It Was You
"What happened?" Snow crumpled down beside the motionless figure of the former mayor of Storybrooke. She quickly took hold of one hand, and frantically searched for a pulse with the other.
Ruby's eyes were filled with tears. "She saved me," was all she could utter, tears cracking her voice as she stared at the Queen's lifeless body.
Snow frantically slid her hand over Regina's chest and began to sob as the steady beats below her hand could not be felt. "No," she whispered gravelly, knowing deep in her own chest that Regina was gone.
"She sacrificed herself for me," Ruby managed to say, before turning completely around and gripping harshly at the ground, letting the dirt fill her hands with anger as she yelled out in pain to the night's sky.
Snow swallowed hard as she wiped at the tears that flowed down her cheeks. "She sacrificed herself for all of us…she saved us all." She tried to comfort her friend by putting a soothing hand on Red's shoulder.
James and Henry came rushing over just in time to hear Ruby's loud screeching howl. "What…what is it?" Was all the Prince could manage to breathe as he stumbled down by his wife and saw her shaking her head at him. He knew immediately that the Queen had perished in the fight, and his arms automatically wrapped Snow up in a tight embrace.
"She saved us," Snow whimpered into his strong shoulder.
Henry stood with wide eyes staring down at his mother's body, too much in shock to do anything else until his grandmother gripped his hand. "Go to her Henry, you might be the only one who can save her," she whispered in the young man's ear.
"How?" Henry finally whispered in a wet, emotional voice.
"True love's kiss, Henry. She saved you once, now you save her," Snow explained in a shaky voice, hoping that her grandson was indeed the answer.
Henry finally sucked in a huge breath like he'd been holding it the entire time and kneeled down beside his mother. He whispered his fingers across Regina's brow to sweep the fallen locks that covered it away. "Please come back," he sniffed. "Please," he begged, his voice rough. He moved in and gently placed his lips to her brow just like she did for him throughout his entire life.
Moments passed, no blinding light, no rushing of air encased them. Only the silence and an occasional creak from the branches that swayed in the soft breeze overhead.
After an immeasurable amount of time had passed, Henry slid back from his haunches, collapsed against the hard ground and began to cry. "Nooooooo."
Robin Hood and Emma finally made it through the clearing to see them huddled together, and instantly the Savior knew something bad had happened. She could hear the muffled sounds of cries, and deep in her heart she knew something was wrong as soon as the war with Rumple and his unending means to take over the world was over. It made her sick inside and she ran as hard as she could, not wanting to believe what her own heart told her.
The moment she made her way over to her family the sight of Regina's lifeless body lying on the cold ground gripped her already aching heart. "Oh god no," she breathed, as tears burned heavily in her throat. She watched as Robin fell upon Regina, slipping his arms under her body and lifting her up against him as he sobbed against the Queen's limp body.
"Regina," he choked through his desperate cries. "You can't… no… I love you… please fight this."
Suddenly Snow blinked her tears away and nudged the bandit hard. "Robin, kiss her," she shouted.
He abruptly sucked in fits of air as he finally understood what Snow was trying to tell him. It didn't work when he tried to save his wife when she was in a frozen coma, but then again that wasn't really Marian. Now he would try anything to save this woman who he was clinging hopelessly to now. "Regina," he whispered, as a new round of tears formed in his eyes. "Come back to me; I love you," he said clearly and slipped his lips against Regina's cold ones.
Again the earth was quiet, and again only the motion of rushing leaves against the cool night's breeze made their appearance. No shimmering of light pulsated through the air and no gasping of breath spewed from Regina's non-moving chest.
No true love would bring her back; Regina was dead and there wasn't anything anyone could do but sit there and watch Robin cry harder against the Queen's chest as Henry sobbed against his knees. Ruby flung wet balls of clay against a nearby tree as Emma's weak legs finally crashed to the ground as the reality that Regina was not coming back hit her. She missed her chance to tell her… to tell her all the things she felt for her friend… things that stayed hidden away in her own heart.
Snow saw the distress in her daughter and crawled across the small space that separated them. She slid her arms around her, crushing their bodies tightly together as she comforted her only daughter. "I should have told her," Emma cried against her mother's shoulder.
"I think she knew; that's why she sacrificed herself so we could live. She really is a hero Emma."
"She didn't get her happy ending, Mom. Robin just came back, and then this damn thing with Rumple…." Emma sobbed, inhaling a shuddering breath and feeling lightheaded as she fell against Snow's arm, once again not able to finish her thoughts.
