Regina Mills awoke at her normal hour. The house was always so still this time of day. So quiet. She sat up and stretched out her back, popping and cracking as she leaned forward. She stood and went to go check on her charge.
The door to her bedroom was ajar and with further inspection she quickly noted Emma was nowhere to be found. She panicked briefly before realization set in.
She obviously got her full memories back in the middle of the night and has fled.
Regina wavered on her feet as the truth washed over her. Her arm instinctively darted out to support herself against her vanity. She lost the battle to stay upright and fell back on her unmade bed.
Love is weakness you foolish girl, you see how she hurt you? You let her in to your wicked heart and she ran! She didn’t even give you the opportunity to explain yourself! You are a disgusting, filthy, degenerate Regina! No wonder no one loves you. Who would ever love the Evil Queen!
Her mother's voice echoes against her skull as she pours her sorrow out into her pillow.
“I am such a fool...” she admitted through her tears to the empty room.
Once the regret and self loathing quieted down, she sat up slowly, grabbed a tissue from the bedside table and dabbed away her tears. She collected herself and went into the bathroom to go take a shower.
The heat bellowed from behind the curtain, the water was hot enough to scald her skin, but she got in anyway, letting the angry red marks burn away the pain she’s feeling.
Once she could no longer feel the bite of the scalding hot water she turned it off and got out. She grabbed a towel out of habit, but didn't bother to wrap herself in it. She stood in front of the wall length mirror, her skin is an angry bright pink, the cool air around her prickles against every inch of her body. The sting was welcomed, it was a pain she could control.
She entered her walk-in closet and chose a powerful outfit for the day; A red satin button up shirt matched with a black pencil skirt. The extra layer of armor for what will most likely be a long day. Not only has she lost her best, if not her only, friend in town, but most likely her child. Again. Emma will never let me near him now. The thought was salt in the wound of her heart.
The mayor sat on the edge of her bed and gently toweled off the beads of water left on her angry red skin, the rough feel of the soft towel against her raw flesh was excruciatingly numbing. Once she was dry she laid back on her bed and just lived in the pain, letting it surround her completely. After a while she pulled herself back out of the fog of her anguish and got dressed.
She immediately started to work pulling the linens off all of the beds and started the laundry. It will be a quiet day today she would imagine, it shall be quiet, often, from here on out.
Emma shivered as she made her way up main street, still thinking about her and Belle’s conversation.
She gave into her desires for the briefest of moments and has been scared to death you’ll be disgusted with her and leave and never come back.
She thinks I’ll be disgusted with HER?
She wouldn’t go into details, but her shirt was torn open and her wrists were red…
She slowly trudged up the stairs to Mary Margaret and David’s place and knocked on the door. Mary Margaret sleepily answered in her bath robe, her eyes bulged at the sight of her daughter and she pulled Emma into her arms. “Emma!” she cried, “Are you OK?!?” She pulled Emma into the loft, still holding onto her fiercely. David was standing in the kitchenette, looking at his daughter warily, assessing her demeanor. She met his gaze and knew he saw her in full beast mode for Regina. She turned a deep red and untangled herself from Mary Margaret’s momma bear hug. “Yeah. I’m great. Is my kid here?”
“Upstairs sweetie it’s barely 7.” Her mother called after her as she wasted no time and took the stairs to her old room.
She ducked in under the curtain divider to find the boy, sound asleep. His chocolate messy hair sticking this way and that, his blue comforter from his bed at home tucked around him, his arms tangled up in it hugging it tightly. She knelt down next to the bed and ran her fingers over his heat reddened cheek. “Hey kid…” she whispered. His hazel eyes snapped open and a wide smile spread across his face. She felt like she hasn’t seen the kid in months and his smile was infectious. In that moment she was completely saturated in his love. He sprang up out of bed and dove into her arms. “Ma!!! You’re better?!” he exclaimed, bear hugging her with a strength reserved for the super heroes within his comic books. “I knew you would…” he pulls back from her and looks behind her expectantly, “Is mom downstairs?” Emma shook her head but look guilty and the kid picked up on it immediately.
“Where is she?” He pulled himself away from Emma sensing something off about his birth mother, and sat back on his bed. She joined him. “She’s at your house kid.” He looked down at her bare bandaged feet then back up the length of her body, taking in every bruise, nick, scratch and mark. “She knows you’re here though right?” Emma bit her bottom lip and before she could even say no he exploded at her, “You left her without saying anything?? She is going to be worried Emma!!!” The sheriff was taken aback at his reverting to using her first name and she snarked, “So we are back to Emma are we?”
“Well don’t treat my mom like a jerk!” He was clearly properly upset.
“Okay! I’m sorry! I needed to talk to you about… stuff…”
“About your mom.” She worried her lip, “Do you think she’s going to be really mad that I left like that? Like not want to be around me mad?”
“No. She’ll just be worried, she loves you Emma.” Emma was shocked at the casual way her son just talked about his adopted mother's affections for her. “She knew you were in trouble you know. Even when no one else did.” He watched her as she worried her bottom lip and didn’t make eye contact with him.
“Yeah…” she shivered at the thought of being forced into a, whatever the hell the potion did to her, and had she been bonded to the man who did that to her, it would have been bad.
“She saved me.” She added, “Because that is what heroes do.”
“She is a hero, but... You’re her family Emma.”
I’m sorry dear?
We’re not friends… we are family.
