A/N: Happy ONCE Day! Here's the latest. Again, WARNING: there are spoilers from tonight's episode 3x03 as well as spoilers from 3x02. Read at your own risk.
The sun had gone down shortly after Emma left the cabin. Nightfall had consumed the island a couple hours prior and with its presence, Hook, Snow, and Charming had fallen asleep.
Regina and Tinkerbell remained awake behind the single room closed off by a blanket. It had taken far too long to explain the events leading from Storybrooke to Neverland, but Regina had caught up her old friend. She stiffly sat on the edge of Tinkerbell's bed, her shoulders tense and her hands in her lap. She swallowed hard and thought about all she had told the blonde she'd once been smitten with so very long ago.
"You used magic with her," Tinkerbell asked as she shifted to face Regina more.
"And it saved the town," Regina confirmed. "But it cost us our son."
"How many times have you used magic with her?"
Regina quizzically looked at Tinkerbell and stared for a long moment before she decided to answer.
"Well, I doubt she could make you fly like I did," Tinkerbell muttered under her breath.
Tinkerbell glared at her.
"So...do you have any solutions for my predicament," Regina asked.
"I can try to use my fairy dust with your magic to help get you home, but I'm not sure how to handle Peter."
"If we could just get Henry back, we wouldn't need to handle Pan at all."
"I won't help you this time until you agree to help me."
"Not this again. I was generous enough to protect this part of the land for you and what did I get in return?"
"As I recall," Tinkerbell purred and moved closer again. "I made you an offer."
Tinkerbell placed a hand on Regina's thigh and slowly slid it toward the apex of her legs. She leaned in and brought her lips a breath away from Regina's.
Emma looked around outside the quaint cabin. She inspected the stillness of the jungle that surrounded her and the rest of the group. She took a deep breath and turned to the cabin door with Charming's sword in hand.
Inside, Emma walked over to Snow and Charming's cot. She quietly set the sword down in front of it where Charming had retrieved it from before he'd handed it to her. She scanned the main room and stared down at the rug almost in the center of it. She puffed out a sigh and moved to the spot.
She curled up on the rug. and no longer had her coat to use as a pillow, but she'd dealt with worse sleeping conditions in the foster system. Plus, when she'd run away from her last foster home at sixteen, she didn't have anywhere to sleep until she stole the yellow bug. After that, it was either the backseat of the bug or some hotel room she and Neal slipped into after people checked out of them.
Though it'd been years since she'd had a bed without a pillow, or had to sleep on the floor, she accepted it and settled into the rug. The rug, thankfully, felt nice enough and comforting for what it was. She closed her eyes and tried to fall asleep.
Regina held her hands out, stuck between the decision to either touch Tinkerbell or drop them onto the bed to brace herself.
Tinkerbell's lips hovered over Regina's pulse point. Her hand teased the brunette's inner thigh and threatened to roam farther north.
Regina's hands slowly fell toward Tinkerbell, but her face showed her deep in thought.
"What do you say," Tinkerbell husked out. "Same exchange as last time. I'll give you a way home if you finally take care of Pan for me."
Tinkerbell licked Regina's neck just before she pressed her lips to the same spot.
Regina's eyes relaxed shut. Like magic, being with Tinkerbell was something she easily fell back into. And yet, when her hands finally touched Tinkerbell's arms, she gently pushed the blonde away.
Tinkerbell, however, pushed toward Regina. She sucked at Regina's neck in an attempt to leave a mark, but Regina groaned in protest and pushed her away again with more force.
That time, Tinkerbell pulled back.
"Same as last time," Tinkerbell started with defeat. "For more than twenty-eight years, it seems nothing has changed."
"A lot has changed," Regina tried not to snap at Tinkerbell's comment. "I've changed. I'm not the woman you met that day in the Enchanted Forest."
"Yeah, I can see that. You're much more rigid."
Regina shot her an angry look.
"And you're much needier."
"Needy?! You think I'm needy," Tinkerbell asked as she shot off the bed.
"And jealous. It wasn't just my way of teasing you earlier, it was the truth."
"Jealous of what? You and her?"
"The fact that you can't even call her by her name proves I'm right."
