Emma Swan pushed open the door to Granny's diner and strode to the counter. She really needed a coffee after the morning she'd had. Having to spend her Sunday chasing after the Lost Boys gang on foot was definitely not something she enjoyed about her job.

"Hey Ems, your usual?" Red greeted her with a smile.

Emma shook her head. "Coffee please. Better make it a double shot. To go".

"Rough morning?" Red busied herself at the coffee machine.

"Yeah you can say that again", Emma turned away and glanced around the rest of the diner. Her gaze landed on a familiar dark haired woman, sitting by herself at a table, reading the newspaper. She had her back to the counter so hadn't noticed Emma's presence yet. The tables to either side of her were empty, as the other customers in the diner gave her a wide berth. Emma frowned as she noted the empty seat across from Regina. Henry should have been there, but there was no sign of his presence.

"Here's your coffee", Red placed a Styrofoam cup on the counter. She followed Emma's gaze to where Regina was sitting. Her mouth turned down. "I see it's one of Henry's no show days today".

"What do you mean?" Emma twisted around to look at Red directly.

Red sighed, pity crossing her features. "Henry doesn't always show up to their Sunday lunches. She always waits for him though, even when it's obvious he's not going to come".

"I don't understand". Emma looked bewildered. "He leaves home every Sunday and doesn't come back for three hours. If he isn't here, then where is he?"

"I'd say the arcade. That's where he usually goes when he doesn't spend lunch with Regina".

"And she just lets him?" Emma asked in shocked surprise.

"Yeah". Red just shrugged. "I think she doesn't want to force him to spend time with her".

"Right". Emma's hand closed convulsively around the cup of coffee. "Thanks Red". She strode out of the diner without another word.

The arcade wasn't that far from the diner and Emma was there in a matter of minutes. It didn't take her long to spot Henry at one of the machines. She dropped her half empty coffee cup into the trash and made a beeline for him.

Guilt crossed his features as soon as he saw her. "Hi Emma".

Emma stopped in front of him and folded her arms. "Why are you here, Henry?"

His jaw set and he turned away from her. "I'm playing videogames."

"While technically correct, that's still the wrong answer." Emma reached for his shoulders and turned him back to face her. "Why aren't you at lunch with your mom?"

"Didn't feel like it". He refused to meet her gaze.

"Henry, what's going on?" Emma bent her head and got right in his face, forcing him to look at her.

Familiar green eyes glared back defiantly. "I just wanted to play some videogames."

"I see." Emma stepped back and gave him some space. She decided to try another approach. "You know, it can't be easy for your mom to go to the diner every Sunday. Yet she does that and puts up with people staring and whispering, just to spend time with you."

"Well now she knows how I used to feel." Henry burst out. "She let everyone think I was crazy to believe in the curse".

"So you're what? Trying to get even by hurting her back?"

"No!" Henry flinched. "She's my mom. I don't want to hurt her."

"Well your actions say otherwise, kid". Emma leaned against one of the machines. "How do you think it makes her feel knowing that you'd rather play videogames than spend time with her?"

Henry looked at the ground. "Not so good I guess. But I didn't mean to hurt her, honest."

"Then what are you trying to do?"

Henry turned away from Emma again. "She told me that she didn't want to make me stay with her. That it would be my choice. But she lied to me about so much other stuff, that I just wanted to make sure."

Emma sighed, her expression softening slightly. "So you're testing her to see if she really means it this time".

Henry nodded silently.

"Henry, your mom's certainly made her share of mistakes, but she's really trying to be a better person. For you. She really loves you. There is nothing more important to her than you."

Henry turned back to face her. "How do you know that?"

"Because she's proven that she's always gonna choose you, no matter what she has to give up as a result".

"Like her magic?"

Emma nodded. "And the curse itself".

"The curse?" Henry looked sceptical. "Pretty much all the stuff she's done since you came to Storybrooke was because she wanted to stop the curse from breaking".

"Yeah, your mom was really focused on preventing the curse from breaking, but when she had to choose between the curse and you, she didn't hesitate to choose you. Who do you think helped me to find the dragon?"

"My mom?" Henry's voice hitched slightly.

Emma nodded. "Yup. In fact she would have fought the dragon for you as well. She would have done anything to save you".

Henry was quiet for a moment and then he raised his head. "Emma, I think I'd like to go have lunch with my mom".

"Good choice. That doesn't mean you're off the hook for all the other times you stood her up though. We'll discuss your punishment later."

"I understand." Henry nodded and slung his backpack over his shoulder.

"And Henry, I'd start with an apology".


Delicate fingers traced over the glass covering a photograph of a smiling young boy. The woman took a breath and blinked away tears. She carefully set the picture frame down on the desk beside two crisp white envelopes and a bright green apple. Her gaze flicked to the clock, the big hand a minute away from tolling the hour. She picked up the apple with some reluctance, but as her gaze returned to the photo, her jaw set in resolve. She gracefully made her way to the couch and sat, smoothing out her skirt. With one last glance at the photo, she raised the apple to her lips and bit down.


"May I be excused please?" Henry asked quietly as he carefully set his cutlery down on his empty plate.

Emma paused, mid swallow of her drink. "Yes, you may. Straight to your room please. I'll be up to check in a few minutes".

Henry nodded meekly and left the table, heading up the stairs to his room.

