|A Touch of Magic
Author: LZClotho PM
Regina has to prepare the White Knight to battle the Queen of Hearts. To protect Emma's heart, so the QoH won't be able to take it, Regina applies magical tattoos meant to bind Emma's heart to her body. Post season 1. SwanQueen-ish. Nudity. One-shot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Emma S. & The Evil Queen/Regina M. - Words: 5,409 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 72 - Follows: 21 - Published: 07-02-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8277516
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author note: Thanks to the ladies of the Swan Queen group on Facebook. You gals inspire the greatest ideas. Thanks to Laura D for beta advice on this one.
Trigger warning: There is discussion of rape in this story.
written: July 1, 2012
first posted: July 2, 2012
A Touch of Magic
"Seriously, Regina?" Emma Swan lifted an ash blonde brow, giving the skunk-eye to the slowly bubbling muck on the campstove.
"Well, there is one more ingredient I need," Regina said. Before she had even finished speaking she had grabbed Emma's nearest hand with one of her own and brought a knife across it with the other.
"Hey! Ow! Fuck!" Emma snatched her hand back and the knife clattered to the ground between them. They both stared at the thin line of blood oozing across Emma's palm.
Regina rolled her eyes. "Drip into the pot. This is for your protection."
Glowering at Regina, Emma squeezed her palm with her other hand, forcing the fluid out. "You enjoyed that," she accused.
"Never say I avoid a chance to get my kicks," Regina smirked. The cut was already beginning to coagulate and Emma pulled her hand back. Regina stirred the campstove pot with a wooden spoon.
Emma leaned forward and sniffed cautiously. Her nose wrinkled in disgust. "What exactly are we going to do with this? It looks like tar." Smells like it, too, Emma added silently. "Do I throw it at her?"
Regina shook her head. "She is not Elphaba. Unfortunately she will not just melt away, no matter what we do."
"And I'm supposed to kill her? So... how's this going to help?"
"Once I paint you with it -"
"Paint?" Emma interrupted. "You're gonna put that goop onme? No way."
"Miss Swan, this goop, as you so endearingly put it, is going to keep your heart beating in your chest. She is called the Queen of Heartsfor a reason, dear."
"I thought taking and crushing hearts was kinda your thing?" Emma pointed out, though it didn't sound particularly malicious, just factual.
So Regina replied just as factually. "Who do you think I learned it from?"
"So why am I doing this and not you? What's the bitch got on you, Regina?"
"I can't do it. I can protect you, but I can't do this."
"Why not? You've got the magic, you know what to do with it. Rumpelstiltskin lied to us about the potion, Regina. Isn't it likely he lied about this as well?"
Regina fumed. "We are not doing anything for that damned imp! This is the only way I know how to get Jefferson's hat so the portal to the other world can be opened."
"So, you seem to know a lot about this Queen of Hearts, what's her story?"
"She's someone I've encountered before."
"You're lying." Emma tapped her nose. "My superpower, remember?"
"I'm not lying. Just thinking about her is... distasteful." Regina winced as she was deluged by memories of the forthcoming opponent.
"Upsetting is more like it," Emma read the emotion. "So, who is she?" Emma's hand slipped over Regina's.
Looking down at it, Regina exhaled. "She's... my mother."
"Well, a bitch is a bitch. Some law against matricide in the other world?" Emma asked.
"I just... I can't. She... Just understand I can't do this. You can. You must," Regina insisted. "It's the only way to get what everyone wants. To go back there."
"But you don't want it." Emma had read her reluctance again. Regina frowned; when had she become so easy to read? "After twenty-eight years, you're still no happier here."
"There's nothing for me there, Miss Swan," Regina said, pulling her tattered dignity together with effort at each word. "I'm doing this for Henry. I won't go back."
"So you're just going to let Henry go into some other world alone?" Emma had already told Regina what she thought of ideas like that when she explained it was the one thing she didn't think she would ever forgive her parents. Her tone conveyed it again now.
Regina winced, but shook her head. "Henry already hates me. And he won't be alone. He'll be safe... with you." Regina pulled the pot off the stove and tested the viscosity. "Now, take off your shirt."
Emma shook her head and started to reach for the pot. "I've got this. I'm supposed to put it on like Indian war paint?" she guessed.
Regina held the pot away. "You don't know the symbols necessary and, as flexible as you may be I doubt even you could reach the middle of your own back."
