A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

By

Lady Razeli

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Characters depicted here that appear in the Show.

Prologue

The Enchanted Forest before the first curse…..

"Ah why are you idiots so adept at failing!" Regina yelled at her black knights. They bowed or cowered really before her praying they didn't lose their life tonight. Anyone's life could be forfeit at any moment, but the more you pleased your Queen the more likely it was, it wouldn't be your head on the chopping block or rather your heart crushed in her hands.

"AH!" The guards jumped as their normally fearless leader's heart was ripped out. Regina gave it a little squeeze and he cried out.

"Earn your heart back, by bringing me Snow White's heart now!" Regina was so angry she squeezed his heart and ended up killing him anyway. She glared at his dead body. "Weak." She pointed to another guard and appointed him leader. "Go get me Snow White's heart!" They all practically ran out before she decided to take out all their hearts.

"My daughter, please calm down," Henry Mills cautioned. He loved Regina so much, but he hated to see her hurting so. Ever since she had cast the spell for the mirror to show her who she hated the most, she had been in a rage, pacing like a tiger in a cage, and hardly sleeping. She had even covered all the mirrors in the castle, breaking it if she saw one exposed and scarring the faces of the person responsible for leaving it uncovered.

"How can I be calm when the one thing I want most, I can't have?" Regina asked him.

"You know I only want you to be happy my love."

"Happy?" Regina asked him. "I haven't been happy in a long time father."

"I know," He replied and the silence between them was heavy as it so often was. He hugged her and rubbed her back. Regina for a moment finally let out a breath and for a moment tried to feel something, anything, these days she almost couldn't even feel her anger. She went out of her way to be awful to fill that void inside of her.

"I have an idea," her father stated as a single tear rolled down her cheek. She looked at him silently, her beautiful face stoic and unreadable even as the tear rolled down her cheek. "You cast a spell to be happy, maybe then you can relax. Sometimes we are too wound up and then we don't achieve our goals." Henry Mills pushed his daughter out of the dining room where her lunch had been interrupted not that she had been eating at all. She picked at whatever she was given, threw it at the cook, who always had several items on hand until she could find something to stomach even a small portion. Regina was rarely in such a good mood that she ate well and without complaint to the first thing the cook put in front of her. And sometimes that was only an apple pie, made from the apples she picked herself from her favorite tree. She had grown and cultivated the tree herself it had served to help get her through the days being married to King Leopold. Somehow she had found some solace, some sort of calm. She hadn't felt that in months or years, she wasn't sure. Regina was mechanical as she just simply moved and focused on watching her father. She didn't tell him his idea of a spell was the idea of a fool. You couldn't create happiness if that were so, her mother might have already done that to her to make her easier to control. Regina let out a breath and wished a little that's what she had done. Maybe then Daniel would still be alive, maybe the spell would have worn off by now and she'd have a chance at running away. The familiar ache started in her heart and she squashed it down.

"Stop!" Regina yelled. Her father stopped walking just as they were inside her rooms. "This is a fool's quest you can't make a spell for happiness."

"Then make a spell for love!" Henry cried. "I don't pretend to know as much about magic as you or your mother, but if you can make a spell for hate, then make one for love. Humor me, humor an old man, maybe find clarity to help you win this war. I cannot continue to watch you suffer." He stomped out of her room and shut the doors behind him with a heavy thud. Regina threw a fireball at the wall feeling a sudden rise of rage in the back of her throat before she heard a giggle. She nearly rolled her eyes hearing the familiar sound.

"Rumplestiltskin," Regina said. The name came out low and drawn out as she turned in her knee high boots with a ten centimeter heel. "What do you want?" As she turned she swung the train of her black coat around.

"To help you find your happy ending of course," He replied with his usual giggle. Regina glared at him. Regina scoffed.

"Since when does my happy ending interest you?" Regina asked him. "Last I saw you, you were interfering with my happy ending by sending away my perfect assassin." She thought of the Count of Monte Cristo who had suddenly disappeared to the land of untold stories thanks to Rumple.

"Aww you're not going to let a little harmless fun get in the way of us?" He asked. He skipped. "Believe me Regina I want you to get your happy ending just as much as you do." Regina looked at him suspiciously.

"And why is that?" Rumplestiltskin shrugged.

"Let's just say I have my reasons deary." Regina frowned as he giggled again that insidious giggle. "Matter of fact I happen to have here a potion that will just do the trick." He waved his right hand and a potion bottle appeared in his left.

"No thanks I don't need or want help trying to find some guy with the lion tattoo, I know what my supposed happy ending is and it isn't him." Rumple giggled again.

"This isn't about him deary, true love is only one part of a Happy Ending, don't you want to know the other parts? This potion will help you find out and lead you straight to it." Regina looked highly skeptical, but she was just so damn tired of fighting and feeling empty.

"Oh and what's it going to cost me?" Regina asked him.

"Oh just a piece of your hair," He answered. "You can even take it from your brush." He giggled.

"First tell me how the potion works, it looks unfinished." He gave off a giggle.

"Right you are deary, all it requires is a little drop of blood. When the color turns blood red, it'll be ready. Then choose the portal of your choice and step through, but choose wisely deary some portals are harder to get back through than others. Oh and don't forget to think Happy Ending." Regina thought about it before stomping over to her vanity and picking up her brush. She pulled out a strand of her hair. Rumple giggled in glee skipped over took the strand, handed her the potion, and disappeared. Regina glared at the spot where he had been a moment longer before she thought about the type of portal. A mirror would be most obvious, but they tended to seal up quickly, she couldn't be too sure about Rumple's potion and wound up stuck in the world behind the mirror. She paces a few more moments before waving her hand and a piece of chalk appeared in a cloud of purple smoke. She find a free space of wall and draws a door. She shrugs thinking that will have to do as she tucks the chalk into her corset, she would need it to return. She walked back over to her desk opened the potion bottle before picking up the dagger she kept on her vanity. She pricked her finger easily not even flinching at the sting; there were worse pains in the world. She watched the drop of blood fall in and she waited and waited and waited. Twenty-four hours later and after a lot of terrorizing those stupid enough to get in her way, Regina was brushing her hair for bed when it finally turned blood red.

