A/N: Here we are! The final chapter. Thank you guys so, so much for cheering me on and sticking with this story to the end. I've never had such an outpouring for one of my stories before. You've all been fantastic, and I love you guys for it.
So, without further ado, here's the final part of Support Pillar.
Part VII: Regina
"It's nice to have family in town."
Who knew it would vanish so quickly?
Gods, she's only just lost her sister this morning.
Regina chokes down the sob that threatens to claw its way up her throat. She's curled up on her bed, only marginally aware of Henry standing in the doorway, staring at her worriedly. Right now, most of her concentration is going into not crying.
She can't cry over a relationship that wasn't even a week old. Over maybe days of happiness. Over a man that she was only just getting to know, even though it felt like longer than that (she doesn't count their interactions in the Enchanted Forest). It's pathetic. It's stupid. Why cry over this? She wasn't even in love.
You could've been, and for a moment she could swear that Henry spoke aloud. But he hasn't; he's left the doorway, thumping down the stairs. She remembers him saying that he was going to make her some hot chocolate and jolts herself, berating herself because what kind of mother is she, letting her son take care of her instead of the other way around? Regina tries to stand up, but it's like something has drained her of all her energy, leaving her with nothing except the desire to cry.
And she can't because it's ridiculous.
Henry returns a moment later with a steaming mug in his hands, gently passing it to her and coaxing her into a sitting position and seating himself next to her. They lean against one another for the time being, while she sips at her cocoa and he offers silent support. It almost hurts, the love that she feels for her son at the moment, but it's nearly overshadowed by her shame at being so weak.
She finds herself thinking of how Zelena would probably be laughing derisively at her right now, having gotten her revenge— just not in the way that she expected. It doesn't help at all, because she's also mourning the missed opportunity that she almost had with her sibling. Not that she was optimistic enough to believe that she and Zelena would have instantly bonded, but there were other aspects of her life at the time that allowed her to hope.
Hope is for fools.
Better, she thinks, to stick with what she has. Henry is beside her. Her beautiful boy, who's starting to grow up, is being here for her, even though she knows that he doesn't have to be. She has him back after a year of torture without him, and that outshines everything else.
"Thank you," she murmurs, handing him her empty mug.
"You're welcome," Henry answers. "Are you gonna try to sleep now?"
Regina smiles at him. "I'll try. You should get some sleep too; it's late."
He nods, but the worry in his eyes doesn't leave.
"Good night," he bids her, and leaves the room. He already knows that she's not going to bother getting ready for bed.
"Good night," she says. She lays back down and prepares to spend the next few hours of darkness staring at the wall.
It takes her a while to realize that it's all kind of… numb, really.
She spends a week in her house before she can't stand to stay in its sterile environment any longer. Regina eventually comes to see that what she's been feeling hasn't exactly been pain. More like shock, or maybe disbelief. That her chance at a happy ending was ripped from her once again in spite of her truly trying to be different from her old self. That part of her wants to rage against everything, to rip everyone apart with her magic and throw her head back in laughter. And she briefly lets that part out in the guest bedroom, feeling immense satisfaction when she tears into the walls, the bed, the table. The window shatters, and she doesn't even flinch.
Afterwards, though, there's just more emptiness, as well as the mess that she now has to explain to her son.
When she finally does leave, the air is pleasant in her lungs. She and Henry walk side by side, in a way that they haven't been able to do since before Emma came to Storybrooke (his 'tour' is another event that she doesn't count in her mind). He seems happy that she's finally getting outside once again, although he seems anxious as well.
The pleasant mood of the day is ruined by seeing Robin and his family in the diner. It doesn't help when Snow catches up with her, being so painfully earnest that it's impossible for Regina to snap at her. The kindness in the other woman's eyes nearly breaks Regina right there and then, along with the insistence that Regina is family. She has to escape then, because the feeling from before is scrabbling up her throat again—
The next thing she knows, she's leaning against Henry, muffled sobs going into his shoulder. Pathetic, she thinks of herself, and ridiculous, but this is the first time that she's truly feeling the pain and oh god, it hurts.
It hurts to have to see Robin with his family, especially once she realized that it's a family she's ripped apart in the past. That family is a symbol of everything that she will never have— that which she hoped to have, with Daniel, but that was torn from her as well. So she doesn't stop the inhuman noises that come from her throat as she cries. Her surroundings are a haze, but she mentally clutches at Henry's warm hand on her back like it's a lifeline.
