"True Love transcends realms, even death. Like a curse, I broke her free."
"The memories I have of that castle are tainted. I wish to rid myself of them and to replace them with what makes me smile instead of frown."
These were words that brought Emma to where she stood, watching the sun descend into the earth, the sky unchanging from its thick white covers. Snow fell gently from above in thick flakes that stuck to her hair and blanketed the ground at her feet.
She had said those first words to Snow White when she had revealed her betrothal to Regina. Years had passed since the Dark Queen's confession, enough so that her brother had passed his tenth birthday.
Snow was displeased that she was marrying their natural enemy, convinced, still, that Regina had deluded her with a love curse.
Emma would not have felt inclined to visit her mother at all if not for Regina's malevolent and all-too-pleased desire to make the Good Queen's heart stop. A very deep and sick part of the blonde wanted to see this through, still sore of their latest encounter. She also wanted to prove the integrity of their love.
Unfortunately, in the end, Snow White had been far too enraptured with her daughter's revelation of finding love and happiness. She wanted the ceremony to be hosted in the White Kingdom, in the garden where Emma had once dreamed as a girl that her wedding would be held. Though, now, she wanted anything but. The memories of the light stone and greenery was tainted in her mind.
When Emma had approached Regina before falling into her mother's clutches looking for an out, the brunette had surprised her, much to her discontent, by saying the second thought. Her next words, when Emma had wanted to protest, cemented the unpleasant wedding in the White Kingdom.
"Besides, we will live many more years and, once everyone had passed and forgotten, we can marry once again in a place more desirable."
It was bittersweet to be reunited with what she had once desired to escape.
But the tension disappeared when she saw Regina and melted away into the snow.
She was wearing black as if she were attending a funeral instead of a wedding, but she was breathless, nonetheless, with her pure smile and crinkled eyes. Regina was certainly out of place, as if she were plucked from that very funeral and thrown into the ivory flowers and silken ribbons and chiming wedding bells.
The dress that flowed from her reminded Emma of a wedding gown washed in charcoal and blood; its train sliding elegantly behind like a shadow, gracing the fresh tracks and smoothing them over. She wore ebony gloves pulled up to her elbows and a bouquet of blood red roses in hand.
Chatter began to stir among the crowd that surveyed – lords and ladies and friends of the good King and Queen.
They had been confused, surely, watching as what they thought was the only bride standing by the altar, dressed in armor instead of the wedding gown Snow White had passed onto her. They had little knowledge of what had befallen their princess in the past years since she had been taken and now that they saw her rise in the flesh, standing next to the only terror their kingdom had known, the very one that had taken her, they were dismayed.
She could not help but to look upon their faces twisted unpleasantly in scowls of confusion. Displeasure crossed over her own features, passing over familiar faces of her childhood, each donning mixed emotions upon their visages.
Even if the princess had not been marrying the Evil Queen, the very thought of two women uniting was strictly taboo. Relationships such as theirs were generally kept hidden from public eye. The priests believed they were plagued by illness, or demons, and took those who had been exposed to dirty cells, starving and beating them until they repented and complied to seek "natural relations."
Public humiliation and shaming was another route, forcing those poor souls to stand and be mocked by other sinners as stones were rained upon them until they succumbed.
Emma had noticed, through her stay underneath the Evil Queen's liege, that she had not allowed such a thing to happen. As she grew to become well-acquainted with her, she understood why. Though, Regina never did quite tolerate religion well.
Briefly, she wondered if her parents allowed this to pass underneath their rule. Though, if they were allowing her marriage to Regina be held here, open to the public, perhaps not. If she were to have become Queen, she certainly would ban such proceedings.
Though she needn't worry about such a thing. She and Regina did not belong to any kingdom.
Shaking those thoughts away, she let her gaze fall from the sea of faces, finding one too far, standing beside snow-dusted shrubbery.
She saw her and the knowing sparkle in her eye. Confusion met her with their parting words years ago, something that seemed as if it had only existed days ago. She predicted this. Though, many could, if they had seen the Evil Queen and her Black Knight interact.
Pulling her gaze away, she found another from her past, standing next to a young man a head taller. There was a smile on her face that revealed crooked teeth. She did not recognize the smooth, sandy hair until she saw the dark, almond-shaped eyes. Brynly. The name floated in her mind like a memory.