"I know sweetie, but you have to realize she died a hero, not the Evil Queen," Snow tried to soothe, running a hand over Emma's blonde hair.
The Savior shook her head and suddenly shoved herself from her mother's tender embrace. "No this isn't the way it's supposed to end," she snapped angrily, and moved past Snow to get to Regina's body that was still being embraced by Robin. "Did anyone try CPR?" Emma fretted angrily.
Snow's forehead crumbled. "CPR? What is this CPR you speak of?"
"Oh my god, are you shitting me?" Emma spat.
The Savior just pushed Robin away so she could get better access to Regina's body. "Regina," she pleaded with a heartfelt breath. "You are not supposed to die; it is not your time yet!" she demanded. "Do you hear me?" Grief and pain swelled deep in her chest as she stared down into Regina's face; if she didn't know better she'd have just thought she was sleeping. I'm the Savior, I'm the one who is supposed to give you all of your happy endings, it was my sacrifice to make, not yours. She frantically pulled the Queen's head back so she could blow air into her mouth, then ever so softly slipped her lips over Regina's and began to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation when….
A flash of the brightest of lights flew across them in a blinding array, followed by a strong blast of wind that flew around them. Then the very next second, everything went silent, not even the rustling of overhead leaves could be heard. Emma blinked a few times and regained her balance. Completely unaware of what had just happened, she went back down and began to place her hands over the Queen's heart to give her CPR…
When suddenly a slight moan fell from the crimson red lips and the brunette's head moved. "Oh my god," Emma gasped, in shock from what she was seeing. She cried as she pulled Regina close to her, tucking her face into the side of the Queen's neck shedding more tears then before. "It worked."
"Em…mmma," Regina rasped, feeling completely overwhelmed by being held so close to the Savior. She could feel her body shake with uncontrollable sobs as the blonde's arms held her tightly.
Gasps rang out above her and she turned weakly to see what was going on, her eyes locking with frozen blue eyes. "Regina," Snow whispered in a squeak. "I thought I'd never see you again."
"Sorry to…" she cleared her throat. "To disappoint you," Regina barely breathed, still being smothered by Emma's body.
"Mom!" Henry shouted in excitement and crushed himself against her as well.
"Henry." Regina managed to finally get the strength to push Emma away and wrap a weak arm around her son.
Emma sucked in her bottom lip and more tears threatened to fall as she watched Henry cry with joy at having his mother back. Tears of relief filled the small group, yet they were stunned at how the Savior just woke up the Evil Queen, and everyone knew it was with true loves kiss, not CPR. "Ma," Henry's voice cracked as he pulled away from the mother he was holding to look at the other. "You did it," he said happily.
Regina's brow furrowed in confusion but she didn't have time to dwell on it before Henry pulled her back in for another bone crushing hug. "Mom," he muttered against her shoulder. "Don't ever do that again."
"Yes Henry," she replied to her son without really knowing what she had done. She pulled away to kiss his forehead and that's when she noticed the man standing over her who had finally found his way back to her. "Robin?"
He kneeled down beside her and tried to hold back his tears as he pulled Regina in to hug her. "I knew you'd be too stubborn to die on us," he breathed in a wet whisper.
Regina felt dizzy and groaned as she rubbed at her chest; tingles of an odd warmth flew around her heart and it confused her. She tried to get to her feet, but before she could Robin lifted her up and began to carry her. "No walking today, Your Majesty," he said, trying to be a gentleman. "I know a place where we can get warm," he informed the group, and was thankful when Regina didn't fight him. She moved her arms around his neck, leaning her head against his firm chest as they began the track through the cold dark woods.
Once they reached the little cottage, Robin gently laid Regina on the small bed and carefully placed a warm blanket around her. "There," he smiled softly. "This will help."
Regina couldn't help her wicked smile. "You know what else would help?"
"A fire?" Robin responded curtly, as he pulled away.
The brunette shook her head but her smile remained. "No," she drawled slowly, and tugged on Robin's hand pulling him back to her. "Body heat," she purred. "Come here; I missed you."
Robin sighed as he closed his eyes and took a few more steps away from her. He wanted to give in and hold Regina and kiss her and love her just like he had dreamed about for months. His jaw clenched as he fought his desire to ignore what he had witnessed in the woods… what truly happened. "I really need to go."
Regina quickly got out of bed and wrapped her arms around him. "Hey, I know it's been awhile for us, but I thought about you everyday."
Robin squeezed Regina's hand that was still over his chest. "I thought about you, too."
"Then come here and warm me up."