"Look," Tinkerbell barked. "You help me rid myself of Pan and you'll get home, otherwise the only thing I will give you is a place to stay until you figure things out yourself!"
"Ever the drama queen," Regina stood up and smoothed out her clothes. She avoided eye contact, which made her actions all the more dismissive.
"Our relationship has always been complicated at best. I don't know why I thought all these years of separation would change that."
"You call what we have a relationship? Please. We knew each other oncea very long time ago. That's not a relationship. That's a few days of friendship that ended in disappointment and much hurt."
Tinkerbell rolled her eyes.
"But the point is, that was in the past. Would you like to try and move on? Be mindful of your answer. Say the wrong thing and you'll be on the floor along with the Captain and that woman."
"I think I'll take the floor," Regina spoke with a dangerously low and cold tone, her eyes dark with anger and frustration.
Regina walked past Tinkerbell and pulled back the blanket. She wasn't exactly careful, but she hadn't been harsh enough in handling it that it fell completely open. The instant she emerged from behind the blanket she saw Emma wrapped in a ball on the rug, her back to Tinkerbell's room. She softened at the sight.
After a moment with her eyes solely on Emma, she looked around the room for a place to sleep. Anything she saw only reminded her she wasn't in Storybrooke anymore. She didn't have her Queen sized bed with a plush comforter and sheets with a high thread count. She was in the middle of a jungle on an island in Neverland. She was in the cabin of a woman she thought she could call her friend until the two of them had a falling out not too long after Regina had married King Leopold.
For Henry, she reminded herself. Everything she had to deal with in that world were done for Henry.
It was with that simple thought, the thought she'd sort of made into a mantra, that she crossed the room and laid down on the floor in the small kitchen that connected to the main room. It was the farthest place from Tinkerbell's room and it gave her plenty of distance from the rest of the group. The floor wasn't a place she preferred to sleep, but being so distanced from everyone gave her a sense of comfort. She also knew it was the best thing she could have asked for given the situation.
Regina had every intention of sleeping, but the familiar sounds of a woman incoherently panicking woke her. She opened her eyes and sleepily rolled over to face the main room. She had to blink a few times before the haze from her slumber cleared and she saw Emma thrash around on the rug.
Emma cried and whimpered in her sleep.
Regina hadn't been the only one to hear it. She saw Snow and Charming shift on the cot before Snow sat up and frowned as she looked over at Emma. Within a few seconds, realization dawned on her and she crawled over her husband to remove herself from the cot.
Charming groaned and woke up. He watched in confusion as his wife went to Emma and tried to wake the blonde. He didn't get up and follow Snow to help, but he stayed alert enough in case he was needed.
"Emma, honey, wake up," Snow quietly said as she rocked Emma back and forth.
Emma lashed out. She threw out her arm and tried to smack Snow while she rolled away from the woman. She kicked out her legs a few times like a hot, frustrated child before she rolled onto her back. She jerked around a few times and even arched her back before a tear tumbled down her cheek and moved toward her hairline.
"Emma," Snow tried a little louder, but didn't touch her.
Regina slowly sat up.
Emma emitted a drawn out groan and lolled her head to one side. If her eyes were open, she could have looked at Regina. She whimpered again.
Snow cautiously reached out and tried to shake Emma into consciousness.
Again, the gesture wasn't well received.
Emma swatted the hand away and turned on her side to completely face Regina. She curled herself into a ball again and held the back of her head with her hand as if to protect herself from a blow.
"David, I don't know what to do," Snow said with pleading eyes as she looked back at Charming.
Charming got up and moved to Snow's side. He knelt down beside her and tried to wake Emma a little more forcefully.
"It's just a dream," Charming said as he shook Emma's shoulder.
Emma flinched and jolted awake then into a sitting position. She panted as she tried to focus on reality, still lost in the incredibly real and believable feeling of the nightmare.
"It's okay, Emma," Charming said and pulled Emma into a hug from the side.
"No," Emma pushed against Charming's arm with her forearms. "No. ...No!"
Charming let go at Emma's outburst and stared at her in confusion.
