Emma and Regina stood in Regina's kitchen later that morning sipping black coffee and staring at one another hard. They'd never made it to Regina's vault, in fact neither of them had made it anywhere, but back to Regina's home. They'd sat on her porch swing, not speaking. Regina had laid her head on Emma's shoulder and fallen asleep.
Emma sat like a stone keeping watch, feeling Regina against her and allowed herself not to think. She kept her mind blank, open, free as she surveyed the stillness of the early morning. Regina had stirred, and when she woke she looked at Emma with questions in her eyes.
How can this be?
What are we doing to each other?
What is happening?
What will we do with each other?
Emma had only gotten up and lead Regina into the kitchen where she made them coffee and they continued to stare boldly and silently at one another.
Robin wasn't there, but Regina hardly noticed. She knew it was over with Robin and she had a feeling he did too. Unlike Hook he wasn't fighting them.
Regina had had the most erotic experience of her life the previous night with Emma, and that was real. Everything she was feeling was real. Her desire for Emma. Her constant longing to be near her, and they'd consummated their passion. Regina felt a sudden urge to rush at Emma and lavish her with the same kind of attention. Before she even moved, a question popped into her head and she didn't think before simply asking:
"Why couldn't you kiss me last night?"
Emma looked at Regina, eyes wide and wondering. "That's the first thing you're gonna ask me? After everything? That's what's important to you?"
"Isn't it important to you?" Regina asked.
"Of course, I just-"
The front door opened and the Charmings and Henry entered. Henry ran into the kitchen smelling coffee and was excited to see Regina and Emma together.
"Can we have breakfast again?" he asked excitedly. "All of us together?"
Regina and Emma smiled lightly at one another. "Of course," Emma said.
"Mom," Henry said looking at the disheveled Regina. "Those are the same clothes you were wearing when you dropped me off yesterday."
Regina blushed and Snow and Charming shared a look.
Henry looked closer at Regina before pulling a dead leaf from the back of her hair. He laughed and looked between Emma and Regina. "You two stayed up all night together, didn't you?" He asked with a grin. "You had a sleep over!"
The phrase hit Regina like a brick being dropped on her head. She sunk into a violent flash back, that she couldn't make out. Everyone looked like a Monet and she went dizzy trying to make them focused. But she knew what she had been feeling in the moment: joy, ease, and so much love for Henry and Emma: her true family.
Regina opened her eyes and found Emma and everyone leaning over her. She had passed out and fallen to the floor after turning and even whiter shade of pale.
"What happened?" Snow asked once Emma helped Regina to her feet.
"I...I don't know. I think I had a vision," Regina said sitting back down. She looked weakly at them all.
"Something is wrong," she said definitely.
No one argued. "Something's been wrong for a while," Snow said.
"I feel it too," Charming said.
"What can we do?" Emma asked.
"Check the books," Regina and Henry said in unison. They shared a smile.
"After breakfast," Henry added.
It was a world of pain and anguish for Rumple, only made darker by the fact he was being nudged awake by Belle's shoe. She stood above him, hands on her waist and looked down at him.
"What did you do?" she asked.
Nothing had worked out with this curse, Rumple simply had to acknowledge. No one was happy, and even Belle could feel the affects of the true events. Events so powerful they had scarred everyone. Everyone still suffered their pains, only pained more by the fact that they could not comprehend why.
What a twisted nightmare he'd designed.
"I'm laying here bleeding," He said getting up. It was painful, at least of one his ribs was cracked, maybe two. "And all you can ask is how I brought this on myself?"
"Given your history," Belle added callously. There was a tense moment of silence. "I just came to say goodbye for a few days. Maybe a week."
"I just haven't felt like myself with you," she explained. "I just need to get away."
"Belle," Rumple cried reaching for her.
"I've been depressed," Belle went on, stepping just out of his reach. "I can't be involved with whatever it is you've done."
And she turned and left.
Something in Rumple snapped. "No!" He cried, spitting blood and pounding his fists. He tore his chamber apart. What was he meant to do now? If he didn't get ahold of his curse everything would fall apart and he really would be exiled.
He brought up a vision of Regina and Emma working side by side. Everyone was suspicious. Where had he gone wrong? He would deal with Emma and Regina later, in the mean time, the crocodile wanted revenge.
"Here!" Regina said triumphantly.
They had all decided someone had cursed them, and Henry had left to look for clues. They'd made a list of things that had gone missing since Snow's nightmares had began.
She blew dust from one of the largest leather bound volumes she had. "This," she said setting it before Emma. "Is a the time turner's manual."
"The Guide to Changing the Past and Revisiting Old Memories," Emma read. "Isn't that dangerous?"
"Very," Regina nodded.
"So," Snow said, narrowing her eyes. "Is your theory that something happened to all of us and someone or something decided to wipe our memories?"
"Not exactly," Regina said. "Time Turning spells are especially dangerous because while they may change events, they cannot alter a person's conscious or unconscious state. Thus people have been driven mad, night terrors, the constant dread that we are not where we're supposed to be..."
"That explains the visions," Emma said. "But what happened? What are we all missing?"
"It's a good thing Henry's out looking for clues," Charming said. Regina nodded.
"We need to find out who did this and why," Emma said firmly.
"Here's a big clue for you," Henry said coming in. They all turned to see him holding his chipped camera.
"Henry you really should take better care of your things," Regina said.
"This is a clue,"Henry said. "Once you'll see what's on it you'll realize why it's so broken."