"Well the little imp didn't give me a false potion after all." Regina had been planning her revenge for Rumple the next day and was going to demand her strand of hair back, put an end to his little plans. Standing up she took up the potion bottle and drank it quickly before walking over to the chalk door. The effects were immediate as she felt the form of a real know appear and the stone began to scrape against one another as she pulled open the door. There was nothing but bright light on the other side as she walked through unhindered and the door was lost behind her.

The Evil Queen found herself on a path lined with trees as she walked, her nightgown scraping the ground, her bare feet crunching on the gravel. She came into a yard behind a large house, her apple tree stood as the center piece for the garden.

"Hello?" Regina called. No one answered as she went to the back door and tried to open it, and it gave way to her easily enough it wasn't locked. She walked in still shocked and amazed, everything looked so different, she didn't know what she was looking at. She saw that someone had been making a pie from a basket of apples. A ding filled the air and she looked over to metal box in the wall. Inside she saw a pie baking, but didn't see a fire.

"Where's the fire?" Regina asked herself amazed. She looked around waiting for someone to come and get the pie before it burned but no one came. She looked around and quickly found two thick mittens. She opened the metal box and removed the pie. She set it down and closed the metal box door. She looked at all the glossy buttons. She pushed one that said off and was startled when the light went out. Excited she decided to explore the other magic items in the house while the pie cooled. She noted the house was beautifully furnished and toys were a bit scattered, but the only one she recognized was the miniature figure of her most beloved horse Rocinante. Carrying it she suddenly really knew this was her house. She looked around for a painting anything else to indicate it was her home, but there was nothing, though it was clear to her the potion was obscuring such details. She went to the stairs and climbed it hoping for more clues. She checked the rooms, she found a child's room. She figured perhaps a boy, given the strange books filled with drawings.

"Hmm Iron man interesting," Regina murmured. Although she assumed it was a young boy, she gave a thought that there was no reason a young girl wouldn't be interested in the stories of heroes and exploration. She walked out intending to explore the other rooms when she heard a door open downstairs. Regina gulped would she come face to face with herself would she be able to interact with herself, if she could, should she interact with herself. Stealing herself as she resolved she had to find out, maybe even find out more about this life and this world in which her happy ending seemed to lie in.

"Hmm…Regina babe you seriously did yourself this time, babe?" A voice called. Whoever the voice belonged too was clearly stuffing their face with the pie. Regina looked alarmed. She wasn't prepared to face this person who called her name with so much reflection. She looked around and saw herself with shorter hair and wearing different clothes. Panic rose in her gut just as a blond appeared in the hallway and in that moment green eyes met brown and a jolt like nothing she had ever experienced before ran through Regina. The shock of the jolt knocked her off her feet and she found herself skidding out of the doorway she had created. Light poured through her bedroom it was day time.

"Like what you find deary?" Rumple asked as he leaned against the wall. Regina frowned, she didn't want to be back here, she wanted to go back to see the girl with the green eyes again. Regina frowned even more deeply when she couldn't remember her face, but that feeling that she had just seen the most beautiful woman in the world couldn't be shook.

"I want to go back, give me another potion," Regina demanded as she stood up.

"Sorry deary, the only way to go back is to go for forward," He said gesturing.

"And how do I do that?" Regina growled. "Call me foolish, but I suspect you know what was on the other side of that door."

"What I know is irrelevant except to say that the only thing standing in your way is Snow White." Regina growled. It was always Snow White.

"She'll be dead soon enough, I've demanded her head on a platter, and I intend to get it." Regina's voice was low and menacing as she spoke.

"Maybe, maybe not, but you already let her slip through your grasp once, not even Maleficent's sleeping curse could keep her down," He said. He waved his hands. "While you're failing to get her out of the way she's marrying her Prince, and you…where are you stuck here, without your wife." Shock and anger runs through Regina's body at the words wife, so few people knew she never coveted a husband, but a wife. He disappeared leaving a fuming Regina to rage against the world. Wife, the word bounced around her head like a ball.

"Mirror show me the wedding." The mirror did so and she glared at it.

'Wife,' Regina thought again. There was that word, after all this time such a thing was once again in her possession. She thought of Daniel again it almost didn't hurt so much knowing that somewhere out there, there was green eyed, blond haired angel waiting for her. And it burned her up inside that she was the one who was wronged and so was Daniel. But Daniel was dead and she, she was suffering, but where was Snow White about to have the kind of happiness that she derserved. Regina paced endlessly as she thought about what to do, and she was considering the unthinkable when she thought of Tinkerbell. If her happy ending was with a woman, why Tink's magic lead her to the man with a Lion tattoo was beyond her, and she was sure that even a bad fairy could change the gender of her heart's desire, or mistake that memory of Daniel for being a real boy. That fact had always bothered Daniel and he hopped one day to find magic that could make it real for him, but Regina had been skeptical, but now he would never know.