Emma scrambled away from him and sat with her knees to her chest in the space between Hook and Regina against a cabin wall. She tried to regulate her breathing, her pupils wide and her eyes still unfocused.
"Emma, are you okay," Snow asked and tried to step toward her daughter.
"Regina," Emma breathed out.
She looked forward, nothing particular in her line of sight.
Snow looked across the room at Regina with a hurt and incredulous expression.
Regina didn't acknowledge Snow and swallowed, her eyes locked on Emma. She stood up and slowly walked over to the blonde. She sat down next to Emma, but left a few inches of space between them.
"I'm here," Regina said.
"I had... It was another..."
Emma never finished her sentence. She blinked until her eyes finally focused and turned to look at Regina.
Neither one of them said anything. They just stared at each other for a moment.
"It wasn't just abuse," Emma told her. "I heard kids. Crying. And then...everything just came flooding back."
"It's okay," Snow soothingly said as she moved closer to Emma. "It was only a bad dream."
Emma glared at her.
"It wasn't a dream! It was my life. All of it, everything I went through growing up. And then with Ursula..."
She'd gone from angry to sad and tormented by the end of her heated confession.
Snow tried not to let Emma's attitude deter her from helping. She knelt in front of Emma and tried to touch Emma's bruised and cut cheek.
Emma turned away and Snow pulled her hand back.
Snow looked hurt over the rejection.
"Just...go back to sleep. I'll be fine," Emma brushed her off and tiredly rested her head in her hands with her elbows on her knees.
"Will you let me use magic now," Regina asked.
"No. Pan will know we're here if you do," Emma replied.
"Doesn't matter. He can't attack us here."
"The answer's still no."
"As you wish."
Charming took Snow into his arms and walked her over to the cot.
"We have to give her space, remember," he told Snow.
Snow begrudgingly went back to the cot with Charming, but she looked over at Emma once more.
Regina looked down at Emma's hand and as her eyes slid up Emma's body to settle on the younger woman's face, she took the blonde's hand in hers. She didn't lace their fingers, but the gesture was just as friendly and comforting all the same.
Snow continued to stare when Emma squeezed Regina's hand in response and locked gazes with the brunette. She felt Charming tug on the hem of her shirt and looked down at him while he sat on the edge of the cot.
"We could all use some rest," he told her. "She'll be okay. Just lay down and relax."
Snow took a deep breath and sat down next to Charming. She weakly smiled at him then nodded.
"Can I take the outside this time," Snow asked. "I think I was one readjustment away from pressing my nose against the cabin wall."
The couple lightly laughed together.
"Not a problem," Charming smiled and slid over to Snow's previous side of the cot.
Snow made herself comfortable beside him and faced outward. The first thing she focused her eyes on were Emma and Regina.
Emma rested her head against the wall and closed her eyes. She kept Regina's hand in hers and sat there.
Regina stayed with her and didn't say anything. She never moved to disconnect their hands and even mirrored Emma's action by resting her head against the wall. She stared at nothing in particular for a little longer before she closed her eyes and tried to fall back to sleep.
Snow fought to keep her eyes open, but just as Emma's head started to drop down onto Regina's shoulder she lost her battle with sleep and only saw the backs of her eyelids after that.
While everyone else slept, neither Emma or Regina remained unconscious much after that point.
Emma shivered against Regina's side for a short amount of time before she jolted awake. She pushed into Regina and accidentally jostled the other woman.
Regina's eyes popped open and she looked over at Emma.
"Sorry. Did I wake you?"
Their hands were still clasped together even through their short amount of sleep, though their hold on each other had loosened.
"I'm used to it. Not so much lately, of course, but Henry..."
"Right. I'm sure the kid had plenty of bad dreams growing up," Emma sadly laughed.
"What happened this time?"
"Does there need to be anything else," Emma snapped, but kept her voice down to ensure she didn't wake the others.
"No," Regina didn't hesitate to answer and remained calm. "I'm only asking."
"It was mostly Ursula," Emma confessed after a moment.
Emma held herself, knees to chest, and her entire body shook. She hugged herself tighter, Regina's hand long abandoned for other forms of comfort.
Regina watched Emma shake and shiver beside her. She squirmed closer to Emma and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She pulled the younger woman close and rested Emma's head on her shoulder. She ran her hand up and down one of Emma's arms to warm her up.
