Title: You've Won
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairings: Swan Queen, sorta.
Summary: Emma fell to her knees. Dropping the bloodied sword from her trembling fingers with a clatter, she stared at the woman in front of her, eyes seeing nothing around them. She couldn't see Henry crying or Rumpelstiltskin crackling.
Author's Note: So. There's this.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Emma fell to her knees. Dropping the bloodied sword from her trembling fingers with a clatter, she stared at the woman in front of her, eyes seeing nothing around them. She couldn't see Henry crying or Rumpelstiltskin crackling. Silence met her ears, no one spoke a word.
A pained chuckle floated into the air and everyone tensed, straightened their backs as if an iron rod was rammed up their spines. The chuckling was followed by gaging and the sickening sound of something wet hitting the asphalt below them.
"Regina…" Emma's green eyes shook.
The Mayor of Storybrooke was held feet from the ground, her wrists tied roughly with rope from the dock with the other ends looped around two telephone poles. The tips of her fingers were turning purple from lack of circulation and the skin that the rope touched was ripped, raw, and bleeding. Emma traced the red from those wounds, seeing them drip down to her elbows, landing in twin puddles of dried blood.
A scarlet grin was spread wide on Regina's face as she looked down at Emma, but the usual malice was gone and all the blonde could see was betrayal. Emma couldn't tear her gaze away from the tortured brown orbs that held her captive. She was responsible for that look. She wasn't the first. She promised in hushed whispers in the darkened room that housed her lover and her son that she wouldn't be another tally in a dark head.
She promised and was told in return that such promises shouldn't be made.
Regina expected Emma to fail her, expected Emma to break her like all those before, and the worst part was Emma proved her right.
Because of her, the pained woman was strung between two poles, defenseless against the attacks that came her way from the angry town's people. Her body weak from no food and hardly any water was barely up to flinching against the flurries of words thrown at her, let alone the physical beatings that were thrust upon her.
Bruises and wounds colored her skin, but it was all nothing compared to the gaping injury in her lower chest. Dark red stole the once healthy hue from the Mayor's skin and left it a stark white. Emma watched as too much blood hit the floor turning black upon impact in larger puddles then from her wrists.
"Regina, I-" She cut herself off, what could she say? She made a deal with the Dark One months ago. It started as a ploy to hurt Regina Mills, as a way to get back at the woman for all the pain she caused Emma, Henry, and the people of Storybrooke.
It started that way.
But somewhere along the way, Emma's feelings shifted and she actually fell for the cold woman. She brought her lunch because she knew sometimes Regina lost track of time and didn't eat. She left post-it notes on bright, red apples on Regina's desk for her to see in the morning. She came with a single flower, different each time, when Regina invited Emma to dinner with her and Henry.
She fell in love with the dark haired woman and forgot the deal she made.
The Imp came to collect and everything collapsed. People remembered and wanted their revenge on the Evil Queen. The rage and blood lust in their eyes could not be quelled, no matter the reasoning by Emma or even Henry.
The boy screamed at her to help his Mother, chasing after the Mayor before being pushed back roughly and landing on the floor. Emma watched with helpless eyes as Regina struggled to reach her son, to comfort him and wipe the tears from his eyes. She wasn't allowed and was quickly shuffled into the town square.
"Why didn't you do anything?" Henry screamed at her, hurt deep in his eyes.
"I made a deal. I couldn't." She had tried, but her feet were magically stuck to the floor, there was nothing she could do to reach the woman she loved. She wouldn't tell Henry that, it sounded like an excuse in her head, much more than the words that actually came out of her mouth, and she couldn't have Henry know she was somewhat responsible for what was happening.
"I hate you!" His words cut her deep and she visibly flinched. He took off running to find his Mom.
The scarlet liquid rolled out of Regina's chapped lips, down her chin and disappeared as it dripped. The grin remained in place. "I told you." The woman said, her words empty. Emma shook her head. "I told you promises are best left unmade." The grin slipped for a moment, long enough for Regina to cough up the blood in her chest.
"I had to, I made a deal, but was before I loved you, before when we were still enemies."
"When you were the White Knight." Breathed the broken Queen. "Well how the mighty have fallen." The woman mockingly spoke, but a frown graced her face. "What was his side of the bargain?"
"What" she shouted as loud as she could, never letting her eyes leave Emma's. "had he offered you that you promised to kill me for?" Emma eyes welled with tears, blurring her vision, but not blocking out Regina.
"That the curse would be broken." She wanted to hang her head in shame, but she couldn't break her eye contact with the Mayor, the Queen, the woman she loved. "I didn't know!" She said, a few tears escaping her eyelids. "I didn't know that I'd fall in love with you, I didn't know that we'd…That we'd be happy." She whispered.
"I knew we weren't real."
"No! We were, I swear!"
Dulling eyes blinked sluggishly. "No, we weren't. If we were, you would have told me of the deal and we could have found a way around it. There is always a loop hole. But now, I am hung here for the slaughter." Regina's head lulled weakly to look at her hands to make a point. "I could have told you that killing me wouldn't break the curse, it would only ensure that it would never be broken."
"Rumpelstiltskin has more to lose than anyone of us. Back home, he is stuck in a cage that limits him more then he'd like. Here, he is free to do as he wishes, free to do as he pleases. Here he doesn't carry the stigma of the Dark One." Her words slowed and her breathing shallowed. "You played into his hands."
"Regina, I don't understand." Emma shook her head, her blonde curls hitting her neck and cheeks. "I don't-"
"'The White Knight will only save the distressed if the white remains pure'." She gasped out. "You have tainted yourself by spilling my blood. By taking my life, you have failed to help those in this town who really need it."
"I can still be the White Knight, I can still save you!" Emma jumped to her feet and moved toward Regina. The older woman began laughing darkly, coldly, stopping the blonde woman in her tracks.
"My dear, I am already gone." A soft smirk played at her lips. "Your dear Rumpel as made sure of that."
"Your Majesty, you give me far too much credit. I rarely work alone in my deals." Sing-songed the light, airy voice of Rumpelstiltskin himself, much too pleased with the outcome of this deal. Regina ignored him and let her lips twitch in a semi-smile.
"You've won…Miss Swan." A dark head rolled back with dark eyes staring sightlessly up into grey rain clouds.