"Am I supposed to be afraid, Ms. Swan?"
The question rolls off her tongue easily despite the magic wand digging into Regina's neck. She keeps her gaze focused ahead. Why bother turning to face her attacker when the blonde will no doubt manhandle Regina into doing it? This family loves to look into her eyes while they torture her. She might as well draw it out as long as she can.
Emma pushes the tip of the wand further into Regina's skin. She answers, "Yes, Regina, you should be." She pulls the other hand tighter around Regina's chest, firmly locking the witch to her. "You should be afraid because I am not the same woman I was when I first came to town. I am more than willing and more than ready to use every bit of strength and magic it takes to take you down."
Regina cuts in, snapping, "Then do it." Or are your threats as empty as your mother's?
Regina grimaces at the thought of Snow. Post-curse, Snow's darker than Regina remembers her. She's stronger. The curse most likely played a part in that. Then there's also the added ammunition that Cora brings to every battle; she riles people up, clawing out whatever tiny moment that will break them. Regina could never bring herself to do the same. The golden family, however, seems to thrive on throwing Henry in Regina's face. Even now, her son's back in town, and they've yet to bring him within fifty feet of her. No worries, though, Regina will have him back soon enough.
Emma shakes her head. "Don't make me," Emma grinds out. Regina stills at that. What ultimatum shall she sit through today? Emma's grip loosens slightly so she can face Regina better. The queen bites down the urge to chuckle at her.
"I thought I already did," Regina says.
Emma glances away. "I know what it's like to lose Henry. I-I hurt him, and it's killing me trying to get him back." She tries to meet Regina's eye, but Regina trains them down. Emma has no idea what it's like to lose him the way that she has. "I can't imagine how hard it's been for you doing this for years. Regina, I want to help you. I want to get him back, together. But if you're going to get him back by killing everyone, then I'll have to kill you first."
On reflex, Regina snaps, "With the wand?"
Emma stiffens. "If I have to. You have one chance. I'm letting you go, and you have to help us stop your mother. Please." She waits for an answer. Regina takes the time to practice her breathing.
She should feel insulted by this family. Every one of them assumes that Regina trusts her mother. They assume she has no plans to take Cora down. Regina lived with Cora. She grew up unable to walk without a book atop her head. She needed supervision to go to the gardens. She won't begin to think about the situation with Daniel. She knows what Cora is like better than anyone in this land, or any other.
Emma lets her go. Regina steps out of the hold. First, she's tentative, one foot in front of the other until she can lift her arms and feel the magic tingling in her fingertips. She moves further, and she can almost hear the second Emma realizes her mistake. Regina rounds on her, hand up to stop the wand and trap the other woman. Emma opens her mouth to scream, but Regina shakes her head.
"It is my turn to talk. For once, you will listen to me. I have a plan." Regina steps back towards Emma, her free hand fisting in the air. "While you kidnapped my son, I created a plan for his future. For everyone's. No one is safe while my mother survives. I've tried trapping her, but now I know what must be done." Regina stops in front of Emma. She lowers her voice, stares into the eyes she sees on her son — used to see on her son. "Gold must die, and then so must my mother. Get in the way of that, and you will as well." Regina releases her magical hold. Emma gasps for air. "That is the plan. Anything else…" and Regina hears Emma's offer in her mind, the promise to join together to win him back, the chance at forgiveness from someone who might finally be able to let her in. She pushes a strand of hair behind her ear. "Anything else can be discussed some other time. Good day, Ms. Swan."