"What else happened in the nightmare," Regina asked then rested her chin on Emma's head.
"Ursula's abuse turned into childhood memories. Every almost rape, every beating I got, every time I was reminded how worthless I am, every moment I spent wondering why my parents left me to deal with all of that."
"You know, not to mention Henry at the risk of upsetting you, but...it makes him feel better when I rub his back and give him a cup of hot cocoa. Would that help you?"
"I don't know. I've always been a self-soother. No one's really taken care of me after a nightmare or when I'm sick. Except Neal."
Regina noted the sadness in Emma's tone when she spoke of Henry's biological father.
"Well, what did he do?"
Emma squirmed in Regina's hold.
"I don't want to remember."
"But if it helps-"
"I really don't want to think about him, Regina," Emma sharply said and cut Regina off.
"I'm going to make you some cocoa."
Regina let Emma go and stood.
Emma frowned at Regina's absence and watched her head into the kitchen.
"How are you gonna do that? There's no running water."
"Yes, but we are on an island, dear. There's water all around us."
Regina grabbed a pot from one of the bottom cabinets in the kitchen and headed toward the front door.
"Wait," Emma stopped Regina and stood. "I'm coming with you."
Regina only sighed in argument and the two of them left the cabin together. She took Emma to the shoreline several yards behind the cabin and a few caves then bent down to collect water in the pot.
As they approached the shoreline, Emma knitted her brows and slowed down.
Regina noticed the change of pace and looked over her shoulder at the blonde.
"You're the one who wanted to come with me and now you can't keep up," Regina asked. "You should have just stayed in the cabin."
Emma shook her head as she stared deep in bothersome thought, her eyes focused on the dirt in front of her.
"I hear crying," she slowly explained.
Regina looked quizzically at her.
"Are you sure?"
Emma nodded with her eyes still trained on the ground.
"Well," Regina started. "That's unusual."
"You don't hear it?"
Finally, Emma looked up and immediately met Regina's gaze.
"If you really can hear them, you're among the very specific group of people on this island that hear them."
Emma's voice almost squeaked when she asked. Her eyebrows jumped up to meet her hairline and fell just short of it.
"I've been told the lost children of the world are responsible for the crying. They spend night after night crying over the families they no longer belong with, if they ever belonged in the first place."
Emma gulped and looked down again, her eyes filled with sadness.
"As far as I understand it, only the Lost Boys and Pan can hear them here," Regina finished.
Emma kicked some of the dirt in front of her and stuffed a hand in the back pocket of her jeans. She moved toward the edge of the water and stopped beside Regina who had spent that time critically eying her.
"So...if they're the only ones that hear and I hear it...what does that mean?"
Regina stared a moment longer before she looked from Emma to the water. She bent down and filled the pot with water and didn't supply the younger woman with an answer.
"Do you know why," Emma asked, her tone a little accusatory as though she suspected Regina did have the answer.
"I can only assume," Regina replied and stood.
Regina turned toward Emma and started to walk back to the cabin, but she only made it a step before Emma cut off her path.
"And your assumption?"
"The children that cry have something in common with the Lost Boys. That's why I'd assume they can hear the cries."
Emma looked down again and remained directly in Regina's way.
Regina didn't make a move. She stood face to face with Emma and waited for the other woman to do something else.
"I..." Emma started, but struggled to say anything.
When Regina realized Emma wouldn't finish her sentence, she broke the silence.
"Whatever you're thinking...don't," Regina gently urged her. "Thinking like that isn't going to help us get out of this mess."
"It's how I've always thought," Emma harshly said and tensed.
"Then start thinking like the Savior," Regina pushed. "Because that's what you are."
"People keep saying that," Emma frustratedly said. "I'm no savior. I have magic, but I can barley use it. I have a son that I gave up then decided I wanted him ten years later and look where we are now! I claim to be tough and I try. I really try to be that, but I'm just...not! I'm not anything."
"Is that what you think?"
"It's not like you can tell me I'm wrong."
Regina swallowed her reply and cleared her throat.
