Title: One Line (1/2)
Disclaimer: These characters are not my creative property
Summary:Magic is back in Storybrooke. Regina protects Emma and Henry.
A/N: AKA: 'If the curse ain't broke don't fix it.' I had this idea in my head all day, but not sure where it will go from here. Inspired by PJ Harvey's "One Line
And I draw a line
To your heart today
To your heart from mine
A line to keep us safe
From the moment she saw the purple cloud billowing and pouring over Storybrooke, she knew what it meant: Magic had come. Regina couldn't discount the giddiness she felt at the sight. Even through the pain of her cry-sore eyes and chest, with the restoration of magic she now had the hope of a chance to get Henry back. She also realized, as her rage mounted, that this meant Storybrooke had become a battlefield. Mr. Gold had the advantage.
Regina stood watching the cloud come closer and closer until the moment where it whooshed through her and her home enveloping her fully came. She felt the change: immediate and insistent in her body, mind and spirit. The magic was weak at first, like a newborn, fragile and in need of nourishment. Holding up just her index finger, she tested her ability for fire. Like a Bic lighter, a little flicker lit at the end of her finger.
"Oh, yes," she hissed to herself, turning from her position at the window, and practically running downstairs straight to her study. She searched her shelf for her spell book finding it instantly. It was practically shaking like the over eager wagging of a dog's tail. She pulled it from the shelf and flipped it open, watching in awe as the pages, (which had been blank since the enacting of the curse), filled magically with script; the ink shining, fresh and wet.
She could barely hold a whole thought in her head as her mind raced. There was so much to do, so much she now could do with her power. Despite her physical and emotional exhaustion from the recent harrowing events, she set to work.
"Let's get out of here. You feel okay? Where are your clothes?" Emma asked, looking all around the now deserted hospital room. Everyone had scurried out when the purple smoke had come, leaving Henry and Emma alone.
"I don't know...I guess I'm good. I mean I was almost dead," Henry said in a matter of fact tone, as if it was no big deal. He knew Emma would come through for him. He'd always believed in her, and now he was feeling something akin to pride that he had been right and she believed too.
Emma found his clothes, which had apparently been cut off, shredded and ruined in a soiled laundry bin, "Okay, I guess you're wearing that, until we can get you something else."
Emma took his hand and headed out of the hospital. Bins and carts were overturned in the rush to leave. Patients confined to their beds had been deserted and some called out in pain, the shock of the remembrance of their past lives eerily evident in their tortured voices.
It was scary, and the sooner Emma could get Henry out of there and somewhere safe the better. The chaos and disruption inside the hospital was nothing compared to what they encountered on the street.
"Hold my hand," Emma ordered, trying to hide her fear from Henry as she grasped his hand and ushered him down a side street. The people of Storybrooke were going crazy. Emma was all too relieved to be absolved of her Sheriff duties because this was not something one person could handle. Men, women and children were looting the Pharmacy and electronic stores. A man was grunting and howling his way up an electric pole like an animal.
As Emma and Henry turned a corner, attempting to take a back way to Mary Margaret's, Mr. Gold stepped out from the shadows and stopped them dead in their tracks.
"Ah, Dearie, like what I've done with the place?" Gold smirked, his eyes flashing. Emma swore his skin was tinged with a greenish sparkle.
"The curse broke," Emma said, hardening her jaw. It was her tendency to state the obvious when she felt uncertain. She stood in front of Henry, who peeked from behind her to stare at Rumplestiltskin.
"How observant, Ms. Swan. Now that you've served your purpose we can be done with you…the boy too," Gold menaced waving his hand dismissively.
"What's going on here? Everyone remembers now what?" Emma asked wanting desperately to know what would happen next.
"None of your concern, as for what happens next..Well, I plan on perhaps turning you into one of those bear claw pastries from Granny's you are so fond of. You are what you eat, dearie. Hehe!" Gold let out a freakish squeal, which abhorred Emma.
"He can't?" Henry whispered his body shaking with fear.
"You, my boy- perhaps I could turn you into one of those action figures you play with all the time, and then I could sell you in my shop. How'd you like that? Who will it be? The Hulk or Wolverine?"
Gold took one measured step closer and Emma tried to back up and run, but her feet were fixed to the spot.
