Title: The Tainted Swan

Rating: T (may change to M)

Pairing: Emma Swan/Regina Mills

Warnings/Triggers: This is actually one of the darkest pieces I've written; theres connotations of rape, domestic abuse, violence and suicide. There will be additional warnings in further chapters for anything else that may come about.

Summary: Two years after Pan's curse is cast, Emma and Henry find themselves living in New York. Emma falls into an abusive and controlling relationship and slowly begins to lose hope. Will Regina break Elphaba's hold and rescue her damsel in distress?

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own Once Upon a Time and probably never will.

A/N: Hello all! This is just a prologue for the story so you all have some sort of idea in your head of who Emma has become when the story actually begins. Hopefully the first proper chapter will be up within the next two days and it will be a lot longer than this, I just thought that if I tried putting too much into it, that it would get boring. I hope you all like this and would love to hear your thoughts on this little prologue!


It had been two years since Pan's curse had hit Storybrooke and Emma and Henry still had no idea who they really were. They had been living false lives for those two entire years and didn't even know it. When the curse hit, Emma drove herself and Henry to New York with the idea that they were starting a fresh in a new city, just because Emma was tired of living in little seaside towns that were unknown to anyone who didn't actually live there. But that wasn't it. No. Emma wanted love. Emma needed love. For some reason, when they began her journey she hoped that it would just be her and Henry, but then something hit her; her heart felt empty. Henry was able to fill it in some aspects, of course, but there was something missing. She needed to find real love.

When the two first arrived in New York, they lived in a hotel for at least a month until Emma had found a secure job doing what she does best so they could afford to actually buy their own apartment in the city. Within a week, Emma was working for a bail bonds company in the centre of the city. After spending her first week being forced to sit behind a desk, Emma begged her employer to let her take up her lead. It had taken two hours for her to find the 32 year old and in all honesty, her office hadn't expected her to return at all. When her boss finally saw her potential after finding all four of her leads in a single week, Emma was given a raise and thus became her first step in saving for an apartment.

As soon as they were settled into their new apartment and Henry was actually enjoying school, he encouraged his mother to start dating. He knew how lonely she was becoming and couldn't help but to push the woman into trying to find herself some happiness; after all, she had spent the majority of his life as a single mother. She had been on a few dates in the past, but they never worked out. That was until her first date in New York.

Every day Emma had made a habit of grabbing a coffee at the coffee shop on her block for her long journey to work. That was where she met Ryan. He was handsome, polite, kind and always made the effort to slip in a quick flirt in their morning conversations as they both waited for their coffees. It had taken him only seven short mornings to pluck up the courage to ask the blonde on a date, and without thinking, Emma instantly said yes. He wasn't the type of person she would usually go for, but he seemed too good to be true. Ryan was definitely someone she could take home to meet Henry.

Their first date panned out perfectly. Ryan flirted with Emma, and Emma flirted right back. He had turned up with a single white rose for the blonde and pulled out her chair for her to sit. He was the perfect gentleman - or so it seemed. The day after their first date, he called her to ask if she would be willing to go on a second date with him in two days. Emma couldn't find it in herself to say no, but the only thing was; she didn't actually want to say no. She wanted to say yes. She wanted to go on dates with Ryan and she wanted more than anything for him to meet Henry.

Within a month after their first date, Ryan had met Henry and the two quickly became good friends, so for the first time in a long time, Emma felt content. Not only did she have a well paid job that she loved, but she also had her son and a man that seemed to be willing to fight for both her and her son. Three months later, Ryan had moved in and Emma finally had some form of family that she had always wanted. That was until Ryan changed.

For the five months that Emma had known Ryan, she believed him to be a real gentleman. He was always polite, he never swore in front of Henry, he always held the door open for her, he would never let her pay for anything when they were out together and he would never fail to buy her flowers at least once a week. But clearly perfection and real gentlemen never actually existed. It all began when Ryan decided to bring up Emma's job. He hated the fact that she was in such a dangerous line of work and couldn't bare to see her get hurt.

"Babe, I think you should quit your job," Ryan said, breaking the silence between them as they snuggled together on the couch to watch a movie after Henry had gone to bed.

"Why the hell would I do that? You know how much I love it." Emma replied. She had never really talked about her work to Ryan, but he knew what she did and why she did it.

"You need to quit, Em. It's not safe." He gave her a concerned stare when she hesitated with her reply. "Emma, on Monday you're going to hand in your notice and you're going to be a stay-at-home mom, okay? My job pays well enough to pay for the three of us, so that's what's going to happen."

"Hold up, since when did you ever have a say in what I do with my career and life?" She pushed herself of Ryan and stared at him. Where did this come from? "I'm not quitting my job. I love it, I'm safe and it doesn't get Henry into any harm. That's all I care about."

"You are going to quit that job whether you like it or not." He hissed, grabbing Emma around the neck, blocking her airways. "Stubborn bitch."

Emma squirmed beneath his grasp in an attempt to gasp for the air that he was depriving her of with his thick hand wrapped tightly around her throat. "Ryan..." She breathed, hoping that he would let her go. But that's when everything went black.

She woke up hours later laying on her couch with her hands tied behind her back. When she realised the situation she was in, the first thing she did was to think about Henry. If Ryan had done this to her, what had he done to Henry? Her frantic mind covered every possibility as she attempted to push herself up from the couch. Every part of her hurt. Her arms hurt, her head hurt and her legs hurt. Until she sat up completely, she hadn't noticed that she was completely nude from the waist down. Her breathing became ragged at the thought and fought away every tear that filled her eyes. She couldn't cry about this now. She needed to make sure Henry was okay.

After tearing her hands from it's bonds behind her back and finding a pair of sweatpants on the pile of clean laundry behind the couch, Emma quickly and quietly made her way to Henry's room. She peered around the door to find him sleeping as peacefully as she had left him. Thankfully Ryan hadn't touched him. Her breath was still ragged as she made her way into the bathroom to clean herself up and to actually think about what Ryan had done to her. There was no doubt in her mind that he had raped her. Why would she have been missing the bottom half of her clothing if he hadn't? For the first time in her life, Emma was, without a doubt, absolutely terrified.

She closed the bathroom door behind herself and fell against it, landing in a heap on the floor. The angry bruises on her arms began to haunt her. She couldn't let Henry see them and she most certainly couldn't let Ryan see her defeated. As the tears burnt her cheeks, Emma started to feel a fire burning up inside her stomach; a fire of pure rage.