Title: Hush Now, Darling
Author: Sapphire Smoke
Beta(s): BellaRei713
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Rating: M
Pairing: Regina/Cora
Timeline: 2x14, "Manhattan"
Summary: Love, her mother once told her, was a weakness. Yet despite knowing that, despite the awareness that Cora's insistence of motherly love was likely false, the fact that she was offering the illusion of it wrapped Regina in a façade of comfort that would one day, no doubt, make her feel even more worthless once she allowed herself to see the truth behind the platitude.
Warning(s): Parent/child incest, dubcon, abuse
A/N: I sincerely apologize for this. Not for the incest or the content, as I'm no stranger to writing darker fics, but that I did this to Regina, lol. I kind of hate myself a little for it.

Regina couldn't breathe. Suffocating and trembling, her sanity found itself shattering once more beneath the weight of her mother's uncontested dominance. Cora's touch was like poison, her words feeling as though they were shards of ice as they spread a cold bout of unwavering fear through her veins. Regina's entire body stiffened, reverting so instantaneously to the little girl she had once been; weak, frightened, accommodating… just how her mother preferred.

"Hush now, darling, everything will be alright…"

The tears that had previously stained Regina's cheeks flowed fresh once more as Cora's hand slid through her hair, her fist gripping the locks at the base of her neck. A shuddered exhale fell from Regina's lips, her eyes closing tightly as she tried to block out what was happening. The simple, yet dominant gesture had always been Cora's silent signal for absolute compliance, and it was something Regina had learned to fear in her childhood for a variety of destructive reasons that made her throat constrict and stomach churn. She felt as though she were going to vomit.

"Mother, don't—" Regina tried, but her words were halted by the feeling of sharp nails digging into the nape of her neck, prompting the younger woman to hiss in pain.

"Don't be petulant, dear," Cora chided, speaking to her as though she were still nothing more than an obstinate child. "Haven't I always had your best interests at heart? I know what it is you need right now, my darling daughter." The fingers that were splayed out against Regina's lower back slid higher, finding the zipper that clasped the brunette's tight fitting dress to her form. "To fight it would be nothing short of foolish, when you know in the end it will comfort you in a way that nothing else ever has…"

Cool air hit flushed skin as Regina's back was exposed to the thick air that enveloped the room. A strap falling down her shoulder broke Regina from her haze and in one, singular moment of unbridled clarity she abruptly stood from the bed, backing away from her mother in such a haste that she nearly tripped over her own two feet.

"Stop it," Regina demanded, momentarily finding the strength that resided deep within her; a strength that was so often buried in her mother's presence. Frantically trying to redress herself, her voice trembled as she continued, "I'm no longer a child. You cannot just—!"

A cry of surprise left Regina's lips before she was forcefully slammed against the wall with a mere wave of her mother's hand. She gasped, trying to find her breath as thick vines snaked out from the regal wallpaper, wrapping tightly around her wrists and ankles. Regina didn't bother fighting against the constraints, as previous experience taught her that the task was futile. Instead, a small, angry sob wracked her body as Cora advanced on her, internally wondering how she could ever have been so foolish as to show weakness and upset in front of her mother. Cora always had only one way to dry her tears, and perhaps Regina had been so utterly stupid to believe that their time apart would have changed that.

It had just been difficult, to watch Snow smirk in such self-satisfaction as she told her that Emma didn't have to run anything by her any longer. Henry was her son, her world, and it seemed that no matter what Regina did to try to be worthy of him and his love, the rest of his family would never accept that she might truly deserve it. It enraged her, it saddened her, it fucking broke her heart apart, shattering the last bit of hope she held inside her darkened soul. It was as though the last eleven years meant absolutely nothing, and the realization that they possibly never would twisted uncomfortably in Regina's gut, causing her to fall apart to the one person she should have known better than to.

If she couldn't even learn that simple lesson after all these years, perhaps she really did deserve this. Once again Regina was nothing but a foolish child being punished for her failures, masked in all the love and comfort that she knew would always be a lie. But it was Cora's lie to tell and, as Regina was so often reminded, mother knew best. Her opinion of it, in the end, meant so very little.

"You know it upsets me when you get this way," Cora reprimanded her, pursing her lips in displeasure as her eyes raked over her daughter's trapped form. Regina struggled to breathe, feeling another vine snake across her throat, tightening in punishment for the blatant rejection of her mother's love. "I thought we had moved past all this nonsense. I alone know what ails you, what has always ailed you, and I promise you, my darling, I will forever be willing to give you that which you seek so fervently. After all, that is what motherhood is about."