"Maybe he's connected, perhaps I only saw one part of the puzzle that night, maybe I don't need his stupid curse." Regina threw off her nightgown and changed into black outfit that contained leather pants and a beautiful black jacket with a cape made of black and red feathers. She settled an elegant matching head piece on her head before she disappeared to a room containing most of her magical items and the hearts she had stolen. For a moment she thought of those hearts and how she had collected so many now, she didn't know who they belonged too anymore just like her mother. The thought made her despise herself more for being like her. Shaking her head she found Cupid's arrow and reversed the spell so that it would take her the man with the lion tattoo. Taking a deep breath she transported herself to her balcony with the arrow, and shot it. Regina followed the magical trail, and soon she found herself standing in the castle of Snow White and Charming. It took her only a few moments to realize that she was at Snow and Charming's wedding the doors were only just closing behind Snow, and the magical trail led inside.

"What the hell?" Regina fumed thinking it was broken until it occurred to her the man might in fact be part of their wedding crowd. It wouldn't be so farfetched that like many others he had come to see them wed.

"Well I may as well crash the festivities." Regina stepped out from the little alcove she had appeared in. The hall was empty; everyone was likely piled into the chapel room. She held her head high and pushed open the tall double doors hard. She had a few objectives now, scan the room for the man with the lion tattoo, take him prisoner, and terrorize Snow White and Charming once again. Everyone gasped when they saw her.

"Sorry, I'm late," She announced as she moved forward, strutting as she went. She seemed to move with unnatural speed as she scanned the room for this man, but she didn't see him. Two guards rushed at her and easily she threw them to the side as Snow White grabbed Charming's sword.

"The Evil Queen run!" one of the dwarves yelled.

"She's not a Queen anymore," Snow White told them. Regina didn't even flinch and was nauseated by Charming's speech.

"Oh I haven't come to ruin anything, matter of fact I came to give you a gift," Regina told them as she paced and used it as an excuse to look around and scan all the faces and exposed arms around her. She looked for the magical trail but it was simply all over the room, in fact she realized the arrow hadn't even landed it seemed confused unable to complete it's task. Furiously she continued to taunt them until finally she disappeared in a cloud of smoke to avoid Charming's sword. She would have her happy ending and she would take away there's if it was the last thing she did.

Land without Magic….Maine 2009

"What were you dreaming about last night, you were murmuring something about apple pie?" Emma blushed as she sat in the car on her way to the county office. Cleo had promised to take her to see if there was anything from her parents before they headed back to Arizona.

"I'm sorry I didn't mean to wake you, and it's nothing it's just this stupid reoccurring dream I've always had." Cleo looked intrigued.

"Oh, and it involves some really good apple pie, you couldn't stop singing it's praises, I had to know where it was exactly you tried the best apple pie of your life," Cleo joked at first, but then she looked serious. "But really because if you love pie as much as I think you do, you're in good company."

"I…well actually I've never really had pie, just in my dream, I can't explain it, it all tastes so real." Emma took a breath. "It sounds so silly, but out of all my dreams this one always feels real."

"Oh yeah, maybe your conscious is trying to tell you something, wanna tell me about it?" Emma was silent and for the first time divulged the details. She had never even told Neal, she didn't want to think that she didn't love him or anything, not that it mattered as he had abandoned her too just like everyone else in her life. But this, this dream, had no place for that feeling.

"Every time I'm walking through a garden up a tree lined gravel path, cherry blossoms I think, and I come to this beautiful garden and in the center is an apple tree, it's a deep brown, and the apples they're so red it almost seems unreal. The sight of it makes me smile, as the few times I've had a bit of a variation this dream I've been standing under this apple tree. Anyway I always go inside and I am just greeted by this delicious smell and I see a beautiful pie just resting on the island."

"That's the part where you can't help yourself and dig in." Emma lets out a chuckle.

"Yeah, and as you already know clearly the best pie I've ever tasted. Then I start to notice the house that maybe I shouldn't just be eating someone else's pie." Cleo chuckled at that. "But you know it's a dream I'm not in control, so I feel myself walking out of the kitchen and calling out into the house, and I'm calling someone. In my dreams the sound of her name is one of the sweetest sounds to touch my lips, and as I make my way up the stairs, my eyes meet hers and then that's it I melt into my dream, she's gone."

"Huh, what's her name?" Cleo asked. "Is she some long lost love you left behind to go in search of your parents?" Emma shook her head.

"No, and I don't know her name, when I wake up the feel of her name always seems to be lingering on my lips but I can never remember it. When I wake up I can almost remember her so vividly and clearly and then within seconds she's gone like a ghost. She may as well be one, I swear she haunts me in my dreams as I watch her picking apples from the apple tree, and the way she smiles at me, you'd think it were all real, that I really had some nice fancy home in the country to go home too and wife there waiting and happy to see me. You know what that's what I never forget her scent and her smile. I confess that I haven't tried pie because I want her pie to be the first pie I ever taste." Cleo smiled at her.

"Sounds to me that your heart wants other things than to just find your parents, and honestly I think you have a better shot and finding a girl who makes you smile like you are now, then you do of finding your parents." Emma half frowned and half smiled.

"You really think a home is place I'll have one day?" Emma asked her. Cleo nodded.

"For you anything is possible," Cleo replied as she pulled up to the county office.


Passenger train in Maine….2001

Regina took a deep breath as she rode the train for the first time. It had been eighteen years since she had cast Rumple's dark curse, but she was starting to think that the curse was really on her not those around her. The Dark curse had brought them all to a land without magic. And at first it had been wonderful as she had imagined it, but then every day began to repeat itself except for a few days where she was sure Mary Margaret and David had remembered everything and caused problems, but they had fallen prey to the curse again. It had compelled them to re-curse themselves, and aside from some excitement from when they had first arrived that was it. It was almost cruel that she was the only one with her memory; apparently not even Rumple remembered a thing, although she wasn't buying that on her best days. Still a void filled her life and she had found herself talking to Archie or formally Jimmy Cricket. He was the resident therapist and he had explained that perhaps she was looking for something other than work to fulfill her. Regina came to the conclusion that perhaps a child had been what she was looking for. The idea had one that settled well with her, but she had made herself barren to anger her mother and she couldn't undo that short of a time spell. So she had gone to Rumple who now called himself Mr. Gold, and demanded his help in helping her adopt an infant. And now she was on her way to pick up a baby whose adoption had suddenly fell through and needed a home. She was excited and scared to meet her new child and she promised herself over and over that in this aspect should would not becoming her mother. And she would love her child endlessly.

