Here is my version of Daniel's death, and I give an explanation for Regina's turn towards the "dark side". I wanted to make a note for the record that even though there is mention of Robin Hood in the next episode, I already have plans down the road in this story for Robin Hood. Just not in the way it will be in the show. Disclaimer as always: I do not own OUAT and I do not own lines from 'The Stable Boy'.
Snow, Regina and Emma sat within the room created by the spell, after the latest revelations that Cora had tricked Snow into betraying Regina.
Snow shook her head in angered amazement, "All this time…All this time that you blamed me for breaking my promise, and it was your Mother that placed a spell on me that made me tell her. You could feel what I felt, how I didn't want to tell her. All the things you have put me through as well as Charming, all because of your Mother."
"NO! You do not get to make it about you and your precious Charming! How dare you! My Mother may have started it, but you ran with it. You always were a spoiled, selfish little child, and you still are. And your daughter over there isn't much better. I'm the Evil Queen, so the first 10 years I raised Henry count for nothing and now all of a sudden I'm an unfit mother and can't be trusted with my son."
"Hey, you leave Henry out of this!" Emma shouted, trying to get out of her chair with no success still. "If you and Snow are going to fight, don't you dare bring MY son into this. You have no clue what I went through in the foster care system, but from what I've seen of you and your Mother, I know some foster parents that can probably give her a run for her money. And Snow isn't the one that cursed everyone, bringing them to Storybrooke and trapping them without their memories for 28 years."
"Oh, poor little orphan Emma and her idiot Mother. Please, spare me the bleeding heart drivel, I don't care."
"Regina, leave Emma alone. Why after all this time can't you admit; Cora is the one responsible for hurting you and killing Daniel, not me? Why can't you take responsibility for your own actions after you killed my Father and banished me after your Huntsman let me go?"
"Because you, Snow destroy everything in my life and all I wanted was my true love and my happy ending. But, you couldn't let things go."
"I couldn't let things go? Let me see. How many times have you tried to kill me or curse me? And, how many years has it been since this all began? Oh, wait yes, it has been almost 50 years, with 28 of those being in a land without magic. For someone who couldn't live without her magic and used it to hide behind, just as well as who you pretend to be as the Evil Queen, you've dealt for 28 years without magic. You blame me for things I did as a child, just about Henry's age. See we aren't just seeing what is going on in your past, we feel what you felt, and I know that even early on you cared for me a great deal. I remember some extremely caring and loving moments that you can't fake from me growing up with you. I know that the real Regina was still in there then, and I know you still care now."
Regina laughed something close to her Evil Queen laugh and said in a condescending tone, "Oh, you naïve child. You don't know who you are dealing with and still don't know what I'm capable of, do you? The real Regina? Really, we are back to that argument again." Regina imitated Snow, "I know you still have good inside you." Regina scoffs before continuing, "You know nothing about me! And because we have no choice, you get to see what your big mouth caused."
Late in the evening, when Regina and Daniel agreed to meet, Regina, dressed in travel clothes and carrying a small bag, runs to the stables. Daniel comes out of the shadows of the stables and greets Regina with a quick kiss.
"Are you ready?" Daniel asks to check with his love.
"Let's go." Regina smiles in anticipation of the adventure they are embarking on together. They hold one another's hand as they turn to leave, but just as they get to the entrance Cora is blocking their way. Regina gasps in shock.
Cora stares them down and harshly says, "You could've at least left a note."
Cora uses her magic and throws Regina and Daniel back into the stable and on the ground. Before they are able to do anything, Cora magically shuts all the doors and all that is heard are the slamming of the doors and the locks clicking together locking them all in.
"Mother, I-" Regina tries to stall and explain, but Cora doesn't allow it.
"Don't. You sneak out of my house in the dead of night, and think I won't notice? How dare you."
Regina and Daniel get up off of the ground, but still hold hands to show their unified front against Cora. "You're impossible to talk to. Stop with the magic and listen to me. I want to be with Daniel."
"Oh, you don't know what you want. But I do. I didn't make the sacrifices I did in life, to get you to the cusp of greatness so that you could end up the wife of a stable boy," Cora said with disgust at her daughter's decision.
"But it's my life," Regina defended.
Cora, threw back her head and laugh condescendingly at her daughter, "You foolish girl. It's mine. After what I had to do… The deals, I had to make to get us out of poverty, to get us this life, and you just want to toss it away?"
Daniel softly spoke to Regina in support, "Stay strong, Regina."
Regina turned towards Daniel as he spoke and then turned back towards her Mother, "Your magic can't keep us apart. I love him."
Daniel followed in support with, "And I love her."
"And I love her, too," Cora said to Daniel.
"If you loved me, you wouldn't try to keep us apart," Regina stated emotionally.
Cora just looked at her and said, "And if you loved me, you wouldn't try to run away."
Regina was appalled at her Mother's lack of compassion, "I'm sorry, but this is my happiness. We're going!"
As Regina and Daniel stepped forward to leave Cora lifted her hand up which started to glow purple with magic, "No, you're not."
"So, what's your plan? You're going to keep us here forever?" Regina gestures around and then steps back towards Daniel, "Because that's what you'll have to do."