Regina went about her home casting spells like she was redecorating. She flicked at her mirror, confused. The genie was no longer trapped inside of it, but it should still work as a window for her to see through. She reread the spell from her book, focusing once again on Henry. A swirl rippled through the mirror and dimly he and Emma came into view. They were on the street and it didn't look good. Regina could tell from the look on their faces that they were in trouble.
Just like it riding a bicycle, her ability to apparate was something she would never forget how to do. She felt herself solidify in front of Emma and Henry, and to her chagrin, Mr. Gold.
"Regina!" Emma screamed almost falling over as she reflexively attempted to jump backwards in shock.
"Regina, how nice of you to join your little family? Oh, the things I'm going to do to you, just as soon as I destroy young Henry and the savior."
Regina's eyes narrowed, she punched out her arm opening her palm and releasing a blast that sent Mr. Gold flying backwards. Without a second glance, she turned intently to Henry, and taking his hand. Regina caught the look on Emma's face as she stared frightened over her shoulder in Gold's direction. He was probably already getting up and he was most definitely mad as hell.
For a moment, Regina contemplated vanishing away with Henry, and leaving Emma to the fates, but she something stopped her. Emma had saved Henry's life, and Regina owed her everything for that. She took Emma's hand without permission and pushing the boundaries of the young magic all 3 of them vanished together.
"I feel melty," Henry whined as soon as they reappeared in Regina's foyer. She stumbled forward, her skin ashen, exhaustion from the demanding exertion of magic and lack of sleep taking its toll. Emma caught her fall instinctively, helping her balance and stand on shaky legs. Regina gratefully looked up at Emma noticing a golden aura glowing around her body. Emma had powerful energy, and the potential for magic.
"Careful. What the hell was that?" Emma barked trying to use bravado to cover her fear.
"Mr. Gold wants to kill us!" Henry cried, realizing the profound severity of their situation.
"Consider us now at war, and I can't let you go blindly out there, not knowing what we're up against. I have to protect you both now," Regina's voice cracked with emotion. She was fatigued, but grateful to have Henry near her and even conceded she needed Emma. She needed her strength.
"Well, thanks for saving me from becoming a donut. This is crazy. We have to get as far away from Storybrooke and all of this as possible as soon as possible," Emma's brow furrowed in unadulterated worry as she stared at Regina looking for direction.
"We can't leave…at least not yet. My magic will get stronger, but I'm afraid I must rest in order for it to fully take root. I have a spell that will protect us from Rumplestilkstin for tonight. It will allow us to hide right here and he will not be able to enter the premises or detect our presence, we must do this now. He is relentless," Regina ushered them urgently into the study.
"Kneel right here, close to me. Henry, take off that gown. Emma take off your hideous jacket," Regina ordered them as she unbuttoned her vest and the top three buttons of her shirt. Emma stared at Regina's hands, watching as she pulled her shirt down on the left side. When Henry had discarded his gown, Regina placed her left hand over his heart and brusquely reached into the dip of Emma's tank top, pressing in until she could feel the beat of her heart, cool fingers dipping under the material of her bra.
"If you wanted to cop a feel, you could have just bought me a drink," Emma tried to sass away her discomfort, but the joke fell flat.
"Shut up. Hands on my heart," Regina nodded down to her chest. Henry went with it, without question. He could tell how serious Regina was even though the circumstances were preposterous. Emma sighed stalling for a moment, but complied in the end, realizing she had no other choice.
Regina closed her eyes, focusing her energy, the feel of her heartbeat thudding inhumanly under Emma and Henry's hands; a bright light emanating from her chest barely encased by her skin. Emma felt dizzy and then painfully sad as feelings of regret and loss hung heavy like 200lb stone in her own heart. Tears leaked from Henry's eyes, and after an impossibly long minute Regina's heart slowed back to normal and she retracted her hands.
"Regina, that hurt.. sooo much," Emma stammered, unable to shake the feelings she had just experienced.
"I'm sorry, but I had to share my heart with you both for the enchantment to extend over you," Regina muttered in shame.
Henry was hugging himself, his face twisted as he tried not to cry. He asked in a voice mixed with pity and disbelief, "Is that how you feel all of the time?"
Regina broke down into a new round of tears at Henry's look of heartbreaking understanding. She nodded once, before rising and fixing her clothing, "Enough, now I would like to pull together a semblance of normalcy around here. Henry, please go get cleaned up. Emma, would you like a shower and some fresh clothes?"