If this, truly, was what motherhood was about, Regina found herself glad that she never became a proper mother.

A haze of purple smoke enveloped Regina's body, her clothes falling away to nothing as she stood, trapped and nude, beneath her mother's fierce gaze. A deep flush covered Regina's body, the shame of abuse causing her to feel rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things. She was an adult and yet felt akin to no more than a child, embarrassed about the exposed state of her body as though she were once again a virgin on her wedding night, forced to give herself to another person she did not want.

The vine around her throat lessened its grip, allowing Regina to suck in a few lungfuls of air as her mother's slender fingers mapped her form; judging her, appraising her worth. "You've grown into a beautiful woman," Cora told her affectionately, a compliment that was so few and far between that it almost gave Regina pause.

Still, she couldn't help but defy her mother's wish for gratefulness and instead Regina forced herself to sound arrogant, to save herself from acting as humiliated as she felt. "I know." She was expecting her mother to reprimand her about her attitude, but instead it merely made Cora chuckle softly.

"But it isn't enough, is it?" she asked her, the question rhetorical as her fingers slid over the taut muscles in Regina's abdomen. "Beauty isn't enough for anyone to love you; it isn't enough…" the curve of her left breast was traced by Cora's insistent fingers as she finished cruelly, "to mask the blackness of your heart. It repulses them, doesn't it, dear?"

The truth in her mother's words made Regina's chest tighten almost painfully. Cora could see that she had hit a nerve and she smiled at her almost sadly, as if she understood how it felt, to be viewed in such a way. Fingers caressed Regina's tightened jaw as the younger woman tried desperately not to give way to her overwhelming emotions. It was battle a she constantly found herself losing.

"But that's not how I view you, my darling," her mother whispered, the affection in her voice almost making Regina believe her words. "You've always been fierce, strong of heart and will. It is that which I find most compelling about you, Regina. To me, even your very soul is beautiful, despite what others may have you believe. You could never repulse me, my dear, not even in your darkest hour."

Oh, how Regina wished those words meant nothing to her. How she so fervently wished that she was strong enough to ignore them, to feel as though she didn't need the sentiment. But instead a tear slipped down her cheek, a small, childish plea of, "Mama," falling from her lips as Regina wished, desperately, that she would truly become the worth of her mother's words.

In the back of her mind, Regina knew that it was a foolhardy belief, that Cora would say those things born out of anything other than her own selfish desires. She was manipulating her, just as she always had, and yet it was because Regina could not remember the last time she truly felt beautiful, that she allowed herself to believe the lie. Day after day of looking in the mirror and being repulsed by what she saw, what everyone around her had always seen, caused Regina's self-worth to shatter along with the reflection she so often destroyed during her fits of self-hatred and rage.

"It's alright," Cora hushed her, cupping Regina's cheek in a gesture of motherly love that Regina felt herself falling into as the older woman brushed away another fallen tear. "It's alright, my darling, mother will make it all better. I promise."

A choked sob slipped past Regina's lips, her battle for strength failing her once more as her mother shattered the only defenses she had left. "I just want to be happy," she whispered, the words sounding distraught and broken, a plea from a little girl to have her mother fix that which was so often destroyed by her own hand.

"You want to be loved," Cora corrected softly. It was a truth that was perhaps seen by anyone who dared to look close enough, yet Regina tried desperately to hide all the same. Love, her mother once told her, was a weakness. Yet despite knowing that, despite the awareness that Cora's insistence of motherly love was likely false, the fact that she was offering the illusion of it wrapped Regina in a façade of comfort that would one day, no doubt, make her feel even more worthless once she allowed herself to see the truth behind the platitude.

Still, Regina couldn't stop herself from nodding helplessly.

"Then allow me to love you, my darling," Cora gently pushed, weakening the already thinning resistance that held Regina's resolve. "Let me dry your tears. Someone of such beauty should never feel the way you do, Regina, and everyone else is foolish to have never tried to show you your true worth."

It was disgusting, how easily Regina found herself falling apart at those words. Her true worth. Was she not someone that her mother had proven, year after year, of being inadequate? But it had been so long since she fell into her mother's arms, allowing Cora to mend her in the only way that she knew how, that the little girl inside of her almost craved to feel the warmth that she had been deprived of for so long. It was a façade, surely, but wasn't everything in this world? The truth could merely be what one choses to believe, and in that moment, Regina found herself desperately needing to believe that she was worth something to someone, even if it was to the one person who had caused her to become this broken in the first place.

