Your Mangled Heart, You Battered Love

iFaith faces off with Regina to get Spike back. As much as she hates it Emma knows she has to go along to protect this chick from Regina or is it vice versa? One more chapter after this. /i

"Listen,-Faith- it's not worth it," Emma said.

The woman's name stuck in Emma's throat as she tried to act like she knew this woman. Everyone else in StoryBrooke seemed to have a way easier time with that. They treated Faith Pratt and her husband William "Spike" Pratt like they were old friends. It didn't sit well with Emma. Now she was really trying to keep her temper in-check as the woman was ignoring her and trying to storm into Regina's house. Regina was the only other person that didn't seem friendly with the couple. They had reason to believe Regina had taken Spike captive because she thought he was a vampire that would harm Henry.

Emma really wished she could get back to dealing with her everyday life, which was trying to deal with Neal being in town and her kid's adopted mother being an evil queen that wanted a second, okay 4th, chance. Now this Faith Pratt was after Regina and Emma was the only one that could stop her. The woman's long dark hair was actually flying behind her as she grunted and kicked at Regina's house's protection. Apparently, Regina had put some kind of magik shield around it.

"Maybe you're still in your love 'em and leave 'em phase. I'm happy for you," Faith said, as she didn't bother to look at Emma.

"But, I'm done with mine. I've got my man, and if that bitch has done anything other than give him a tourist brochure to the state of Maine she'll pay," she said.

She ran up and kicked the protective shield so hard it rumbled like thunder.

"She'll pay hard," she said.

"No she won't," Emma sighed.

"She never does," Ruby echoed sourly. Emma shouldn't have let her come.

"Well, her luck's run out," Faith Pratt said.

"Luck has nothing to do with it," Emma said, "I don't know if you've been listening or if you think everyone is as full of it as you but Regina is a very powerful woman. It's not a joke. Magik is real. She is an evil witch. Look, I'm trying to help you. I can reason with Regina. Let me get your husband back."

"Clearly," Faith Pratt said as she looked up at the house, "You really haven't had a good lay in a long time, offering to get another girl's man. I go after my own. If you had someone you'd understand that."

The small and tight but curvy woman just glowered at the house like she was a tiger and it was keeping her from her prey. Emma noticed her cheesy tribal arm-band tattoo on her and wasn't at all surprised.

"The only thing I don't understand is stupid women like you who need some idiot guy to complete them. I do have someone, my kid," Emma said, "He's enough for me."

That would piss her off. Emma couldn't help but smile as Faith Pratt looked at her.

"Princess is in her love em' and leave em' phase. Hope you get some love to leave soon for your sake," Faith Pratt said plainly and then turned back to Regina's house.

"I don't need-I'm not a-" Emma began

What? No insults? Was that an insult? Emma expected Faith Pratt to run at her with fists with no husband to hold her back. Emma was hoping to show this woman she could fight too, maybe. Wow, this woman was throwing her off! She had to stay focused.

"You know who else has my kid as someone, Regina. Think about it from Regina's point of view," Emma said, "The kids go missing and she finds them with someone from town she knows and this guy she doesn't know or trust. Who's she to believe?"

"We don't really know if that's what happened," Ruby said, "All we know is that Spike is gone and last seen with Regina, a powerful evil witch."

"Ruby, you're not helping!" Emma said looking at the other woman, "and why did you bring that cross-bow?"

"Because I am helping," Ruby said as her blue eyes stared at the house, "I know Regina."

Ruby was wearing a hood. It wasn't red but brown. Her eyes seemed to almost be too bright in the night of only Regina's warm house glow. Ruby looked as steely but not as deadly as Faith. Emma had no idea why Ruby was so protective of these people she had known for several days. She didn't want to think too much about it. Maybe Emma had misjudged them, but it wasn't like Emma to misjudge so much. She could tell Faith especially was hiding things. She had criminal written all over her, but she had other things, like a kid back in Jamaica Plane, Boston. These people were complicated. Emma didn't like complicated. She had enough of it.