Emma hadn't known of her fate since she was sentenced to death by the blonde's hand. Had she fled to the White Kingdom when given the opportunity? She looked far different than how Emma had remembered her – thin, frail, hair a mess and face dirty. She had a glow in her eye, now, and color to her full cheeks.
"Emma," a familiar voice whispered her name and her attention was taken from dark curls and pale features when her eyes had wandered. Regina's smile was all she could see, now, fluttering her heart.
Clearing her mind, she let the words be spoken by the old priest as they stood, facing each other, hand in hand. She knew that she had been destined to marry beneath this arch, in this garden, in this kingdom. From her birth, it was written, planned. She never had any choice in the matter.
This was where her life truly started, in this moment, as they shared their first kiss in this new union.
And then she found herself swaying with her new wife as the sweet melodies of passionate notes floated from strings and ivories, filling the air as if to fuel their graceful movements.
There were others surrounding them, chattering, observing, dancing but encircling, leaving them space. Emma felt as if they weren't there, losing herself inside chestnut eyes and a crimson smile that could stop her heart.
She was her wife; her queen in more sense than she had been.
Beautiful was the word that graced her mind, but it could not quite describe the mesmerizing woman before her, laughing as they stumbled over their feet. There were no words that would bring justice to the adoring way the corners of her eyes crinkled, or the crease of her skin as the muscles stretched it when she smiled.
Regina's fingers dug into the small of her back as Emma stumbled over the older woman's feet again. This reminded her of the day on the beach, the salty breeze caressing them, as they practiced barefoot in the sand. Emma had never paid much attention when her mother insisted she learned to dance. It was to impress any possible suitors, she had said, and the princess had a natural aversion to this, preferring to gain knowledge of her own dance – swordplay.
"You are improving," Regina whispered.
"Are you sure?" Emma shivered when she felt the Dark Queen's lips brush the shell of her ear.
"We have not fallen."
"I would not count that as a victory just yet."
Regina laughed as she pulled from her, twirling the two around the open circle, far too fast for Emma to keep up, but somehow she had managed, head growing dizzy as the sea of faces spun. "We were dancing on sand. There was bound to be a few missteps."
"I feel like everyone is staring," she muttered when the room stopped spinning, leaving her eyes on the pale features of Snow White who smiled, holding onto James. Neal, Emma's thirteen-year-old brother, stood before them, disinterested, but forced to watch. She knew the feeling all too well.
"They are," Regina answered, her lips stretching into a grin.
"It must be this gown. I knew I should not have given in to my mother." What she had slipped into was a satin dress the color of blood. It clung to the corset that squeezed her lungs and forced her heart into her throat, yet flowed from the waist, swishing about her feet with each gentle twirl that Regina led them into.
"I had my part, as well, my love," she purred, a gentle sparkle of amusement in her dark eyes. "You rarely wear gowns. It certainly is refreshing seeing your face painted and your hair styled."
Emma's lips twitched in an impending smile, but she kept it at bay, attempting to force a look of vexation on her face. "You had not changed."
"No, I had not, but they do not expect me to." Regina smirked and lifted the hand that cupped Emma's nape to touch her cheek, her thumb moving over the sharp contour of her cheek. "Smile, Emma. You will not have to wear the gown for long."
The Dark Queen's eyes had grown a shade darker and the smile sultry. A gust of warmth breezed southward, warming her cheeks. A smile appeared. How is that she could always do that to her?
"Do not tempt me to abandon our appearance and take you upstairs." Her skin pebbled when those nimble fingers moved, cupping her neck as the hand on her back shifted downward.
"Will you ravish me?" she asked – nay, growled.
Another shudder worked its way down the blonde's spine as they resumed their dance. "You have read my mind."
"Oh, I know." Regina's chuckle serenaded her ears.
"How long do you think we should keep our appearance?"
"Eager, are we?" Emma nodded. "We have eternity, my love. Have patience."
Emma's patience was rewarded after the guests had given their congratulations and parted.
Brynly had approached her, hurt, but her joy far outweighed it. She was relieved to see that Emma had survived in one piece and recounted what had happened after the execution. Snow White had offered her a place within her kingdom and paid her handsomely for her companionship with the former princess. She and her brother had their own home within the city and plenty of food to fill their bellies, and Brynly had even been approached by a few lords that had taken interest in her.
