouth at a million miles per hour, and the poor brunette was having a near impossible time keeping up. "They're going to take Emma to Doctor Whale, and he will fix her up just fine. Let's go there right now, so you can be with her when you see them cure her!" She put on a pained smile, trying her best to be strong for the child breaking apart in front of her.
He pulled the keys to his mother's bug out of his coat pocket and shoved them into his teacher's hand, determination and urgency blazing in his eyes. She nodded wordlessly to him, and they jumped into the car to follow the retreating sirens of the ambulance.
The moment they pulled up to the facility Henry flung himself out of the car before it even came to a full stop. He sped past the sign-in desks and followed the sounds of the only emergency happening there.
He slammed into the glass door to the room where his mother was being kept. The doctor was shouting orders to the swarm of nurses crowding around Emma, his face showing no confidence. He wrenched open the door.
"Mom! Mom! I'm here!"
"Henry! You can't be in here right now," Whale said, shocked at the boy's sudden appearance.
"She was poisoned, Dr Whale! You have to save her!"
"Poisoned? By what?"
"This!" He pulled the turnover from a bag in his pocket. "She took a bite of this, and then she fell down!"
"Henry, listen to me, you can't be in here right now. I can't tell if it was poison-"
"But it was! You have to listen to me!"
The doctor looked up at Mary Margaret who was now watching from a short distance. He told her with a single look that she needed to remove him from the area. She strode forward and placed gentle hands on his shoulders. She pulled ever so lightly, letting him know he had to move. He began to walk backwards toward the door, never taking his eyes off of his mother.
He watched through the glass as the medical team continued to work feverishly around the blonde. He could hear the muffled sounds of their voices, and occasionally the doctor would catch his eye, always looking defeated.
Eventually they cleared out, Emma still lying as though she were a corpse. Tubes and wires were sticking out from her chest and arms. Dr Whale looked upon her one more time before heading out of the room. He looked from Mary Margaret to Henry with uncertainty.
"Emma is stable, for now. I still don't know what is causing this-"
"I told you, she's poisoned!"
"But," he continued as though he had not been interrupted. "It's difficult to say what is going to happen from here. I don't know how long she will be in this state, but we are going to do everything we can."
Mary Margaret placed her hand on his. "Thank you, Doctor."
"If I were you, I would get some rest. I will notify you if there is any change." He said the last part to Henry in specific.
"Don't tell my mom! Let Ms Blanchard know, and she'll tell me."
He looked skeptical for a moment, but the brunette nodded her consent, and he agreed before sweeping away in a cloud of tension.
"Take me to Regina," Henry said fiercely. "She has to answer for this! I have to hear it for myself!"
"Henry, maybe that's not such a good idea. You're distraught. Let's go for some hot chocolate while you can calm down a little."
"No." There was such finality in that word that Mary Margaret knew better than to fight him on it. She knew he got his stubbornness and defiance from both of his mothers. She ushered him out of the building, but not before he ran back and placed his book of fairy tales next to his mother.
The two of them pulled up next to the mayoral mansion, the brunette looking extremely uncertain. Henry looked at her for a second. "I need you to stay here, Ms Blanchard. I'm not gonna stay there any more. Not after what she did to my mom. So... Just be ready to leave when I come out."
"Henry-" But the look in his eyes stopped whatever she was going to say next. "Okay. I will be right here for you." He gave her a fleeting smile before tearing out of the car and up to the estate.
"What have you done to Emma!" Henry snarled at Regina with controlled ferocity.
"Henry! Oh thank goodness, you're safe! I was so worried about you!" She ran up to her son and tried to embrace him, but he shoved her away.
"Get off me! What did you do to my mom!"
"Whatever do you mean?" Regina posed the question with innocent curiosity.
"You poisoned her! She ate your stupid turnover! Now she's in a coma!"
Regina couldn't fight the small smirk of victory that painted her lips for the briefest of moments. Henry saw it, and the look of disgust and horror on his face told her she just made a massive mistake.
"You really are the Evil Queen, aren't you? Why did you do this?!" Henry screamed with fury.
"She was trying to take you from me! She's no mother, and she couldn't care for you! I'm protecting our family! I'm protecting you as I have always done!"
"No..." His voice was soft, tinged with disbelief. "No! No! You fix it! You bring her back!"
"I can't!" Her temper was flaring rapidly. She was beyond pissed that Henry was still choosing that haphazard mess of a woman over her. After every single thing she had ever done for him, she could not understand how she had failed to earn the love of the son she held so dearly.
"You liar! I never want to see you again!" He turned around a bolted through the house and out the front door. Regina's feet remained rooted to the floor. His words felt like he had ripped her own heart from her chest and squeezed it to dust like she had done so many times before.
A sharp pain shot through her knees when they collided with the hardwood floor beneath them. It was a rare occasion that the Queen found herself crawling on the floor, mewling like an abandoned kitten, whimpering out the name of the boy that fled from her. For the first time in a very, very long time, Regina felt helpless.
"Take me to Mr Gold!" Henry's request left no room for contradiction.
Mary Margaret started up the bug. "What did your mom say? And why do we need Mr Gold?"
"She's not my mom! Emma is, and Regina practically admitted to poisoning her."
"Oh my god," the brunette breathed.
"But she's pretending she doesn't know how to wake Emma up. If there's anyone in Storybrooke who will know how, it's Mr Gold. He's the only one with enough power and knowledge rival Regina!"
Mary Margaret opened her mouth, wanting to try and convince the boy otherwise; however, when she glanced at him, the look of solid determination mingled with anger told her that it was not a good idea. Henry had already suffered so much trauma today, causing him more frustration would do him no good. She closed her mouth again, and they drove to the pawnshop in silence.
Once again, Henry insisted with deadly seriousness that his teacher remain in the car. She really did not feel comfortable leaving him alone with Mr Gold, but the man had never made any move to hurt the boy. She nodded once again, and watched him hurry into the dusty shop.
Henry's eyes scanned the crowded space for the man he needed. The soft tinkling of the doorbell over head caught the attention of the shop's owner. He limped into view, looking mildly confused at the presence of the disheveled boy hurrying toward him.
"Henry. What can I do for you," he asked evenly.
"Regina has poisoned Emma! How do I cure her?" Always straight to the point and brutally honest. Those qualities endeared him to Gold, because it reminded him of the son he himself had lost. "I know that you believe in the curse, and that you know Regina is the Evil Queen! I know who you are, and I know you're really powerful. Please tell me how to make my mom better again." He stared the man down, desperation now rolling off of his small form.
"You are a smart boy, Henry." He knew the game was up. Regina had crossed the line, and there was no point in keeping the charade going. "Emma has been put under a powerful Sleeping Curse. In this world, it could be deadly." He held up a hand to stop whatever the boy was about to say. "Now, no matter how powerful the curse, it can always be broken with-"
"True Love's Kiss," Henry finished for him.
"Does that mean that I should go kiss my mom?"
Gold chuckled lightly. "No, Henry. There are a few rules when it comes to True Love. If you were under that curse, it would have to be someone who truly loved you as family to break that curse. You're just a boy. Emma, on the other hand, is a grown woman. The only Love powerful enough to break it would be that of a romantic nature."
"But... Emma doesn't have a True Love."
"I would be so sure about that, Henry. Everyone has a True Love. Now, I can't tell you who that person is, but I can assure you that this curse will not kill Emma."
"How can you be sure?"
"Your mother is a very special woman. Let's just leave it at that, shall we?"
Henry nodded, hope shining in his eyes once more. "I'll find her True Love. I swear it!" With that, he turned and exited the shop.