"I know Regina too and she wouldn't-Well, she isn't-Look, if you promise me you won't try to fight her or do anything crazy, I think I can get past this magik and into the house," Emma said.

"I don't have to promise you shit, princess," Faith Pratt said.

"Did I mention that I'm not going to respond to that nickname?" Emma said, "You aren't going to be able to get through the magik. I'm The Chosen One and sometimes I can do it. Why don't you guys just wait out here and I'll try to get in and we'll see. I've broken through Regina's spells a few times. I just have to focus. You really don't know who you're…"

Emma was surprise into silence because Faith Pratt jumped into to an invisible hole above Regina's door and disappeared. She was gone.

"…dealing with. What the hell?" Emma said, "What did she-a weakness. That's where a weakness in the spell is."

Emma realized, or sensed, the weakness in the spell to now.

"I can't get through it," Ruby said as she jumped where Faith had gone through only to hit up against a force.

"I—I don't know," Emma said, "I think maybe only a certain kind of person can get through it."

"Like a Chosen One. Make me feel left out why don't you?" Ruby said, "I guess she wants to handle it herself. I'm sure she can. Maybe we should go. It is a family matter."

"What? Ruby, she's likely to kill Regina. I can't let that happen. It's a family matter for me too, I guess. I'm going in," Emma said.

"Fine, but you're taking me," Ruby said.

"Ruby, what is the deal with you and these people? You don't know them," Emma said.

"Once upon a time I didn't know you mother or you and you guys are the best," Ruby said and her eyes misted, "But, you don't know what it's like to have your strength in darkness. He was supposed to die for her; he was determined to, and she wouldn't let him. It seems he can't be killed anyway. Imagine a man you can't kill even if he wants to die for you."

"Ruby, please don't tell me you don't believe his shtick that he's a vampire and she's a vampire killer," Emma said, "That's just a story he made up when Henry saw them boning in the woods."

"Emma, you know I'm a werewolf right?" Ruby said, "Maybe I just want a bite of something sexy I know will heal and go back to Boston in two weeks."

"Oh my God!" Emma couldn't help but laugh a little, "Don't say anymore, please."

"Look," Ruby said, "Chosen or not: Who do you think has a better chance of stopping her from hurting Regina you or me?"

#

When Emma and Ruby came into the house by tumbling to the floor they found Faith shouting.

"Queenie!" she said in a menacing tone, "If you think some sad protection spell is all it takes to stop me you've been livin' in the country too long."

Emma noticed Faith wasn't racing or raging through the house as she expected her to be. She was carefully searching the house. She ran her hand a long the forest wallpaper, which seemed weird but, maybe not. Emma didn't know why but it felt right, like something was in that wallpaper.

"Gotcha," Faith said and Emma saw her smile so wide it looked like she was up to no good.

That was when Regina came down the stairs. She looked off. She was wearing some kind of designer party dress she looked too old for. It was a spaghetti strapped violet taffeta gown with a slit leg and with a diamond pattern of flowers on the front. Ugh! But it wasn't just that.

"You're here," Regina said, "I've been waiting for you."

Regina went up to Faith Pratt like they were old friends. For a second Emma thought maybe it was some insane young girl pretending to be Regina. Had she been hit in the head? Was it something with magik? As she got closer Emma felt stupid for not realizing what it was.

"Regina?" Emma said, "Are you drunk? Sure, why should you be any different from anyone else tonight?"

"Regina," Ruby growled, "Give back the vampire. I know you have him. I can smell him better than the stink of your gin. This is no way to treat guests."

"You are beautiful even in these awful clothes," Regina said as she got dangerously close to Faith Pratt.

"I knew you'd have to look like her. So much like I remember when I was little."

"I wouldn't talk about awful clothes. If you're trying to crazy drunk you're way outta getting your ass kicked that doesn't work for my family let alone people who steal them," Faith Pratt said.

"Family," Regina whispered, "That's all I ever wanted, but she- you never did. Why? Why did you have one then? Was it just for power?"