"I'll get Mary Marg-" Emma started to her feet.
"Damn it, Emma! You once met me at your door in nothing but a tank top and bikini underwear!" Emma settled to the ground again, eying Regina warily. Regina continued more quietly. "I have to to do this. It's mymagic. What little there is of it." Their gazes met and held; Regina kept herself from glancing down.
Emma pulled her outer shirt off over her head and then her tank as well. She was going to leave her bra in place, until Regina gestured wordlessly. She hugged all the clothes to her chest.
"Let's start with your back." She would have to apply several charms to Emma's front eventually, but Regina was momentarily stymied by the woman's nakedness. This child of Snow White had cream-colored skin, so flawless it seemed to glow, even as it reflected golden color from the nearby fire. Emma moved away from Regina and laid down on her sleeping bag, clothing trapped beneath her body and head turned to the side resting on her crossed forearms, ash blonde hair partially obscuring her face. Regina realized this view wasn't going to be much less personal.
Emma's back was just as cream-colored and reflecting the gold and orange from the fire. But the plain of her back revealed the life of Emma Swan: fostered child, runaway, and bounty hunter. It was crisscrossed with faded scars from cuts - and worse. One, which Regina could only assume was a knife wound, had punctured between Emma's fifth and sixth ribs and been dragged toward her spine. The skin around it was puckered, but it was pink. The injury was old, but how old? Regina reached out to touch it with her clean hand. "What happened?"
Emma flinched as Regina's fingertips made contact. "Regina, let's just get this over with."
"I've had to reveal my deep, dark secrets. Certainly nothing can be worse."
"Don't go there."
Regina wouldn't understand for quite some time what made her offer up the idea. She certainly didn't have a lot of magic to spare in this new world. But the words tumbled forth almost without conscious volition. "I could heal it for you. Make it as if it never happened."
Emma rolled to her side. Her green gaze swallowed Regina whole, but the expression was not astonishment, as Regina herself felt, but anger. "You might heal the skin, even the muscle beneath, but some things can't be repaired 'as if it never happened'. Ever."
Regina recognized that regret in Emma. Maybe she always had. The experience that was unforgettable, shaping everything after with its malignant memory. She suddenly knew then that whatever had caused the injury, it was something more terrible than perhaps even she had ever inflicted on another person. But just as suddenly she felt she had to know. "What happened, Emma?" she implored, never breaking her gaze. If she'd ever successfully earned trust from another human being this moment saw her test that skill desperately. Please, she thought. "Please tell me?" she asked. Tentatively she reached out and squeezed Emma's shoulder in silent support.
Emma swallowed and Regina could already see tears forming in her eyes. "He's the reason I keep running." Regina said nothing, only squeezing the shoulder under her hand once again. "I... thought. I thought my love could save him."
"Emma?" Regina's heart spasmed in her chest as she considered what might be coming next. Emma was right; some injuries could never be healed. Even with magic. She ought to know; she'd been trying for millenia to heal her own mortal wound. "Is it...?"
"I was seventeen. I was in love... or thought I was. He was twenty-five, maybe. I don't know. Seemed to know so much. I found out he was part of a drug gang. It... I was stupid. I went to one of his drops. I'd overheard them planning." Emma sucked in a breath. "I was nothing. One of his friends caught me from behind. Punctured my lung. Couldn't scream. While I... while I was bleeding out... He...he raped me."
Regina pulled her hand away, covered her mouth. "Oh. Oh my god. Emma."
"He. They. Left me for dead. I... by the time I was... found..." Emma shook her head, squeezing her eyes shut, even now the memories too painful to look into another's face as she spoke. "Because of my injuries." Her eyes opened, and Regina fell into the green turmoil. "The ER... couldn't give me one of those morning after pills. It took me three months to heal. By that time..."
Regina inhaled. "Henry?" she asked.
"Henry." Emma said. "I... I couldn't... The police sent me to an agency. They helped me relocate across the country. That's why he was born in Phoenix."
Emma hadn't thrown away Henry as Regina had so often accused her. She had given him his best chance to survive what Emma knew she would not... this man hunting her, wanting her dead.
Emma rolled back to her stomach, hiding her face in her arms. "You're a bitch, Regina Mills," Emma's voice was muffled. Regina realized the woman was crying so she didn't respond as she might have under other circumstances. Instead she rubbed the back of Emma's shoulder, encouraging the woman to relax the tension that had built in her muscles. Then she started to apply the heart-protection charms, wishing she could have protected a young Emma Swan a decade earlier. "Did you ever... see him again?"