Fragments of conversations she’s had over the last few days filter in.
“She always looks forward to Sunday nights when it’s just us.” he added.
“So do I Henry.” He looked at her thoughtfully, his head turned at an angle that screamed complete Regina. “Do you love my mom Emma? I mean, like she loves you?”
She fish gapes at the forwardness of her child. “How exactly does she love me Henry?” He looked at her like she was the dumbest thing in the entire world, another gem that was pure Regina. “She loves you, loves you. Like grandma loves grandpa.”
She nodded her understanding then stammers, “I… but… Robin… Robin is her true love.” She blushed as the sentence fell out of her mouth.
“Maybe.” He said thoughtfully, “But she never looked at him the way she looks at you Ma.” His still little boy hands took hers in his, “It is okay if you do. I know you don’t think…” he paused considering if she is ready to hear this truth—“you deserve… a happy ending Ma. Neither does Mom, but both of you do.” He said as if it were just truth. “It kind of makes sense.” He smiled wide as she looked at him with confusion and just awe. “The savior defeated the evil queen, and saved the woman she was deep inside.” Emma let out a sob as tears sprang from her eyes. The wisdom of her son, the child Regina raised, into a smart, caring, wonderful young man. “How’d you get so smart, huh?”
“My Mom.” He smiled wide completely pleased with himself. She laughed through her tears and hugged him. He held her as if she were the child, stroking her hair back as she mulled around his wisdom and tried to calm herself. After several moments he finally sighed. “So are you going to tell her, or what?” She laughed as she sat up wiping her tears away. “Yeah kid.” She ruffled his hair as she stood. “Thanks Henry.” She stood and went towards the door but then turns back around, “She’s going to be real upset I disappeared isn’t she?” He nodded emphatically, “OH YEAH!” the look of fear on her face caused him to add, “But she’ll understand, she knows you.” She smiled her own crooked half smile. The warmth of her appreciation screamed through her eyes. “Get ready for school okay kid?”
“Okay, but can grandma take me?” his eyes gave her an up and down and she chuckled before she agreed. “Yeah.”
Downstairs she asked her mother to keep Henry for one more day and Snow looked hurt beyond belief. “Why? Aren’t you staying here?”
“No, I need to go talk to Regina and I don’t know how long this will take.”
“But.. I was going to take the day off, I haven’t seen you, you look…”
“I know, it has been a rough few days…”
“But I can help you Emma… I want to help you…”
“I know, but you can't. Not with this.”
“Mom…” She uses the title to portray her sincerity, “I need to take care of this, first. I promise Mommy and Me time soon okay?” She turned away from Snow’s clear disappointment and headed toward the door. David touched her shoulder on her way past him and she paused. “She is just trying to help you Emma, she, we, love you so much. You’re our daughter.”
“I know, David.” He turns to her, meeting her gaze. “No, you don’t do you?” She looked confused at this statement. “No matter all the craziness that is our lives, you are loved Emma Swan. YOU are no… trouble… to us. Anything you need, your mother and I will move realms to get you.” She looked shocked at this sudden outpour, but was moved by her father's sincerity. “Okay.” She said. “Thanks, dad.” She said his title without the typical hesitation or stammer. “I really need to go talk to Regina.”
“Of course.” He pulled her in and hugged her. “Whatever you need sweetheart.” He kissed her forehead before he let his baby girl go.
“Fuck that was weird!” she exclaimed as she opened the bottom floor door of her parent’s apartment building and exited out onto the street. She looked up and down the road. She noticed the familiar happy yellow of her VW bug parked a ways up the street, still in front of the station. She headed in that direction, it’s better than walking back to the manor.
She entered the station to grab her keys and saw Hook in the main holding cell. Rage overtook her senses as white swirls fog over her green glassy eyes. “Well you’ve looked much better Swan.” He sneered. He was cradling his arm and favoring one of his legs over the other, she could tell he was physically hurt. “I can’t say you have, Hook.” she spat refusing to use his name, he didn’t deserve a human name. He was just ‘Hook’ now, he lost the rights to be Killian Jones. “I see you’ve started to pay for your little stunt.” she nodded in his general direction.
“Ah yes, your father and I have an arrangement love.” She wrapped her arms around her stomach to hold herself together as his term of endearment lurched her gut. “Yes well you certainly deserve a personal touch.”
He chuckled, “Yes like the personal touch of the queen perhaps?” her face dropped in surprise with the depth of his knowledge. Of course he knew, Regina would have interrogated him and she would have been furious. He is many things but an idiot isn’t one of them.
She sauntered up to the bars, a smile quickly replacing her previously shocked look, “Yes, but her touch, is MUCH more… personal…” his cocky attitude was lost instantly. She could feel the cool touch of her magic rearing it’s powerful head and she steeled her mask and buried the anger.
“So what are you going to do, kill me, Swan?” he goaded trying to make his end swift.
The white fog lifted from over her eyes as she calmed herself, “No, but I am going to let,” she licks her lips and smiled devilishly, “My Queen,” she relished in the anger that seeps out of him, “choose what is done to you and then about you. In the end, I wasn’t the only one you violated, and she is my happily ever after, my forever family. That is something you’ll never have, HOOK.” She turned on her heels as he seethed in his cage and walked away from him. The echoes of his shouting filled the tiny station and she just laughed and waved to him as if she hadn’t a care in the world. She went inside the top desk drawer and got her spare set of keys and then left the station.