Regina touched Faith Pratt's shoulder. Emma heard a pop.

"I wanted my family more than a dried up bitch like you ever wanted anything. I'd give up all the power I have just so they'd be safe. I did give it up, and that didn't work, mostly because evil bitches like you from other dimensions kept fucking with us. I've fought legions of you, lady, and I won," Faith Pratt said as she looked at Regina who had fallen to the ground.

Emma felt stupid again as it to her a minute to realize Faith Pratt had hit Regina. Popped her in the face. It was something Emma had wanted to do a million times, but…

"Ok, I can't pretend I didn't see that. Step away from her. She's clearly blitzed out of her mind," Emma said.

Regina touched her bleeding mouth and seemed to look up and the dark haired women pleadingly or like she was in awe. So much for worrying about Regina turning Faith Pratt into dust with power magik. That was a Regina face that Emma rarely saw. Faith Pratt showed no sign of retreat.

"I said," Emma took out her gun, "Step away from her."

"Emma—" Ruby objected.

Faith Pratt looked at Emma with her gun and grinned licked her lips and laughed.

"And I've fought blond chicks who acted like cops that thought they knew what was best. They were ten times The Chosen One she is."

"She's so stupid," Regina said, "She's seen everything and knows nothing. She was only ever Chosen for her royal blood."

Regina was still talking to Faith Pratt like they were old friends despite getting punched in the face by her. She rose to her feet. Emma rolled her eyes and put her gun away.

"A little late to try to get on my good side," Faith Pratt said.

"Regina, I am trying to help you. Maybe I should just let you get beat up. What the hell is going on?" Emma demanded of Faith Pratt, "Do you have some spell on you that makes people like you no matter how much of a bitch you are?"

"Why?" Faith Pratt smiled at her, "You want it? No, this bitch is crazy. Bunt from too much magik is my guess. I've seen it before. Can't say I care. But that'll keep her suffering enough as long as Spike is okay. Speaking of…"

Her graceful body with her low-cut short grey and black sweater seemed to slip into the grey and black forest wall-paper and she disappeared. She had dragged Regina behind her of course. Emma considered just leaving. What was the worst that could happen? This chick beats up Regina? Or Regina sobers up and does some magik on her, or maybe Regina already did magik on her smarmy husband who she thought was a vampire and…One of them would kill the other.

Emma sighed. She found the weakness in the wall and grabbed Ruby's hand who nodded and they went through. She did not like it. It felt like she was pushing herself through a dank air shaft when they were going through. Maybe that was because the place on the other side was just as dank. It looked like a labyrinth. There were walls and corners everywhere. It was covered with the grey and black forest wallpaper- walls, floor and ceiling. Emma didn't know where to look until...

"…is he you bitch?"- Faith Pratt.

Regina literally skidded across the floor and landed at Emma's feet. In that dress she was laughing like a drunken prom girl. She still smelled like one too. She must be too drunk to fight off Faith Pratt with magik. Emma didn't even want to think about how Faith Pratt was navigating her way around the magik. It wasn't because she was some vampire hunter.

"This isn't gonna get us anywhere. Let me find Spike. I can sniff him out," Ruby said.

Faith Pratt just nodded. She looked worried. Emma helped Regina off the ground. Ruby started sniffing the air.

"iOne heart red as rose and black as night; one soul pure as gold to make it right/i," Regina said to no one in particular.

"She's starting to remind me of my man's ex," Faith Pratt grumbled, "I've tried to kill that bitch twice. Crazy doesn't go down easy."

"Can you stop talking about killing people? I'd love to say it's been the weirdest night of my life," Emma said, "but it's just the longest."

"You think I'm having fun, princess?" Faith Pratt said, "You don't hear me whining and I'm the one who's missing someone. Missing someone because my someone went after who was missing for you, and I'm not hearing a 'thank you.' You really are a blond Chosen O-"

"Ruby," Emma said, "Can't you hurry up?"