Emma murmured faintly, "No. I've been... lucky."
"Thank god for that," Regina said, exhaling a relieved breath.
Emma was still leery of the entire ... this... thing she and Regina were doing. But while one hand seemed to be applying an intricate series of designs using the goop on her back, Regina's other hand was stroking quietly over Emma's left side. There was a pleasant tingle. Once she asked, "Are you trying to heal it anyway?"
Regina responded, "Yes."
Emma closed her eyes, baffled beyond the capacity for words at the shifting dynamic between herself and Regina. Finally she squeezed out two words past the lump in her throat. "Thank you."
In silence, Regina continued with the designs. Emma felt herself begin to doze, not sure if it was a product of the magic being used on her, or just the extended silence that seemed... peaceful... for the first time between her and Regina. Then Regina's voice brought Emma abruptly back to the task at hand.
"Sit up and turn around. I have to finish the front."
Emma swallowed; she remembered Regina's words about her lack of prudishness, and she had revealed her hardest secret to this woman. She could feel the paste crusting over where it had been applied on her back. It itched. She sat up, feeling it crack. "Uh."
"It's all right. The stain it leaves behind will fade as well," Regina explained. "But the magic is what we were after." Emma sat up and started to cup her top to her breasts. "Leave it," Regina said.
"This is just a little weird."
Emma turned around, meeting Regina's eyes, finding the brown soft and soothing. "I've never been naked with someone I wasn't sleeping with," Emma said.
"Miss Swan -"
"I see you need a little distance, too." Emma finally had deciphered Regina's manners. "But I'm not going to let you have it. Tell me what your mother did to you."
"How did you...?"
"I told you I understand you, Regina. I've now told you why. Now, tell me why can't you handle your own mother?"
Regina met Emma's gaze then dropped them to her task, focusing on her fingers instead of the flesh beneath as she began to draw the charms. "In the other world," she began. "In the fairytales, you only ever get one true love." She darted her gaze toward Emma's face, seeing the young woman had turned her head to the side, then looked away when Emma started to turn at the pause of Regina's hands. "You... know... how powerful true love is. It... binds two people. Two hearts... into one."
"I've seen my parents," Emma acknowledged. "So... you... ever... meet yours?" Regina looked up to see Emma moistening her lips with her tongue, still averting her gaze.
Regina returned to her task, swirling a fingerful of the concoction across the top swell of Emma's left breast, leaving the necessary charm in its wake. "Yes. I was sixteen. His name was... Daniel." Regina bit her lip after letting his name pass it. "My... mother... ripped out his heart and crushed it in her hand," she said quickly, venomously.
"Shit," Emma exploded with the expletive. "What the fuck?"
"She disapproved. She disapproved of a lot of the things I did, but Daniel... Daniel was beneath me. I was meant for kings, she said. Daniel was... a stableboy."
"Mother had other plans for me. That was all the justification she required. I was married to Snow White's father after that."
Emma was quiet, absorbing what Regina had said. Regina continued to apply the concoction carefully, though she had to bite her lip to keep herself steady.
Emma's hand came up to Regina's back, moving in a hesitant circle. "She might as well have ripped out your heart, too." The circular motion stopped. "Only one true love?"
"No wonder you soured on that place. But why the... animosity toward my... Snow White? It was your mother who made you marry her father."
"If Snow had only kept my secret, Daniel might have survived." There was anguish, but also anger, as Regina revealed the core of her pain. "If he'd only lived, even if we had to be apart... I... think maybe I could have...managed... somehow."
"She knew about you and Daniel?"
"She caught us together and then told my mother." Emma said nothing; Regina exhaled. "It was the only thing I specifically asked her never to do."
"I'm not one to talk about love, true or otherwise, Regina, since I'm pretty sure I've never had either. But you do have love."
"Henry doesn't love me." Regina rubbed her brow in distress.
"But you... you do love him. Enough to endure this... endure me. You came here because therewas too painful. You gave yourself another chance. You took it when you took in a little boy who needed you. You're doing something good here, Regina. Henry will see that, and he'll see your love for what it is."
Regina lifted her eyes as Emma's hand touched her throat and cheek. "You really believe that?"
She was surprised when Emma's gaze and fingertips searched her face, raising heat and lightness, making her almost dizzy wherever they touched. "Yeah, I really do."