The steady motion of the train lulled Regina to sleep as she fell asleep with her headphones in her ears with a bunch of songs she had never heard. She had been meaning to listen to the compilation, but didn't have time or lately she had too much time and was bored by life so had been making her way through the list. As she fell asleep 'Haven't met you yet' started to play and her thoughts turned to the green eyes that had haunted her dreams for the last eighteen years. Not for the first time she wished that it had been real, but it was a lie. She found herself walking through a city she didn't recognize. It was hot there she realized and something inside her told her she was in Los Angeles, California. She looked around and saw the Hollywood sign. Regina gasped inside amazed by it, but then she knew who she was there and she turned and wisp of blond hair was just disappearing around a corner.

'Oh I might have to wait, I'll never give up, I guess it's half timing and the other half's luck,' Michael Bublé sang. She ran after her, but Regina could never seem to catch her.

'Wherever you are, Whenever it's right, You'll come out of nowhere and into my life,' He sang. Regina stopped running in front of a shop window and looked in both directions thinking perhaps she made a wrong turn. She saw her crossing the street, and she hurried after her just as she reached the other side and went around a corner.

'And I know that we can be so amazing, And baby your love is gonna change me, And now I can see every possibility mmm.' Michael Bublé sang. Regina searched alley ways and shop windows, and cafes but she had lost her. Then she spotted her through the cars and people. She hurried after wishing she knew her name to call out to her, she always just seemed to be out of her reach.

'They say all's fair, In love and war, But I won't need to fight it, We'll get it right it, We'll be united," He sang as the instrumental music played fuelling her as she searched. Regina stopped in a square, annoyed that the song seemed to be following her wherever she went.

'Oh you know that will all turn out, And you'll make me work so we can work to work it out,
And I promise you kid, to give so much more than I get, Yeah I just haven't met you yet,' Michael Bublé sang. Regina turned in a circle trying to find her when a name finally came to her.

"EMMA!" Regina yelled. Regina was jolted awake in that moment by a conductor.

"(Love, love, love, love) I just haven't met you yet (love, love, love, love) …" Michael Bublé sang in her headphones as they fell out.

"Ticket ma'am," He stated more than asked. Regina glared at him but produced the needed ticket. The older man ignored her as he looked over the ticket and marked it. He handed it back. Regina straightened up and tried to remember her dream, tried to remember her name, but still she couldn't to her sadness.

"It was a lie anyway and this is side effects from that stupid potion," Regina grumbled to herself. She hit her head back against the head rest upset. She quickly wiped away tears this wasn't going to happen, but what was going to happen was a child. She had seen that too and perhaps that was what she was really meant to see. Rumple had corrupted the rest of her vision somehow, and she couldn't put anything past that bastard. With a sigh she switched to a rock song, she knew she liked and had nothing to do with love, she'd get back to Michael Bublé another day she supposed.

Los Angeles, California… 2001

Emma turned suddenly at the sound of her name in the square, but when she looked around there was no one around who could have possibly known her or was looking to get her attention. Frowning at the sight of a mother with her child, she heard her call the little girl Emma. She had been mistaken. Emma hurried out of the square and away from the mother and child before her own tears began to fall.

"Ah I gotta get off the street," Emma murmured to herself. She pushed down the memory of her own child and the constant pain of being abandoned as a baby herself. She hoped he never thought she had abandoned him and that he would find his way back to her. But she had to give him his best chance, she knew that, and she was not it, not now, and not ever. She found her way back to a quiet little motel and went to her room. She had been out of jail only three weeks, she had done time because her boyfriend Neal had deserted her and she had been caught with the stolen watches he had stolen, she had been so stupid to pick them up for him. She was lucky enough to get a public defender, whom only got her nine months unfortunately that meant giving birth to her child in jail handcuffed to a bed.

"I gave him his best chance away from me, every time I think I'm getting it together I go wrong," Emma told herself. She took off her backpack and fell back onto her bed. She reached over and hit the radio on. She sang along to a few songs as she thought about her next move, her last move. She sat up went to her bag and pulled out a pill bottle she had stolen earlier that day of sleeping pills. She had already left a note for her son when he was older in his adoption file. She wanted him to know that she loved him and that she didn't give him away because she didn't. She gulped down a handful and lay down again.

"Another summer day, Is come and gone away, In Paris and Rome, But I want to go home
Mmmmmmmm," Emma sang as she waited for the pills to take effect. As she got more tired she felt a body appear next to hers. The smell of fresh cut apples reached her nose. She opened her eyes hoping to find herself lost in a familiar dream forever, but she was still in her motel room.

"Maybe surrounded by, A million people I, Still feel all alone, I just want to go home, Oh I miss you, you know," Regina sang next to her.

"You're here," Emma said happily as she turned her head heavily and looked at Regina. Regina turned as well to look at her.

"Of course I'm always here," Regina replied. "I was looking for you today, you were gone."

"I didn't see you," Emma replied thinking of earlier and how the voice had sounded familiar. "But it's good you're here now, I wanted to tell you goodbye." Regina looked alarmed.

"Goodbye, why?" Regina asked. "Where are you going?"