"I'm working on it," Ruby said, "I just keep smelling something dead."

"Yeah, that's my man," Faith Pratt smiled, "Dead as a doornail with a sexy smile, remember?"

"No, I mean really dead," Ruby said.

"Regina," Emma began as she felt panic rise, "What did you—"

Emma stopped when she heard a crumbling sound. It was one of the forest wallpapered walls. Ruby had kicked it and it crumbled like paper machete. She dragged out a large crystal glass table.

"Oh my god!" Ruby said.

She said it because the crystal glass table had someone inside of it. This person was clearly dead, though well preserved in a beautiful white dress and flower crown. It was Regina's mother.

"Okay," Emma said, "Now, it's one of the weirdest nights of my life and that's saying—"

"I can do this," Regina said suddenly and shut her eyes, "I can. It's already done. You are my mother with this heart. I just have to get this heart into your right body, but it's sad we can't just put your soul in this one and turn back time. But, the heart is what can so easily be taken out of things, as well as what desperately needs to remain."

Regina was standing in front of Faith Pratt with her gasping nonsense speech. Emma wanted to feel annoyed by Regina's drunken slurring, but instead she felt completely uneasy. She felt it before she saw Regina's hand move to Faith Pratt's chest and into it.

"Regina! Stop!" Emma cried.

Regina had tears in her eyes as she looked at Faith, "You're little girl will still have most of you. She'll get by. I have. But now it's my turn to have my mother."

Faith Pratt couldn't speak as she had the pain of magik iced fingers reaching around her heart. Emma knew what it felt like, but Faith didn't have Emma's immunity to it.

"Regina if you do this there is no going back," Emma said, "Think of Henry."

"I am," Regina said, "It won't hurt much longer."

Maybe Faith didn't have Emma's immunity but, she did seem to have an ability to hit people. Faith punched Regina's still bloody mouth again and she fell back to the ground.

"You bitch!" Faith yelled, "You don't deserve to be that kid's mother or that kid's anything! I've heard all about you. You nothing but a sad rich bitch who's crying over her dead boyfriend and now your dead mother? Like we all don't have a few of those. Grow up."

"I am sorry," Regina said and she looked it.

Really? Was that all it took? This Faith Pratt, some boozing con-artist that knows how to throw a punch, gives Regina some harsh words about what an entitled little bitch she is, and Regina is sorry? Emma began to think she should have kicked Regina's ass a long time ago. Then, Regina sneered and gave Faith Pratt that dead evil-eye glower.

"Sorry, my mother's heart has to come from the body of a common whore who could only have child with a demon," she said.

Regina flew, literally, towards Faith Pratt who was pushed back into a wall wallpapered in forest. Only the forest trees seemed to come to life and come out of the wall. The branches twisted around Faith Pratt's hands and bound them.

"No!" Ruby yelled and shot her crossbow at Regina.

The arrow was a straight shot to her head but it bounced off Regina like there was a shield around her. It was as if almost trying to steal Faith's heart, or just touching it had given Regina more power. It wasn't like Emma's heart or like the ordinary hearts Regina took. Emma knew all this. She didn't know how but she did. Like she knew she could stop this somehow. She just had to think. Before Emma could think of what to do Regina had reached into Faith's chest again. Emma head the familiar dead thud as Regina yanked and nothing came. Then, Regina's hand flew out of Faith's chest empty. What? Whatever was happening Emma hadn't done it. Faith Pratt

"No! It can't be!" Regina yelled, "I could feel in my hand. I had it! I could feel the power, the love, the washed out black that still remained. I—I need that heart. It's not yours. You've wasted it on dead unnatural things. You're a murderous whore! This heart is my mother's!"

By the time Regina got to the end of her rant she chocked back a sob.

"Kinda doing a pot-kettle-black thing, telling me I've wasted my heart on dead things, which you seem to realize. So, where's my dead thing?" Faith had Regina forearms.

