Regina strolled through her garden inspecting each leaf of every plant and flower with precision and scrutiny on a lovely Sunday morning. She had woken early, leaving Emma to sleep in. She just wanted to get a fresh start on her gardening. Just as she began her magical watering ritual, Henry ran through the orchard, breathless and distraught, looking for her.
"Mom! Mom, where are you?"
"Henry, I'm here, what is it?" Regina rose from her knees in front of her rose bushes looking through the shrubbery for him as he approached.
"It's Emma, she's gone! She's been taken!" He screamed as he found her, running up, trying to wipe the tears from his eyes.
"Slow down, dear. Emma's fine, I just left her a few minutes ago. She's still asleep," Regina tried to reassure him, but a sense of dread was already awash within her. He just shook his head, unable to get anymore words out from his immense distress.
Regina grabbed his arm and tele-ported them both instantly to the bedroom. As soon as they materialized, Regina knew exactly what had happened. The stained glass window was completely blown out. Chunks of multicolored glass littered the sheets, and the bed was on fire and crackling.
Henry was practically hyperventilating, but grabbed Regina's arm to get her attention, as she sunk to her knees in despair, "I saw the dragon that took her! He was bigger than Blaze. He broke through the window, snatched Emma and flew away!"
"No! I never thought they would take our princess! I only thought they would fight our dragon!" Regina choked back a sob, and instantly steeled herself, forming a plan to return Emma home to safety.
They had to go at once. A Queen having a Princess as her one true love was completely unorthodox, and made a precarious situation even more difficult. A Queen could not slay a dragon to save a princess, only a prince. It was the law of the land. It was Henry's birthright to have the ability, even at such a young age. Regina obviously didn't want to subject Henry to harm, but they had to save Emma. Regina had not been able to save Henry when he lay under the spell of the poisoned apple. It had to be Emma, his 'true' family. It had killed Regina then and now with Emma's life in peril, she felt just the same sense of unbearable dread.
Regina put the fire out with magic, and called for her guards and attendants. She stormed down to the palace blacksmith, practically dragging Henry as she went, "Blacksmith, I need a sword forged of the lightest and strongest metal. I need it immediately, Henry must slay a dragon!"
The old blacksmith, covered in soot, bowed and trembled before his queen, "Your highness, I cannot forge a sword in one days' time, but as luck would have it such a sword already exists."
"Good, give it to me now," Regina extended her arm impatiently.
"The sword is guarded by the dragon of the Borderlands," The blacksmith flinched when Regina stomped her foot.
"You imbecile, that's the dragon we need to slay! He has my Princess held captive!" Regina shook her head in fury. Henry's thoughts were coming so quickly he couldn't process them. He'd seen his mom upset, but never this upset, angry and the hint of desperation clouded in her insults was panic inducing for Henry. Regina always had a plan.
"Mom, can't you just use magic to put the dragon to sleep or turn him into a mouse?" Henry asked cautiously.
"My magic will not work on a dragon, I'm afraid," Regina swallowed the lump of fear that had formed in her throat, and steeled her jaw, in an effort to keep a brave face for Henry.
Regina marched Henry off to Blaze's cave, when they entered he was snoring and sound asleep.
"Blaze!" Regina screamed his name, and he awoke with a start, coughing out a little fireball. Blaze had a terrible diet and last night after he ran off the prince that had come to slay him, Emma had overindulged him with treats.
Regina couldn't help but think that none of this would have ever happened if Emma had never insisted on keeping and hatching the dragon egg. Having a dragon in one's kingdom was beneficial for many things, but also opened up an entire political can of worms that Regina did not care for. Snow White's kingdom didn't have a dragon; she had opted for a pack of wild unicorns to protect her castle.
Blaze looked hopeful when he saw Regina and Henry, greeting them by nudging Regina with his warm snout, and then scanning past them looking for Emma.
"Blaze, Emma's been taken prisoner by the dragon of the Borderlands, she's in immense danger. We must go to her, do you understand?" Regina knew Blaze understood more English than dragon language, but as far as the extent of his vocabulary was concerned, she was afraid it ended with 'treat' and 'cuddles.'
Blaze began to whimper out thick curls of smoke that smelled like BBQ and fireworks choking both Henry and Regina in the enclosed space. Regina grew angrier, seeing as the odds were stacked against them. All they had was a spoiled soft dragon, a child, and a helpless queen who could do nothing to rescue her true love.