When the flood slows, she sits up and wipes away the tears. Henry watches her.
"I think you're going to be okay," he says.
"You think so?" Her voice is still raspy.
"Yeah, I do." He pulls her into a tight hug, one that Regina returns gratefully. "I love you, Mom."
"I love you too."
But his words are a wake-up call: she isn't Henry's only family. He has Emma, and Mary Margaret, and David. He's been with her for a week now and hasn't made any attempts to contact them in all that time. Even though she isn't feeling very charitable towards Emma right now, she knows the pain of not seeing her son. He needs to spend some time with his birth mother, too.
For the moment, all she can do is close her eyes and try to swallow the pain.
The idea first hits her after another visit from Charming. He always makes sure to keep most conversation between them light, so she's not sure why she reached this conclusion after speaking with him. She slides her phone away from her, sick of staring blankly at her itinerary and instead deciding that maybe today she could go home early. Her decision made, she packs up the little she's brought with her.
Moving isn't a notion that she's ever entertained before. Her house had always been satisfying to her, and she's always liked Storybrooke— she finds it infinitely preferable to the Enchanted Forest. But suddenly it's not enough; she's only ever heard stories about all of the different places in the Land Without Magic. Maybe it's time she went and actually saw some of them.
She's seated in the living room with her laptop on the couch next to her, browsing websites and mumbling to herself. There are several destinations that appeal to her, but for the most part she can't really settle on any of them. It's probably the twinge of guilt that she already feels; just a little more than a week ago, she was berating Emma for wanting to take her son away to New York with her, and now she's thinking of running away herself. She's going to have to talk to him about it.
The doorbell rings, startling her out of her thoughts. When she answers it, the last person she was expecting is standing there.
"Hello, Regina," Marian says. "Can we talk?"
Regina stiffens, automatically wiping any emotions from her face. "Of course. Please, come in."
The other woman accepts her offer with a gracious nod, her mouth in a firm line. Regina shakes her head to herself, wondering what she could possibly want. Her guess is that Marian wants to discuss the finer details of the job suggestion that Regina had for her. That, or she's comes to ask about accommodations other than the forest for the Merry Men. There are many possibilities, but Marian chooses the most unexpected one.
"I met your son today," she announces.
Regina lifts a brow. "Henry." She thinks of her wonderful boy, who has been so amazing and warm and loving towards her these past few weeks, in a way that he hasn't in such a long time. "What of it?"
"I guess 'met' isn't really the right word." Marian chuckles ruefully. "The first time I asked him a question in the convenience store, and the other he defended you quite fiercely. I remember you from your days of dragging me around from village to village, savagely mocking me while I screamed myself hoarse for help. And I can barely reconcile that woman with the one who must have raised a boy to be so…"
It appears that Marian can't find the words. Oddly enough, Regina understands.
She hadn't recognized Marian on the spot at that moment, but after realizing just who she was, she's been able to conjure up faint images. She remembers empty laughter and a burlap sack, and the hoarse shouts that she always delighted in. She remembers that after a few days of it the woman had been stoic and stubborn, refusing to give in. She'd looked into the eyes of the Evil Queen without fear, and for that she'd gained a tiny amount of respect.
Then she escaped, and from that day onwards she faded from Regina's mind. Merely another of the countless victims from the throng of Snow White supporters.
"There are some things I would take back," she says at last. "That is one of them. But there are others I will not."
This time she is referring to the curse and her own foolish persistence in getting her revenge in Snow White. Because no matter how terrible or cruel any of those things were, she thinks of a world without Henry in it and believes that it would be much worse. For the moment, she can only be grateful that she failed in her quest; she's now part of a family that stubbornly refuses to let her go, and the tiniest bit of her is happy with them.
"Okay," Marian says, looking away. "I merely wanted to say that Henry has… somewhat helped me to understand the many long years between you and the Evil Queen. Sometimes, when I look at you, I'm even able to see it."
Marian looks back at her, and Regina is startled because she seems almost fascinated.
"I'm able to see Regina."
There were no remains to bury, but Regina has managed to construct something of a grave anyway.
It's just a small spot in her vault, with a single candle that she keeps lit and a simple engraving. She figures that no one else will want to visit the grave, so she doesn't have it put in a public place. It reminds her of the day she buried her mother, only then there had been an aching feeling of having her only family ripped away. This time, there is a stronger-than-expected sense of regret, but it's not quite the same pain as before.
