Title: You've Won
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairings: Swan Queen
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: And this.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
"No," Emma breathed. Her knees smacked the ground again and pain sharply radiated up and down her legs as gravel dug into the thin skin. She stared at the Mayor's body with wide, horrified eyes. "No." Rumpelstiltskin bounced in his spot, clapping his hands in a boyish way that preceded him. Henry was screaming and hitting James who held him back. "No!"
Emma lifted the sword from the ground, ignoring the blood that stained the strong blade, and stood on shaky legs that resembled a new born deer. She moved forward until she was as close as she could be to Regina. Only then did she notice one lone tear track on the dead woman's cheek. Her mouth trembled, but that didn't stop her from raising the weapon over her head.
"Emma! What are you doing?" Snow White yelled to her. Emma briefly glanced back. The town stood on the sidewalk, watching her with terror. She understood that they didn't understand Regina like Emma did, like Henry did. The boy elbowed James where no man wants to be hit and immediately dashed toward her, his eyes only for his hung up Mother.
"Undoing what should have never happened." She looked back up at Regina. A sad smile tilted on Emma's lips. She did this.
But she could undo this.
"Emma, wait!" Red's voice stopped her momentarily.
"I'm not stopping Ruby, I'm going through with this."
"I know." The dark haired beauty stood next to Emma now, a dagger in hand. "If you do this alone, you'll risk injuring her further." Emma looked her in disbelief and Red saw that and smiled.
"Why would you…?"
"I know how you feel about her, remember?" Red nudged Emma with a shoulder and held up her smaller blade with a grin. "You ready?" Emma nodded, her eyes filling with tears. She pushed Henry to the side so he wouldn't get hurt. She swung the sword a moment after Red threw the knife, both hitting the rope at the same time.
The blonde threw the sword to down quickly and moved to catch Regina as fast as she could. The dead weight of the dark woman sent Emma to the floor, but the blonde managed to cushion her fall almost completely. She rolled and rested Regina on the ground.
Her brown eyes held a fogging filter over them as they continued to look at the world about them. Henry was on his hands and knees by Regina's head, shaking her. "Mom! Mom wake up!" His cries pierced Emma's heart.
"Henry." She put her hand on his shoulder and tried to gently push him away, but he wasn't having it. He leaned over his Mother and pressed his face into hers, not bothered by the coolness settling over her or her senseless orbs eying nothing. He sobbed and whispered little things that only the two would know. "Henry-"
"Do you remember when you taught me to ride my bike-"
Rumpelstiltskin's crooked laughter had Emma glaring at him. "Dearie, our Majesty is beyond the grave now." His green, almost scaly flesh moved a step towards them. Red released a growl that vibrated everyone's bones as she moved to stand in front of Emma and the Mills.
"-and I fell into the rosebush-"
The Dark One giggled and stepped forward again, to see what reaction he would get from the girl in red. Her eyes flashed gold as another menacing growl ripped itself from her throat. Granny ran to Red's side with surprising speed and she put her weathering hands held onto Red's arm.
"-and I scratched my face and was crying, telling you I wouldn't go on the bike ever again-"
"Channeling our inner wolf, are we?" His high voice asked mockingly. He faked a look into the sky where clouds still hung. "And not a full moon in sight. Is this something you've learned to do, Little Red?" He twirled a little, laughing at her openly. "I seem to recall a time when you came to me to rid you of your beast within after a run in with a boy by the name of Peter."
"-and you sat in the grass next to me-"
Red dropped into a crouch, her teeth jagged and sharp as a needle. "Ah-ah ah," He sing-songed. "Not in front of the innocent." He motioned to Henry and Emma, the only in the town to never see Red Riding Hood in her true form. "Won't want to scare them, now would we?" He stage whispered with a giddy grin. Her snarl stayed, but she took a half-step back.
"-and kissed my scratches-"
"Princess Emma," Rumpelstiltskin bowed in such a manner that it mocked every person who saw it. "I'm sorry to tell you that no matter what you do, our Queen is lost forever in the land of souls. Though what you planned to do I'm sure was noble."
"-and they felt better. Your kisses always made me feel better."
Emma snapped her head to Henry who still hovered over his Mother's still body. Your kisses always made me feel better. Her mind swirled. Your kisses. She couldn't, could she? "Henry, kid, move please."
