SPOILER ALERT. This story contains immediate references to the latest episode.
"Emma… No! Emma!" Regina stumbled towards the hat and gripped the edges, peering inside as if she'd see a miniature blonde Sheriff. "No…" She sobbed. She sat back against the wall and brought her knees up, clutching the hat to her chest. James watched her curiously as tears poured freely from her eyes. Regina Mills had never let herself go like this - not with company, that is.
Ruby walked Henry into the room. "Mom…?" He asked as he looked at his adoptive mother, slouched on the ground. "Are you alright?" He stepped right over to her and crouched down in front of her.
She shook her head and clutched the hat closer, as if holding it closer to her heart would bring Emma back. Henry sat down next to Regina and looked up at her just as she looked down at him. He could see the pain in her eyes.
"Wh… Why are you sad?" Henry asked. He'd never, not once, seen his mother so upset.
"Emma and Snow fell through the hat. Through the portal to the other world." She croaked.
"Then why aren't you happy? You hate them both." Regina shook her head frantically.
"I don't hate Emma. I can't hate her." She let out a short sob. "Everything I love always gets taken from me." She closed her eyes and hung her head, resting it on the hat.
Henry regarded her for a moment, thinking over what his mother had just said. He then reached out and put his hand over hers, in a silent gesture that meant more to his mother than any of his words could. A gesture that told Regina that he'd understood what she meant.
Regina leant over, her head resting on his.
After a few moments of just sitting like this, Regina's head shot up and she sat up straight. "The mirrors…" She whispered. "The mirrors!" She spoke up. Henry, James and Red all turned to look at her. "If they're in our old world, and there's any reflective surface around, we should be able to contact them!"
Henry looked up at her with hope in his eyes as they stood up. "James, does Snow carry a compact mirror?" Regina asked, ready to let the hope fall.
"Yes. She always has one in her pocket."
That was when they saw it. Regina's face broke out in a huge smile, the only nice smile Red and James had ever seen, and the only truly happy smile Henry had ever seen from her.
The Mayor ran from the room and headed straight to her office, comically skidding at a hallway corner. She stopped right in front of her mirror, pushing the small table in front of it away just to get closer. She pressed her right hand against the cold glass, her left still clutching the hat. Her eyes closed as she whispered "Emma… please…"
As she opened her eyes, the image of herself was no longer there. Instead it was just blackness - the mirror was in Snow's pocket, for sure. All four of them started shouting, calling out the names of the two lost friends. They heard fabric rustling, some fumbling, and then there was light. Snow's face appeared.
"Oh my god…" She whispered.
"What, what is it?" Emma's voice came from next to her as she leaned over.
"Oh! You're okay!" The happy, excited tone of the Mayor threw both women off guard for a moment.
"Regina, what are you doing in my compact?"
"I figured if you're in our old world, I could contact you through the mirrors, through any reflective surface. Whatever you do, do not let your compact break. This is your only link between worlds - for now."
"For now?" Emma asked. "What do you mean 'for now'?"
"I mean that I'm going to guide you across the lands, to Jefferson's home, and bring you back."
"But I thought everyone wanted to come back here? Why not just send everyone through your hat portal?"
"Because that land is barren now, we could never bring it back up to the thriving forest it once was. And besides, not everyone wanted to go back."
"You've got a point. I don't exactly want to be here." Regina watched as Emma looked around in slight disgust. "Anyway, Snow says that this is where she got married, if that's any use in plotting our location."
"It is." Regina nodded. "I'm going to draw up a map. Since that is one of the few places that was deliberately spared, there should be some food around somewhere - just don't leave the place."
"Food? But… won't it be all… you know. Eurgh?"
"No. The magic that kept the meats and vegetables preserved should still be in tact. If it's not, just eat your mother." Regina joked. Regina… joked. For the first time in a long long time, Regina joked.
Needless to say… no one really knew how to take it.
Okay, so, I think this is going to be the first in a line of chapters. I got this idea when I was in bed last night, after the premiere. Please, reblog, like, comment, etc. I'm still in the process of thinking up a full plot, a full storyline, but I have a few things in mind so far.
I do have a lot more in my head that I could have added to this chapter, but I feel like it was right to stop right there, on that note. You can just imagine everyone's faces falling and Regina looking around in confusion and saying quietly "I was joking…" And then everyone looks at her funny for making a joke.