I do not own Emma. I do not own Regina. I do not own Henry. I own nothing but this one shot.
I'm Right Here
She woke up to thrashing coming from next to her in the bed, and then it abruptly stopped.
She looked over to find Regina lying on her back, still asleep, but completely rigid. The brunette's body was stick straight with her arms held tightly by her side and her face was contorted, as if something was squeezing the life out of her, constricting her every move, suffocating her enough to cause severe pain but avoid death.
Emma knew exactly what was happening. She had enough of her own nightmares to recognize this one, and she couldn't just lay there and watch Regina suffer.
She propped herself up on one arm and reached for Regina's wrist with the other.
"Regina?" She whispered, not wanting to further startle her, but Regina remained exactly the same, with a tortured look and tears streaming down her cheeks, flowing onto her neck.
"Regina," she tried again, giving the older woman's wrist a gentle shake.
Regina tensed even further at the movement and began breathing rapidly with nothing but fear covering her face.
Emma had to get her to wake up; she couldn't stand seeing Regina like that, in pain.
She sat up and took both of Regina's hands in her own. She just wanted to shake the woman's shoulders, but she knew that would only feel like more constriction.
"Regina, come on. Wake up," she began, but still nothing. "Regina, come on. Come back to me."
Without even realizing it, Emma had begun tracing soft, soothing circles on Regina's hands.
"I'm right here, Regina," she pleaded, "Come back to me. Please. I'm right here. Just come back to me."
Wet, brown eyes finally shot open and sought grounding in green as terrified breaths gradually slowed back to normal.
"Hey," Emma brought her hand to Regina's cheek momentarily to wipe away tears before lowering it back down to the brunette's arm.
"You okay," the blonde questioned desperately in a hushed tone with a small smile, hoping to continue calming the mother of her child.
It was as if Regina snapped back to reality. She had her "mayor" façade on in .2 seconds.
"I'm fine," she answered as she rolled to her side away from Emma.
Emma just sat there staring at her. It broke her heart that Regina had so much practice pretending to be okay that she was able to flip that switch so quickly.
"Go back to sleep, Emma," she said as she stared at the wall across from her.
Regina said nothing, simply continued to stare at the wall, refusing to have the conversation she knew Emma was attempting, refusing to even look at her.
Emma exhaled and laid back down, not wanting to push the woman lying next to her.
With her hands folded behind her head, she laid on her back and stared at the ceiling, knowing that sleep would likely elude her that evening. Every time she closed her eyes, all she could see was the tortured look on Regina's face.
When they left on this road trip, she had wished Henry could go with them, but after what had just happened, she was glad he wasn't there to witness it.
Emma felt the bed shift and figured it was just Regina getting comfortable. Or as comfortable as she could be, anyway. She wasn't wrong.
She didn't realize what was happening until she heard a sniffle and felt a warm body wrap around hers, clinging for something safe. Instinctively, Emma wrapped her arms around Regina, kissed the top of her head, and began running her fingers through the soft, dark hair.
"I'm right here."
As Regina nuzzled her face into Emma, the blonde could feel warm tears soaking through her shirt.
"I'm right here," she whispered again, continuing to play with Regina's hair and gently rubbing the arm wrapped around her.