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Shattered Sight

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The Snow Queen warns them—how thoughtful of her. No, really. They should send her a fruit basket if she's into that sort of thing, all genocidal tendencies aside.

Look into any mirror, any reflection of yourself, the back of a spoon, the gentle stirrings of a pond, and you are hersShe has you. She will destroy you, and that's only the beginning.

She had smiled at this part, had raised her crazed eyes, those viscous blue ones, to the dark clouds seizing the sky and dragging it down. It stepped onto the earth with white footprints that stretched for miles upon endless miles. The falling hail had a conversation with Storybrooke. In fury, it said die.

"Frozen is coming," she murmured, a single tear caressing her cheek, running down the hollow. It hardened there, preserved. It remained when she smiled, when she laughed—lightly, darkly, her head thrown back, the sound cloyingly sweet like ice cream that had stewed in the sun, too rich, too soft. "Prepare yourselves."


With a curt flick of the hand, Regina dulls every reflective surface in the mansion, expending little energy and instantly itching to do more. Her many mirrors, any silverware, and even the windows are a solid gray now, impenetrable to the vain eye, and the house is immediately darker, more shadowy and caved in.

Suffocating.

The Queen is on a streak, though, on house arrest and restless.

A fireball is suddenly at her fingertips, dancing red, orange, and yellow only inches above them. She lets the flickering wash illuminate her features for a long moment before lighting the fireplace (the power is out, the fuse box and generator irretrievably frozen), and the telltale roar is Henry's cue that he should return from the foyer, where he hadn't had as much room to pace anyways.

See, he's jailed, too. Much to his displeasure.

With the Snow Queen on a rampage and looking for viable leverage against Emma, it wouldn't be any coincidence for something to happen to the thirteen-year old, and Regina (her magic) can't afford to be turned, to be lost to Shattered Sight, should the Savior need help, ironically enough.

That's the reason they gave her anyways, but it makes her wonder, nags at her when she allows it to—she doesn't allow it to very often—if it's the whole truth. 

Maybe they're just wary of the Evil Queen. Maybe they know she's been lurking near the surface lately, prowling, looking for a way out, for a reason, an excuse to.

Sorry I'm late.

Maybe it's finally kicked in that she's the villain, and villains don't get happy endings.

She wouldn't blame them for it.

Couldn't.

They. Them. Her family. The Charmings.

She doesn't entertain the thought very often, obviously.

Henry adjusts his gait to the length of the fireplace, his long, spindly legs becoming walking shadows as opposed to something altogether tangible. His features are realized in increments, thrown into visibility only here and there by the gentle glow of firelight tugging across his face like a game of light and dark. It isn't a battle though. Not yet.

Neither one of his mothers will allow him into one of those.

He's shoved his hands into his pockets, has them clenched there, probably white with tension, and frustration twitches at his furrowed brow.

Regina watches him for a moment, almost chuckles when she realizes that she knows that look. It was on a twelve-year old Snow White when the princess realized that she couldn't attend the Winter Solstice Festival, sick as she was, and then a thirteen-year old one who preferred the pink dress to the blue one, but too bad: Regina hadn't been in the mood to coddle the brat.

It's the impotence of a child, but not just any child—he's hers—so she doesn't chuckle, doesn't trivialize his worries because they're valid. 

Today's the day everyone could die, no takesy backsies, no deus ex machines.

No Happily Ever Afters—not that she believes in those anyways.

So, of course, in such tenuous circumstances, she asks the question any concerned mother would, and in all seriousness, no less: "Would you like to build a snowman, Henry?"

And he stops in his tracks, stares at her blankly for a moment before comprehension dawns on his face, and he grins widely, exuberantly. The worry lines fade away. "Yeah."

"Grab your scarf, dear."


It's simple, really.

A disgruntled Henry would come home after a bad day at school, and the two of them would build a snowman in the front yard, only to destroy it in cathartic release.

For the first few years or so, it was mostly Regina building and Henry destroying, but as he grew older, it became a "together" thing, a tradition they haven't partaken in… in a long time.

He was ten and thought that she was the Evil Queen.

Eleven, and the curse had been broken, so he stayed with Emma and called her on Christmas Day as an afterthought.

Twelve—he wasn't aware that she existed. New York was probably stunning in the winter time.

And today, they build the base together, kneeling in the biting snow to clump together some semblance of a ball and laughing when it falls apart because they're just not good at this sort of thing anymore.

So they resolve to toss snowballs around until Henry asks if she could make some hot chocolate. She's halfway up the porch steps when the crunch of heavy boots in the snow alerts her to the presence of another person in the yard, one that Henry immediately hastens to greet.

"Is everything alright, Grandpa? Is Mom okay? Grandma?"

It's David, but it isn't David.

Regina recognizes this the moment that she turns around and their eyes meet. His are as blue as ever—clear as well—but something not entirely unfamiliar to her is swilling in them where the sparkling wells of rainbow stickers and unicorn kisses should be, possessing them with an intensity she thinks could kill.

And it might just.

Magic sparks in her finger tips, coils there prepared—a reflex. The shepherd's own have twitched downwards, but not for a weapon; his left hand crumbles into a fist.

"What's wrong?" Henry tries to tug on David's arm, but the deputy sheriff remains unmoved, tense. His pale lips press into a thin line that verges on the beginnings of a snarl.

"Henry, go inside. Your grandfather and I need to discuss something." Regina works her voice into a measure of calm, her command firm, but composed. It's her "homework before games" tone, and he knows this immediately.

