AN: Thank you all for continuing to read, review, favorite and follow.
Chapter Summary: Emma faces her attackers. Final showdown.
Keep Me Grounded
Emma checked her watch for what felt like the hundredth time. Regina should've been there already, she couldn't figure out what was taking her so long. The diner started filling up with people, people that had come from the town hall meeting. Her parents, Regina, and the ones that had volunteered to help were all absent. The feeling did not sit well with her. Something was wrong, she could feel it. Checking her phone she saw no new messages. She dropped her phone as pain shot through her chest.
"Ma, you okay?" Henry was by her side immediately.
"Regina." She whispered. The pain worsened. She quickly stood up and rushed out of the diner. She ran in the direction of the town hall until she spotted the group standing in the middle of the street. She clutched her chest as the pain worsened.
"Regina." She screamed. The group parted to reveal two men still within arm's length of Regina. She froze. Images of her torture hit her as she faced her captors. "I'm safe." She assured herself.
"Emma." Snow rushed to her daughter's side pulling her away from her kidnappers at the same time adding distance between her and Regina. She shook her head to clear it. She needed to get to Regina. She was safe she knew that but Regina was not.
"Get away from her." She snapped with courage she didn't know she possessed. When the men showed no sign of moving her courage was replaced by fear and anger. "I SAID GET AWAY FROM HER!" She screamed flinging the men into a nearby car.
"Regina!" She knelt down pulling the brunette into her arms checking her for apparent injuries.
"Emma." Keeping her eyes open was becoming harder with each passing second, she wished she could wipe the tears that ran down Emma's cheeks, wished to go back to when they'd first woken up that morning, stayed in bed like Emma had wanted. "I'm sorry."
"You're gonna be okay." She cupped Regina's cheek in her hand. "You have to be. Just stay with me. No no no, Regina stay with me." She pleaded as Regina's eyes drooped shut. "Dr. Whale what's wrong with her? Help her." She yelled for the doctor.
Dr. Whale moved to examine her. "I'm sorry Emma but I don't know what caused this, physically she appears fine."
Emma glared at him. "Clearly she's not fine." She snapped redirecting her attention to the woman in her arms. "Regina." She shook her. "Regina come on wake up." She slapped at her face, still nothing. "WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?" She screamed at the men that were now held up by Leroy and David. Magic coursed through her body becoming more powerful as her anger grew. "WHAT DID YOU DO?" Neither of the men answered. She stood up setting Regina down gently. A light glow emitted from her eyes, slowly spreading all over her body. The glow darkened with each step she took towards the men. "TELL ME." She was only a few feet from them now.
"The bracelet." Emma recognized the man as the one who'd helped her escape. She couldn't figure out why he was still with Adam. She'd hoped he'd had a change of heart since he'd helped her. She didn't have time to question him. Not now. Not when Regina was dying.
"SHUT UP MATT." Adam yelled struggling against David.
Emma stopped her course turning back to Regina. She needed the Blue Fairy.
"What am I doing here?" The Blue Fairy appeared before her. "Emma, did you summon me?"
Emma looked up confused. If she did she hadn't done it consciously. "I don't know. It doesn't matter. You need to help Regina." She ushered the fairy towards Regina kneeling beside her. "Get the bracelet off."
The Blue Fairy moved her wand over Regina's body several times. "I don't understand. The bracelet should be coming off."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that I can't get the bracelet off." The fairy tried again without success.
"FIND A WAY!" Emma yelled pulling Regina back in her arms the glow fading as she rocked her. The Blue Fairy ran her wand across Regina one more time with no luck.
"You can't take the bracelet off, she put it on willingly." It was Matt again. "It's not possible, it was altered and can't be removed by magic. It'll take her magic and once that's depleted it will take her life force and only then will it come off." His eyes filled with tears. He truly believed the woman was evil but seeing Emma suffer once again at his hands crushed him. "Emma, I am sorry for my hand in this."
Emma ignored his apology, the pain in her chest growing worse. "Please hold on Regina." She continued to rock the woman holding onto her tightly. "Rumpelstiltskin!" Emma yelled and within seconds he appeared.
"Gold!" Snow pulled him towards Regina. "The bracelet is killing her. We can't get it off, she put it on willingly."
Rumple knelt down taking Regina's bracelet bearing hand into his waving his other hand over it. "I'm sorry dearie, there is nothing I can do." The bracelet remained as it was.
"No, no. Please, there has to be something you can do, I'll make whatever deal, please you can't let her die." Emma begged.
"I'm sorry Emma, there is nothing I can do." He shook his head and stepped back.
"Regina please don't leave me." She rested her cheek on top of Regina's head as a sob escaped her. "Damn it Regina you promised everything would be okay. Please, think of Henry. What am I supposed to tell him?"
"Mom!" Henry screamed running towards them.