"What's that about?" Snow raised her eyebrows as she got to her feet and started clearing the table.

Emma lowered her glass and placed it on the table. "It's part of his punishment".

"Punishment?" Charming also stood and started helping his wife.

"Yup". Emma shifted slightly to allow Snow to take her empty plate. "He's been lying about going to his Sunday lunches with Regina."

Snow and Charming exchanged guilty glances and Emma's eyes narrowed.

"Wait. You guys knew?"

Snow blew out a breath and put her pile of empty plates back on the table. "You have to understand Emma. We didn't think it was our place to interfere in what was going on between Regina and Henry".

Emma leapt to her feet. "So you allowed Henry to lie about what he was doing?

Snow made a calming gesture with her hands. "That's not how we saw it".

"That's not how you saw it?" Emma's growled. "I don't b..", she broke of mid sentence and hunched over, clutching at her chest.

"Emma?" Snow reached for her in concern.

"Regina", Emma gasped out as she backed away from Snow's grasp. She staggered away from the table and grabbed her car keys. She was running by the time she got to the door.

With a single wordless glance at Charming, Snow rushed after her.

"Grandpa?" Henry's appeared at the top of the stairs, his eyes wide with worry.

Charming drew a breath. "Get your jacket, kid. We need to go check on your mom".


The front door of the Mills mansion was wide open. Charming stepped inside, followed closely by an anxious Henry.

"Snow"?

"We're in the study".

Henry pushed passed Charming before he could stop him. He ran to the couch and knelt beside Emma.

"Mom, Mom!" Henry reached out and touched the still hand of the dark haired woman lying on the couch.

"Henry", Emma's voice broke on his name as she placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Is she?..." Charming couldn't finish the sentence. He didn't take his eyes of his daughter or his grandson. Both of them looked devastated

"No". Snow immediately shook her head. She gestured towards the apple lying on the floor a few feet away from the couch. "We think it's a sleeping curse".

"True love's kiss". Henry raised his head, eyes wide with hope. "You woke me up Emma. She's my mom. If I kiss her, she'll wake up".

"Henry, you know that the curse you were under only broke because you're too young to have a true love yet." Emma gripped both his shoulders as he turned to meet her gaze.

"It will work", Henry said with determination.

Emma looked at him for a long moment, then slowly nodded her head. "Ok".

Henry smiled at her, his lips trembling. "It will work, you'll see". He turned back to Regina. He took a breath and gently kissed her cheek. "I love you Mom".

There was a moment of frozen silence and everyone in the room held their breath. Regina remained deathly still, her chest unmoving.

"No no. I don't understand". Henry had tears running down his face. He kissed Regina's cheek again and again. "Wake up Mom. Please. I love you".

"Henry stop". Emma whispered and grabbed him in a tight hug. Tears trickled down her face as he struggled against her.

"Mom. No".

Snow knelt beside them, and gently took Henry from Emma, wrapping him in her arms. He collapsed against her, great sobs wracking his body.

Emma took a shuddering breath and got to her feet.

Charming watched her carefully before speaking. "Emma, you knew that Regina was in trouble, didn't you?"

Emma took a shuddering breath and got to her feet.

Charming watched her carefully before speaking. "Emma, you knew that Regina was in trouble, didn't you?"

"What"? Emma raised red rimmed eyes and met his gaze.

"How did you know?" Charming gestured towards Regina, lying still on the couch.

"I..I just did", Emma had a confused expression on her face. She rubbed at her chest absently. "I felt it. It was like,.." she paused.

"Something was ripping your heart out", Charming completed for her.

"Yeah". Emma looked at him in surprise. "It felt exactly like that. Has something like this happened to you before? Is it some kind of spell?"

"Not a spell no". Charming shook his head. "I was locked in a cell a long way away from your mother, but I felt it the instant she bit into the cursed apple".

"What are you saying Charming?" Snow's tightened her grip on Henry, her jaw setting into a stubborn line.

Charming met his wife's gaze without flinching. "Look at the facts Snow. She felt the curse take hold of Regina. That wouldn't happen unless she was her true love".

"No", Snow was shaking her head in denial. "There has to be some other explanation".

"Woah let's back the truck up here", Emma put both her hands up in the air. "Both of you are making some seriously big assumptions."

"Well there's one way to find out for sure." Henry broke in. "Just kiss my mom".

"Kid"…

"Emma. You have to try please". Henry's voice was small. "Please. I want my mom back".

Emma's eyes softened as she took in the desperation on Henry's face. Her gaze skittered over to the couch and the too still figure lying on it. She straightened her shoulders and her chin lifted. "Ok Henry, I'll give it a shot".

Snow frowned. "Emma, if you do this and it doesn't work..."

"Then we'll try something else", Emma interrupted her firmly. "We won't stop trying until we wake her up".

She walked back to the couch and Snow tugged Henry away to give her some room. Emma slowly lowered herself to her knees, and gazed down at the sleeping woman. "You've done your best to make my life hell since the day we met, Regina Mills." She reached out and gently tucked a strand of dark hair behind a delicate ear. "You don't get to leave until I'm done returning the favour."

Emma bent her head and gently brushed her lips over Regina's.

There was an explosion of rainbow light, and a woosh of displaced air ruffled everyone's hair.

Regina drew a gasping breath and her eyes snapped open.