Her son is stubborn though. He shakes his head with a rebellious flare he could have only inherited from her (he gets the eye roll from Miss Swan), and she watches the confusion in his eyes transform into sheer determination.

"Not until someone tells me what's going on."

Your idiot of a grandfather probably saw his reflection—that's what.

And she can't help but think that there has to be a blond joke in there. What happened to the blond who looked in the mirror? He attacked the woman who had tried to kill his wife over and over again.

Funny, right?

Hilarious, Regina.

David speaks for the first time since he had arrived, spits the words through gritted teeth, and the hatred runs as deep as the pauses. It punctuates every syllable, every word, guts through Regina like an old friend.

Hello, pain.

"Magic… him… out of here."

And it's a warning that she doesn't mind obliging to. Henry can be upset with her later. She twirls her hand, and the telltale purple smoke billows around the thirteen-year old, expanding to envelop him as he extends his arms in annoyance. 

"Mom!" He sounds betrayed. Tears of frustration well in his eyes, but the Queen is resolute. She lets the smoke climb higher and higher.

"Stay in the crypt until I come for you. Don't let anyone in. I love you, Henry." I'm sorry, Henry. Distinct recollections of Mother and her raised hand threaten to overwhelm her concentration, but she pushes them back. She has to focus. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see the sheriff inching towards her, flexing his fingers. For using magic on you against your permission, I'm sorry.

But she isn't quick enough.

The tendrils haven't quite covered his eyes when David lunges, his wiry hands clasping over the column of her throat and squeezing upwards. She ignores her son's screams and just continues to spin her hand, and then he's gone, and it's only her and the fingers around her neck.

Regina knows the exact moment that she bruises.

It's when she looks David Nolan in the eye and realizes that he is in control of every moment. He's sincere. Shattered Sight hadn't made a mockery of his feelings, hadn't conjured a lie. It told the truth.

She's going to die if he keeps this up, and maybe it's for the best.

His fingernails sink into her flesh, rake down her skin and gouge it. A scream bubbles at the edge of her throat, but doesn't make it any further. His hands are already there.

The author would finally get what they wanted.

The villain gone.

"You're a monster, Regina," he grits out because what's a good choking without a monologue? "We lost Emma because of you and look where we are now. Stuck. All the time. Surrounded on all sides."

And it's even poetic that she dies in the snow.

"And you know what's the funniest part? We could have stopped it. You should have died at the stake."

We've established this, Charming.

Robin.

Kill me, Shepherd Boy.

Henry.

But for whatever reason… she's a survivor. She just doesn't have the good sense to die. The Evil Queen—Regina—wants to live through this battle, if only this one.

She closes her eyes, pools a final reserve of energy into her fingertips, and David careens backwards into the snow in a flash of white light. He lies there winded, and he might be unconscious, but his chest is still moving, strong and steady.

He'll be fine.

Regina collapses to her knees, gasping for breath, her fingers skimming the places on her neck that scream in agony. Inhale. Exhale. Exhale. Exhale. Exhale. She focuses on the ground beneath her, at how the snow is stained red with crimson. It's such a beautiful color.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Exhale.

She chokes on the little air she's breathing, coughs and coughs again. It's cold and sharp, too shallow to be consumed. Her head dips forward, steadies itself in a place that isn't spotted with her blood.

This would be a great time to finish the job, David.

She couldn't conjure a fireball if she wanted to—and she doesn't want to.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inhale.

She pulls herself to a sitting position, leans heavily against one of the white pillars holding up the porch, and stares tiredly as David comes to, his hands drawing into his sides and flexing upwards. He stares at the ground for a long time.

The wind howls around them, filling in the silence with a static white noise that turns her yard into a bubble where only they exist.

He opens his mouth to say something, then closes it, and opens it again. A thin line is dripping red from his bottom lip, cutting into the paleness. She strains to hear the softness of his voice.

"That wasn't me, Regina."

She isn't so sure. It sounded like him, looked like him, felt like him. She pulls a hand across the back of her neck, resists the urge to flinch when it spasms with soreness.

"No, it wasn't. Don't give me that look."

He's staring at her now, and she sees a mixture of dark and light swirling there, warring, destroying him from the inside out. The shepherd has a moral code, and this isn't it.

"David—"

"I want to kill you, but I don't."

"Touching," she quips.

He ignores her.

"I hate you, but I feel like yesterday… yesterday, I kind of liked you. You were family." He looks down again, feasts his eyes on the snow. "Were we family, Regina?"

Against all odds, all reason and thought, "Yes."

David pulls himself to his feet, shaky and white, uncertain about himself because he had almost just killed someone. Something dark catches in his eyes for the slightest second as he regards her, but it disappears when he shakes his head.

He's Prince Charming again, and Regina's shoulders dip a little in relief, but stiffen when he begins to hobble over, his left leg caught in a limp. Her throat burns with the ghosts of his fingers, crushing and goring and choking and—

He stops just before her feet, stoops, and wraps his arms around her, gently pressing his head into her collarbone. She doesn't move, doesn't dare breathe, waits for the final blow because maybe he'll kill her after all.

(Or maybe this is what a hug feels like. She can't judge from experience, hasn't had many good ones to go off of.)

We're family, Regina.

She closes her eyes, breathes a little easier.

It's warm here, safe.

The day isn't over though, and there are still more dangerous monsters that can come out to play.

But it's warm here. 

Safe.