Emma saw that Faith's hands were making Regina dirty. The dress had torn, and this was the first time Emma had ever seen Regina's make-up run. Emma knew somehow that Faith Pratt could kill Regina easily now as Regina had spent her magik and whatever force was in Faith was weakened but still stronger than Regina. Emma couldn't help but think one word: Good.

"I'll never let you have him," Regina said laughed ominously, "Or maybe I will."

"Behind this wall!" Ruby said her eyes brightening.

Suddenly, there was a wall that was made of white stone and not the forest wallpaper. It looked like it held a room on the other side of it. Emma was glad for it. The endless walls of dismal forest wallpaper were giving her a headache.

"There must be a passage way," Emma said, "Regina, I'm only going to ask you—"

Before Emma could finish the stone was crumbling because Faith Pratt was punching and kicking it in. This was different then the other wall that weak to hide Regina's mother's body. It was real stone. Okay, so this chick could hit people and walls. She can fight magik and her heart couldn't be taken. Emma still didn't like her.

Faith had punched through the wall. It looked like a dungeon. Great, Regina had a dungeon. Emma saw the British guy chained up there in his tight white thermal shirt and jean-jacket. She couldn't help but think he had a body like Neal's. She put that out of her mind. He looked a little worse for wear. His shirt had a blood stain on his stomach. But, he was grinning as if he had been a kid playing hide-n-seek and she found him. Oh, thank god! This was over.

"Hi, honey," Faith Pratt drawled, putting on the causal.

"Hi baby," he returned it, "So, did the evil cunt-ness try to rip out your heart when you got here?"

"Yep, that's a first. It's kinda like having a sore ass from a new workout. If you never knew how much you used your ass every second until someone tries to rip it out."

"No one better touch that ass but me, unless I get to watch," he said and then gave an obvious glance over to Ruby who smiled.

Ugh! Emma couldn't get these people out of here fast enough. She promised she wouldn't look down on Ruby after this. People had a right to their taste. No matter how bad it was. Faith Pratt walked slowly over to her husband like she was on her own schedule. More put-on casualness. Her eyes were as big as two huge amber stones with black dots only centered on him. She loved him. It hurt her to see him this way. It was obvious, even if she had fought all the battles she said she did. Maybe she wasn't such a good con-artist after all.

"So, did having a woman inside you pulling at your heart make ya love me more?" he asked and stuck out his tongue and slid it back in.

"Piss off," she murmured, a Brit expression stolen from him, no doubt.

He was a better at pulling of the I'm-too-cool-to-care-that-I'm-chained-in-a-dungeon -affect. Emma could tell even Faith Pratt found his last comment a bit much. She stopped trying to get the chains off of him for a brief second and she seemed to actually blush.

"Yeah, yeah. You're so hard. I knew she could never take your heart 'cause its claimed. Speaking of hard, tell me, did it bring you to your knees when she did it 'cause I could use that right about now," he said.

Emma noticed that Faith just seemed to think that comment was funny while the one about love was too crude for her.

"Hold still," Faith said as she was trying to work on the chains.

"No," he said and tried to kiss her with a full open mouth. Ugh!

"Maybe I'll just leave you like this," she said.

"Am I supposed to object to that?" he said as he jumped up and down in the chains lightly, "Maybe Ruby can help you out."

"Spike, god," Ruby said "Are you drunk too? You smell different."

"Just a little more feral. But, I don't want to startle ya," he said, "or the dye-job from Boston. What big eyes she has."

Emma had more than enough. She wasn't going to pay any attention to him.

"Regina you must know how to unlock them," Emma said, "I'll—"

"Yes, let me unlock him," Regina said ,"and then what?"

Emma hadn't realized Regina was right near them. Now Regina looked weird in yet a new way. She was no longer drunk on liquor or magik. But, she still looked like she wasn't herself, or she was watching this all from far away. Emma wished she was.

"Then we're going to have a little chat down at the station, Regina" Emma said to her.

