This is the result of me being overly emotional and sick of having Neal shoved down my throat by Eddy and Adam. Hope you guys like it :] Mentions of Regina's torture and references to my take on some of the spoilers / pictures we've seen of the finale. ((Will probably be 3 or 4 chapters.))
"So, are you two ever going to tell me what you wanted to talk about?" Henry asked his mothers, who sat across the table from him in an utterly uncomfortable silence. "Or are we just going to sit here and stare at each other?"
Under normal circumstances, Regina would've reprimanded her son for his bordering-on-disrespectful sarcasm. But these were not normal circumstances; this was not just any day. She fully recognized she was in no position to start off the conversation on a sour note. That's not how she wanted this to go.
And, to be completely fair, Henry had a point. After all, they had been sitting at the table for close to five minutes without speaking a single word.
"No," the former-Queen swallowed, "we're going to talk."
And she wanted to talk to him, more than anything. But it felt like they had been separated for so long. And she almost wondered if she had forgotten how to speak to the boy she had raised for ten years.
"What's wrong?" He questioned.
She glanced over at Emma, fully aware they were thinking the same thing: their son had been through so much lately, that he automatically assumed the worst.
"It's nothing bad," Emma promised him, as she shifted in her seat. "It's actually, well, about...us."
"Us?" He repeated back to her, seeking clarification.
"Me and your mom."
"What about you?"
They had practiced the conversation out loud—they had rehearsed lines to each other for weeks. But Regina already felt their plan falling apart. Two grown women who wanted nothing more than to make their son happy were quickly crumbling under his baffled gaze.
"Henry," Regina began, as she attempted to bring them back on script, "have you noticed how we've all been getting along recently?"
"Yeah, of course I've noticed."
"And isn't that… isn't that a good thing?"
"Yes, but it's because your magic is gone and it got better, just like I said it would. You guys should've just let me blow it up at the well."
"Kid," Emma sternly warned, "your mom was almost killed...nothing about what they did to her, including taking her magic, was okay at all."
"I didn't mean it like that," he backtracked, looking down at the table. "I know they hurt you, mom."
"Don't worry, sweetheart. I understand why you're glad I don't have magic anymore. But that's …it's not the only thing that's changed around here and that's what we want to talk to you about."
"What else has changed?"
Regina felt as though she could write on novel about everything that had changed.
Her entire world had been turned upside down, and she was still adjusting.
She had to adjust to life after the journey to Neverland; to life after saving the entire town, and rescuing her son from insane kidnappers.
She had to adjust to life without magic—a life without the temptation of a power that could appear at her fingertips.
She had to go to sleep every night begging the nightmares to leave her—the nightmares of painful electric shock radiating through her body—of the taste of death in her mouth.
But, yet, it had all been a lot easier than she would've thought.
Because she had Emma.
She looked at the blonde sitting by her side. And despite how often they had gone over this, she was still at a loss for words to explain it all to Henry.
"I'm dating your mom," Emma blurted out, choosing to end the awkward tension as fast as possible. "We've been waiting to tell you. We've been waiting to tell you because we wanted to make sure it was working between us. But it is, working….and it's time you know."
It was Henry's turn to be silent as he internally processed the information. Regina couldn't take her eyes off of him. But as she stared at him, waiting for him to respond—her mind wandered to that night on the ship: the night that changed everything between her and the savior.
It was the night they cried in each other's arms, both so afraid to lose their child—both trying to recall the last words they had said to him, taking turns blaming themselves for how things had turned out.
It was the night they realized they were more alike than they were different.
It was the night they fell in love.
"No,"Henry finally concluded, causing both of his moms to furrow their brows.
"What do you mean no?" Emma asked.
"Tamara is gone; you're supposed to be with Dad now."
"In how many different languages do I need to say that I'm not getting back together with Neal?"
"Henry," Regina pressed on, despite the pain of rejection, "I know this is a lot to take in. But Emma is..."
"She's what?" He interrupted. "The savior. She's the savior and you're…"
"Do not even think about finishing that sentence with 'evil,' kid."
"But she's my true love," Regina desperately explained, eyes begging him to understand. "Isn't that what you wanted for both of us? To find that?"
"Emma's true love is my dad," he insisted, impermeable to her pleas, "and yours died."
"Life isn't that simple," Emma explained, as she grabbed Regina's hand under the table. "I will always care about your dad but I don't love him like that anymore. And just because your mom lost Daniel doesn't mean she doesn't ever get to love anyone else again."