Regina could think of nothing to say. Her hand still rested on Emma's chest where she had been applying the charms. She couldn't tear her gaze from the blonde's, finding a unique camaraderie within them. She opened her mouth to speak, but didn't know what to say. The silence gradually seeped into her, steadying her mind, returning her to the task at hand. Literally. "I think that's all I can do," she said, glancing down quickly then back up.
Emma swiped a finger over Regina's brow then cheek. "It's been a few years since Henry got into finger paints I take it? You're a mess."
"I... I have some on me?" Emma nodded, pulling her hand away and showing the crusted over bits she'd wiped from her skin. Regina frowned.
"Problem?" Emma asked.
"No...no problem." Regina rolled back on her legs and then pushed up from the ground. "I... should just... I need to see if it's finished." Emma understood the implicit request to stand and rolled to her feet, her hands dropping from her chest as she used them to push off the ground. Shaking out her top, she started to lift her arms above her head to replace it. "Turn around," Regina said before she could. Emma complied.
Regina was quiet for a long time. Emma shifted, feeling the woman's gaze scrutinizing her marks. It startled her when Regina started brushing at her back, wide light strokes. Emma felt the goop crumbling away. "So... you think it'll work?" Emma asked tentatively.
"It's old magic. Charms born of intent almost don't need magic to hold. They're a binding of raw human emotion. Survival. Hunger. Fear. Pain. Love. That's what I'm counting on."
"I can get behind that. Anything special I'm supposed to do?" Emma asked, starting to turn around, as Regina's hands slipped over her shoulder blades. "I'm taking the sword, wearing the fairies' armor. Tell me how to use these?" She gestured at a charm just visible at the inside of her left breast.
As their gazes intersected once again, Regina's one hand caught on Emma's arm, her other lifted then fell against Emma's left breast. "Protect your heart."
Beneath Regina's hand, Emma's heart thudded strong and regular. They both felt when the tempo changed, increasing. Regina glanced down and started to pull her hand away. Emma grasped her hand instead, keeping it in place, smoothing her hand over Regina's protectively. "When we get to this other world," Emma said, letting herself feel the bravado that came with imagining success. "Let's get lost together. Henry...me... And you. All right?"
"Emma, I -"
Emma arched her brow and quirked the tiniest of smiles. "If I'm going to protect my heart, I want someone to bring it home to."
"Henry," Regina said.
"You and Henry are a package deal," Emma replied. "I've never thought differently."
Regina's eyes widened, the brown soft and light as a doe's coat. Emma hugged Regina, trapping their hands between their bodies, rejoicing in the sensations of Regina fitting in her arms, and she felt the tension in the brunette's body. She now understood what her father, King James, had said about the first time he had grabbed hold of her mother, Snow White. That moment of rightnessthat wasn't met by contact with anyone else. Ever.
"From the moment I stepped foot in Storybrooke, you and Henry have been at the focal point of everything that has meant anything to me. If your... heart can be mended, I'd like to try."
Emma fit her lips to Regina's in a soft, chaste, closed mouth kiss. She could have sunk to her knees in thanksgiving when she felt the tentative answering pressure back. She opened her lips the smallest fraction, inhaling, and Regina answered with her own parted lips. Emma legs did shake then. Regina followed her down as they sank slowly to their knees on the forest floor, cupping each other's face and kissing over and over again.
If it wasn't true love, it was something damn close. Emma held Regina securely, and Regina did the same as the night enclosed them gently in its serenity.
As the dawn's light began creeping over the horizon, Regina helped Emma into the leather armor that the Blue Fairy had enchanted for the White Knight, layering the pieces carefully, knotting each lace with attentive care. They hadn't made love the night before, but Emma could see the intensity of feeling in Regina's eyes as she worked. She kissed an exposed patch of Regina's skin where her throat and shoulder met.
Regina stepped back assessing the completed product. Emma adjusted her bits and checked the range of motion for her arms and legs. Regina retrieved the sword in its sheath from beside the campfire, already put out for the day, and tied it to its encumbrance on Emma's waist, so it hung in easy position alongside her left leg for her right hand to draw it out. "There."
"All right. Time to go," Emma said. "You'll wait for me?"
"With Henry," Regina promised.