Sometimes, when she's feeling especially foolish, she thinks about what might have been. She thinks about having Zelena in her house. Sure they'd stay away from each other at first… but later, who knew? She pictures them having quiet talks late at night, or bickering good-naturedly, or whatever sisters are meant to do. Not that she would know, thanks to her mother.
It is in those moments (she is an idiot) that she feels the hollow ache build up worse than before. She thinks that everything might hurt a little less if Zelena's suicide hadn't happened on the very same day. She can't find it in her to understand it; her sister hadn't exactly been open to a second chance, but neither had she completely scorned and turned it down. She'd seen her sister when Rumple tried to kill her, too. She's seen the fear in her eyes.
Why, Zelena? I thought I understood you. I've been in your position, but I've never wanted to die.
(Well, now she knows that she's lying to herself. Because as much as she denies it, a sleeping curse is a bit like death, and she'd been completely willing to use one on herself. That's different, though, than admitting that you'll never have your vengeance. That's the pain of losing the only thing she loved. That's a monster in her chest, ripping her heart in half. Even this does not compare.)
There are days when she sheds tears for her mother's fate. This is not one of them.
Instead, she sinks to the floor, heedless of the dust covering the tiles. Her vault is dark and silent, something that she finds welcome in her current state of mind. Most of the light comes from the flickering of the candle over her sister's grave. She hugs her knees to her chest and swallows several times, ignoring her phone when it buzzes with a text message.
Regina doesn't know how long she stays like this. It could be forever, or it could just be fifteen minutes. When she finally emerges from her solitude, it's to find the sun in the midst of setting, a rare orange glow bathing the trees in the cemetery. A cool breeze flutters the leaves over her head, and the entire sight makes her momentarily entranced. There have never been many moments in her life where she stops to appreciate the beauty of the world, but this seems appropriate.
It only strengthens her resolve to go away, though. Because here, in Storybrooke, this illusion of peace will only be shattered the moment she encounters someone else again. In that instant, her guard will snap back into place and she will be peering through the cracks of it, too afraid to come out of that protective shell.
Regina didn't cry once in her silent vigil over Zelena, but she feels a tear slip out now.
Mary Margaret has somehow managed to loop her arm through hers, and though Regina rolls her eyes about a million times, she doesn't try to pull away. They've left Neal with David and Henry (and who knows how that will go, but she at least knows that Charming will die before letting any harm come to his son) because Mary Margaret has declared that a wardrobe change is needed for her and that she needs Regina for fashion advice.
They both know that this isn't true, but she lets herself get dragged along anyway. Emma had heard the word 'shopping' and practically bolted out of the door, shouting something about patrols before her footsteps were thundering on the stairs. She's still somewhat cold towards the Charmings' daughter, but she can't deny that she's been more open to her since the incident in the bar.
"So!" Mary Margaret exclaims brightly. "I… actually wanted to talk to you about something."
"And what's that?"
It doesn't escape Regina's notice that they have yet to approach a single clothes shop.
"Well… my husband and I have been having long conversations about this— like, hours-long, meaningful ones and this decision was not made lightly in any way. We talked to Emma, to Archie, even to Henry and they all agreed that it would be for the best."
Regina's starting to get suspicious. "What would be?"
Snow's smile is brilliant, and completely unaffected by Regina's skepticism. She swings around in front of Regina, forcing the both of them to stop walking, and takes Regina's hands in her own in a similar way to when she'd first spoken to Regina after the night at the diner.
"Regina," she says. "We would like you to be Neal's godmother."
The request sends her reeling. Just like that, she feels all of her defenses fall away at Mary Margaret's words, and her hands go limp in Snow's grasp. She manages to keep her jaw from hitting the ground, but even so she can't seem to form any coherent words right now. Why? What brought this on? What kind of a request is this? She feels like a decision on this should have been made long ago.
"We've actually been discussing this since we first found out I was pregnant," Mary Margaret admits. "When you defeated Zelena and saved him, you were definitely bumped up higher on the list. But what clinched it for me was seeing you hold him for the first time."
Regina can barely stand to look at her, with her eyes filled with that strange emotion. "I know that you would cherish and protect him with everything you have if Charming and I were somehow gone. I know that our baby could not be in safer hands. So I'm asking you, Regina. We're asking you."