"I cannot believe you 'ave fallen in love wit' the Evil Queen. I never thought her t'have the compassion to love another, but I seen it in her eyes when she looked at you. I wanna be angry, but I'm happy that y'found joy, that y'found light in the darkness."
Those were her parting words, as well as an invitation to visit, before she left with her brother, jesting that she had a line of suitors waiting for her.
Emma smiled as she thought of her old friend and opened the doors to her old bedchambers.
She paused in the threshold, frozen as she walked into the past. Her parents hadn't touched the room since she was taken by the Evil Queen, even so many years later. The same ornate green rug, the same mahogany furniture, and the same canopied bed dressed in light satin. Even the candles looked untouched as if they had waited to be burned upon her return.
"Emma?" Regina pulled her from her memories and wrapped her arms around the younger woman's waist. "Are you well?"
"Hm? Yes, yes, of course. I-…" She shook her head and wrapped an arm around the brunette's, closing her eyes to enjoy the warmth. "It feels as if nothing has changed."
"But they have, my love. You are no longer chained to this castle. You are free." The Dark Queen pulled away from the small embrace and tugged at her hand as she slipped into the room. "And we are married."
"We are, we are…" Emma felt her cheeks tingle as blood filled them. "I never thought to step foot into this cell again. Not after-… It feels strange to be here."
"It certainly does," she agreed, pausing before the bed. Her dark gaze was turned to her, intense, as a frown claimed her lips. There was a distant memory in her eye. "This used to be where I stayed."
The blonde's brows pinched at the confession and suddenly saw the room in an entirely different light. Pain and loneliness filled her, weighing her down. She could hear the voices of the past and it stung. "Where he-"
The lines in Regina's face creased harshly and Emma immediately regretted her words. She pulled her close, allowing the woman that towered over her to be small for just that moment.
"I do not care for those memories. I hadn't thought of them. I think of you, sitting here, gazing outside, longing, lonely. We were much the same in these castle walls," Regina mumbled against her neck, her soft lips moving along the pale flesh.
"As you had said before, we can create new memories, happier memories." Emma's head tilted, allowing her queen to paint her skin, a soft purr rumbling in her throat.
The brunette pulled from her, stroking her cheek, fingers digging into her arm. "I do not trust being here with them."
Those words sent a dagger into her belly. "Snow is wiser than to cross us. We left our daggers home. They cannot harm us."
"But they can incapacitate us like they had before." Emma could feel her wife grow tense.
"Gina," whispered the blonde, pressing a gentle kiss to her jaw. She felt her relax only slightly, but as she continued to trail across the fragrant olive skin, Regina turned into liquid. "I doubt we will be sleeping very much. And they dare not kill you, now, knowing what I would do to them."
"And what would you do to them?" Regina queried softly, absently. Her breath had shortened when Emma's lips found the tender pulse of her neck.
"You know what I would do."
They kissed, then, letting their true night begin – a long night – and let the worries slip away.
"The Evil Queen is dead?"
Emma inwardly chastised herself for allowing Regina to force her before Snow White once again, and outwardly cursed at her mother's lack of compassion. The information that she brought her mother would never have ended well in conversation, that much she gained wit of months ago, as she thought of the conversation that brought her here.
Regina had been in bed, lazing in her satin nightdress, flipping through a tome filled with information on warfare. Emma found her this way, slipping into their bedchambers with a leather pouch. She had been searching for herbs in the nearest village shoppe, something to soothe her wife's ail.
The brunette never complained of physical illness, nor mental. In fact, it was something she merely passed off for magical tension since they had kept to their castle shortly before the wedding in preparation, letting the mysterious shadow of the Dark One disappear.
"How are you faring today, my queen?" she had asked, joining the older woman. "I brought you medicinal leaves to make tea."
"I am doing well, my love. You needn't worry." Regina had offered her a smile, something absent, keeping her eyes on the small print.
Emma had only frowned and dared to pluck the book from her wife's hands, tossing it aside. Regina didn't growl at her as she usually would, instead, she had kept her eyes on her fingers as if the tattered yellowed pages still existed between them. "You are not doing well. You are my life and I cannot exist knowing that you are… that there might be something wrong."
The Dark Queen had only remained quiet, eyes far away, searching her brain for an escape no doubt. Emma had argued with her before she left when Regina had refused to answer her. Irritation had settled in quickly. She had been fretting over the brunette for far too long.