"Okay but it also doesn't mean she loves you."
"But I do, Henry. I do love Emma."
"But this isn't how it's supposed to be," he declared, standing up from the table. "And I'm going to tell David and Mary Margaret."
"They already know. You think I would hide this from my parents?"
"And they're happy about it?"
"They know Regina has changed. They've seen it themselves just like you have."
"But that doesn't mean they're happy about it," he reasoned. "They agree with me, don't they?"
"No," she said, unconvincingly. Regina couldn't help but to admire her attempt, though she knew he would see right through it.
"You're lying, which is literally all the two of you ever do. That's the only thing you have in common."
"Henry," Regina urgently called after him, "please stay and talk to us."
"I'm going back to the apartment now."
They watched him leave, neither sure what to do to stop it, to change his mind. They simultaneously cringed as the mansion door slammed shut.
"Well, that went wonderfully," Emma spoke up first. "Are you alright?"
"He's never going to accept this," Regina failed to hide her defeatist attitude. "I don't know why I expected anything different. There was a part of me that even thought he would be happy about it. I can't believe after all this time…that I can still be so delusional."
"No, I thought the same thing. But he'll…he'll come around. It's Henry—and he loves us both. He just needs to get used to the idea."
"I highly doubt that. He's quite literally obsessed with you and Neal."
"Well, sooner or later he was going to get a reality check. Turns out, it's sooner. If we didn't tell him and we got caught, it would've been worse. He's just…he's fixated on living out ridiculously unrealistic fairytales."
"And how do you propose I compete with that? The perfect image he has created in his mind of his fairytale family?"
It was the reoccurring theme in her life, always being almost good enough. Almost enough for Cora to love her. Almost enough to save Daniel. Almost enough for a second chance. Almost enough for her son.
"Are you kidding me? There is no competition between you and Neal. The image Henry has in his mind isn't real."
"That may be true, but it doesn't change that he's going to resent me even more now. All of this fits in perfectly with him seeing me as evil. I single handedly ruined his happily ever after by separating his parents."
"First of all, you did not separate us—we've been separated for years. Second of all, we are his parents; you and me. This is his happily ever after, even if it doesn't know it yet. He's still pissed at both of us and Neal…Neal is some stupid hero in his eyes."
"Your parents do agree with Henry, though. He's going to go run to them and get their sympathy. They want you with Neal, too."
"If you think I care what other people want for me, you haven't been paying close enough attention."
"I know you don't care…or we wouldn't have even gotten this far. We wouldn't even be having this conversation."
Emma wrapped her arm reassuringly around Regina's shoulder and the queen was all too ready to lean into the embrace.
"Hey," Emma said, quietly, "did you mean what you said to him?"
"That I'm…. that I'm your true love?"
"I thought it would help if I spoke fairytale language since it usually appeals quite well to him. I thought I could get him to see it that way."
"It was a good idea," Emma agreed. "But you didn't answer my question."
"Yes," she whispered, aware of her own insecurities in that moment. She was uncertain if it was alright to admit the way she felt—so she added, "I'm sorry."
"Why the hell are you sorry?"
"Because, honestly, it sounds completely absurd."
"To everyone else, maybe. But not to me."
"I knew it when I thought we lost you forever. I can still…I can still smell that room, you know. I can still feel you dying in my arms. And I didn't know why it was the most devastating thing I ever experienced…but it was."
The images came flooding back to her: waking up to the savior's tears falling on her face, screaming that she couldn't die—to the sight of Emma covered in Tamara's blood.
"Sometimes your disregard for your own life really frightens me. Sometimes I wish you'd stop fighting for me, Emma."
"Fuck that. That's never going to happen. And you'll do the same for me."
It was true—it also scared Regina to know what she would do for Emma. Because she wasn't very good at loving people, and always seemed to get it wrong. But, for the first time in a long time, she was willing to try to get it right.
"Well then," she said, "we better think of a faster way to show people this relationship is more than a circus show. Because not even our son, who believes in the good in everything, believes in us."
Emma often tried to see the world like 'the savior' should. But today, like most days, she was failing.
Today she was angry—and she felt like she had every right to be.
She had been asked by her family to take a thousand leaps of faith for them in the last year—she had been asked to accept her destiny as an integral piece in the Storybrooke puzzle. And she had, time after time, stepped up to the plate for them.
But now, when she needed her family to step up to the plate for her, they simple couldn't. They couldn't support her. And the last person she ever expected that from was her son—the boy who had changed her life for the better.