"I don't know, I never believed," Emma told her. "But I'm glad I got to see you before I go." Emma moved her head back and forth slowly. Regina looked around as fear etched her face. Emma felt her slap her face as if to rouse her more, her eyes were hooded she could barely see Regina's features clearly anymore.

"What's wrong, are you under a sleeping curse?" Regina asked her confused.

"Wrong, nothing is wrong my son is gone," Emma cried. "I wish you could have seen him, maybe if you had been there, he'd still be here."

"What no, Emma wake up, our son is home, he's home!" Regina yelled at her as she slapped her to keep her awake. "No don't die we need you!"

"You don't need me you're not real," Emma murmured as her eyes fully closed.

"No!" Regina yelled. "I don't care that you're not real, don't do this, I can't lose you too!" Regina's eyes landed on the sleeping pills. She reached for the phone and dialled 911. Emma's body moved without her realizing and the words coming out of her mouth didn't feel like own. She wanted to die, but Regina wanted her to live. Emma didn't know when the paramedics arrived or even most of the ride to the hospital, all she knew was that Regina never let her hand go. When she woke up finally Regina was gone and she was alone. The door opened and for a moment she prayed it was all real and that Regina would appear.

"Oh good you're up," the nurse said pleased with a smile.

"Was there a woman here with me?" Emma asked still hopeful.

"Woman?" the nurse asked confused. Emma tried to search for her name, but once again it escaped her. "No, you must have been dreaming, no one's been to see you, since you were admitted five days ago." Emma looked at her in shock, she had been there for five days already and she had dreamt that someone loved her enough to want her alive. Although she was still sad, every time she thought about making a second attempt she remembered the words that had been whispered into her ear. Somewhere out there, there was a home. Emma finished her time in the hospital and unfortunately that included a psychiatric hold.

"Here's your bag," the orderly told her. She had been on the psych ward two days and once they had established she wouldn't try to kill herself right away, they gave her, her backpack. It was all she had in the world. She looked through and saw her clothes at least had been taken on purpose, but everything else was there. She found a scrap of paper with an address.

"Storybrooke, Maine," Emma murmured. She turned the paper over and there was nothing, and oddly enough it looked like her own handwriting. "Never heard of it." She balled up the paper and threw it away. She looked away and didn't see it bounce off the basket and land by her foot until she felt the contact. Frowning she picked it up again and tried to discard it again, but again found the address back in her possession.

"Ah so you do have someone out there, maybe you should try writing to them, it might help aid in your recovery," A passing orderly commented. Emma looked at him startled at such an idea, she had no idea who this address belonged too and she didn't even think Storybrooke was a real place. She stood up with her things and went to visit one of the more long term residents who was obsessed with maps and just as she suspected she had a map of the United States, and quite detailed enough. There was no storybrooke just as she suspected. She went back to the common room after putting her things away, she stared at the crumpled piece of paper unable to throw it away now. She had nagging feeling in her heart that she should write, but what was she going to say to the person on the other side of this imaginary address? Emma kept trying to push the feeling down, but eventually she felt compelled by a discard post card someone was supposed to use to contact family. Emma stared at the blank card for a moment and finally she wrote one line.

Thank you for saving me.

Emma thought about writing more, but for this first post card, this first letter this was all that needed to be said. She wrote the address onto the postcard and took it a night nurse who promised to have it posted in the morning.

"Thank you," Emma told her before walking off. The nurse watched her go before dumping the postcard in the bin.


Storybrooke, Maine….2001

"I'm never going to let you go, I promise," Regina told Henry as she sat on the train. She had taken him all the way back to Boston after having Sidney search for information on his birth mother. It turned out Henry's mother had been found just outside of storybrooke as an infant the same day she had cast her curse. That could only mean one thing that the saviour was out there and eventually she would make her way to storybrooke. It had been her intention to give Henry up, but as she stood there in the social worker's office she knew that she would never be parted from Henry, and she would never give him up willingly to anyone not even the saviour. She loved him more than anything else in the entire world from the minute their eyes met, and love always won usually. If she could win against Snow White and Charming with hate, then she would damn sure keep her son with love.

"We will vanquish her when she comes, if she comes," Regina told him. "She won't get in the way of our happily ever after." Regina kissed his cheek as he slept against her. The train announced the nearest train station to Story brooke and she tucked him back into his car seat and picked up their bags and him. At their stop she exited the train and found her car. The idea of driving in the far away cities of this land with no magic was a scary one, and she didn't intend to endanger Henry by driving herself to the social worker's office. She strapped him into the car seat and secured him in the back of her car. She drove the rest of the way home after she fed him.

"Home Sweet home," Regina told him. He cooed at her. Regina was just setting him down in the foyer along with their bags when she heard someone at her post box. She went to the door and opened it but found it empty, frowning she turned to her mailbox and opened it. She was surprised when she found a postcard inside from Los Angeles to her surprise.

"Thanks for saving me," Regina read. She looked all around in shock for a name or address anything to lead her to the girl in her dreams, but there was nothing. Then after a moment she realized that this was all just some cruel joke from Rumple. He'd had a front row seat to her misery for years and of course it wouldn't stop with the casting of the dark curse. He had of course made this dark curse to serve his own ends whatever that may be. She crumpled the post card up and threw it on the floor. She went to Henry who had begun to fuss.

"Oh I'm sorry I didn't mean to scare you," Regina told him. "Come on we're going to bed, it's late." Regina took him and his diaper bag upstairs, but even after Henry was down she didn't sleep, she was worried still that her happy ending would be taken away. She couldn't be sure if she would show up in ten years or not at all or more quickly now that she had Henry in her life.

"I can't raise you like this Henry," Regina whispered as she let out a breath. She resolved that tomorrow she was going to something about that and allow herself to be happy with her son, allow Henry to be happy with her. The next day she took Henry to the grave yard and inside her father's tomb, she opened the secret passageway that revealed a door to her vault. She began to tell Henry a story.