Ever since their wedding night, Regina had been out of sorts, looking distant, worried, confused.
It had terrified Emma, wondering if the older woman had second thoughts about tying herself to the former princess, as if she had regretted accepting her devotion. After all, it had taken Emma those ten years to obtain the simple, yet so very hard, answer of yes.
She had proposed to Regina after the Dark Queen said those three words on the terrace, far too anxious, excited about the breakthrough. But it was also too much for the queen and she had rejected it before disappearing to take her emotion out on innocent souls.
She had attempted several times thereafter, perhaps every other year, but the final was when they were on the beach and the sun was sinking into the horizon. Emma hadn't expected her to accept, knowing it might very well be centuries before she would, but then Regina had finally said yes, and the world around her sunk, leaving her on a pillar to stand above it all.
Though as something inside of her queen had changed, Emma had found herself slowly sinking back to the earth, falling below the surface.
And seeing her, laying there, a look of guilt on her features, hadn't helped, even if her wife had reassured her countless times that she did not regret marrying her.
"Regina?" she had whispered, urging the answer that still had not come.
Silence had passed – it could have been days that she sat there watching the brunette hesitate – Regina finally spoke, her words quiet, soft, "I know what is making me feel out of sorts."
Out of sorts. That had been how she had described herself, as if she were not ill physically, but mentally.
"And what is it, my queen?" she had pondered, a little flutter raising a storm within her stomach.
Regina had not answered, instead, she had taken her hand and placed it on the smooth lavender silk of her nightdress.
"No, Snow, she is not dead," Emma answered her mother's delighted question. "Far, far from it, fortunately." She shouldn't have told Snow that she had brought grand news. Of course the Good Queen would jump to conclusions, vainly hoping for the prospect of her enemy's death.
"Oh," muttered Queen Snow, slowly deflating, her smile fading. "What news do you bring us, then, my daughter?" James stood next to her, rigid, observing. Neal had been playing in the courtyard with a wooden sword.
Emma closed her eyes for a moment, allowing the tension to build and remembered what she felt when Regina had taken her hand.
There, underneath her palm, had been a new energy – something concentrated, pure. It had reminded her of the power that radiated from her mother when she was carrying Neal, though this was far less potent, smaller, if she could describe it, but it had pulled her forward regardless. And that had been her answer because when she had looked into her wife's wary gaze for confirmation, she had received it.
"Regina is expecting," Emma said quietly, hands linking behind her back. Regina was not with her, even though she could have used the support, but the Dark Knight had insisted she stay home in case her parents took offensive action.
The blonde had braced herself, thought herself prepared, but Snow's outraged cry shook her still, rattling her bones.
"I knew she was no good for you!" she cried, her face red. "She would only break your heart, Emma. Why would you allow yourself into this mess?"
Emma could feel the blood underneath her skin growing hot as her heart pumped fury throughout her being. "The child is mine, Snow."
"That is impossible."
"No it is not! Magic and True Love is powerful, you of all people should know that is true." Her breath had shortened as she attempted to keep herself from ripping the woman's heart out of her chest to turn to dust. Her father could sense her anger and touched his wife's elbow, though the displeasure in his crystal gaze was sure.
"How can you be certain that she hadn't lain with a man when your back was turned? Or that she is lying to you?"
"I have no reason not to believe her. I trust her inherently."
Emma had been guilty of having these thoughts, herself, but she had known of Regina's past and what she had done in hatred of her mother.
Thus, she had been prompted to ask, "I thought that you had destroyed your-"
"I-I did," Regina had stumbled over her words, her face pallid, drained in vain fear. "I thought that I would never conceive. I had taken that option away from myself in spite of Cora."
"How are you certain that you are-"
"I am entirely certain, my knight. I cannot explain how it feels, how it happened. After our wedding night, I felt… strange, as if that piece of me had been restored and it felt… heavy.
"As time drew forward, I realized there was something inside me, growing, powerful. At first I thought it was unreleased energy and… you know how well that day had gone." Emma had smirked, mentally recalling the images twisted in satin. "But it never subsided and I thought perhaps it was magic, but… I can feel that it is not. It is… different. Like a light placed inside of me, radiating, warm."
That smirk that had formed on her face soon softened, turning into a smile, small and hesitant. "How long have you known this? You said-"
"Almost as soon as it had happened, my love."