The word is gasped out, like it is ripped from her throat without her consent, but inwardly she is panicking. No, no, no, this can't be happening— she's going to leave, she told Henry so, and he's given her his blessing to go. There's nothing else tying her to this town. She thinks of tiny baby Neal, probably giggling adorably while Henry or David play with him, and thinks about what this means: that Mary Margaret is trusting Regina with her son's life.
Mary Margaret's face saddens. "Regina—"
Regina rips her hand away from Snow's. "I am not worth this," she all but snarls, ignoring the pleading look on Snow's face. "You may invite me over for dinners and pretend like I'm a part of your perfect little family when we both know that I'm nothing more than a black stain on it. I comply for Henry's sake, but I'm meant to be alone in this world. Don't pretend I have a place with you."
She turns to leave, keeping her head down and ignoring the curious (in some cases alarmed) looks, but Mary Margaret's voice stops her.
"You do," she insists, strong and clear, much like the way she is when she's being Snow White the queen. "You may not believe it yet, but you do. Just… please, take a few days to consider it."
Regina closes her eyes, tilts her face to the sky and thinks about how much she wants to scream. Screw all the people standing around them, whose attention would be drawn to the noise. Screw the terrified or mocking looks that would be sent her way— she feels like the walls are closing in on her, and she doesn't even know why. She hears the footsteps indicating that Mary Margaret is walking away from her, and it hits her then.
They want her.
Not out of some sense of obligation, or pity. Not because of her penchant for throwing herself in harm's way for the people she cares about, either. They all look at her and they see a person, not some evil witch who destroyed their lives. They see… what? A cousin? A mother? A sibling?
A smaller hand slips into hers then, and she looks down and nearly sobs in relief at the sight of Henry there. He squeezes quickly before wrapping his arm around her, not quite fitting it around her waist. She turns into him and crouches him, embracing her son fully and using his presence to push down the growing discontent. He supports her decision to leave for New York, and that's all she needs right now.
"So she told you, huh?" he asks.
Regina sighs. "Yes, she did."
"You know…" Henry pats her back a bit, almost making her laugh. "You can still be his godmother long distance. It's actually pretty normal for most families. I had a friend in New York who has godparents in California."
Regina nods her head, unwilling to speak. She knows that she's overreacted slightly to Mary Margaret's request, but the sudden faith and trust in her had been almost blinding. Even now her mind is still racing with the implications. The other side of her is fighting to keep her turmoil over Zelena beneath the surface. What she feels over the loss of her sister is both more and less than grief, and it makes her feel ashamed.
"We should probably start looking at apartments," Henry says. "Or maybe I could ask Emma not to sell ours. It's pretty nice there."
Regina doesn't much feel like asking for anything of Emma's, but she smiles and nods anyway because she knows that Henry is trying to do what he can to help her.
"Speaking of New York," she says. "Do you think you'll miss it there?"
Henry shrugs. "A little. I did have a lot of friends at school. They were great. But this is home. And I think I can make some friends here, too. I still e-mail some of them sometimes, so I'm staying in touch. Don't worry," he adds, "I'm not telling any of them that all my relatives are actually fairy tale characters."
Regina remembers the mess with Greg and Tamara and winces. "I should hope not."
"I can… come visit you sometimes, right?"
Startled, Regina looks at him. She's shocked to see that, for a brief moment, Henry looks like a nervous little boy all over again, and realizes that he's been building up the courage to ask her this for a while now. A wave of sadness washes over her at that thought, and she takes his face in her hands, much the way she did before she used True Love's Kiss.
"I promised you I wouldn't let you go away again, didn't I?" she tells him softly. "Of course you can. Any time you'd like. I'd love it."
And she knows, by the grin that bursts forth on his face in response, that he will too.
She's not leaving.
She's not leaving, and in the rush of that decision, she calls Snow and lets her know of her acceptance of her place in Neal's life. Mary Margaret is overjoyed and begins to speak to her, but before she can get very far Regina hangs the phone up and lets a hand brush over her cheek. If she imagines hard enough, she thinks she can still feel a warmth there. She thinks she can still catch his scent.
Regina lets herself think for a moment, leaning against the wall. She never expected to have everything change with just one conversation, but change has happened.