Emma turned the lights out. He opened the screen on the camera as they all gathered around, their heads touching in a circle.
The tiny screen played the most unpredictable thing they'd ever seen. It started with Snow bustling around the chapel. It went to peaking around a corner where Emma and Regina talked, holding hands. Regina was dressed all in white.
"It's mine and Robin's wedding?" Regina asked.
"Nope," Henry said with a grin.
And the video suddenly cut to Regina walking down the aisle to...Emma?!
Regina had tears in her eyes as she took Emma's hands. Everyone looked so happy.
"What?" Emma asked. "How can this be?"
"Impossible," Regina said.
"Are you sure?" Henry asked, glaring at Regina and Emma. "You never did explain why you two were together all night."
Emma and Regina shared a guilty look.
"This is too much," Snow said.
"Wait!" Henry said as they all turned away. "Watch."
Next they saw the whole wedding broken, interrupted by...
"Rumplestiltskin," They all said gravely.
"But why would he want to stop your wedding?" Snow asked.
"I don't know," Emma said. "But I can't kiss Regina-"
Emma stopped suddenly as a hush came over all of them.
"Have you tried?" Snow asked.
"Mom please," Emma said.
"That makes sense," Henry interjected. "True love's kiss breaks every kind of curse."
"True love?" Regina asked, her eyes growing wide as she looked at Emma softly.
"Moms don't you see?" Henry asked. "Rumple cast a curse to get in the way of your happiness, do you understand."
"Yeah," Emma said, and her expressed went hard.
Rumple had been preparing a potion that would hinder memory feeling when the doors to the old factory burst open again. He turned wildly to see everyone there. Emma and the Charmings, and even Hook and Hood.
"What a surprise," He said sweetly, walking towards them. He plucked a pouch of stones from his desk, making his way towards the door. He'd left booby traps everywhere this time.
Emma and Charming both raised their swords. "Wait," they warned.
"Don't you know you should call before coming," Rumple said unlacing the pouch and scattering stones everywhere.
"Rocks?" Emma asked. "That's your trick?"
"They're not rocks," Henry warned, as the earth began to shake. "They're seeds!"
A tiny shaking seed suddenly burst into a full live warrior who seemed to be carved from stone. He immediately raised his sword to Charming who clashed back valiantly.
They burst forth as Snow shot arrows off like lightening. Emma raised her sword and Henry stood back filming with his broken camera.
Rumple was heading towards the back exit when Regina appeared in a puff of smoke blocking him.
"Going somewhere?" she asked.
He opened his mouth to reply, but she knocked him on his jaw, her hand clutching a black half sized sword. She spun quickly, slicing him across the middle of his back, causing him to fall forward.
He saw the spear Robin had used to corner him, grabbing it and throwing himself onto his back just in time to stop Regina's black bladed sword from slicing him right in half as she came down from above him.
Emma ran a stone man through his middle. She pulled back using her two fingers to gauge the marble eyes out, which surprisingly melted like flesh and oozed a thick black blood. She finally beheaded the creature and watched it melt like ash. Killing felt so good. She hungrily turned to help Snow when...
She turned back, but no one was there.
A dark voice called above the chaos, making everything slow down.
Emma, you're the one I want
She surveyed the room until her eyes fell on a single, glowing black vial.
Emma, do you want your memories back? It called.
The voice was like cocaine in her veins. Her eyes glazed over. She dropped her sword and walked slowly towards it.
Snow was being back into a corner as she swung her sword. She'd run out of arrows. She looked to Charming who was fighting off his own seed warrior. She'd have to finish this guy off alone. She kicked him back when another one jumped in punching her in the jaw.
She fell back dropping her sword that landed at Henry's feet with a clamor.
Charming saw Snow struggling and ran a stone man through, kicking him off his blade. He went to help Snow when two grabbed his arms and pulled him back.
Snow was being held down, one stone man had his hand around her throat and he sneered as he gripped tighter. Another stood above them, he raised his sword.
Henry rushed forward with a cry stabbing the one above them through his middle. He turned and brought the blade down on the one with his hand on Snow's throat decapitating him. Black blood gushed everywhere all over Snow as she kicked his body off and got to her feet.
"Nice," she said to Henry. "But try not to decapitate anyone from above me again."
"Noted," Henry nodded. "Hey look out!"
Snow turned and clashed swords. "Get back!" she cried.
Rumpled had Regina against a wall, his black just hovering above her neck. "Did you forget?" she asked through clenched teeth?
"What?" he asked.
"I fight dirty," she warned, before bringing her knee up against his crotch. He went cross eyed and fell back, clutching his balls. Regina brought her foot up kicked Rumple in the face. He rolled over spitting more blood and teeth.
Emma hesitantly picked up the black vial. It vibrated through her fingers sending shock waves over pleasure through her body. This feels good.
Regina watched as Emma picked up the black vial. She was about to warn Emma when Rumple screamed:
"No!" He reached towards her, trying to stop her, and Regina knew Emma must succeed.
Regina came up behind him grabbing him by the hair and pressing her blade to his throat, pressing her knee to his back while he struggled.
"Emma do it!" she screamed.
Emma opened the bottle of darkness and brought it to her lips. She didn't have to drink it as it rushed through her suddenly, grabbing her, encircling her before entering her ears, eyes, and nose. The glass fell to grains of sand destroyed forever as Rumple screamed.
Emma's eyes glowed as her body lifted from the ground and the earth shook. Everything stopped.
The Dark One had returned.