"Regina, if there was ever a time for you to get up and fireball someone it's now. Please fight. Fight for me. For Henry."
"Mom!" Henry fought against Ruby as she held onto him. "What happened? What's wrong with my Mom?" Tears fell from his face. "Ma! What happened? What's wrong with mom?"
"Emma." Snow called for her daughter her own tears falling.
Emma let out a gut wrenching sob as she eyed the bracelet in her mother's hand. Emma just shook her head. This couldn't be happening. This was not part of the plan. They were supposed to be having dinner right now. Not this. This was supposed to be over. "It's not supposed to be like this. I love you Regina. I love you and I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. I'm so sorry." She pulled Regina closer placing a kiss on her head. She looked up at her son's tear stained face and motioned for him. "Come here Henry." Henry shook Ruby's arms off of him and ran to his mother's open arm. He curled himself in his mother's side laying his head on Regina's chest as he cried. The pain in Emma's chest became excruciating as she listened to her son cry for his mother. A laugh drew her from her grief. Anger simmered inside her.
"We've rid the world of a great evil. We've saved countless lives." Adam wished he'd had more time with the queen but this would have to do, her death would have to be enough. Emma stood up leaving Regina in Henry's arms.
"Emma." Snow tried to intercept her daughter. Emma moved her mother aside and continued towards the men fury glowing from her eyes. "This is all your fault." She glared at them. Ruby, Gold and the Blue Fairy tried to stop her progress towards them only to be pushed away. "You did this." She spit out. She was within arm's reach of both men now. With a wave of the hand Leroy and David were sent back several feet. "You killed her." The air around them thinned, both men struggled to breath.
"We did everyone a favor." Adam defended. "She is evil, she will always be evil."
"SHUT UP!" Emma yelled and instantly both men fell to their knees. Adam screamed as he fell.
"Mom." Henry lifted his head. "Mom." He called again.
"She's gone Henry. I'm so sorry." Snow comforted her grandson.
"No, no she's not. MOM!" He shook her. "You've gotta get up." He needed his mother to wake up before his birth mother did something she'd regret.
"Henry, sweetheart." Snow pulled him to her.
"She's not dead." He moved out of her arms. "Feel for yourself." He took her hand and placed it on her his adoptive mothers chest.
"Henry." Snow's eyes grew wide. Henry smiled and held onto the arm of his grandmother.
"Regina you need to wake up. You are the only that can help Emma." Snow pled with her. Emma had created a field around her and the two men inside it, not even Rumple was able to enter it. The aura around her daughter had now taken on a dark gray color and it continued to darken.
"Damn it Mom get up!" Henry snapped at his mother.
Regina took a deep breath, her eyes fluttering open. "Language Henry." Henry smiled through his tears, his mom never disappointed.
"Regina you have to stop her. She's not listening to anyone." Snow was immediately in Regina's space sitting her up. Regina looked at the large orb that surrounded Emma. It's darkness not escaping her.
"Help me up." With Henry on one side and Snow on the other the trio moved towards Emma.
"Emma." Snow called. "Emma, Regina is fine. Look for yourself." Emma ignored her mother. These men have taken everything from her and she was going to make them pay. Regina was gone, Henry no longer had his mother because of them, she would make sure they suffered. Adam screamed again as Emma focused most of her attention on him. Blood trickled down the side of his face and arms.
"Emma." Regina stood just outside the shield Emma had created. Adrenaline pumped through her as she realized what Emma was doing, she had to get to her before it was too late, before she made the same mistakes she did, before she took a life. She couldn't allow the darkness to overtake the blonde as it had once overtaken her. She'd had no one to fight for her, to help her and she'd be damned if Emma went through what she had. "Emma." She called this time louder, the shield flickered. Regina held up a hand to keep Henry and Snow back and took a step forward.
"Emma." Regina moved to stand in front of Emma, it took all her will power to keep from collapsing. She gasped at the darkness that emitted from Emma's eyes, gone were the emerald eyes she loved so much. "Darling, don't do this." She held Emma's face in her hands, stroking her cheeks with her thumbs. "You are better than this, better than them."
"He needs to pay." Emma's voice was low and angry just as it'd been the night she'd broken the mirror. This worried Regina. She needed to get through to her and fast.
Regina wiped the tears that ran down Emma's cheeks. "And they will, but not like this. Emma you are the strongest person I know. You've overcome so much, you've fought so hard to stay good, don't let them extinguish your light." Regina was concerned, Adams screams were intensifying as the seconds ticked by, if the pool of blood around him was any indication, he wouldn't last much longer. "Emma I've let the need for revenge consume me, many have died at my hands and I'm telling you, you don't want that kind of guilt on your conscious. I know they've hurt you sweetheart but this is not the way to deal with them." Regina moved in closer leaning her forehead against Emma's. "Emma please, please stop. For me." Regina begged.