The abhorrent thought of having to tell Snow White that Regina let her daughter get captured and wasn't able to protect her caused her to just about hyperventilate. Blaze was still whimpering and crying at the potential loss of his mistress, while Henry wrapped his arm around Blaze's neck and tried to soothe the beast. Regina smacked Blaze's nose hard with the back of her hand, "No crying! A brave dragon mustn't show weakness when his princess is captured. Channel all of your sadness, anger and fear into strength!"
Blaze sucked in a huge breath and let out a strong war cry, while Henry whooped and hollered, jumping around. He was willing to do whatever it took to save Emma. Henry climbed up Blaze's scales and got onto his back, while Regina hoisted herself up and settled in behind him.
"Onwards to the Borderlands!" Henry shouted as Blaze started running from the cave preparing for takeoff. They ascended into the air and Blaze flew faster than he had before, finding strength he never knew he was capable of. The wind whipped Regina and Henry's hair and they held tightly to the dragon and sped to Emma's rescue.
Emma was completely miffed; she'd been manhandled by this nasty smelly dragon, which woke her up from a very pleasant dream. He flew her back to his cave and virtually tossed her with his tail into the muck and dark. This dragon's cave wasn't decorated or tricked out like Blaze's; it was full of cobwebs and rats. Emma hid from the large dragon as he paced back and forth, trying to menace and intimidate her.
She searched for something she could use as a weapon, and noticed the shiny glint of metal illuminated by the thin rays of sunlight streaming in from the cave entrance. Beyond the slab where the dragon slept, there was a sword, but it was stuck in a large stone.
Emma tried to distract the dragon, throwing a loose rock in his face. He recoiled and bellowed so loud that the walls shook nearly inducing an avalanche. Emma darted behind a rock when he breathed out fire. Fortunately this wasn't her first encounter with an angry dragon, and from training Blaze she had learned how they moved and was able to anticipate the dragon's actions. She'd be able to fend him off for a while, but without a sword she was basically helpless against him.
"Hey, Mr. Dragon, My lady friend is a powerful queen and she has a pretty legendary temper, so you might want to let me go and we can call it even, okay?" Emma tried to reason with the dragon, but apparently he wasn't in the mood to negotiate.
'If only the dragon had taken me instead of Emma' Regina let her thoughts wander as they left the borders and safety of their kingdom and entered foreign territory. 'Dragon's don't capture queens' Regina reminded herself with an air of sadness. The ancient rules and laws of the Dragons had been abided by for all of time, never altered or broken. If Emma had been fond of the equestrian arts, Regina would have even been willing to let her get a wussy unicorn instead of a godforsaken dragon. All unicorns did was shit rainbows, grant wishes, and eat candy, as opposed to breathing fire, capturing princesses, and guarding artifacts.
Blaze knew instinctively where Emma was being held, he could smell the enemy dragon's cave from miles away and circled once before effortlessly landing right outside.
Regina clamored off of Blaze and helped Henry down as he asked breathlessly, "Do we have a plan, mom?"
"First we make sure Emma's okay. Blaze will distract the dragon, while you retrieve the sword from his lair," Regina explained, trying to sound sure of herself.
From inside the cave they heard a fierce rumble as the rocks shook above. Henry ventured closer to the entrance, peering into the darkness, "Emma! Are you in there?"
Faintly from the back of the cave, Henry heard Emma call his name, he went to enter, when a rolling cloud of flame shot from deep within, narrowly missing charring him to a crisp.
"Henry, be careful! Let Blaze go first," Regina stammered, unable to hide her fear any longer, vivid memories of the time when Henry was trapped in the mine back in Storybrooke flooded her consciousness to the point of paralysis. She was once again helpless, while her loved ones were in peril.
Blaze was impenetrable to fire so he led the way into the cave, roaring and blasting as he went, looking out to make sure not to burn Emma. Henry darted in behind him, holding the tip of his tail as a guide.
The sound of Henry's voice was washed relief over Emma like cool water, she was familiar with the rules as well, and just as she had been able to slay the Storybrooke dragon for her true love him, Henry would be able to save her in turn. It was dangerous, and Emma's heart pounded. He was just a kid: too young and green to fight such a terrifying battle.
Emma had to think, she could see the sword lying just beyond the dragon, and then she saw Blaze's counter fire to the dragon. Emma's heart now verifiably leapt from her chest, as the enemy dragon reared back on his hind legs, striking out and scratching a long gash in Blaze's side.
