„Close the door! Close the fucking door!“
Emma’s yell was breathless as she powered through the door of Storybrooke’s Town Hall, dragging Ruby with her.
David slammed the door shut while Grumpy readied the heavy wooden bar that would keep them firmly inside and the swarming mass of bodies outside.
Snow was by Emma’s side in an instant. “Are you okay? That looked awfully close.”
Ruby snorted darkly, still hanging off Emma’s shoulder. “They got into the convent,” she muttered darkly, ending on a groan which spurred Snow into action. She ducked under Ruby's free arm and together she and Emma helped Ruby into the room they had reserved for the injured.
“What happened?” Snow asked Emma, nodding in Ruby’s direction once the waitress was lying down, Granny already by her side and carefully working off her sturdy boot.
“Don’t worry,” Emma replied loud enough for everyone to hear. “Ruby’s ankle got caught in a root and she fell heavily. We almost got caught when we checked out the convent to see if there was anyone left.” Snow still looked unsure and so did David and Grumpy who had joined them. “She wasn’t bitten, folks,” Emma said wearily. “They didn’t get anywhere that close to us.”
“Were there any … was there anyone left at the convent?” Grumpy asked quietly and Emma felt for the small, usually belligerent man. “Maybe they left the convent and are hiding somewhere else …”
“Sorry,” was all Emma could say, deciding not to mention that Grumpy’s girlfriend Nova had been one of the people chasing her and Ruby. “They’re all … gone.”
“Come on,” Snow said softly, rubbing Emma’s shoulder. “You need to eat something and then get some rest.”
Emma shook her head. “Where is she?” she asked instead as she looked around the room.
Snow closed her eyes resignedly. “In her office, I think, doing whatever it is that she’s doing in there.” There was a whole world of annoyance in her tone. Nobody but Emma was allowed into the mayor’s office with Regina and Snow had only accepted that after Emma had told her in no uncertain terms that that was just how things were going to be, Snow’s hurt feelings be damned.
“She’s trying to save us all,” Emma muttered. “Just let it go and accept the fact that she’s on our side, okay?” She turned to Granny. “Did she eat anything this morning? How is she?” Emma had left before dawn when Regina had still been sleeping.
Granny shook her head. “You know how she is … she got lost in her work. Wouldn’t even open the door for me and her breakfast.”
Emma sighed. “Yeah, I know, sorry. I'll talk to her.” She walked towards the kitchen, Granny hot on her heels. “Is there—“
“Here,” Granny interrupted her, pressing a bag filled with various things into her hand. “There’s enough for the both of you.” She ignored Emma’s pathetically grateful look. “Now go!”
Emma trudged up the stairs slowly, half dragging herself up with the help of the bannister. She hadn't had a good night's sleep in the two weeks since this whole nightmare started, and she knew the same went for everyone else in their little group. She was worried about all of them, but mostly about her immediate family. It was both a blessing and a curse that Henry had been visiting his father when this weird virus had shown up and had turned people into zombies.
It had been Regina who had figured it out, who had realized that there was the distinct feel of dark magic about the outbreak, but it had taken another two days for Snow to admit that the Blue Fairy had been dabbling in blood magic in her quest to find a way back to the Enchanted Forest.
"Blood magic gone wrong," Regina had said with a sneer. "Amateurs dabbling in things they don't understand." Still, she had withdrawn into her former office to try and find a cure or at least something that could help the ever-dwindling number of survivors get out of Storybrooke alive. And once the town had been completely overrun, they had all moved into the town hall because that's where Regina had been holed up at the time, and Emma had refused to leave her side.
Emma opened the door to the office quietly, just in case Regina had decided to take a nap. The door opened easily for her and the fact that she was the only one the wards around the door would allow in still made her smile even after all this time.
Regina was tinkering in the corner, bent over substances Emma didn’t want to look at too closely. The makeshift bed in the corner was made and looked incredibly tempting but first things first. “Hello, my sweet baby girl,” Emma cooed softly as she walked up behind Regina.
“Really?” Regina asked without turning around. “That’s what you’re going with now?”
Emma pulled Regina into a hug from behind. “And hello to you too,” she added, pressing her nose and lips into Regina’s hair. Despite all the chaos she still managed to look ravishing and smell even better. “I missed you,” Emma whispered hoarsely.
Regina turned around in her arms and Emma immediately went in for a sweet kiss before dropping to one knee and pressing the side of her face against Regina's protruding belly. "I brought something to eat." She tried to keep any kind of accusation from her voice.
Regina shook her head, the thought of food anathema to her. "You were gone a long time," she whispered, and Emma could hear the worry in the words.
"The convent is gone."
There was an almost vicious feeling of satisfaction for a moment, but Regina tried to suppress it, knowing full well that it wouldn't be appreciated. Still ... "At least Blue got a taste of what she caused."
Emma got to her feet and nodded. "And so did a whole number of innocent people." She walked back to where she had dropped the food, then collapsed onto the couch. She beckoned Regina over, who came willingly. "Blue also can't tell us what the hell she did to cause this," Emma said, sounding too tired to even be frustrated about that fact.
"She was never going to help us anyway," Regina pointed out. "It's not like we didn't ask her in the beginning." They had all asked, including Regina who could still taste the acrid smell of magic around Blue, and see the deranged look in her eyes. But that trip had resulted in one important thing: a lead, an idea what Blue had tried — and failed — to do.
“Eat something, Regina,” Emma said as she opened the bag Granny had given her. “Please.” She had no qualms about showing off her puppy dog eyes to get Regina to do what she needed her to do.
Regina looked over the selection Emma had brought and picked out an apple. Emma grumbled but it was better than nothing, so she stayed quiet. She’d pester Regina again later.
“I think I may have found something,” Regina stated cautiously, playing with the apple in her hand. “I might not be able to cure anyone already affected but I think I can protect us.”
“All of us here?” Emma was too exhausted to realize how her question could sound to Regina. “Like a vaccine?”
“All of us,” Regina replied tonelessly, and it was a sign of how tired she herself was that she didn’t explode. “It’s not a vaccine … I couldn’t put it into a potion …”
“What then?” Emma couldn’t sit up anymore. She reclined on the couch, resting her head in Regina’s lap.
“I’d have to perform magic on everyone,” Regina admitted, running a hand through Emma’s hair. “It’s a tough spell to cast, so I might need a day to gather my energy.”
“You need food and sleep,” Emma declared. “So do I.” She sat up. “Let’s take a nap, okay? Right now I’m too tired to even be happy that you can save us.”
“I don’t need words, Emma,” Regina whispered. “I know you, and I can see it in your eyes.”
Emma pulled her boots off, followed by her dirty jeans, jacket, and shirt before crawling onto their mattress on the floor. “Come here.”
Regally, Regina undressed down to her underwear and joined Emma. As soon as she was in her lover’s arms, her whole body relaxed. “I can’t stand it when you’re out there alone.”
“I’m never alone out there,” Emma muttered drowsily.
“You’re out there without me,” Regina amended, and Emma squeezed her tightly in response.
“One more day until we can get out of here?” Emma asked.
“One more day.”
They both drifted off into a deep sleep, wrapped tightly in each other’s arms, knowing they were almost through this nightmare.
They never heard the noise downstairs when the undead masses broke down the door and stormed the building.