Title: The Truth
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairings: Swan Queen
Summary: Sequel to 'Old Scars'"What did your Mom do?" Emma noticed immediately what reaction those words had on her lover. Her body stiffened completely, changing drastically from a moment ago. She sat up and her eyes snapped open.
Author's Note: Prompt from Tumblr: Continue the scar story, Regina answers Emma on how her mother gave her the lip scar. :D
Disclaimer: I own nothing, but goddamn I want to.
"Okay, I've waited long enough, Regina." Emma said suddenly walking into the bathroom. It had been a month since she asked about the scar that cut into Regina's upper lip and a month since Emma waited for the brunette to bring it up. She should have known that the woman would never do it, she was close to the vest about certain things and that lip scar and her Mother were the closest.
Regina, for her part, didn't jump in the slightest from where she lay in the massive bathtub. She kept her head back against the lip of the tub with her eyes closed, enjoying the warmth that the pre-heated water provided her. She lulled her head in Emma's direction, but left her eyes closed. "Waited long enough for what, dear?"
"What did your Mom do?" Emma noticed immediately what reaction those words had on her lover. Her body stiffened completely, changing drastically from a moment ago. She sat up and her eyes snapped open, staring at the blonde with something close to agony in her tortured orbs. Emma hated that she asked the question, but Regina knew all about her foster homes, knew the abusive ones, knew the neglectful ones, knew about the few that were nice to her.
Regina held her as she relived each and every moment from her broken childhood. She brushed away her tears and rocked her, murmuring things like 'that made you the woman I love today' and 'if I could curse them, I would'.
But all Emma knew about Regina's childhood is that she lived in a village with her Mother and Father with three younger siblings as the Miller's daughter and that she was close to her Dad. She didn't know what happened to the younger siblings, didn't know their names or if they were brothers or sisters. She didn't know if they died or were alive somewhere in Storybrooke. She didn't know and she was alright for the moment. Waiting for Regina to come to her with little bits from her life became a wonderful part of their relationship.
But her Mother.
Emma didn't want to think about what Regina was holding inside about that woman. She left scars on the woman Emma loved, physical and emotion scars and Emma couldn't help if she didn't know what Regina's Mother did to her.
"She hurt you Regina. She's hurting you now!" Emma walked into the room, her sockless feet slapping against the cold tile. She kneeled next to the tub to look eye to eye with Regina. "I don't know what she did, but I want to." Regina broke eye contact and stared straight ahead. "You helped me, remember? Let me help you." The brunette's jaw clenched as her chin trembled.
"I don't wish do burden you." Came a hushed voice from lips that barely moved. "What she…what she was allowed to do to me…I-" Regina stopped and closed her eyes to keep the beginnings of tears at bay. Emma cupped her cheek and leaned forehead to rest her forehead on Regina's temple.
"I want you to burden me." She told her. "I felt like I held the weight of the world on my shoulders for a long time and it wasn't until I told you everything that I felt like I wasn't alone anymore." The blonde kissed just below the other woman's eye. "I don't want you to feel alone in this. I'm here. I'm willing to take half the weight for you."
"Why?" She opened her eyes to see Regina looking at her. She could tell the question wasn't harsh. It wasn't meant to stop Emma from helping or listening to her. She genuinely wanted to know why someone would be willing to listen to the horrors of her childhood.
"Because you did the same for me."
The room was quiet for a long time. Emma was sure the older woman wasn't going to answer her. She almost released a sigh when Regina spoke. "I was the oldest." She whispered. Emma nodded. "I was her first born and she was determined to… make me her. At first." She shook her head, trying to fight the sticky memories. Emma reached into the water, not caring that her long sleeves were getting wet, and grabbed Regina's hand.
The other woman laced their fingers. "She practiced magic. Studied it whenever she could and made time, even if it hurt the family. When I was born, she took me to a fortune teller and when the fortune teller told her that I would become greater in magic than she was… let's just say that my Father took me everywhere and never left me alone with her.
"Her other children, my brother and two sisters, were much luckier than I." Emma nodded, filing the genders of Regina's siblings in her mind for later. "The fortune teller informed her that they would lack any skill in magic. She treasured them, treated them all like fall leafs, but not me." She let out a bitter laugh. "She punished me by training me in magic."
It was a minute of silence, a minute of watching Regina's face close up and scrunch at the memories that flooded her. Emma nudged her gently. "How?"
"When I was younger, I was not very good at magic. Not compared to my Mother who had years of training and studies behind her. She would take me to an abandoned cellar at the break of dawn and stand in front of the entrance, telling me that if I desired to eat any meals that day, I would have to get past her."
"Did you ever get past her?" Emma asked, but she had a feeling in her gut that she wouldn't like the answer.
"No." Regina shook her head.
"How often did she…?"
"Three times a week." She answered with a far off look in her eye. "Father knew and my siblings did as well. My brother Julius and my youngest sister, Charlotte, helped clean me up when I finally reached home. My Father was afraid of her, afraid of what she'd do to him if he tried to stop her and I don't blame him. We all feared her. She was a malicious woman. No one stood against her. No one."
"Is that where you got the scar?" Emma traced a finger down the indentation above Regina's lip. "From the 'training' sessions?"
Regina smiled, almost condescendingly. "Yes, but at the same time, no. She had my other sister, Eloise, do it." She took a deep breath and slowly continued. "Eloise and I never got along. She wished to have Mother's 'affection' like she thought I did. Where she thought our Mother took me three times a week, I will never know, but she wished it. She told me time and time again that I was ungrateful to the powers I naturally possessed. That I didn't deserve the attention that Mother bestowed upon me.
"I told her one day that she could have both. I wanted neither at the time and that irked her to the point of going straight to our Mother." Her eyes glossed over, seeing something that wasn't there anymore. "It was one of the training days, but Mother had left before me, telling me to meet her there and if I didn't or she found out that I had eaten, that I would get the punishment of a several lifetimes.
"I suspected nothing. Said my goodbyes to my Father and my siblings and left. It started like all times, she shoved me to the floor and told me to act like a sorceress and not a weak child. Eloise was hiding in the room, I hadn't seen her, I was too focused on the doorway. My Mother hit me and I flew into a fall, the sharp stone cut my lip.
"I could taste the blood, I remember. And it hurt, a lot. Eloise came out of the corner, a hunting knife clutched in one hand and I looked to see that my Mother left, locking the door behind her."
Regina stopped talking and Emma didn't want to prompt her. It sounded horrible and she could only imagine what else happened that the brunette wasn't telling her. A single tear fell from a brown eye. "She tried to kill me and she was close, but… I accidentally set her on fire." She recalled sparking the ay that was scattered on the ground and a shield forming around her, leaving her unharmed. Emma's jaw dropped. "She died and my Mother's hatred for me grew."
"It's okay, you don't have to say anymore." The blonde could see the words and memories taking a toll on the older woman. Her chest heaved in silent sobs and her eyebrows pinched. Emma took her phone and wallet out of her pockets and climbed into the tub, clothes and all.
She rested Regina's head on her chest and rocked them to sooth her.