You're so nice.
You're not good, you're not bad,
You're just nice.
I'm not good, I'm not nice,
I'm just right.
I'm the Witch. You're the world

Last Midnight, Into The Woods

the-silence-in-between asked:

All that Emma wanted was to get Henry back, but she's gone too far, and now Regina's blood stains her hands.

"Doc says—" Snow begins to say, reaching for Emma's shoulder with a trembling hand.

"Shut up," Emma says, her face blank but the twist of anger in her lips is warning enough. "Just… shut up."

"Henry is with your father," Snow continues, as though Emma hadn't spoken. "I made them some warm milk and then came back here; I think they'll be asleep by now."

"Emma," Red says carefully, unfolding her long legs from where she's tucked them under her on the rickety chair in the corner. "Emma, can you give me the sword now?"

"I—" Emma says, looking at the object clasped in her hand like she had no idea it was there. "Okay," she whispers, squeezing her eyes shut and holding the blade out for Red to take.

"We should get you cleaned up," Snow says kindly, reaching for the bag of clean clothes she's brought with her. "You don't have to do it here," she says, nodding at the bathroom that's visible in the corner of the hospital room.

"Here is fine," Emma says, her voice as dull as her eyes as she snatches the bag from her mother. Emma takes a deep breath, checks the monitors one more time, and crosses the room to the tiny washroom, flicking on the buzzing fluorescent light.

"Should we help?" Red asks, before opening the door and passing the sword to Thomas, who's been pacing with impatience. This way the sword can be locked away, kept safe.

"I will," Snow replies, smoothing out the sheet on the bed. "Come in and get, if anything changes with her," she adds, nodding towards the dark-haired woman in the bed.

Snow could knock, give Emma the chance to refuse, but it's smarter just to march on in there like she has every right to; in some ways Snow will always be the Queen she was born to be.

"Get out," Emma says listlessly, already stripped to her underwear, streaks of blood on the tile floor where her jeans have landed. Her tanktop is soaking in the sink, and Snow doesn't have the heart to tell her that there won't be enough Tide in the world.

"The hero shouldn't be left to tend her wounds alone," Snow says solemnly, remembering the words from a story her father used to tell her.

"I'm no hero," Emma snaps. "Even less so if she dies. I let you talk me into… I can't believe I did it. Fuck, I did it in front of Henry."

"Who knows as well as we all do how evil that woman is," Snow reprimands, her own hot-headedness coming to the fore, now. "You had to act, once she took him back."

"She's his mother," Emma wails. "I almost killed the only mother he's ever had, right in front of his eyes. Because a bunch of fairytale characters talked me into it."

Emma sinks to her knees then, banging her head against the edge of the sink in exhausted, but not teary frustration.

"You were helping the forces of good!" Snow yells at her, patience finally shredded. Being back in her own mind, remembering her life once more, has brought certainty with it, the sureness of right and wrong and the nothing in between.

"You're not good," Emma says, turning her head to fix the mother who gave her up with the deadliest glare Snow has ever seen. Regina herself would shrink back from a look like that. "You're not good, none of you are. You're not all bad, either. No, it's worse that that. You're just nice."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Snow demands, horrified that her own child should speak of her in this disparaging way.

"You condemn Regina, and Rumplestiltskin, and anyone else trapped in a shitty life for hurting people, for killing people to get what they want. So why is it that whenever you face something scary, someone evil, you all do exactly the same thing?"

"We have to win," Snow says, her confidence starting to slip. "Good has to defeat evil."

"Not in this world, mother," Emma snarls, the word an insult from her lips. "Where I grew up, where you abandoned me to, we have our own view about goodness, did you know that?" Emma barely pauses for breath. "We say 'spend less time looking good, and more time being good'. Sounds like you all could use a lesson."

"Emma," Snow pleads, but Emma pushes past her to the tiny shower cubicle in the corner.

"I have to get clean," Emma says, and there's no mistaking that she's shivering. "You should go; Red, too. Bring Henry back to me when he's rested, please."

"You're not staying here," Snow says, but it's more question than command. "You can't stay here with… with that woman."

"I have to," Emma says. "I promised Henry."

"Doc says she should pull through," Snow says sadly, finally delivering her message. "Do you really want to be here when she wakes up?"

"Yes," Emma says. "I have to face her. I have to apologize to her," she continues, turning on the shower and wincing at the pathetic dribble of water it spits out. It will have to do.

"That's what good people do," Emma mutters as Snow opens the door to leave.

Snow thinks about arguing, about telling Emma all the rules and stories she didn't get to hear growing up, telling her how these things work in the land Emma should belong to, but the words won't come.

"Maybe you're right," Snow says, stepping back into the hospital room where the monitors bleat and the ventilator sighs. She nods at Red, and in silence, the two friends take their leave.