She was her mother's doll; dressed up and played with when the mood struck, then tossed carelessly to the side once pretending with her had become tiring and inconvenient. And yet, unfathomably, Regina found herself allowing it, because it was the only thing she had ever really known.

She nodded once more, giving way to the madness that resided in their bloodline, and her bounds were loosened, allowing Regina to fall rather helplessly into her mother's arms.

"Come now, my dear," Cora gently prodded, guiding her over to the bed that Regina had always lain in night after night, feeling empty and alone. It was perhaps the constant solitude of the place alone which prompted Regina to allow the change to its hollow memories. "Lie down so mother can take care of you. You've had such a trying day; let me help you take your mind off of less pleasant happenings..."

Regina's body moved of its own accord, falling so adeptly into a routine that she had once, foolishly, believed was over. Perhaps though, Cora's need for a submissive puppet and Regina's desperate desire to be loved would never allow it to be so. To the end of her days, Regina would find herself lying beneath her mother, waiting for the cure Cora had so often promised and yet always failed to deliver. It was a painful truth that was buried beneath a more appealing lie, and as Regina fell back against the duvet, hair splayed out on a soft pillow as she parted her thighs, she waited patiently for her mother to accept who she truly was, for Regina knew that no matter how much she wished it, no one else ever really would.

The heat of her mother's body warmed the ice of her soul as Cora situated herself next to her, looking down at Regina with an affection that found itself faltering from the woman's innate smugness. "There," she cooed, fingers tracing the hollow of Regina's throat. "Now, isn't that better?"

Regina's answer was swallowed, knowing better than to speak; during times like these, her mother was quick to anger if Regina didn't reply just so. Silence, in the end, was almost always a more preferable option. And as she had already conceded to allow Cora to mend her broken heart in a way that would no doubt stand to shatter her soul, Regina wished to do nothing to upset the delicate balance that this moment desired.

A solitary finger traced the scar above Regina's lip, the soft touch almost enough to mask the forthcoming disaster that this act truly entailed. "Give your mother a kiss," Cora demanded, her voice quiet enough that it could almost be mistaken for a request. But Regina knew better and so she moved without thought, pressing her lips to her mother's as she closed her eyes and pretended that somehow, someway, this was actually the sane thing to do.

Fingers tangled in chestnut locks and Cora came to her, murmuring appreciatively in the back of her throat at the feeling of her daughter's submission. Regina breathed her in, fervently seeking the oxygen hidden deep beneath her mother's potent poison. A hand slid easily down her form, foreplay passed over in lieu of a more desirable endgame, and Regina felt herself exhale a shuddered breath as Cora touched her in a way that had been forgotten to the former queen for many years.

"My, my," Cora hissed against the flesh of her neck, teeth tracing the pulse point that jumped and quickened from the careful ministrations to Regina's sex. "You are quite ready for me, aren't you?" Her fingers were sliding in the evidence of Regina's arousal and the younger woman flushed, turning her head from her mother's prying gaze as she felt so utterly ashamed of herself.

"Mother, don't…" she pleaded softly, not wishing to hear Cora bask in her victory. But it was the wrong thing to say and fingers closed around her throat, cutting off her air supply as Cora's eyes darkened, burning a hole straight into her heart.

She should have known better than to speak.

"What have I told you about ungratefulness," Cora sneered, the façade of affection momentarily falling away to the monster that lay beneath. Regina choked and the hold was loosened, but only enough to allow her breath. Cora still held her, pinned in a rather submissive position as she stared down at her, the lines of her displeasure creasing her aging face. "I am doing this for you," she told her fiercely. "Because I love you, because I am the only one that ever will. Do you understand me, Regina?"

Perhaps it was a testament to how much her mother truly owned everything that she was, because Regina nodded frantically and without hesitation. This softened Cora's face and suddenly she looked so much like a mother with all the love in the world for her only daughter; it was a change that, while instantaneous and unsettling, Regina still found she felt some semblance of comfort with. It was a normality that she had become attuned to, and so she fell into the familiarity without a second thought.

"That's better," Cora praised her, her hand slipping from her throat to trace the taut peaks of Regina's nipples. Her skin was flushed yet her face was nearly white as a sheet, finding something so disastrously arousing in the fear that her mother instilled in her. It was a nostalgia Regina found she couldn't let go of. "Now, ask me to make it better, my darling, and I promise I will without a moment's hesitation."