It was eternally frustrating that no matter how hard Regina tried no one saw what Emma saw.
What she needed was proof...poof that this was exactly how it was supposed to be; that the White Knight and the Evil Queen were in love.
But love, she knew, wasn't tangible.
She thought of her parents—how everyone accepted their love as true. How that's all she wanted—because she knew how much Regina wanted it, how much Regina deserved it.
She thought of her parents.
Maybe she could prove it.
Because she had momentarily forgotten that in this mixed-up, bizarre world she was living in, love was tangible. Or, at least, true love was.
She quickened her pace as she walked through the streets of Storybrooke.
Because she could prove it.
Emma flung open the door to Mr. Gold's shop after nearly jogging across town.
"I need your help," she declared, standing with her hands on her hips, "with magic."
The man behind the counter, grand-father to her son, father to her first love, looked at her skeptically.
"I'm sorry...but why don't you ask your girlfriend to teach you? She seems like the perfect candidate."
"No, I need you to make something for me. You're the one who makes curses, right?"
"A curse?" He asked. "What kind of curse could you possibly need?"
"A sleeping curse."
"You really have been spending a lot of time with Regina, haven't you?" He chuckled. "Are you doing her evil bidding these days?"
"Look, I'm really not in the mood for your commentary; I just need the damn curse. Can you do it or not?"
"Of course I can. The question is if I should do it."
"You should and you will."
"But who exactly does the savior plan to damn to eternal slumber? Because, quite frankly, it seems a little out of character."
It was a risk to tell him the truth—but her mind was working quickly, and she had already thought through how she would get him to do precisely what she wanted. And that, in itself, minimized the risk of her honesty.
"It's for me."
"You? Is life with our queen really so horrible that you need to resort to something that drastic?"
"Well, it certainly seems like an overly-dramatic way to break- up."
"Shut up," she snapped. "I'm not breaking-up with her."
"Well, I'm sorry…but I'm not going to give it to you unless you tell me why you need it. Especially since you're acting so testy."
"Let's just say I need it to prove a point."
The man who went by Rumpelstiltskin seemed momentarily perplexed. But it didn't take him long to put all of the pieces together.
"Are you trying to prove Regina is your true love? You want her to wake you up? So you can be like your parents?"
"It's none of your damn business."
"I heard all about how well your confession to Henry went," he divulged, certain of his suspicion. "This is quite a creative plan, though I can't say I endorse it."
"Well then I guess it's a good thing I don't care if you endorse it."
"And tell me, dearie, why would I help you prove that a second chance for you and my son is out of the question?"
"Because if you don't, I'll make up a whole bunch of horrible shit and tell Neal you did it. I'll tell him you're incapable of ever changing, and he shouldn't give you the time of day."
"You wouldn't lie to him."
"Are you sure about that? Do you really want to risk the only second chance with him you're ever going to get?"
"You're black mailing me?"
"Maybe I have been spending too much time with Regina," she smirked victoriously, leaning her weight on the glass counter. "Or maybe I've just got a little evil in me after all. Either way, the choice is yours. Help me or take the chance and find out who Neal will believe, me or you."
"Very well, then," he gave in. "I suppose I don't have a choice in the matter."
With a simple flick of his wrist and a small cloud of purple smoke, a vile of liquid appeared in his hands.
"And what's the price for this, exactly?"
"The price?" He scoffed. "The price is the risk you're taking that you're wrong about her."
"I'm not wrong. She loves me."
"Even if that is true, she was still the Evil Queen. She darkened her heart and it was dark for ages. It takes a light heart to wake someone up from a curse this powerful."
"Her heart is light enough to save me."
"I hope you're right. Then again….with you out of the picture Neal, Henry and I will make quite the adorable family. Don't you think?"
"Yeah, sorry, but no; you'd have to kill Regina first."
"If she really loves you as much as you say, and she can't wake you up...I won't have to kill her. I know her well enough to know she won't ever come back from that."
For the first time, Emma felt a slight pang of fear. Because the last thing she wanted was Regina to end up hurt again.
But she wouldn't allow herself to think like that.
Because she had faith in them; even if no one else believed in them, she did.
And this plan, it was the only way.
"She'll wake me up," the savior asserted, confidently. "And I hope you're there to see it. I hope the whole fucking town is there to see it. Now give me the damn curse and let's get on with it already."
She grabbed the vile out of his hands, and marched out of the shop.