Emma walked in the direction of Rumpelstiltskin's cabin. Regina gathered their belongings up from the campsite. She had a note Emma had written to her parents tucked in her pocket. She had refused to call it a will, but it contained instructions to her parents about Henry, and Regina, and what to do in the event... Regina stood and watched Emma disappear over the low ridge, before she turned and followed the path leading back into Storybrooke.
The citizens of Storybrooke were all waiting together in the community center auditorium, waiting for their fairy network of lookouts to report on the battle. The ground had been shaking, like the day of the mine collapse, but it had been doing it for the better part of two hours.
Regina's chest hurt like she was having a heart attack. When she had come into town she immediately delivered Emma's note to Snow and James who held Henry by the shoulder. They said nothing to her, nor she to them, and she walked away to wait alone. Regina now sat in a folding chair, looking out a window, rubbing her chest where it hurt and made her short of breath. She spotted a tiny threesome of fairies, pink, green, and yellow, rushing through the air toward the auditorium at the same time the lookout outside shouted, "Here they come!"
Everyone rushed to the main doors, Regina pinned herself to the window, at first, but then she couldn't stand not knowing a minute longer and pushed through a fire exit, ignoring the alarm that started blaring. "Where's Emma?" she demanded, drawing attention as she rushed toward the crowd gathered around Snow and James waiting to hear the fairies' report.
"Did she get the hat?" James asked.
The green fairy reached into her pocket and plucked out a dark object that began as a growing amorphous blob and then suddenly snapped into the shape of... "The Hat!" shouted most of Storybrooke's citizens.
Regina grabbed the pink fairy out of the air. Snow rushed forward then stumbled to a halt under Regina's glare. She demanded of the sprite in her hand, "Damn it, where's Emma! Is she all right?"
An ambulance siren broke the silence, approaching rapidly. Regina was running before it was even in view. The hospital was just another block further south.
Out of breath, Regina pushed her way through the doors of the hospital and rushed to the end of the long hallway where she saw the gurney being unloaded from the ambulance. Emma's face was mostly obscured by an oxygen mask, and what Regina could see of her blonde hair was matted with blood. The sheet over her lower body was stained red in places and her chest was clearly both armorless and shirtless beneath an array of monitoring pads and wiring. She heard the paramedics reporting to Dr. Whale, but what they said didn't register beyond one fact that spread relief through Regina like a tidal wave: "She's alive." That meant, at least, that Emma's heart hadn't been taken. The wounds were obviously severe, but she was not magically wounded. The charms Regina placed had worked.
Regina hugged herself and stepped back, but kept a watchful eye as the medical team moved into an emergency bay behind a window. Then she pushed up against that window, brow against the cool glass, brown eyes flitting over the entire proceeding willing only one thought, over and over again, Please be all right.
James and Snow, with Henry running ahead, were suddenly beside Regina. "What's going on?" Snow demanded.
"Emma's alive. The Queen of Hearts didn't get her heart." Regina let the relief she felt tip her voice into a rasp behind tear-filled eyes.
"And she got the hat," James said. "The fairies are trying to make it work now."
Dr. Whale stepped out of the emergency bay while the many other medical personnel continued to work on Emma. He looked at James and Snow to give his report. Regina bristled that he didn't look at her, but then turned to the glass again as she heard Emma scream, clearly in pain. Dr. Whale enumerated Emma's injuries, indicated they were arranging some scans for deeper analysis, and then asked if Snow could get the Blue Fairy here. "Quickly," he added.
"What for?" Snow asked. Regina echoed the question in her own head.
"This world's medicine is time-consuming. The Savior doesn't have that much time before... We need a little magic to start the healing, or at least slow the damage."
Regina grabbed him. "I'll do it. What do you need?" He looked alarmed at her offer. James grabbed Regina's arm and pulled her back.
"You will not touch my child. Your magic is dark, witch," Snow argued.
Regina protested, "Emma's tattoos. I did that to protect her from the queen's magic."
"Tattoos?" Snow echoed in bewilderment.
Henry ran to the window, pushing up against the glass. "Tattoos! And they're glowing!"
Regina looked at Emma and saw Henry spoke the truth. Many of the charm marks she had placed on Emma's chest were glowing. She had no idea why. Her own heartbeat thudded loudly in her ears as she mentally thumbed through everything she had ever recalled about the tattoo charms' magic. Her chest grew hot and heavy, a pain started throbbing in her left shoulder radiating down into her hand.