"He killed you." Emma's voice softened, she cried leaning into Regina. "He will pay." With those words Adam let out another scream as he curled into himself crying out in pain.
Clearly the gentle approach was not getting through to her. "Sheriff Swan!" Regina snapped, she felt Emma flinch. Good. She thought, she could still hear her. "Listen to me right now. I will not have the Sheriff of my town take the law into their own hands do you understand me?" Regina used the best authoritative voice she could muster in her state. Emma's focus faltered. "These men are not worth it, they will pay Emma but not like this." Regina felt Emma sag slightly against her closing her eyes. "Look at me Emma." Her voice softened. "I want to see your eyes." Emma's arms lowered, she took several deep breathes before she opened her eyes again. "There you are." Regina smiled as eyelids opened to reveal emerald orbs. "I have you." She whispered pulling Emma into her arms.
Emma sagged to the ground taking Regina with her, the two women held onto each other. "What have I done?" Emma was disgusted with herself. How could she stoop so low. She was no better than them.
"Nothing that can't be fixed." Regina assured her tightening her hold. She could still hear Adam in the background thankfully he'd stopped screaming and was only grunting.
"Gina." Emma sniffled. "Will you, will you heal him?"
While Regina wanted the man to suffer she was more than willing to do as the blonde asked. The fact that she asked reassured her that the darkness was temporary she had fought and defeated it. "I will, when I regain my magic."
"Don't worry yourself dearie, this one is on the house." Gold healed the sniveling man, seconds later the man disappeared. "He'll be in the padded room when you are ready for him." He assured David. "And what to do with you." He turned to the second man.
"Jail is fine for now." David jumped in. Gold nodded and again the man disappeared.
"Moms." Henry ran to his mothers huddled on the ground and fit himself in the center of their hug. The two women held on to him tightly. Snow followed soon after putting her arms around the three, shortly after, David joined them.
Ruby and Leroy ushered the bystanders away explaining there was nothing to be seen. Belle came and stood beside Rumpelstiltskin. "Rumple do you think you can send them to Regina's?" Had anyone else asked he'd had told them he was out of free gifts for the day but he could not deny his Belle this request and so he nodded and the family disappeared and reappeared in Regina's living room.
Some time passed before the group separated, each wiping at their tear stained faces. "So sleepover?" Henry hoped his mom's didn't send him with Mary Margaret and David, he knew this time he would not be able to leave them not when he'd come so close to losing them both. Regina nodded and moved to get up but Snow put her hand on her shoulder signaling for her to stay seated.
"David and I and manage this." The Charmings headed upstairs in search of blankets and pillows.
"Are you okay mom?" Henry was concerned for his mother she was swaying.
"I'm fine dear." She smiled. "Just tired. The bracelet drained my energy. I'll be back to normal after some rest." She assured him. She didn't like the fear and concern on his face.
"What about you Ma?" He noticed his birth mother was avoiding eye contact all together. "Ma."
"Henry, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have let my anger get the best of me." The last thing she wanted was for her son to see her as evil.
"You don't have to explain Ma, they tried to kill Mom." While seeing his mother overtaken by her anger had scared him he was beyond happy to see both his moms safe. He'd come too close to losing them both.
Snow and David returned with what appeared to be every blanket and pillow in the house. They set several blankets on the ground to cushion the floor and set the pillows in a straight line. Henry took his place between his mothers. "I love you guys, I'm glad you're both okay."
Both women kissed him circling their arms around him. Regina laced her fingers with Emma's giving it a squeeze. Emma caught Regina's eyes. "I love you Regina, thank you for keeping me grounded." She sat up leaning over Henry to give the woman a kiss.
"I love you Emma." She returned the kiss.
"I'm still here." Henry whined though deep down he didn't mind at all, he was glad he was able to witness them finally profess their love for each other.
"As are we." David reminded them. Regina and Emma chuckled. It felt good to have their family together. The events of the evening and the past several days had taken an emotional toll on all of them. With one last kiss to each other and a shared one laid on Henry's head the women settled against their pillows. David got up and turned off all the lights as Snow tucked the trio in, placing a gentle kiss on each of their heads. She settled down behind Regina while David got on the other side of Emma. It didn't take long for the group to close their eyes and sleep. They had survived yet another attack on their family and while they'd not come out of it unscathed they had grown closer and stronger.
AN: I would like to go ahead and apologize for any mistakes, I've read this chapter so many times that I stopped feeling Emma and Henry's pain at losing Regina..
So….folks…I'm thinking I will end this here and continue with a sequel at some point in the near future….OR…. you guys remain patient as I add more to it but the updates won't be quick or consistent….I'm leaning towards sequel…So let me know! (Jaely I already know your view on this, so no puppy dog eyes… ;) )