He picks up the phone ten different times before he can summon the will to press 'call'. It's another three attempts before he lets it ring long enough to be picked up. Henry takes a deep breath, swallows, and says hello to his mother for the first time in six years.
"I'll see you at City Hall tomorrow," Lisa says, crawling out of bed and reaching for her shirt. "Did you call them yet?"
"Yeah," Henry says, reaching for the cigarettes on the nightstand, squinting at his one good suit that hangs on the closet door. "You sure you still want to marry me?"
"I do," Lisa says, pulling the unlit cigarette from his lips and kissing him instead.
"Save that for the ceremony," Henry says, scratching at the slightly faded tattoo on the inside of his wrist. They smile at each other, and it comes easily.
"You're a dork, Henry Mills," Lisa says, scooping up the keys for her Kawasaki and slipping out of the door.
Despite the (lack of) notice, Henry arrives to find them waiting on the stairs. It's a beautiful day, for New York, in November, and he doesn't even shiver despite his lack of a winter coat. The light is fading fast, and he can feel the neon of the city beginning to creep in.
Emma speaks first, maybe because Henry never tried to run her down with a black Mercedes, but there's something sad in her eyes all the same.
"Hey, kid," she says, and Henry feels six years of tears and frustration and unplaced calls start to slide away. It sounds like an avalanche in his head when she hugs him—no leather jacket, not today—crushing his badly-ironed shirt just a little bit more.
"Henry," his mom (he still can't call her Regina, not even now) says from somewhere behind Emma, and Henry squeezes his eyes tight shut. It's a child's habit, of hide and seek and pretending not to be awake yet on a Sunday, and just as she did then, his mom sees right through him.
When Emma releases him, she takes his Mom's hand, and there's an ease to it that Henry still can't quite believe. They hold hands the way he takes Lisa's hand on the subway, or walking home late at night. They're every bit as together as the night Henry walked in on them in the Mayor's office (the night where everything—everything—started to go just a little bit more wrong).
"Thanks for coming," he says, and there's a squeak in his voice he hasn't heard since it broke back in Storybrooke, back when he would shriek at both of his mothers for loving each other too much (and him, by extension, not enough).
Mom grips her cane a little harder, her knuckles as white as bone, and Henry finds himself thinking of Mr. Gold. The questions form on his tongue, but he lets them melt there like snowflakes. There's no good way to ask how the hip he broke has healed, and the time for that question was six years ago when Henry got drunk on stolen Scotch and ran away, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. He's ruined as many lives as the Evil Queen he once believed his mother to be, but she's standing here anyway to watch him steal a happy ending after all.
"Henry!" Lisa's voice cuts through the background noise of the city, and she's the most beautiful thing Henry has ever seen. She's wearing a purple dress that matches the tie that's already too tight at Henry's neck, and her long, dark hair is curling around her face in a way that makes his fingers itch to touch it.
"Hey, babe," he says easily, maybe just a little too light for the moment, but she smiles at him just the same. "I'd like you to meet my moms."
The officiant seems a little bored by the whole thing, and Henry didn't want anything fancy beyond writing their own vows. Lisa's friends are sniffling from the rows of chairs behind them, but Henry has never felt less like crying.
His first act as a married man is to kiss his wife, and he damn well makes it a good one. As Lisa's friends swarm, he peels away to his mothers, watching Emma dab at her eyes as she rests her head on Mom's shoulder. Mom looks pretty close to crying too, but she's had a lot more practice at not doing that in front of him.
He watches them for a moment, Emma in her smart blue suit and Mom in a dress that doesn't look like something from a Mayor's wardrobe. They dressed up for him, drove seven hours (maybe, he didn't ask how they'd get here) and they're crying at his wedding like every mother should.
Henry drops his head, whispering something like a prayer. It's like somewhere along the way he forgot how to be grateful, forgot to stop blaming them for a bunch of things they didn't do, and somehow he gets them back, even if it's just for a few hours.
"Emma," he says, looking at their fingers twined together, at their matching wedding bands that he knew nothing about. "I need to talk to my Mom."
"Sure, kid," Emma says, and she stands up without a second's hesitation before leaning in to kiss Mom on the lips. "Time I got to know your wife."
Henry takes a deep breath, and sits down in Emma's seat. This is the last wedding of the day, and nobody's ushering them out just yet.
"I'm sorry," he says, dizzy with how much he means it. He takes his Mom's hand (the one not holding the cane) and holds it between his own. He can see a faint scar on her palm, but doesn't ask if he caused that, too. "I was so angry for such a long time, and I—"
"I forgive you," she says, her voice cracking like it used to when he was little and wouldn't stop screaming. "I forgave you a long time ago."
"Will you stay?" Henry asks. "There's going to be food, at my bar—"
"You have a bar?" Mom asks, her asks sparkling with newfound interest. "The last time I saw you I had college prospectuses in my purse, do you know that?"
"I was never going to Yale, Mom," Henry says gently. "But I'm taking some classes. Community college. It makes me think."
"You're twenty-four, Henry," Mom reminds him. "There's still… so much time."
"Are you okay?" He asks, terrified of the answer.
"I am now," Mom says, letting the cane fall as she takes his face in her hands. "I do love you, Henry. I'm sorry that never felt like enough."
The avalanche in his head has settled now, and inside he feels he's woken up early to the first snow of the year. It's peaceful, at long last.
"It was enough," he says softly. "And Emma? Is she enough for you?"
"More than enough," Mom says, turning around to smile at Emma. Henry feels that little pang of exclusion again, before he shakes his head and remembers that the woman he loves is standing right by Emma's side. "But it's not right without you, Henry."
"I can't ever come home," Henry says sadly. "Not to live, anyway."
"But you'll visit?" Mom asks, and he sees the hope in her eyes so clearly he thinks he might be sick. He caused this, he knows. His rage and his pain and his need to be the center of everyone's universe.
"I'd like that," he says, kicking the floor with his Chucks and trying to remember he's a grown man with a business and a driver's license. "I'd like that more than anything."