Cora looks at Daniel's arm comforting her daughter, and knows she is going to have to try a different strategy, "So, this is… Your decision? This will make you happy?"
Regina lightly speaks to Cora in hope, "It already has."
Cora looks to the ground as she says, "Then, who am I to stop you?"
Regina lets go of Daniel's hand and hugs Cora. As they loosen the hug, Regina thanks her Mother. Cora looks to Daniel and takes him aside to talk with him, like she is embracing him as part of the family. Regina follows slightly behind them and stays a few paces from them while Cora speaks to Daniel and she smiles glad to have her Mother's approval.
"Daniel. If you want to have a life together, a family… Then, there's one important lesson I can impart on you. It's what it means to be a parent. You always have to do what's best for your children."
Daniel nods and smiles, "Thank you," looking over at Regina and then back to Cora before continuing, "I understand. Because that's what you're doing now."
"Yes. It is." And with that Cora abruptly plunges her hand inside Daniel's chest. Daniel grunts and gasps in pain.
Regina looks on in horror and shouts, "MOTHER!"
Cora rips out Daniel's heart, now glowing red in her hand. He falls to the ground, and Regina rushes over to him.
Regina calls out in anguish, "No! No!" Regina desperately cradles Daniel, "No, no, no."
Cora stands over the defeated couple and crushes Daniel's heart to dust. Cora strangely enough looks fascinated at the dust she is creating as she crushes the heart and lets the dust fall to the ground.
The devastated Regina looks up at Cora, "Mother, why have you, done this?"
"Because this is your happy ending," Cora smiles strangely.
"WHAT?" Regina says with stunned disgust. Regina then tries to revive her love with True Love's Kiss, but Daniel doesn't stir.
Cora speaks to Regina, but stares off into space as if she is truly speaking about herself, "Oh, you have to trust me, Regina. I know best. Love is weakness, Regina. It feels real now. At the start, it always does. But, it's an illusion. It fades. And then, you're left with nothing. But power, true power, endures. And then, you don't have to rely, on anyone to get what you want. I've saved you, my love."
Regina glares at her Mother with tears still falling down her cheeks and says with venom, "You've ruined everything. I loved him. I loved him!" Regina gets up to confront Cora.
Cora pulls Regina up and holds onto her, "Enough! I've endured this long enough. Now, clean yourself up, wipe away your tears," Cora wipes away some of Regina's tears with her gloves, "because now… You're going to be Queen."
Regina is stunned, and before she can do anything, Cora shifts her arms from Regina's shoulders to her arms and then takes her right hand and thrusts it into Regina's chest. Regina's face changes from one of shock to one of pain as Cora takes hold of Regina's heart.
Cora then yanks her hand back out of Regina's chest still holding Regina's heart. Regina collapses to the ground from the searing pain in her chest.
"Now, dear. You know exactly how we have done these lessons before. I squeeze your heart just a bit…" Regina grabs at her chest where her heart should be and screams at the excruciating pain she is in. "but, this time I have something different in mind." Cora smiles.
"Go ahead, Mother kill me and get it over with. You already killed Daniel, my life is over," Regina says breathing heaving from the pain.
Cora laughs darkly, "Oh, why would I do something like that to my daughter. No, I have something much better in mind. You will be queen and with as much power as you want."
"But, I don't want to be queen, and I don't want power-" Regina had tried to speak until Cora squeezed her heart again.
"Silly child. As I said your life is mine, and I don't care what you want. Your heart will be cursed, and you will actually delight in the suffering of others." Cora pulled a vial of something out of her cloak and poured it over the top of Regina's heart. A sizzling sound is heard as the liquid comes into contact with Regina's heart and absorbs deep into it. Cora then spoke words Regina didn't understand over Regina's heart, which caused Regina's heart to go entirely black before turning red again with speckles of black in it, where there had only been a small amount of black before. The abrupt changes to Regina's heart caused her to gasp out in pain.
"Mother, what have you done to me?"
"Regina, dear, I've helped you. Love is weakness, and you can't have a weak heart. Marrying the king will give you power. This will help you do that."
"What by making my heart dark? How does that solve anything? I don't want to be evil. I don't want to end up like you-" again Cora squeezed Regina's heart causing her to fall to the ground in pain.
"You ungrateful child. After all, I've done for you. And for what? I am making you great. Never again to be laughed at or scorned. You will have the power to control all in the kingdom. Now, you will marry the king, and you will never remove your own heart. Get up!"
Regina had no control over herself since her Mother controlled her heart, so Regina was forced to get up no matter the pain still shooting from her chest. Cora then plunges her hand back into Regina's chest and puts her heart back. Regina gasps again at the painful intrusion into her chest and her heart being back inside, to once again, feel all the grief of Daniel's death. But, something feels different now, and she doesn't understand. Her Mother told her to forget this ever happened, and as they walk back to the house other than her Mother killing Daniel everything else seems to be fading away.
Due to the length of this chapter, you are going to have to wait a little longer to learn more about the fate of Henry and Archie. I had planned on part of that being in this chapter, but decided to move it to the next one instead. Thank you for your reviews they help me out a bunch! Please send reviews on this chapter and let me know what you think.