"Way to be tough on crime, princess," Faith Pratt said, "Aren't you keeping up? I know Boston Public wasn't that great, but the bitch took my husband and chained him in a basement without safe words. Then she tried to rip my freakin' heart out of my chest to put it into her dead mother's body who she's hoarding like Norman Bates. She's not redeeming herself anytime soon."

"And, you only covered what she's done for tonight, and you're people she doesn't even know. What is she going to do to people she has beef with if she's doing this?" Ruby said.

"Ruby—" Emma began, even though she really didn't know what she was going to say.

"Maybe I won't have to do anything at all," Regina said with that same eerie blank look on her face.

She was unchaining Spike Pratt magically from across the room, but Emma still sensed her magik was weak from trying to take Faith Pratt's heart. Why was she doing that?

"Oh, and she did do one more thing," Spike said, "Bitch has my soul."

His faced changed into an ugly demon's again and he snarled. Emma backed up. She couldn't help it, but she had it with his theatrics. She got it. She had been wrong. He was a vampire. Big deal. He looked like one of the lost boys circa 1989. Emma had seen giants and ogres.

"Oh, well," Faith said to him, "This vaca is filled with new ones for us. So, what are you gonna do? You know I can't let you kill any of these town goobers, at least not the pretty ones."

Now what were they going on about? Faith Pratt walked up to her husband. Her whole face had changed too. Thankfully it was still human, but she looked tense, threatened and ready to hit him despite her casual comments.

"You think that's the first thing I wanna do?"

He looked at no one but her with yellow demon eyes. She looked like she was trying to stare through him with her big round brown eyes and set hard face. The couple just kept staring at each other not moving. They looked like animals waiting to pounce or lovers who were sizing up each other after they caught each other cheating.

"Yeah, I do," she said, "Ruby run. Get out of here and take the princess with you. You can do what you want with the bitch."

"What? I—" Ruby began.

"Do it, Ruby!" Faith said, "Spike's lost his red cloak. He's all beast. Only his can talk just like okay?"

"Listen to The Slayer, red. She knows me," the vampire said casually.

What were they talking about? What the hell did all that mean?

"What the hell—" Emma began she gripped the hostler of her gun.

"You want Ruby to run because you want the rush of the chase, and the rush of me chasing after you to save her," Faith Pratt said to him.

Her grin was haughty and melancholy all at once. Neither of them took their eyes off the other. Something was growling. It was a guttural inhuman sound. It was him. Oh great.

"She knows me pretty well," the vampire said.

His fanged grin was all giddy. He tilted his head to stare at Faith Pratt. He began to circle her with stiff jocular movements that were so different from his languid ones before.

"Try too well. I can take you down easy," Faith Pratt said.

She started to circle too. What was this? What had he said? Emma had been trying to block his blabbing out. Regina took something. It wasn't his heart. It must be his conscious.

"But of course she still trips her self up in the same ol' way," he said, "She doesn't realize I how well I know her, and that she still loves me. Soul or not were still soul-mates."

"Kind of like saying you can still fuck me without a dick," she said, "which I guess you can and have. So yeah, of course I still love you. For better or for worse, whatever that means."

Emma heard another pop and this time she realized Faith Pratt had hit her husband hard in the face.

"Just because I love you doesn't mean I'll let you do whatever you want," she said, "Learned that in parenting 101."

Great. Regina took his soul. What the hell did that mean?

"And it's because I love you and I indeed still have a dick and bigger balls than ever that I'm through holding back," he said and Emma heard another hit, "I'm gonna give you everything your heart wants."

"Haven't felt that in years," Faith Pratt said, "I'm not into it as much as I used to be."

Did he just hit her in the face? Oh hell no.

"Regina what did you do?" Ruby demanded angrily.

"I'd love it if you waited around to see," Regina said with that smirk.

"No," Emma said, "this ends now. Put your hands where I can see them, Mr. Pratt or I will shoot you in dead."

If there was one thing Emma didn't put up with it was wife-beaters. She had brought in more than her share. She raised her gun. This time she was ready to use it if she had to.