"You're just tired. We've got the water, let's get back to the cabin," Regina suggested.
She grabbed Emma's arm and turned the blonde around to face the direction of the cabin. She pulled Emma with her for a few steps before she let go of the woman and Emma followed on her own.
Once they were back inside, Regina moved straight to the stove. She set the pot down on a burner and sent magic to the tip of her index finger. She pointed at the space under the burner and a single flame appeared on her fingertip. She lit the burner and pulled back.
Emma turned her back to the counter and lifted herself onto it. She looked over at the magically lit stove then slid her eyes from the stove to Regina.
Regina didn't notice Emma until she tried to step to the side and open a cupboard. The blonde sat in front of where she needed to be and caused Regina to let out a sigh of irritation. She stepped around Emma's legs as they dangled off the edge of the counter and reached up to open the cupboard by Emma's head. She pulled out a mug and set it down on the counter between Emma and the stove.
"So Tinkerbell just happens to have cocoa mix in her cabin," Emma asked.
Regina glared at Emma, not out of anger but annoyance. Without blinking or looking away from the blonde, she waved her hand and conjured a small bag of cocoa powder.
Emma looked down at it and noted the fancy design on the front.
"Looks expensive," Emma said.
"It is. It's from my house."
"It's expensive because it's from your house? Talk about conceited, thinking because you'retechnically royalty that everything you own is so elegant and luxurious."
"I'm not technically royalty," Regina argued. "I earned that title."
"I was joking, but...now I'm curious. How exactly did you earn it?"
Regina gritted her teeth and held her jaw shut tight for a moment before she relaxed it and spoke.
"I did what I was suppose to," she answered.
"Well, what were you supposed to do?"
"Everything a Queen is expected to do. The most important thing? I kept my mouth shut."
"I don't like how that sounds."
"It doesn't sound nearly as devastating than what I lived through."
"Is this about what you told me on the ship? About the..." Emma looked back at her sleeping parents then turned to face Regina again. "The guards and how they watched?"
"That was just one night," Regina said before she could stop herself. "I suffered many more nights like that without an audience. You can only be thankful for that for so long when..."
Regina halted her speech as memories of her old life flashed in her mind.
"It's okay," Emma said as she touched Regina's hand on the counter by her knee.
Regina's knuckles were white from her firm grip on the counter. When she felt a warm hand rest over hers, she slowly eased up on her grip. As she relaxed her fist, she looked at her covered hand then slowly looked up at Emma.
"You did what you had to and you got through it. You got so much more than some title from that, Regina," Emma said and squeezed the brunette's hand for emphasis. "You found strength."
"I found weakness," Regina bitterly said.
Emma heard the self-loathing in her statement and frowned.
"I'm not going to pretend to know what you went through or how you felt, but I think magic saved you," Emma started.
Regina's eyes flicked up to stare into Emma's eyes in surprise.
"Was relying on magic the best thing you could have done? From what I've seen, no. But if that's all you thought you had then I can understand. If it wasn't for magic, you wouldn't be here right now. You survived."
Emma stopped talking though Regina didn't think it was all the younger woman had to say on the matter. They remained in their places and just stared at each other for several more moments.
A wet popping sound finally got Regina's attention and she looked at the pot to see the water boiling. She slid her hand out from under Emma's and waved her other hand across the burner from a safe distance. The fire from the burner disappeared.
Regina opened a drawer, carved out of tree bark much like most things in the cabin, and grabbed a pot holder. She wrapped the holder around the pot's handle and carefully tipped it over the mug. She slowly poured the hot water into the mug and only spilled a little, which she cleaned with a swipe of the pot holder.
She added the cocoa then pointed down at the mug from above it. She swirled her finger and the power and water mixed in the mug without a stirrer or spoon.
Emma watched Regina work her magic on the cocoa until Regina dropped her hand and the cocoa slowed its spinning motion in the mug. She followed Regina's hands as the woman lifted the mug with both hands and offered it to her. When Regina held it up for her to take, she found Regina's eyes.
"Thanks," Emma said as she accepted the warmed mug.
Regina's only response came in the form of another offer. She moved to another cupboard on the opposite side of the stove, away from Emma, and pulled out one of several spices that resided in it. She set a plastic, tube-like container of cinnamon next to Emma then brought her lips a breath away from the rim of the mug.