"Once upon a time there was a Queen and she cast a glorious curse that gave her everything she wanted. Or so she thought. She despaired when she found out that revenge was not enough, and she was lonely. And so she searched the land for a little boy to be her prince. And then she found him." Regina smiled at Henry and tickled his belly a little, he cooed. She turned back to where a goblet and potion ingredients stood. "And though they lived happily it was not ever after." She stared off into the distance for a moment thinking of the Saviour. "There was still an evil out there lurking. The Queen was worried for her Prince's safety." She began to mix the potion. "While she knew she could vanquish any threat to the boy, she also knew she couldn't raise him worrying." Regina poured in liquid from a green bottle as the potion began to smoke a little. "No…she needed to put her own troubles aside and put her child first. And so the Queen procured an ancient potion of forgetting." Henry gave a cry of distress and she turned quickly to sooth him. "Oh it's alright if the Queen drinks the potion she won't forget her son only her worries…her troubles... her fears and with those gone. She and her prince can indeed finally live happily…ever…after." She raised the goblet a little as if in a toast and she drank the potion and put the goblet down. As she stood there a moment all of her magic supplies disappeared from her view and Regina forgot all about being the Evil Queen, she forgot all about the savior, and she forgot all about the green eyed girl in her dreams.

"I think that's enough of visiting your grandfather today," Regina told Henry. She picked him up and left the vault without a backwards glance. She spent the day with her son, and when he was down for a nap, she discovered a post card.

"Thanks for saving me," Regina read confused when she found no name or return address she move to toss it properly but didn't have the heart. Instead she put it away in a shoebox in her closet.


Boston, Massachusetts…2011

Emma sighed as she lit the birthday candle on her single cupcake, as usual she was alone on her birthday. The only comfort she got was knowing that in her dreams, the woman she longed for would bake her birthday pie. Although as time passed that dream was feeling less and less real. And she seemed to be getting farther and farther away from her. Emma thought it was because she was giving up hope that such a woman actually existed and would ever find her. She bent down and stared at the cupcake.

'I wish I weren't alone on my birthday,' Emma thought before blowing out the candle. As soon as it was out she heard a knocking at the door. She looked at it confused before opening the door to find a little boy.

"Are you Emma Swan?" He asked.

"Uh yeah," Emma replied.

"My name's Henry, I'm your son," Henry replied with a smile. Emma let him in as she was in shock.

"Where are your parents?" She asked her shock showing in her voice as Henry walked in and looked behind. He was wearing a black jacket with grey and red scarf against the Autumn chill, and he wore his backpack.

"Ten years ago, did give up a baby for adoption, that was me," Henry replied. Emma thought she might have a panic attack.

"Give me a minute," Emma said before she hurried into the bathroom. She couldn't move too fast in her pink dress, but she moved fast enough. She closed the door and left her hand resting against it as she thought she might pass out right there. She never expected in a million years that her son would show up on her doorstep, he shouldn't have even been able to find her.

"Do you have any juice?" Henry called out. "Nevermind found it!" She opened the door again, she had to get him back home, and turn him over to the cops, his parents probably thought he was missing.

"I'm calling the cops," Emma told him.

"And I will tell them you kidnapped me," Henry replied. Emma paused as the dial tone echoed between them.

"And they'll believe you because I'm your birth mother," Emma replied as she pushed end on her house phone.

"Yep," Henry replied. But then she looked determined again.

"You wouldn't do that," Emma replied. Henry put on his best face to say he would.

"Try me," He bluffed.

"You know there's not a lot that I'm great at in life, but I have a skill, let's just call it my super power and I can tell when anyone is lying, and you kid are." Emma turned on the phone and started to dial.

"No wait, please don't call the cops. Just come home with me," Henry begged.

"Where is home?" Emma asked him.

"Storybrooke, Maine," Henry answered. A shock went through Emma's body.

"Storybrooke?" She asked incredulous.

"Mhhhmmhmph," Henry replied.

"I'm going to change, you stay here." Emma put her phone back down and walked away to her bedroom. She went into her closet and rummaged around until she found her old travel bag and pulled out a scrap of paper with an address she had memorized long ago, but just to be safe she had to be sure. So that had to mean someone was getting her postcards and occasional letters. All this time she thought they had been getting lost in the mail like wish lists to Santa. She thought about asking Henry if he knew the address, if he knew who lived there, but she couldn't involve him. She had to go there by herself. She quickly changed clothes and grabbed her red leather jacket. It had been her armor against the world and she had no doubt it would bring her through this. Once she was ready to go, she found Henry eating her cupcake.

"I was hungry," He told her sheepishly. "I ran out of snacks."

"Come on kid, we'll get you a burger on the way back." Henry grinned. They left together and she took him to her yellow bug, she couldn't help but think of Neal, Henry's father for a moment. She pushed him out of her mind though, Neal could go to hell, especially now that she might find the woman of her dreams. The woman who would never abandon her, and maybe she'd even stay nearby to Henry who knew or she'd come back home secure in the knowledge that she did indeed give Henry his best chance. On the way Henry chatted about the town and told her that everyone was a fairy tale character. She frowned inwardly. He was clearly going through a rough time and his imagination was running extremely wild it seemed. Perhaps it was better if she stayed away she resolved, no matter what came out of this with the address she had to do what was best for Henry.

"Henry this is honeycrisp street," Emma told him as she read the sign. Henry looked at her strangely.

"Yes, it is," Henry told her. "Right here, but can't we just find a different place to stay tonight, I can stay with you." Emma stopped and parked the car. She took a moment to stare at the number on the house.

