A.N: Blame tonight's episode... so many feelings. Let me know if you want more.
The World at Your Feet
"I can save him..."
Emma's grip around her neck faltered for the barest of seconds before her grip re-doubled as she bared down and snarled at Regina.
Regina's eyes bulged as her face turned cherry red. Her nails clawed at Emma's hands as she tried to pry the blonde woman's hands from around her neck. She had to talk, she could save him, she just needed one chance.
With her last gasp of breath she spoke, "Please let me save him."
Emma's grip stayed a moment longer before the cloud of rage in her eyes cleared and she stepped away. Regina was more than sure that if she couldn't save Henry Emma wouldn't hesitate to choke the life from her, and what's more Regina would let her, but there was still a chance.
Emma stepped uncomfortably close and hissed, "How?"
Regina looked her in the eye and replied in a raspy voice, "I need to talk to Mr. Gold."
Emma cocked her head, "If you think I am letting you out of my sight you have another thing coming lady."
Regina shook her head, "Follow me, come with me if you like but this is the only chance he has."
Emma sneered at her, "Does Gold have the antidote to the poison you tried to feed me?"
Regina's eyes dropped for just a moment as she replied, "Not quite, but he has something I need."
Emma's eyes were narrowed into slits as she snarled, "Let's go then." She grab Regina by the arm and Regina made no move to shake her off. This was certainly no less than she deserved.
They arrived at Gold shop and to Regina's relief the light was still on inside.
She stopped at the door and turned to Emma, "Wait out here, you can see me fine from the window, but I need to speak to him alone."
Emma snorted, "Like hell."
Regina's voice was soft, "Please Emma. Five minutes."
Emma's jaw tightened, "Five minutes, not a second more."
Regina spun away and blew into the shop, "Gold!"
He looked up from his ledger from his place behind the counter, "Your Majesty?"
Regina placed her hands on the counter and leaned forward, "I need your help."
Gold's eyebrow shot up, "Do you?"
She spoke desperately, "Yes I admit it freely, you were right. All magic has a price and the price for what I've done is too high. Please..."
He smirked at her, "I've told you before Regina, you've nothing I want."
Regina shook her head, "I..."
He ran a hand along his chin as he purred, "Although... I could... no... you're far to selfish for that."
Regina's eyes lit up, "What? Tell me!"
He threw a hand up, "It isn't a solution, not for you."
Regina nodded furiously, "If it saves Henry, whatever it is, I'll do it."
Gold narrowed his eyes as a small smile crossed his lips, "The cost is high... and you've no true love to save you. It would mean your end."
Regina sagged for a moment before she whispered, "But... It would save Henry?"
Gold nodded, "It would. The magic in the curse would transfer to you. You would fall into a deathlike sleep."
Regina looked him in the eye and asked firmly, "What do I have to do?"
Gold supplied almost eagerly, "I have just the thing." He reached under the counter and produced a vial, with two intertwined strands of hair, "This is true love's magic." He brought out a mortar and pestle and popped the top on the little vial and dropped the hairs into the stone mortar and began grinding he reached out and snagged a tea cup and poured the tiny bits of hair into the cup before he took the teapot and poured a swallow of tea into the cup.
Despite herself Regina's nose wrinkled, "Don't tell me I have to drink that?"
Gold let out a dark chuckle, "Indeed you do Regina."
Regina let out sigh, "Who do the hairs belong to?"
His lip curled into a sneer, "Who do you think?"
She eyed him for a long moment before she picked the cup up and asked, "How long do I have after drinking this?"
Gold replied firmly, "One hour. One tear from you on young Henry's face and the magic from the curse will pass to you."
Regina brought the cup to her lips and then paused, "You... you know that this means the curse will never be broken, you were very clear in how you created the curse."
Gold grinned, "Indeed I was."
Regina's hand tightened around the cup, "You knew it would come to this didn't you?"
Gold shrugged, "Regina you are predictable, Miss Swan is predictable, and so is young Henry. I knew exactly how all of this... fighting would end."
Regina bared her teeth, "You've never wanted to end the curse."
Gold shook his head gleefully, "And now, it will never be broken."
Regina eyed him, a part of her, the part of her that still belonged to the Evil Queen, the part of her that hated to lose wanted to throw the cup of tea in his face and break the curse just to spite him. That same voice though, that voice that could not let go of her hatred, the voice that had insisted that poisoning Emma was the only way, that voice had led to Henry's current condition so with a firm hand she shut that voice up and raised the cup to her lips with a sneer and swallowed.
Gold's eyes widened just a bit, "And still you manage to surprise me Regina."
She turned away from the counter and began to walk out as Emma opened the door and announced, "Five minutes are up."
Regina replied, "I'm done here Miss Swan."
Gold's voice, softer than she'd ever heard it, spoke one last time, "Regina..." She turned to look at him from the doorway, "I'm sorry."
And for just a moment, true and honest regret shined in his eyes as he gazed at the woman whose life he'd used for his own ends.
Regina turned away and walked out. She would give him no absolution, there was none to be found for people like him... for people like her.
She'd told Emma to call Mary Margaret from the car and the blonde had done so with a glare. Regina was glad that the woman had come quickly and that the hospital and Dr. Whale were sufficiently terrified of her so that she was able to download and print a form. She'd forced Emma to sign it and then done the same to Mary Margaret before she herself signed it and post dated it.
She glanced at her walk as she stepped in to Henry's room where he lay still and quiet as death. The heart monitor told a story as it beeped steady and slow. He was not dead but he had no breath.
Regina reached out and pulled the intubation tube from his throat and shoved Emma away as she tried to stop her, "What the hell do you think you are doing?"
Regina leaned over Henry and squeezed her eyes shut. She let herself feel the grief from Daniel's death, from Henry's hatred, the horror at the fact that he had intercepted her curse, the feel of her child being forced from her by her husband's hand for the sake of the girl who'd already stolen so much, and last, finally, the knowledge that her whole life was a lie.
She opened her eyes as tears began to leak from them. They splashed across Henry's face and a light glow enveloped them as Emma and Mary let out twin gasps.
She turned to look at the two women and whispered as the magic began to bleed into her, "Take care of him, please."
Emma took a step forward, "What have you done?"
Regina cut her glance back to Henry and willed him to wake up, so that she could look into his eyes one last time, so that he would know she loved him, truly, and to the last.
His eyes fluttered as her eyes grew heavy, but she fought the feeling as his eyes drifted open and she looked into his perfect hazel eyes.
He rasped out, "Mom?" He sounded so confused and so she smiled to reassure him even as her eyes fell closed and she slumped across him on the bed, distantly hearing his startled shout.
Emma let out a heavy gasp as she clutched at her chest and her knees buckled as she stared at Regina's still form as Henry's hands gripped at his mother's shoulders, "Mom!"
Mary caught her around the waist as tears rose unbidden to Emma's eyes as a piece of her soul was wrenched violently away.
Henry's jostling caused Regina's body to slide off the bed even as he scrambled off the bed to try and catch her while Emma lunged instinctively to help. Neither she nor Henry reached Regina before she fell to the floor at Emma's feet.
Read and Review