Emma stared at Regina with intent focus and witnessed more magic.
Regina blew on the cocoa and as she did, she pulled away from the mug then swirled a finger in front of her mouth. Whipped cream appeared on top of the cocoa as if it came from a nozzle and not Regina.
"Uh, thanks again," Emma awkwardly said. "It's not gonna taste different because you conjured it, is it?"
"No, although my magic may leave a sent around the mug."
Emma held the mug in one hand then plucked at the whipped cream with the index finger of her other hand. She tasted it and shrugged it off as okay for consumption.
Regina did the same and sucked the whipped cream off her own finger.
"I've still got it," she grinned.
"How could you ever think you lost it," Emma asked with a partially suggestive tone.
Regina pursed her lips to keep her grin from spreading into a smile.
Emma sprinkled cinnamon on the cocoa and sipped at it for the next half hour. When she finished, she had already been sitting on the rug with her legs crossed under herself.
Regina laid in front of her on the rug with her eyes trained on the ceiling.
"What's up with you and Tinkerbell," Emma asked as she set the mug down on the floor behind her.
Regina turned her head to look at Emma, but stayed on the rug with her hands clasped together over her stomach.
"That's none of your business."
Regina hadn't yelled and hadn't seemed outraged that Emma would ask about her personal life. Instead, she stated it with force that lacked any threat behind it.
"Oh, come on. Are you two friends or enemies?"
"What do you mean 'why'? We got along when we first met and we agreed to help each other. I held up my end of the deal for the most part and she...she tricked me."
"Already I've told you more than you should know."
"Hey, I'm just trying to decide if she's on our side or if I should watch my back around her."
"My experience says watch your back."
"Can I know why that is?"
Regina huffed out a sigh.
"Only if you promise to go to sleep once I do."
"Sure," Emma agreed as she unfolded her legs from under herself and laid down on her back beside Regina. "What happened?"
"She pretended to be my friend," Regina started. "She seemed genuine enough. I told her about Snow and my so called marriage to the King. She insisted I let her help me find what I wanted."
Emma waited through Regina's moment of silence, but she started to wonder if Regina would continue. Instead of holding out for Regina to speak, she carefully pushed forward.
"What did you want," Emma turned to look at Regina and asked.
Regina swallowed hard and kept her eyes on the ceiling, her entire body tense. Silence fell over them for another minute before she continued.
Emma said nothing as she stared at Regina. The brunette's confession left her speechless and surprised.
"And she didn't do that," Emma slowly asked after a few seconds.
Regina finally turned her head and looked at Emma, none too pleased with the blonde's assessment.
"If she had, do you honestly think we'd be here right now?"
"Although, she doesn't see it that way," Regina hoarsely said.
"How come it doesn't seem like there's any bad blood between you two then? She and I were arguing and you took her side."
"In case you don't remember, dear, you and I aren't friends."
"But everything you just said has me thinking you and her aren't friends either."
"It's not like I exclusively took her side. I just broke up a fight because it wasn't going to help us get Henry back."
"That doesn't answer my question," Emma said.
Regina huffed out of irritation.
"You know what you wanted to know. Go to sleep," Regina turned her attention back up to the ceiling.
Emma rolled onto her side and faced Regina.
"The cocoa helped. Thank you."
Regina looked at Emma again and said, "You're welcome."
Emma nudged closer to Regina and curled up at her side. Her breath hit Regina's shoulder while her front pressed against Regina's side.
"I'm glad you told me," Emma admitted.
"...I wish you'd told me more," Regina quietly confessed.
Emma tipped her head back and looked up at Regina. Discontent with the lack of eye contact her angle prohibited, Emma propped herself up on an elbow and stared down at Regina.
"What would you want to know about me," Emma asked with genuine confusion.
"You are so unbelievably important," Regina slowly said. "But you don't see that, do you."
"I'm not important."
"You're special, Emma, and much stronger than I ever will be."
Emma shook her head and averted her gaze. Her lips quivered and she squeezed her eyes closed.
"No, I'm not," Emma forced out as she fought off tears.