While Blaze and the other dragon, landed blows on one another, Henry scampered to the outskirts of the cave, tripping and stumbling over the jagged, carved rocks trying to find the sword.
"Henry, the sword is in the stone," Emma whispered as loudly as she dared. Henry spotted it and made a beeline towards it. Emma risked running behind the dragon and meeting Henry. She quickly embraced him, and then tried to the yank the sword out herself. It wouldn't budge.
Henry stood on his tip toes and grabbed the handle of the sword, preparing to pull as hard as he possible could, but the second his hands wrapped around it light emanated from within the rock and it slid like butter from the stone until he found himself holding the weapon in amazement. It instantly felt like he had been born with it as an extension of him arm. Power coursed through him, and he lunged towards the dragon.
The dragon got a strong blow in on Blaze, who was panting and trying to catch his breath. 'I've got to stop feeding him so many treats, he's out of shape', she thought as she watched in sympathy as the other dragon reared again ready to strike.
"Treats!" Emma yelled, wondering briefly if this nameless dragon had a human mistress who raised him like she had raised her beloved Blaze. At the word, both dragons stopped their fight and turned to face her. Blaze's face lit up in joy and the dragon of the Borderland's began to stalk toward Emma, looking more like he wanted to eat her than any food item she could produce for him.
When the dragon's back was turned, Henry drew on his strength and gathered his resolve, he saw his opportunity and struck, he lacerated the dragon's neck, causing him to flop and scream in pain. Emma rushed back over, leaping over the dragon to get around him. Henry moved in for the kill, but Emma shook her head, an expression of regret and sadness pulling her face into a frown.
"Henry, let him live, let's go!" Emma yelled, holding out her hand for him to join her. Henry looked down at the dragon as he writhed in pain, and then to Emma. She flashed her eyes in warning, "Now!"
Henry lowered his sword and ran after Emma, ducking as Blaze ushered them out under his protective wing.
"Why didn't you let me kill him? What if he comes back for you?" Henry whined even as he wrapped his arms around Emma's neck pulling her into a tight hug. Regina sprinted towards them, relief etched on her face.
"He might come back for me, but he's somebody's Blaze: he knew the word 'treats.' He was just fulfilling his purpose, just as Blaze has to do his job," Emma explained, hugging Henry closer, and whispering praise of his bravery in his ear. He clutched his new sword protectively in his fist.
Regina wrapped her arms around her family, tears blurring her vision, as she confessed, "I was so afraid I'd lose you both."
"Mom, we're okay, but the dragon is still alive he might come capture Emma again," Henry told Regina in a rush.
"He won't, Henry. The dragon will not ever be able to take Princess Emma again," Regina said assuredly, smiling widely.
"How do you know for sure?" Emma asked in confusion.
Regina took a deep breath, and kneeled on one knee, "Princess Emma Swan, I love you so much and I want us to be a true family. Will you do me the honor of marrying me, and becoming my wife and Queen?"
The question took Emma off guard, but as soon as it sunk in, tears of joy fell from her eyes, and she pulled Regina from her knees and into a hug, "Yes! Of course, I love you too!"
Regina kissed her in that the magical way only those in true love can experience. She pulled back, wiping Emma's tears away and kissing her cheeks. She had wanted to ask Emma months prior, but hadn't wanted to change things between them or create political unrest. She never thought she'd be proposing outside a dragon cave in the foothills of the Borderlands, but it felt so right. All she was missing was a ring. Blaze and Henry came closer, Henry took hugged them both, and Blaze rubbed his head affectionately against Emma, while she patted his head.
"I don't have a ring for you yet," Regina lamented, taking Emma's hand and holding it out, mentally picturing the perfect ring she would have her personal jeweler make as soon as they were home. Blaze helpfully blew a little smoke ring around Emma's outstretched finger eliciting chuckles and cuddles from his family.
Regina, Emma and Henry all climbed on Blaze's back to make the journey home: Each looking forward to something good. Blaze was hopeful for treats, Henry was eager to begin proper broadsword lessons, and Emma and Regina were eager to plan for their impending nuptials.
"How about we have a summer wedding?" Regina suggested, wrapping her arms around Emma's waist and resting her head on her shoulder.
"Winter would be pretty with all the ice and snow," Emma argued, happy to have the opportunity to bicker like normal with her future wife.
"No snow," Regina said firmly as they flew swiftly towards home and happily ever after.