"I have to call Mary Margaret. I am worried…I need to get out there and see what's going on. We can't just stay inside and do nothing!" Emma's head was racing and thoughts and worries were crashing into her brain faster than she could fathom.
"Miss. Swan, you have to trust me. I have a plan- we're dealing with magic now. If you go out there without it you won't stand a chance," Regina warned with genuine regard for her safety.
Emma paced back and forth, trying to fight her desire to hit something. She alternated between wanting to beat the shit out of Regina and hug her to take away her pain. Her emotions were scattered, she couldn't think and for the first time in over 24 hours she realized she was tired and hungry.
"Do you have any chips?" Emma conceded to Regina's plan, having the good sense to realize she was out of her element.
"Ranch flavored rice cakes," Regina responded as if this was a normal snack time.
"Fine," Emma followed her to the kitchen, and hungrily munched the rice cakes, while Regina poured them both a strong drink. Henry ate when he came back downstairs, showered and fresh. Regina could barely look at him without picturing him pale and not breathing on the hospital bed. She tried not to think about it. She couldn't really seem to think much at all due to her exhaustion.
"I need to sleep," she announced, rising from where she had been seated at the table. Her drink remained untouched, but Emma had helped herself to the bottle of Whiskey.
Emma looked up, bleary eyed, and said reassuringly, "Okay, Henry and I won't go anywhere. I promise."
Regina hesitated before replying almost sheepishly, "It's not that simple. You both have to come with me. I have to be awake and focused for the protection enchantment to cover you both. I'm not strong enough to project while I'm asleep yet."
"Well…" Emma started trying to process the surreal information.
"Believe her, Emma," Henry said trying to convince her.
Emma downed her last bit of alcohol and pushed back her chair with a squeak. Silently acquiescing and following Henry and Regina upstairs.
"So how does this work exactly?" Emma frowned with confusion as Regina grabbed some long scarves from her dresser.
"Just a moment, Regina disappeared into her bathroom and reemerged a minute later in a set of satin pajamas and her face scrubbed clean. Noticing the look on Emma's face, she snapped as a reminder, "we're not in danger now, we can be comfortable."
Regina grabbed the scarf and fiddled with it, turning back the covers and throwing the extra pillows off the bed, "You have both have to be touching me while we sleep. I thought we could tie our hands together."
"This is the weirdest day of life, even worse than that one hitchhiking experience where I ended up dressed as Little Bo Peep. Ugh, fairytales are ruining my life," Emma lamented throwing herself down on the bed and kicking off her boots.
"I'm sleeping down here, you can tie my hand to your foot," Henry grabbed a pillow and curled up at the foot of the bed.
"Very well. I'll try not to kick you. If you have to get up for any reason make sure to wake me up. I won't be mad," Regina said, settling in and quickly thrashing Henry's wrist to her ankle with the scarf, testing it to make sure the bond was strong enough that it wouldn't unravel in their sleep. Regina turned to Emma who stuck out her left hand and turned away. Regina started to tie her own right wrist to Emma's left before Emma stopped her.
"Wait, I can't sleep on my back. I can only sleep on my left side...well, I probably won't be able to sleep at all, but can we do this?" Emma's face was bright red in embarrassment, as she switched her out her hands, giving Regina her right hand instead. Regina raised her eyebrows, but was past the point of caring just so long as they were all safe. She tied them together and reached with her free hand to the lamp on the bedside table to turn out the light.
"We're going to be okay, mom?" Henry asked in the dark.
"I won't let anything happen to you," Regina promised, and Henry seemed satisfied with that answer whispering a 'goodnight'. Emma was shifting back and forth, shaking the whole bed, "For God's sakes, Emma, find a position and get on with it!"
Emma chuckled nervously, and Regina realized with embarrassment how crass she sounded without meaning to.
"I hate you," Emma huffed as a statement of fact. Regina didn't respond, she wanted to cry again, but she knew she had to be strong now for Henry. A few moments of silence passed before Emma slowly herself moved closer to Regina. Their hands naturally interlacing, and Emma discovered the feeling was comforting.
"Can I spoon you?"
"Fine…I suppose it would be more comfortable. My arm is going to cramp up unless you…yes, that's better," Regina tensed for a brief moment before relaxing into her when Emma rolled flush against her back, snuggling up and wrapping both their arms around Regina's waist.
The battle would start tomorrow.