"I just gave you not one but two compliments and you're going to deny them," Regina broke up the moment with a bit of humor in her question.
"Because you're wrong," Emma refused to accept Regina's efforts.
"Let me give you some advice, when the Evil Queen compliments Snow White's offspring the proper response is, 'Thank you, Regina.'"
Emma flicked her eyes up to look at Regina. Tears that had yet to fall were in them while shed tears rolled down and stained her cheeks.
Regina reached up and wiped away a tear with her thumb. Once she rid Emma's cheek of the tear, she brought her hand down to Emma's neck and clasped her silver circle necklace.
Emma felt Regina pull the necklace closer and leaned in with it.
With one hand still on her own stomach and one wrapped around Emma's necklace, Regina tilted her head and pressed her lips to Emma's.
The kiss started off chaste, nothing more than a short and sweet peck, but it seemed like once they made contact neither Emma or Regina could distance themselves. Emma brought her lips down onto Regina's with a harder touch for the next kiss and placed a hand on the rug beside Regina's head. She rolled half of her body onto Regina's while her hair fell onto either side of the brunette's face.
Regina released the necklace and cupped Emma's neck with her thumb pressed to the blonde's cheek.
Emma's necklace tickled Regina's skin between chin and throat before the kiss turned passionate and the necklace slid over the column of Regina's throat.
Regina slid her hand off her stomach and grabbed Emma's hip with bruising force. She weaved her other hand through long, blonde hair and kept Emma close.
Emma tore her lips away to take in a shuddered breath. She rested her forehead on Regina's and sniffled.
Though the kiss had been broken, Regina still kept a good grip on Emma and refused to let go.
Emma opened her eyes and saw Regina staring up at her.
"I can still hear them crying," Emma said.
"Do you still want to cry," Regina asked.
Emma swallowed and thought about it.
"Yeah," she mirthlessly laughed through her confession.
Regina stroked Emma's cheek with the pad of her thumb a few times.
"I won't stop you."
Emma's lips quivered again and she moved down Regina's body. She rested her head on the brunette's chest and snuggled against the woman.
Regina wrapped her arms around Emma and hugged her. It didn't take long before she felt Emma shake with silent sobs.
The harder Emma cried, though careful not to make too much noise, the tighter she squeezed Regina against herself.
Regina soothingly rubbed Emma's back and ran a hand through blonde hair. She held Emma as the blonde shook and clung to her for the next hour. She didn't close her eyes until Emma cried herself to sleep.
As the sun rose in the sky to the east of the cabin, Snow sat up in the cot with a pain in her chest and shoulder. Her fae twisted in discomfort as she bent at the waist over the side of the cot. She gently clutched at her shirt where she felt the pain when a new wave of it coursed through her.
She gulped and blinked a couple times before she looked across the room and spotted Emma in Regina's arms on the rug. She tilted her head in confusion and tried to stare at the two of them a little longer, but the pain she felt distracted her.
"David," Snow reached behind herself and grabbed Charming.
She gripped his arm and shook him awake.
"David, something's wrong," she said as Charming sat up, still sleepy.
"What is it," he groggily asked.
Snow winced in pain and dug her nails into Charming's leg.
Charming shifted to sit beside her on the edge of the bed. He looked her over with concern and saw where she grabbed at herself. He took her hand in his and pulled it away from her shoulder then peeled her shirt to the side to inspect the area.
Immediately, he saw black lines that seemed to travel along her veins.
"What is that," Snow panicked as she saw what Charming did.
At the shrill tone of Snow's voice, Emma started to stir. Her movements jostled Regina awake while Emma pushed off the floor and propped herself up on one hand. She ran a hand through her hair then looked down and saw Regina yawn. When Regina's eyes opened and locked onto hers, she hesitated in her movements and just stared.
Regina stared back and appeared as frozen as Emma though the brunette remained on her back on the rug.
"I don't know, but it doesn't look good," Charming replied to Snow's earlier question.
His voice got Emma and Regina's attention and Emma rolled into a sitting position. She turned to face her parents and furrowed her brows.
Regina sat up behind Emma and looked over the blonde's shoulder to check on Snow and Charming.