"No! You did this, you tricked her!" He yelled lifting his tear stained face to hers.
"And I'm going to make it better, but I can't do that if you're leaning over her like that." She looked him directly in the eyes. "Please Henry." He searched her eyes for a minute before letting his gaze fall to his Mom, jump to the Dark One, and back to Emma.
"But he said-"
"He says a lot of things." Emma told him. "You have to trust me. You have to let me try." He swallowed thickly and looked at him Mom. He bent down and kissed her forehead, mumbling something that Emma couldn't hear and sat back, near, but not on top of, Regina. "Thank you."
She studied Regina. The woman had stopped bleeding the moment her heart stopped, but that didn't take away the blood that already drenched her body. Pulling her green eyes away from Regina's broke form, Emma puts her hand over open lids. She pressed down to bring the thin skin over glazed over irises.
Emma lifted Regina's upper body, cradling her head as softly as she could and rested the woman's weight on the blonde's crisscrossed legs. Her thumb stroked her cheek. It was crusty from where the tear dried. Emma let out a half-sob, half-choked chuckle before pressing her lips to Regina's.
Rumpelstiltskin roared with laughter, leaning back and screeching in delighted squeals.
Regina was cold and unresponsive. Her mouth didn't move under Emma's, not to nip playfully or to bite harshly or to sooth her. She was still and she didn't move a hair. Emma pulled back an inch and felt her chest collapse in on itself.
She didn't know what she thought was going to happen. She wasn't Regina's true love, that was Daniel. Emma wanted to hit herself for being so stupid, for giving Henry false hope that she could bring his Mother back from the dead. She wanted to cry because she knew in her heart of hearts that the dead woman in her arms was her true love, her one and done, her forever.
And she was dead.
"This is too much!" Rumpelstiltskin rumbled, dancing in his spot. "This is too much! You thought-" His voice broke off as he continued laughing, unable to contain himself. "You thought that true love's kiss would bring her-"
"Stop it!" Henry screamed at the man, tears evident in his young voice that seemed to age twenty years and not at the same time. Emma shook her head where it rested on Regina's cheek. "Just stop it!"
The creature that was once a man tilted his head, all laughter gone from his face and body. "Has no one taught you how to speak to your elders, Prince Henry?" He place one foot forward, only being stopped by a growl and shouts from the crowd. Red slid into his path, now itching to feel her body transform and lunge at him. "Little Red."
Her throaty response had him back off, with a sneer on his face to show his growing dislike for her. Snow was beside Red, pulling the woman with all her strength. "What would Peter think, Red?" The name of her first love did nothing to stop her. "Red, please don't. Not with all these people around."
Gold eyes shook, changing back and forth from Red's eyes to the wolf's. She relented, but not by much. The Dark One tisked at her and grinned when Snow's hold tightened. "Princess, how did that kiss work?" He asked, keeping his line of sight on Red. "Did it bring back the woman you love? Did she start breathing and kiss you back like her life depended on it? As it had."
Emma felt her tears falling off her cheeks and smearing on Regina's skin. Henry grabbed his Mother's hand and used it to cradle his cheek, his own tears falling. "Leave them alone." Cinderella hissed from her spot next to Thomas.
"Can't you see they're grieving?" A random person questioned angrily.
Henry listened to the people argue and yell at Rumpelstiltskin who looked on with amusement. He tried to block them out, but it was too loud, too nosy. He couldn't focus on anything. Everything was blurring and becoming fuzzy in his ears. The only thing grounding him was his Mother's hand on his face and the pressure against his skin. His eyes flew open at the feel of her fingertips pressing into his cheek. "Mom?"
Things were silent again. Emma yanked her head away from Regina and stared to see if she could see what Henry felt. Everyone looked at them. Rumpelstiltskin had sheer disgust and anger and confusion and fear etched into every pore on his face. "It can't be." He muttered.
The air was still as they held their breaths. She was pale. She was covered in blood. Her heart wasn't beating. She was limp. She was dead. "Regina…?" Emma said softly. Suddenly the body jolted and lungs sucked in air. Eyes slammed open. Brown was underneath eyelids and they frantically moved around, disoriented. A heart pounded to fill veins with blood.
She was alive.