A/N: Based 100% on this brilliant AU gifset right here:( post/47439725466/faithandfearcollide-i-had-to-save -you-au) by faithandfearcollide.
I saw it and I absolutely had to write a thing because chILLS MAN CHILLS. The title is from the song "Guilty" by Marina and the Diamonds, which I played a bit while I was writing this. Hope you all enjoy!
It was over in a flash; too short of a time to be something concrete.
Determined eyes caught hers before their owner ran full speed towards Gold, the man caught so off guard that he died with eyes widened in surprise.
"I had to save you."
She can't cast a spell. Can't shout, and a deep guttural noise buries itself in her throat. Her feet stand rooted in the ground. Her lips screw shut as she gazes in horror upon the knife, resting in her son's shaking hands, bearing a new name. Henry. Such a cursed name. Always meant to pay for all of her own sins, misdeeds. The elegant script on the blade is mocking. Her son was the second chance she gave herself after years of missing them by a fraction or a hair. He was supposed to love her, and maybe he did, but a fact was that he lived and thrived and would never know the cruelty of the world as she had. The cruelty of the world that she is, resides in, thrives in.
His skin has turned a particular blue and ashen shade, and seems to glitter and glow unnaturally. He is looking down, at the dagger, at his fate, and suddenly stared at her, panicked, breathing deeply. His eyes. Growing wider by the moment, pupils dilating as the power absorbed his small body. Energy crackled around him, surrounding him, engulfing him.
"Mommy." He whimpers. His chin wobbles even as he tried to stop it.
She sprang into action, her legs released from the hold. She runs to him and attempts to grab the knife from his hands, fully intending on destroying it, knowing it would do absolutely nothing. The magic is imprinted now. He has the burden of it, the last one to deserve the weight of it all. Her hands grasp the handle.
"No!" He yells, something primal and ancient in his tone, and he wrenches the knife away from her grasp. His eyes are wild, like an untamed fire. Her baby boy is gone, and this fact punctures her lungs, claws out her heart. Somewhere around them, trees fall, lighting having caught their branches.
Her son could very well blow up the entire town with enough anger. And he had years of it to go of her, all because of her.
"Henry! Henry….I'm not going to hurt you." She soothes, even as tears pour from her eyes, her voice hoarse and high. "I'll never hurt you again." She tries to promise, even when she knows she can't fully. Never make promises you can't keep, especially when it involves how one's heart barely glows red anymore. She doesn't trust herself, and feels like she never will.
He doesn't respond, but his eyes softened. He looks at the dagger, watches in his suddenly limp hands. He closes his eyes and tears fall, matching those of his mother.
"I'm sorry." He mutters, and he crouches down and puts his head in hands. Like he did when he was a small boy and got a scrape or a head-ache. Just created a little conclave where he could ignore everything. In spite of it all, her heart leapt. He was still there. He hadn't been taken from her yet.
"I had to save you." He repeats himself, his voice muffled and full of sorrow.
"My little boy." She says, her voice cracking and breaking into small pieces.
"You didn't have to."
He lifts his head up and his tears seem to freeze in their track and looks right at her, not an ounce of regret in his eyes, when that's all that should be there.
She crouched down, and takes her son into her arms. He wraps his arms around her neck and cries heavily into her shoulder. She feels the magic that's now his, too much, too loud, too heavy and sad and strong and malicious for a boy who just wanted to be the hero of the story. She never did have the courage to tell him that heroes didn't truly exist.
"I'm so sorry." She whispers. "So, so, so sorry." Her tears become chaotic, like his. She failed him. She failed the one person she promised herself she never would. She helped break her own curse for him, the one she sacrificed his namesake for. He was the light shining through the thick fog vengeance created around her heart. Hate, replaced with love, every day. Even when she lost herself, she wouldn't lose him.
It's many minutes before either of them stop the tears. They had been building up, ever since he found a book called Once Upon a Time that was supposed to fix everything, and ever since her stable boy fell to the ground without a heart, (maybe before, maybe when she was three and her mother punished her with magic for playing outside when she wasn't supposed to).
Her eyes catch Gold's body, still and lifeless on the ground. She wills him to wake up, take the magic back, so she could re-do this entire day. Doesn't get disarmed at the worst possible moment. Make sure Henry is far away, safe and tucked into bed. Make it so she pays instead. So her son never, ever has to.
"Please take it away." He mumbles.
"Does it hurt?" She asks seriously, pushing him back to look him in the eyes. She sees herself reflected in them, the mess of her make-up, the splotches of red on her cheeks.
"No." He says, his eyes full of horrified wonder. "It feels good, Mom. It feels good."
Her heart falls through her body, as the chills prick the hairs on the back of her neck.
"I'll fix it." She says with as much conviction as the wobble in her voice will allow. "If it's the last thing I do."