Hook grumbled and rubbed an eye with his hand then pushed away from the wall. He drowsily stood up and approached the royal family.
"What is it that has you disrupting my sleep," Hook grumpily complained. "Between Swan crying and my lack of rum in this cabin, I don't think my eyes were closed for more than twenty minutes."
"Just tell us what that is," Charming angrily asked and pointed to the black areas under Snow's skin that branched out from the front of her shoulder.
Emma and Regina stopped in front of the couple and stared at what had everyone's attention. Emma's eyes widened at the sight. Regina only appeared mildly shocked.
"Dreamshade," Hook informed them. "Nasty poison."
"Poison," Snow asked with a high pitched voice.
"It's what I used on Rumpelstiltskin when I stabbed him with my hook," Hook added.
"How long until it has the same effect on her," Emma asked.
"Depends on the amount of Dreamshade she was hit with," Hook answered.
"Wait," Emma shook her head then turned to Regina. "I thought you healed her."
Tinkerbell came out from behind the blanket that separated her room from the main room.
"I did," Regina exclaimed.
"Then why didn't it work?"
"I can heal wounds. My magic can't rid a person's body of poison."
"What's going on," Tinkerbell asked Regina as she looked from the brunette to the rest of the group.
"Do know about Dreamshade," Emma asked as she rounded on the fairy.
"Yes," Tinkerbell looked from Emma to Regina. "There are plants that carry the poison. It's deadly."
Emma clenched a fist and tried not to yell at the fairy while she fought off tears of frustration.
"Is there a way to remove it from the bloodstream? Some way to make it not fatal," Emma asked.
"I...I don't know," Tinkerbell answered and kept her eyes on Emma.
"There has to be something we can do," Regina stepped up to stand beside Emma.
"If there is, I can't help you," Tinkerbell said.
"You've been living here for more than twenty-eight years and you're telling me you don't know anything that can help," Regina snapped.
Emma looked at Regina, surprised at the brunette's outburst.
Tinkerbell saw the anger in Regina's eyes and sighed.
"I'm not sure it will help, but there's someone on this island that may have a serum or at least might be able to make one," Tinkerbell said.
"Great," Emma flatly said as she looked back at Tinkerbell, tense and frustrated. "Who?"
Henry blinked several times and groaned as he slowly sat up. He looked around at the surrounding island and saw nothing other than trees and bushes in the soft light of the morning sun.
"Grandpa," Henry called out.
He hissed and reached down for his calve. He touched his hand to it and groaned in pain again.
"Grandpa," he called out louder.
Twigs snapped behind the trees in front of Henry. He focused more on the pain he felt, but looked up when a few of the bushes moved.
Henry sounded scared and on the verge of tears. He scrunched up his face and squirmed on the ground with the pain that shot through his leg. He kept his eyes focused on the rustling bushes and saw Rumple emerge from them.
"Henry? Is everything alright, boy?"
He shook his head.
"My leg. It hurts," he said through gritted teeth.
Rumple limped to Henry's side then knelt down and took a look for himself. He moved Henry's hand out of the way and saw black lines extend from where he'd been shot with an arrow.
"Oh, Henry," he sadly breathed out with concern.
"What is it," Henry worriedly asked and looked down to see for himself.
He breathed hard and rapidly when he saw the black spot.
"We need to get you help," Rumple said.
"But you healed me."
"I healed everything but the poison that now courses through your veins. Magic has it's limits."
"A-a-am I gonna die?"
"Not if I get you help. Come on," Rumple scooped Henry into his arms and carried him through the jungle to get to shore.
Henry wrapped his arms around Rumple's shoulders and resisted the urge to cry.
"You're going to be in a lot of pain, Henry," Rumple started to explain. "But I need you to be quiet because we have to leave Echo Caves to find an antidote. Leaving the caves means we'll be unprotected against Pan. Do you understand?"
"Mhmm," Henry nodded, his face still scrunched up in pain.
"I'll get us there as fast as I can. You just hold on."
Note: So there was a little bit of Swan Queen in here. There will be more in upcoming chapters, but other things have to happen first. Thanks for reading. Leave a review and give me some feedback, please?