'Number One hundred and Eight,' Emma thought. Emma got out of the car and pulled Henry out determined to do what was best for him.

"Henry come on, your parents must be worried sick about you." Emma walked through the hedges. She walked a little fast, she had to meet his parents now and find out about her letters.

"I don't have parents, just a mom, and she's evil. She doesn't love me, she only pretends too," Henry told her sadly.

"Kid," Emma said as they were paused on the path flanked by hedges. She bent down so they were eye level. "I'm sure that's not true."

"HENRY!" The front door had swung open and Regina ran out of it quickly and engulfed him in a hug. Relief flooded through her at the sight of him. "I was so worried about you, where have you been?"

"I found my real mom," Henry told her glaring at her before running into the house. Regina stood up the tears still glistening on her face and the shock and hurt that ran through her body she wasn't prepared for. The one person who was supposed to always love her unconditionally and believe in her didn't believe in her anymore. She turned to look up at the woman standing in front of her now and came face to face with the most beautiful green eyes. A shock went through her and suddenly it all became clear again who Emma was.

"You're Henry's birth mother," Regina stated. She was reeling at the fact that the girl in her dreams had been Emma his birth mother all this time, and also the savior. She knew now more than ever that Rumple had been responsible for those dreams, how could they ever have what they had in her dreams if Emma was destined to fight Regina and destroy her happy ending?

"Hi," Emma told her. It was clear to her that her nerves were working in overtime. Regina was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen and suddenly all the details of her dream filled in with her. She was standing so close, Emma could smell that familiar smell of freshly cut apples, she was the one. Emma had so many questions right now for Regina, but she imagined that Regina was also full of questions.

"I'll just go check on the lad," Sheriff Graham said from behind them. He disappeared inside. Regina screwed on a smile, but Emma noted it wasn't the one she was used too because it didn't quite reach her eyes in the same way. No matter that she had dreamt of Regina, the question was had she dreamt of her and was she more than just Henry's birth mother to her.

"How would you like to have the best apple cider you've ever tasted?" Regina asked her. As long as Emma didn't know or believe, she was no threat, so she would lay on the hospitality until she left.

"Got anything stronger?" Emma asked thinking she would need something to fortify herself a bit. The luck that her son had ended up with the woman she wanted to call home. They went inside and Regina retrieved two glasses from the kitchen. Emma looked around recognizing certain features, but it wasn't quite their home not yet.

"How did he find me?" Emma asked standing in the foyer.

"I don't know," Regina told her putting ice into each glass and pouring a little alcohol in each. "I adopted Henry at three weeks old and I was told that it was a closed adoption, the records were sealed, and that the birth mother didn't want any contact."

"You were told right," Emma replied.

"What about the father, do I need to be worried?" Regina asked him.

"No, he doesn't even know," Emma replied nervously.

"Should I be worried about you?" Regina asked walking over and giving her, her glass.

"No," Emma told her. She didn't want her to think that she would ever take Henry away. The idea of raising him alone was sad, but the idea of being a family with him and Regina was a wonderful one. Sheriff Graham returned and assured Regina that Henry was all right, and took his leave. Regina led Emma into the study, and shut the door.

"Ever since I became Mayor balancing things hasn't been easy," Regina told her as she walked over to the fire for a moment and gazed into it. "You have a job I assume, Ms. Swan?"

"Uh yeah I keep busy," Emma told her as she sat down, and placed her glass down next to the bowl full of apples, just like she had dreamt Regina kept a bowl of apples there.

"Well imagine having a second job on top of that, that's being a single mom," Regina told her walking back over and sitting down. "I want Henry to have every advantage in life, so am I a little strict yes, but I don't think that makes me evil. Do you?" Regina smiled at her and Emma again noticed it didn't reach her eyes.

"No, but it's probably because of his storybook, you know he thinks everyone is a cartoon character."

"I'm afraid I don't follow Ms. Swan," Regina replied pretending innocence.

"You know what it's none of my business, Henry is your kid," Emma told her. "Besides I should be going."

"Okay," Regina replied eager to get her back on the road and out of Storybrooke forever if possible. Regina let out a breath and nearly let out a sob when Emma was finally out the door. She walked up the stairs intending to talk to Henry, but he was pretending to sleep by the time she got there. Hurt she went to her own room to figure out how she was going to deal with this problem. She had made a promise to herself when Henry was a baby, no one was going to get in the way of their happy ending especially the saviour.

Outside Emma was left shaken by the entire encounter and despair filled her heart. She had always thought the day she met Regina, she would feel like she was home, but that feeling hadn't come at all. Instead she was feeling uneasy and heartbroken.

"Maybe she'll come around in the morning," Emma whispered and went to go find a place to sleep for the night.


Storybrooke, Maine…..2011/2012

"No, he's my son!" Emma yelled back at her. "You're not getting anywhere near him!" Ever since she had arrived almost a year ago now, things had changed drastically in the town of storybrooke, starting with her finally believing in the story book and magic. She almost couldn't believe that she had gone from lonely orphan to having parents and a son who loved her dearly. If she hadn't been picked up on the highway in the woods near this town she never would have believed such a thing was possible. It also helped she had broken the curse with true love's kiss on Henry when Regina had tried to put her under a sleeping curse.

"No, you abandoned him remember, pushed him away like he was garbage!" Regina yelled back. "I raised him, I loved him, this path you're standing on he took his first steps here towards that house, where he first smiled, where he first laughed, where he said his first word. This is his home, this is where he belongs! How soon you forget that you didn't want to be around for him through thick and thin like a real family, but you wouldn't know anything about that would you, Ms. Swan."

"Fuck you," Emma told her tears feeling her eyes, it was then she knew in that moment that Regina had gotten and read her longer leaders and probably even her post cards.