It's as though a great weight has been lifted from her chest. It's one thing to be avoiding him for weeks— avoiding the inevitable pain of a confrontation between them, because surely that was what would have happened. It's another to finally have a confrontation, only to discover that he is the one that's been feeling guilty, and that he wishes to earn her forgiveness and that he wants the two of them to move forward together. It fills her with a warmth that she hasn't felt since Marian came back.
Her mind wanders to her last moment with him: the way he pulled her into him, suddenly clinging to her like a dying man. She remembers how much of a relief it was to briefly lean against him, and how much she's missed simply being in his presence. She tries not to shiver at the memory, her hand once again lifting to her cheek.
Regina had been convinced that he despised her. That, or he simply wanted nothing to do with her now that Marian was back.
Today, she's learned that something close to the opposite is true. He wants to pick up where they left off. Or, if not that, at least mend the distance that has grown between them. Regina's half convinced that this is all some strange, too-good-to-be-true dream that she's having and that any minute now she'll wake up, but the painful pounding of her heart reminds her that it's all too real.
Hope is fluttering within her, like a bird with broken wings.
(Damn him. It's not like she can afford to hope again.)
Her sleep these days is dreamless. No nightmares of Daniel, or her parents. No horrifying images of Henry's too-still body after Pan took his heart; not even the nightmare she sometimes has of everyone she cares about turning on her has returned.
Well, that's not completely true. There is one that refuses to leave her alone, but thankfully she only has to deal with it about once a week.
Regina seems to be making her way back uphill again, these days. Her relationship with Emma is improving, bit by bit. Henry comes to stay with her every other week, as they had agreed. She's spending more and more time with the Charmings when her work allows for it, and throwing herself into actually being a good mayor proves to be surprisingly therapeutic.
She gives the green light for a town-wide reading program, organized by Marian and helped along by Belle. Henry states his intention to participate, along with many of the other children and even a large percentage of the adults. Regina can admit that Marian seems to be in her element at the library, guiding anyone who visits with a surprising amount of fervor and enthusiasm. She still gets a look on her face that Regina recognizes sometimes, but she is recovering.
Regina and Robin are tentatively dating at this point. Mostly casual outings, sometimes in the company of Roland or Henry or both, but there is the occasional, more intimate setting. Those dates are treated with care from the both of them, with restrained touches and searching glances. She waits three weeks before she invites him into her bed, this time with her being the one to take him into her arms once they make it inside.
That night she does have a nightmare, and he notices. He says nothing about it, though.
"Hey," Emma calls, plunking herself down across from her. "I got a text from Henry; he says he'll meet us here for lunch in ten minutes. Thanks for coming, by the way; I know I'm still… not really your favorite person."
"Please," Regina snorts, but it lacks her usual sharpness. "You'll never be my favorite person."
"Nope," Emma agrees. She gives a small smile. "Always be Henry, won't it?"
Regina, in spite of herself, smiles back.
"Had to arrest this guy who was drunk off his ass last night," sighs Emma. "He kept trying to follow Belle around. Thankfully, I got to him before Gold killed him. Although to be honest, it seemed like Belle was about ready to kill him herself if he didn't leave her alone. He can spend a few days in a cell eating prison food, and then maybe he'll think twice about hanging out at The Rabbit Hole too often."
Regina raises an eyebrow. "And you're telling me this because…?"
"I'm about five seconds away from turning him into a toad. Or trying to, and who knows what my half-assed attempt at shape-shifting is going to produce."
The mayor rolls her eyes. Truth be told, the guy sounds like a good-for-nothing, and she's never had much patience for those kinds of people before. Why Emma seems to think that she'll have a solution, she doesn't know. Henry arrives a few moments later, but the real surprise is when the bell to Granny's tinkles and two more people step inside.
"Mama, can we sit with 'Gina?"
The three women present exchange slightly uneasy glances. Regina imagines that this is going to get rather awkward, but hopefully Emma and Marian will have a friendly enough conversation that she'll be able to stay out of it. She gives Emma a tiny nod, smiling at Roland when he clambers up next to her. He grins at her before calling back to Marian insistently.
"Sit next to me, Mama!"
For some reason, Henry's watching her with a knowing smile. Regina sends him a silent question, to which his grin only grows wider.
Thankfully, most of the lunch really isn't that awkward at all. Roland babbles almost all the way through, something that has all three of them trying not to laugh, or smiling ridiculously. Regina notices the way Marian looks at Roland— like he's the greatest gift the universe could give her, like he's the center of her world, and her respect for the other woman is heightened even more. She can't seem to keep the smile off her face as Roland speaks, either.