"Why did you not confide in me?" Regina had immediately frowned, turning her gaze away and sinking the blonde's heart.
"I was… afraid to," she had said, becoming caught on the word. "I thought for certain that you would abandon me, hate me, believing I had lain with a man."
Emma had known better. There had been a connection to that little light within her wife and she let fingers caress the thin material of Regina's nightdress as she had leaned up to chastely kiss her, reassuring.
"Perhaps True Love is the most powerful magic of all if it can heal you and create a child. It did bring you back to life, why could it not bring another form of life?"
"Your trust means nothing to her," Snow spat.
How could her mother, the incarnation of good, find hate in a child?
Because she did not believe it was conceived from purity.
Emma's heart pounded, thundering in her ears.
"Even if she loves you, Emma, sometimes that does not mean enough," Prince Charming finally spoke, calm, but there was an edge to his voice as if that cool would break.
"We are connected, mother, by our hearts, and she will keep nothing from me. Why must you doubt Regina's love? Her integrity?" Emma remained still as a statue, eyes sharp on the Good Queen before her throne.
"Because she has lived in darkness for far too long," she answered simply, as if there was no need of further explanation.
Though Emma was quick to counter, arguing, "And I am the light that guided her out of it."
"And you are the light that she will use to pretend she has a grasp on humanity. You had not seen her, Emma, before you were born. What she had done. What she continues to do-"
"I have my part in this chaos, as well. I have blood on my hands."
"Your mother is speaking truth, Emma. She is forcing you to dirty your hands and we will never blame this on you. We have seen powerful sorcery, we have seen it control people, what it is capable of. You are good," James pleaded, desperate to keep his grasp on his daughter.
"Good!" Emma spat the word as if it were a curse. "I wish you would not use goodness as a sanctity, a justification, for everything that I do, that I am. I fell in love with the darkness and I let it touch me, I let it seep into my heart, but I am more than just evil or good. I wish you would see that."
"You are our daughter, whether you are good, or not." Snow's voice had dropped an octave as she grounded herself once again, knowing that she was slowly losing her daughter. She moved carefully and spoke quietly as if she were soothing a spooked animal. "But that spawn growing within her will only turn bad. It will reign terror and leave this realm in the rubble."
Her fingers ached as they bit into the palms of her hands, drawing crimson to the surface. "It is also my child."
The dark-haired woman shook her head, refusing to believe those very words. "No, no… Impossible. You are merely defending her, for what?"
"She is my wife," Emma argued and looked to her father. He was generally diplomatic when it came to arguments between his wife and daughter, and he would draw toward the blonde's side, but his jaw was set grimly, angry. "I thought you were happy that I had found love, regardless of who it was."
"I am, Emma, but she is harming you. This… It has gone too far. You cannot allow her to have this child. She will only pass on the anger that is inside of her and use it for destruction." Snow's voice was pleading and thick. "She was never meant to be a mother, not with her temper, not with what she is."
It felt as if her chest had caved in on itself. She would never win, not when it came to her parents. Snow had been happy that her former enemy had found the happiness that she had cost her so very long ago, and even more so that her own daughter had found True Love. One wrong move, though, sent the tower clattering into a pile of stone.
Senseless, it seemed, to care of petty things when Emma will live past her parents' lifetime and even her own brother's. Would she remember them, this conversation, when centuries have passed?
"She has always wanted to be a mother and I give my full conviction that she will be a fantastic one," Emma said quietly. "And I am very much the same thing that she is."
"We cannot be associated with what she brings to this world," James said, taking his wife's side, raking in the stones.
"Then if you cannot accept me, or my family, I have no business being here." The blonde watched the passing expressions on her parents' faces, but they remained still, silent. "And I shall take my leave and never return."
"We are your family, Emma." Snow stepped toward her, distressed, but Emma took one back and shook her head. They had already severed the ties.
"No, you are not. You have never treated me like family, only like an animal to be locked away." Emma could hear her voice waver as she took the last wire and detached herself from it. "Regina, I chose her and she accepted me. She is my family, now, along with the child that we have created." A shudder tore throughout her being, convulsing up her spine and rising within her throat, but she swallowed it down.
"Emma…" Snow started to speak, but the blonde stopped her, jaw setting somberly.
"I must say goodbye to this chapter of my life because I have allowed it to wound me for far too long. I am sorry that you cannot see past your thick borders of black and white, but this is who I am, and who I am is not who you want me to be." She breathed and held the air in her lungs, letting it burn.