"Regina, I need to go. I uh, I need to find Roland."
"Now? It's dark and it's miserably cold outside. Maybe you should wait until morning."
Robin finally turned and faced the Queen. "I'll be fine, and I'm…" getting too choked up to finish, he had to clear his throat. He cupped Regina's cheek tenderly. "I'm so glad that you're okay."
"Robin, what is it?" Regina picked up on the worry in the bandit's eyes. "Something's wrong I know it."
"I need to find my son and make sure he is fine."
"There is something else going on here and I demand you tell me," Regina bit.
Tears filled Robin's eyes and he moved in to kiss Regina on the lips, but at the last second he shifted and kissed her forehead. "I do love you." And just like that, he slipped out of the room and out of the small cottage in the woods.
Baffled beyond anything Regina could comprehend, she slowly sat back down on the bed, but before she could ponder on it much longer, Henry ran up the stairs.
"Mom," he breathed with a smile as he sat down next her. "You wanna come downstairs? Grandpa has got a fire going."
Regina exhaled, trying to get herself together after the brief encounter with Robin that made no sense. Maybe Zelena messed him up more than I thought. "He did huh," she barely made out.
Henry put a caring hand on top of his mother's. "I saw that Robin left; I guess he told you."
Regina narrowed in sharply at her son. "Uh yeah, he needs to find Roland."
Henry blinked. "Yeah, um… uh… so you want to come downstairs? Or do you need to rest?"
"I'll be down in a minute," she half smiled, half frowned at her son.
"Mom, you were amazing. You saved everyone." His voice was hoarse as he flung his arms around his mother's neck. "I love you and I'm so glad you didn't die."
Regina hugged him back and the tears continued to fill her eyes. "I love you Henry, and I'll admit I'm glad I didn't die too."
Henry drew back and peered into his mother's eyes. "Seriously, how are you feeling?"
"I admit I'm a little tired, but honestly, for being a dead person, I feel really good."
Henry continued to smile as he pulled further away. "Must have been in the kiss."
Regina gave Henry an odd look. "Kiss?"
"Yeah, duh Mom." He moved across the room to start down the small stairs. "You know the whole true loves kiss can bring back anyone," he winked at his mom. "Come down and get warm, plus Grandma says she and Rubes are cooking us some Enchanted Forrest stew," he said over his shoulder as he went down to help Charming with the fire.
"True love's kiss; and now Robin seemed like he couldn't get away from me fast enough."
"Hey," Emma yelled as she ran after the bandit. "Where you going?"
Robin's eyes slid shut as he inhaled a deep breath. "I need to be with my son," he informed the Savior, but didn't look back.
"And you need to be with Regina."
He took another deep breath. "Emma, I can't," Robin voiced softly.
Emma finally came face to face with the thief. "Yes you can. I don't understand how you can leave her when you know as well as I do that Roland is safe."
Robin's nostrils flared as he swallowed. "I can't Emma; it's too hard."
"You love her and she loves you. What's hard about that?"
"It won't last," he snapped. "And I won't subject her to any more pain."
"You're her soul mate," she argued back, coming into his personal space.
Robin shook his head at her. "And you're just fooling yourself Emma; we both know what happened out there. I didn't bring her back," he rasped.
"It was CPR," Emma fumed, throwing her hands in the air.
Robin snorted and continued to shake his head at the Savior. "And I know better, hell deep down…. you do too."
"Robin," Emma snarled. "Just go back there and love her and believe that it was CPR; it does work you know."
His eyes began to tear up. "Not bringing someone back when you barely pressed your lips to hers. Admit it Emma, you are her true love." He slightly smiled as he blew out a rush of air. "I see it now, and it makes total sense."
"And you're delusional; you're talking nonsense. You're just scared," Emma tried, yet the ache in her chest indicated he was right.
"Now who is the one that is scared? Emma, you need to accept this. It's what is written for both of you."
"We captured the author and this is not the happy ending he told us."
Robin shrugged. "Well, I just witnessed true love's magic in its purist form. How can I compete with that?"
Emma growled. "You don't have to. I am not her true love, it was CPR," she explained, her voice now louder with frustration.
"The longer you believe that, then the longer YOU will be the one that causes her pain. Not I, Emma," Robin exhaled. His eyes finally released the tears he had held back as long as he could and they slipped down his cheeks. "Please take care of her. She is a wonderful woman that deserves happiness," he whispered, and then disappeared into the night.
"I wonder how Regina took the news," Snow said quietly to Red as they cut up the rabbit they had caught.