Emma arched off the bed, red-faced with pain and screaming Regina's name. Regina pushed past Dr. Whale and ran to the bedside. She shouldered aside all the other people and grabbed Emma's flailing hands. "Emma! I'm here! I'm here!" She clutched Emma's hands to her chest with both of her own. The alight charms began to pulse, seeming to match the beat of Regina's racing heart as she searched among the blood spatter for the blonde's features. Emma's nose appeared to be broken, and her jaw was misaligned. A mottled purple bruise over broken and rippling skin revealed that Emma's right cheekbone had been shattered, and her eyes were mostly swollen shut. A tracheal tube jutted obscenely from Emma's throat which was also covered in a mottle of blood and bruising.
Henry's voice drew Regina's attention around. "Henry, no, she's... You don't want to see."
"You're glowing, Mom!"
Regina looked down at herself in shock. She now could see that she was indeed glowing. Everywhere her skin was exposed glowed with a very faint gray light shifting toward purple and it was radiating from her to Emma, through the connection of their hands. She grabbed Emma's hands tighter and tried to calm and focus her thoughts. She had so little control of the magic here, but she was desperate for this to work. Regina grit her teeth and issued a demand, willing her magic to focus on the singular goal.
"Henry needs both his mothers, do you hear me, Emma Swan? You will get better." She closed her eyes and bit her tongue as the personal wish tried to push out of her heart, into her throat and out past her lips. This wasn't a time to want anything for herself. "Henry," she whispered intensely. "Henry needs you." She couldn't stop the thought, even though she stopped the sound: I need you.
The glow gradually subsided; Emma was quiet. Still clutching at Emma's hands, Regina was tense, eyes squeezed shut as she tried not to cry. It sounded like someone had thrown a blanket over the entire world, muffling everything to silence. Regina looked up when she no longer heard the monitors registering Emma's vital signs. The lines were flat, but the machines made no sound.
The dam broke on Regina's tears and she sobbed, as she had only done a month ago when Henry's monitor registered his death. Only this time there was no Savior. The Savior was the one in need of saving.
Shrugging off the hands at her back, trying to pull her away, Regina's head sank to Emma's chest, her tears flowing unfettered down her cheeks and over Emma's skin. Sorrow for Emma and for Henry who would no longer have his mother, overwhelmed Regina. Regret she had nothing more to offer filled her and weighted her down until she felt she was drowning. Breathless and tired, she rested her forehead against Emma's still-warm skin and rolled slowly to her cheek, looking up toward Emma's face through her veil of tears. "Emma." She murmured the name over and over again. She could feel her heartbeat throbbing in her temple.
Then suddenly she could hear a single heartbeat under her ear.
Regina gasped and jerked upright. "Emma!" She laid her head against Emma's chest once again, feeling the rise and fall of her ribcage lifting Regina's head slightly with each intake. And the heartbeat sounded stronger.
"Emma!" The world's sounds came crashing back in around Regina, and she heard the monitor signaling Emma's steady heartbeat once again.
A further cacophony erupted as medical personnel flowed around Regina, pushing her aside to examine Emma. "What did you do?" one of them barked at her.
Henry was at Regina's side, grabbing for her hand and looking up at her with a smile. "You saved her," he said. "With magic."
"Regina." The voice was faint but it riveted everyone to the spot, and commanded silence. "Regina," Emma spoke again stronger.
"I'm here, Emma," Regina said quietly from next to Henry. "Henry, too." She held Henry's hand and took the step that returned her to the bedside, looking down into Emma's face. She could just make out one pale green iris searching for her.
"You... wait...ed..." Emma's voice faded with exhaustion.
Emma's lips twitched, making the swollen broken skin open again, dripping blood down Emma's chin. Regina absently wiped it with her fingertips.
A wisp of gray-purple light followed the trail of Regina's fingers. She smiled. This time she let her personal desires into her magic. I love you, she thought with everything she had in her. The wisps became steadily whiter as Regina continued to trace the features of Emma's face. I. Love. You. Bruises faded, skin mended. I love. You. Swelling receded. I love you.And blood vanished as if directly into Regina's fingertips with each touch.
Emma's green eyes blinked, crinkling at the corners as she smiled, without pain this time. She lifted her hand slowly, wavering and weak, toward Regina's face. Regina caught it and cupped it against her cheek. Emma's thumb brushed over the tear tracks on Regina's skin.
No words seemed necessary.
The touch of true love's magic had said it all.