Regina swallowed hard, her throat sore from the violence her mother's love was packaged with. "Please," she whispered after a long stretch of silence. Cora's eyebrows rose in expectation and Regina felt her face involuntarily flush as she begged, sounding so much like the child she once was, "Please Mother, make it better. Make me happy…"

Cora smiled, an unnerving sense of superiority in the gesture, as she allowed her hand to fall once more to the apex of Regina's thighs. "Always, my dear," she breathed, leaning down to press their lips together, fingers slipping deep within Regina's pulsating heat as she coaxed the very breath from her daughter's lungs, the singular shred of sanity left from her mind.

Regina allowed her legs to fall open a little more as she pushed her hips against her mother's hand, allowing Cora to swallow the deep moan that escaped her lips. She grasped for her, nimble fingers holding tight to clothing that Cora had never felt apt to rid herself of, despite the countless times Regina feared that she would. It had never been about her pleasure however, or perhaps, it was merely that Cora found her pleasure in stealing that which she should have never been allowed to come close to enough to possess. Regardless, despite the physical love her mother was so intent on giving her, in the end it still burned a hole in Regina's soul, prompting her to seek a love that she knew, in her heart, would never actually come to fill the emptiness her mother had left always inside of her.

Cora coaxed sounds from her that a mother never should, a wicked smile gracing her lips as she watched her daughter writhe and gasp beneath her. Regina buried her face in her neck, smelling her mother's hair and feeling the heat of her skin, praying that perhaps, today, Cora would find it within herself to truly love her; to fix her, in the way that she had always promised. It was foolhardy and naïve and yet she pleaded, "Mother," as Cora twisted her fingers inside of her, drawing out a shuddered breath as her fingernails made deep crescent marks in the older woman's skin.

"This is why, you know," Cora whispered in her ear, her words sounding almost taunting and cruel. "This is why they can never love you." Regina cried out as her mother's thumb slipped across her engorged clitoris, taunting her towards an edge that would soon have her falling into a sense of hopelessness with no apparent end. "They know," Cora breathed, her words tickling the sensitive flesh beneath Regina's ear as she told her harshly, "They know you're mine, my love, that you will always be mine. And that, my darling daughter, is the true reason you will never change. I created you, and it is only I that could ever hope to destroy you, should I decide to see it fit."

Her mother's words hit Regina like a barreling truck and she inhaled sharply, heart pounding in her throat as she closed her eyes tightly, hoping that perhaps, if she could block it out, it wouldn't be real. But her fate was just as cruel as her mother, and Cora's other hand tangled in her hair, forcing Regina's head back so she could look her in the eyes as she simultaneously destroyed her hope whilst pleasuring her broken form. Eyes darkening at the sight of unshed tears in her daughter's eyes, Cora's fingers curled within her, brushing against the tender spot inside of her so suddenly that Regina nearly choked on her breath.

"None of that," Cora demanded, looking almost insulted by the upset she instilled in her daughter. "You are to focus on that feeling, do you hear me?" Cora quickened the pace of her fingers, eyes boring into Regina's, forcing her to hear a truth that the woman beneath her so often tried to ignore. "Be grateful, Regina, that I can find it within myself to love someone like you. You see how often you are rejected, do you not? Why do you think that is?"

"Mother, please," Regina tried to plead, a tear slipping down her cheek as she begged Cora not to say what would surely destroy the very last of her. But like so many other of her requests, her words were ignored in lieu of Cora's own desire to break what was left of the strong woman her daughter had tried so desperately to become.

She had never liked Regina with a mind of her own.

"It's no one's fault but your own, how invisible you've become," Cora continued cruelly, seemingly finished with the façade of care now that she had gotten what it was that she desired, "so don't you dare look at me like you're upset that I've actually been accommodating enough to look twice at you, when you know very well that no one else would ever bother."

Something shattered inside of Regina at the same time her body gave way to the feeling of her mother's ministrations, and as she cried out amidst her orgasm, Regina feebly wished the feeling would tear her soul apart and leave the memory of her forgotten. Surely everyone, including herself, would be better off without the disaster of her being tainting their fragile lives. Yet her wish was ignored, her body crumpling as she choked back a sob, finding herself curling into her mother's body as though the thing that destroyed her could ever hope to shield her from the pain her worthlessness had brought her.

Cora shushed her softly, running her fingers through her hair as she watched her daughter revert back to the broken fragment of a human being that she so preferred. "Hush, my love," she breathed, feeling Regina tremble beneath her touch. "It's alright, because I see you… and in the end, that is all you will ever need."

It was a frightening truth that Regina greedily devoured, holding tight to the only shred of affection that she knew she would ever be given, yet never truly deserved; for someone as disgustingly weak and feeble, for someone as broken and pathetic as her, could never really know the comfort of love.

Her mother had made sure of that.

- FIN -