Ruby's eyebrows rose. "Well, the place hasn't burned down yet, so that's good news, right?"
Snow sighed a breath of relief. "That's true, but probably because Henry is up there with her."
Ruby nodded in agreement and then nudged Snow's side. "Speaking of THE news, how are you dealing with all of this?"
Snow rubbed at her brow and sighed again. "I can't deny it. I can try to, and then it would be a lie. I can't do that again, and I won't lie again. Lies just find a way back and hurt the ones you love the most. All I want is for Emma to be happy, and if Regina is her true love, then who am I to disagree with that. It's shocking," she exhaled. "I will admit that. But if you think about it, it does actually make perfect sense." Her brow furrowed slightly as she thought about everything the two women have endured together.
"I agree with you. In fact, I always had this thought about those two, but never did I think true love."
Snow gathered the meat and dropped it into a pan. "You thought about them?" she asked, as her eyebrow rose slightly with curious interest.
"Oh you know, I mean…uh how can you not think about those two together?" Her lips twisted in a tiny grin as her cheeks grew crimson.
Snow's head fell forward as her eyes grew wide. "Oh my…." she gulped.
Ruby's shoulders slowly rose up in a shrug. "Whaaat…I can; I'm not her mother or her daughter."
Snow's mouth fell open to say something, but snapped closed when the cottage door opened loudly as Emma stomped inside with an angry huff, falling onto the dusty old sofa. "Emma, are you alright?" Charming asked, as he slowly took a spot by her.
"Not really," she muttered, avoiding looking at him by keeping her eyes on the flames in the hearth.
Emma finally dared to give him a sideways glance then rolled her eyes. "Oh geez, Dad, I wonder," she mocked.
"Hey, you know you can talk to me about anything."
Emma groaned and dropped her weary head into her hand, and was relieved when Henry clamored down the stairs. "Hey Ma," his voice scratched, as he made his way over by his birth mother. "Mom is awake; you should go up and see her."
Emma gave him a hard look and then softly closed her eyes as she inhaled a quiet, calming breath. "Uh, no; I don't think she wants to see me right now."
Henry eyes narrowed in confusion. "Why not, you are her…"
Before Henry could finish his thought, Emma jumped to her feet and stopped him. "I am not; it was CPR. You know that."
Henry wanted to roll his eyes but instead his lips twisted into a haughty grin. "That was not CPR, Ma. I know, because it has happened to me twice."
"Whatever Henry, just because you want to believe it doesn't make it so," she all but shouted.
Snow and Red finally made their way into the room and overheard their conversation. "Sweetie, don't yell at Henry; he wasn't the only one there. We were there too. As much as I don't like the fact that you are Regina's true…"
She didn't get to finish her thought because Emma silenced her by putting a hand over her mouth. "Don't you dare say that! It wasn't!" she growled quietly, as she glared at her mother. "It was CPR."
Snow only shook her head slowly at her daughter. "Emma," James began, but stopped when his daughter pointed at him angrily.
"Not you, too!"
Ruby finally took a breath of courage and a timid step toward the sheriff. "Think about it, Emma; it makes sense, the two of you."
Emma gritted her teeth together and unconsciously shook her head at all of them. "I will say this one last time…. It. Was. CPR," she barked, and then turned on her heel and stomped back outside, slamming the door behind her.
The four of them watched quietly at the closed door not sure what to say. "What's going on?"
All eyes in the room went wide except for Regina's as they turned to look at the Queen slowly making her way down the stairs. "Um," they all drew out slowly and then skittered off in every direction that was the farthest away from her.
Regina watched them all cower away from her and she knew something was going on. "Okay that's it, tell me now!" she demanded icily.
Henry slowly made his way back toward his mother. "Robin didn't tell you?" he gulped.
"Tell me what, Henry?"
"That it wasn't him who woke you up."
Regina blinked and then suddenly understood why Robin rushed away from her as her heart tripled its steady beat. "You, Henry?"
Henry scratched at his eyebrow and then slowly shook his head. "Not me."
"Henry?" Regina snapped harshly, yet her face was white with worry.
Henry swallowed again. "It was…it was….it was Ma. She's your true love."
Regina let the news settle around her. She knew deep in her heart that Henry would not lie to her, but the reality of it rattled her deeply, beyond anything she had ever felt before. She stood motionless, not even daring to breathe, then did the only thing she could think of… she cowardly teleported herself away, leaving behind a mist of purple in her wake.
"Well…uh… that went better than I thought it would," Henry said, as the others finally made their way back into the room.