"No, fuck you, I will get my son back, you only have leverage because I want him to come back on his own, but you don't get to fill his head with lies to make him stay with you," Regina growled.

"Do it!" Emma ordered. She turned and the blue fairy appeared and threw a spell at her. She caught it.

"Did you really think that would work?" She held the spell between her two hands and threw it at the feet of Mary Margaret and David as they held onto one another. She looked back at Emma anger in her eyes. "You…you will not keep my son from me!" She used her magic to shove Emma back from her. She fell hard to the ground and rolled a little. Mary Margaret ran to her, her face etched in concern and fear. Regina walked over to her prepared to do more, but just holding herself back for Henry's sake.

"Maybe some of your new found magic can help you now," Regina told her getting in her face as she stood. Regina turned away from her to go towards David and the blue fairy but she stopped as Emma spoke.

"I don't need it, there's no way Henry will swallow any of your lies now, because you can pretend all you want, but we know how you are. And who you will always be." Emma and Regina stared at one another for a long moment. Regina's eyes were already ringed in red, she kept herself most days recently on making sure to take care of any mayor duties, but otherwise she wasn't really seen. The pain of losing Henry was too much for her most days and the loss of Emma well that stung more than she thought possible even if Gold had been playing her. And at Emma's words she may as well have driven a second knife into her heart next to the one left by everyone else in her family. Emma was always supposed to be the one other person that believed in her and her change. She waved her hands and disappeared in a puff of smoke. She locked herself in her vault as she let her tears fall.

"I won't let her keep me from Henry, he is my only love from now on," Regina vowed. She went to a drawer and pulled out a stack of post cards and letters. These days she could see that Emma's name was no longer smudged at the bottom and that the letters at least included a return address. Tears rolled down her cheek faster as she went to the fireplace in her vault and knelt down with a flick of her wrist the fire started easily enough and stared into the flames. She looked down at the letters again after a moment. Ten years' worth of letters or post cards, she had read every single one not really knowing anymore who they were from and why she kept them when it was clearly not meant for her. She realized that her potion to forget the saviour in order for her to raise Henry happily must have also taken away her conscious memory of her dreams. Not that she didn't still have them, it was just even more thorough in erasing it from her memory when she woke up. That had never been Regina's intention, but she hadn't known that the girl of her dreams and the girl of her nightmares were one and the same.

"Mother always said love is weakness," Regina sighed as she saw that the first post card and the very last post card were right next to each other. One a thank you, she deeply regretted deserving these days and the last with her Boston address. She had found Henry looking at the post cards one day, she had been furious with him for invading her privacy and taken them away to her vault, and that's how he must have seen her address, but of course she wouldn't have known that then being unable to see.

"Maybe I should erase Henry's memory and leave this place, I can always leave the town line," Regina murmured. She tossed the letters into the fire and sniffed hard and wiped her eyes. She stood up to walk away when she heard the scrap of paper on the floor. While the edges had charred a little, but was otherwise fine. Regina frowned and tried again to no avail to burn the paper. Angrily she started to rip the first letter when she heard Henry call her name.

"Henry?" Regina gasped. She quickly put the letters up and away. She had a chance after all to explain to him before they could lie.

"Emma, are you hurt?" David asked immediately once Regina was gone.

"I shouldn't have said that," Emma whispered.

"No, Emma you said exactly what needed to be said," David assured her. Emma shook her head as she pushed her palms into her temples. She hated herself so much right now in that moment. Her and Regina would probably always be fighting different sides, but somehow saying what she had said seemed to be the wrong thing to do, and something in her broke inside.

"I…I…need to lay down." Concerned they took Emma home. She didn't say anything more to them as she lay down and rubbed her chest.

"Maybe we should have taken her to a hospital, what if she did something else to Emma?" David asked Mary Margaret downstairs. Emma rolled her eyes, Regina hadn't done anything to her, this was all herself, she had done this to herself whatever it was. And while maybe it was connected to Regina it definitely wasn't her fault.

"She didn't do anything to me!" Emma called down. "Just relax so I can rest." They fell quiet and Emma took several deep breaths until she fell asleep. She found herself on the gravel path easily enough, since coming to storybrooke, she found that just thinking of Regina before bed was enough to put her on this familiar path. But everything was different now. The rocks were sharp and poked her through even her boots. All the cherry blossoms had fallen on the black and grey ground. It was almost as if they were a layer of snow they were so white. The trees themselves had blackened heavily. She reached the entrance into the garden and frowned when she saw the apple tree. It's bark had blacked, the apples were the only spot of color left around her Emma seemed to realized. She hurried over and picked an apple so far they hadn't been effected it seemed except for the extremely red color.

"Regina!" Emma called out around the garden, but there was no answer. She hurried into the house and found that the apples on the table seemed to be rotting, and the pie in the oven was burnt and dried out. Emma continued through the house, but it was dark and grey like everything else and a fine layer of dust was beginning to settle on everything.

"I did this," Emma said out loud lamely. Ever since she had first arrived in Storybrooke this grey area had been nipping at the edges of her mind, but it one swoop it had consumed her view of this world.

"Emma wake up!" Emma looked confused at her mother's voice before she was jolted awake, Mary Margaret was sitting next to her worried and David was standing at the foot of her bed.

"What I was just sleeping," Emma said, but she realized her eyes were wet.

"You were crying in your sleep, are you in pain?" David asked. Emma shook her head.

"No, I was just in a really bad nightmare, thanks for waking me up." They nodded relieved she seemed to be fine now as she wiped her eyes.

"We should really find Regina, you know, we have to put her in jail." They nodded and Emma put her boots back on eager to have her parents attention focused on something else