They said nothing.
"Goodbye," she said, formally bowing before allowing her magic to take her away to the next chapter of her life.
Regina felt something suddenly burden her heart as she overlooked the sea. It was intense and crippling, forcing her fingers around the rough iron that kept her from tumbling over the cliff's edge. She never should have sent Emma to the White Kingdom alone, but the blonde had insisted, attempting to keep her and their child safe.
The Dark Queen growled softly and touched her swollen belly. She could very well protect herself, but her weakness lie within those big green eyes, always forcing her to do their bidding.
"Emma," she whispered when she felt the comforting warmth of the Dark Knight as she joined her. When she turned, she saw her face and the tears that stained her cheeks, and immediately grew angry. "Their opinion means nothing, my love."
"I know," Emma murmured. "I feel sick for desiring their approval."
"You are not sick, my love. We all wish for peace at some point, even if it will never be granted." Regina touched her cheek and kissed the frown until it disappeared, curving into something soft, sweet, that unburdened her love's features.
"How did Snow react?" That piece of information was the only thing that she had wanted an image of. To see as Snow White's world crashed down around her upon learning that Emma had crossed the ultimate line with the Evil Queen, that she had chosen her instead of what she had been born into.
Emma had recounted her conversation and her mother's reaction, and the blood boiled within her veins again, shuddering her form.
"She implied that you must kill our child?" She felt Emma's hand cup her abdomen protectively. Within, she felt the little light squirm, nudging, as if provoked by these words.
"And I implied that she must fuck off." Regina found the corners of her lips twitch upward into her cheeks.
Good, she hummed in thought and Emma's light laughter chimed.
"Will they come for us?" she asked, feeling the blade of her own personal razor score along her insides. What worry had she if they did? They were invulnerable with a hand on their daggers, but her worry lie with the fragility of their unborn child.
"We are secluded, safe. They will be dead once we surface again," Emma reassured, fingers moving along the thin fabric of her nightgown, tracing the swell. She shuddered and closed her eyes, leaning forward to bury her nose in sandy locks.
"Snow White's demise – my happy ending. Never did I imagine I would receive it while I still breathed."
Emma snorted at her wife's words. Regina allowed herself to be crushed in her warm embrace as lips ghosted along the sensitive skin of her neck. "That is your happy ending?"
Regina released the air from her lungs. "No, not truly. I always thought I would be satisfied if death took her, but…" Olive fingers curled into the pale locks of Emma's hair, tugging and combing. "You had given me the realization that it would only satisfy me for a single moment and leave me empty for a lifetime. I suppose I had known this long ago, which was why I never did quite take that extra step and resorted to antagonizing your mother, instead.
"And that was when I had started to ponder what I truly wanted, what would diminish this loneliness, this emptiness inside of me. I have tried and failed, over and over. Nothing ever did satisfy me. I suppose deep down I wanted love. Someone to love me, someone to love." Regina cast her gaze to the churning waves as she stood beside her wife, arm slipping around her waist. "But I was told I would never get a happy ending, that I did not deserve one, and I eventually believed it for myself as the years passed and the isolation grew."
Emma was quiet for a long moment, allowing the brunette to lean against her, breathing calmly, relaxing, lulling Regina into a gentle serenity. Her voice was soft, like a lullaby, as she spoke, "But you did find your happy ending."
"Yes. Yes, I did."
One of Emma's hands had lifted, pressing against the bared flesh of her chest. From where it had been placed a fire had started, brimming on the edges of her blackened heart. Her breath was stolen into the flames as the blonde's second hand moved along her hips and curled into the olive fingers that rested where their light flourished.
Softly, she spoke, careful but sure, "We all deserve a happy ending when it boils down. It is the journey that dissuades us if it is too long, too difficult, too painful. But, in the end, True Love will be there to take our hands and guide us toward the light, toward eternity."
Regina felt her heart flutter. True Love; that had always been something that she never believed in, that it would never grace her. But there it was, holding her hand, gently kissing her, loving. She allowed it to swarm within her, bringing the peace that she had always longed for; silence from the screaming storm of hatred and anger.
Closing her eyes, she allowed the rest of Emma's words to fill her, letting the world slip away.
"And you, my queen, you are my forever, and this child that you carry is our happy ending. And I will do everything in my power to protect it."