That is, until he starts talking about the Wicked Witch.
"And she was mean and she tried to take Snow White's baby, but— but then 'Gina stopped her. 'Cause daddy says that 'Gina's a hero." And with those words, Roland turns his little face up to her, brown eyes sparkling. Regina swallows, something akin to panic or fear threatening to surface. Across from her, Henry frowns, and Emma eyes her warily.
Marian, however, simply looks impressed.
"Did she now?" she asks, looking over at Regina with a knowing glint in her eye.
Regina stands abruptly, mumbling about needing to use the restroom. The mention of Zelena— a topic that she's managed to avoid thinking about until now— has her spiraling out of control once again. Marian moves out of the booth to let her by slowly, the same look on Emma's face now appearing on hers. Regina ignores it and flees from them, moving right past the restroom to the back door, and vanishing out into the sunlight.
"Keeping company with the dead, I see."
Regina makes no move to acknowledge him. She leans against the doors of her vault and stares straight ahead. The moon is filtering through the tree branches above her, casting everything around her into an eerie light. Robin sits on the steps beside her; as always, he is patient with her, not forcing her to speak too much. She thinks about her sister, twenty feet beneath her with only a candle to honor her, and breathes out.
"They're worried about you, you know," he tells her. "Roland's afraid that he's upset you."
Regina's heart twinges at the thought of upsetting Roland. "It wasn't his fault."
"But something he said bothered you. Both Emma and Henry were of that opinion."
Regina doesn't know if she can tell him— doesn't know if he would care. If he would scoff at her fears, at her grief. She feels the chill from the air settling through her skin, reminding her that she shed her jacket after getting here. She's wearing her blue dress, and it's not exactly resilient against the cold.
"Something's been troubling you for some time now," Robin notes. "There was that nightmare you had—"
"You were calling for Zelena."
And with that, all of her bitter feelings come rushing forth.
"Yes," she spits, turning on him with venom on her tongue. "I was calling out for Zelena. I was watching her die— watching as she kept taking her own life, in various ways, and laughing at me while she did it. And I felt no triumph, watching her like that. I didn't feel like I'd won. Talking to her at the prison— giving her another chance— that was winning. But this? What she did terrifies me."
Regina hates how his eyes search hers, nothing but tenderness there. "And if she can't come back from it, then what does that say about you?"
She throws her head back and laughs. It's deep, resounding, and empty; a part of her old self.
"It's selfish," she says. "It's horribly, horribly selfish. I wish I had a chance with my sister, but more than that she chose to give up. I've been there, Robin. I've been there, and I don't understand it because I went on, even though I didn't have anyone to encourage me. She… she did, but—"
Regina chokes, flinching when she feels something wet hit the back of her hand.
He reaches for her, and though she accepts it, she doesn't sink into him at first. She stays rigid, refusing to acknowledge his comfort even as he begins rubbing her arms, attempting to warm her up.
"You know," he says quietly. "It's alright to be afraid, Regina."
"Not for me," she murmurs.
His mouth covers her unexpectedly, like he is trying to give her warmth and love and reassurance all at the same time. It's almost too much, but she allows herself to take it from him greedily. The mist from their breath mingles together when they part, unwilling to move too far from each other. Regina wonders if this is what it means to be soulmates— to be unable to do anything but give complete understanding to the other.
She doesn't have the nightmare again after that.
"So," Henry says casually. "Life is pretty good right now, isn't it?"
Regina smiles. "When your family isn't getting on my nerves, I'm inclined to agree."
"Our family, Mom. Don't deny it."
She tucks him into her side, laughing. "Okay, fine. Our family. But don't tell them I said that. Especially not Mary Margaret; she'd never let me hear the end of it."
"Your secret's safe with me," Henry says.
There's a loud cheer from inside; the two of them look back at the party, where Neal has just begun to crawl, with Roland cheering him on and the adults clapping. There's a swell of something inside her that she doesn't expect.
"What's say we go inside and watch my godson crawl?" she suggests.
Henry hurries back in first, his voice joining the excited ones already jabbering away. Regina, however, takes a moment to look out over Storybrooke. It occurs to her, then, that for once she might— just might— actually be happy.
Regina smiles, then turns to join her family.