Disclaimer: I by no means own Once Upon a Time or claim rights to the characters mentioned.

Pre SQ, takes place after The Miller's Daughter. Idea is based on the movie: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

"Solving big problems is easier than solving little problems." - Sergey Brin [aka awesome human being]

Thanks to muchmadnessissense for being my partner in crime!


"I do not wish to speak to you any further. Now leave before I make you disappear. Or worse..."

Regina turned her back at the saviour, hoping her tone had been hint enough that this so called intervention had reached its end. She made her way towards the table before the sheriff interrupted her.

"Stop it Regina. You are not going to find any answers at that table. Talk to me. Henry is worried about you. I am-"

"Do not toy with me, Miss Swan. My abhorrent weakness may delude me into believing that Henry feels anything resembling concern for me. But you... you are worried... about me? The one who took my son away from me, the one whose mother took my mother away from me..."

She turned to face the sheriff with cold eyes slowly widening in realisation, "Maybe it's another ruse, a plot to take something else from me."

"Regina," Emma sighed, her voice betraying her composed demeanour.

Regina continued, trapped in her own train of thoughts, "My sanity, my freedom, my life maybe?"

"Regina," Emma tried again, praying for her to stop. To stop saying things she didn't want to hear. Couldn't bear to hear.

"Of course no one would really berate you if you did manage to vanquish me."

Regina sauntered towards the sheriff standing in the middle of her study, "It would probably make things easier for you. No witch out to get your beloved kins. What will it be though, stake through my heart or the clich├ęd burn the w-"

"Damn it Regina, stop it." Emma snapped; her eyes steeled, her fists clenched.

Regina, taken aback by the sudden outburst, halted in her tracks. She observed the blonde with carefully veiled surprise, noticing her hardened features.

"Or maybe," she drawled out her finger tapping her chin as her lips twitched, upturning slightly, "You really are serious? You really are worried."

The brunette tilted her head in wonder as she continued in the sugary sweet voice which made the sheriff's skin crawl.

"Worried about the pathetic witch, living her sad lonely life... such misery."

Emma closed her eyes feeling the sting of words, mouthing stop it slowly like a mantra.

"The mighty saviour wants to pity the barren hag. Poor motherless evil queen." Her voice hardened as Cora crossed her mind.

"Always trying to do the right thing. It doesn't really matter what my say is, if it's good you'll do it, all of you."

Suddenly the victim of her own little twisted game she faced away from the blonde and moved towards the fireplace, attempting to hide the tears pricking her eyes.

"Each and every one of you: your mother, your father, your grandfather." She spat out the last word like poison.

She heard a faint cry of her name but the brunette was sinking, drowning in her own words; memories surging through her mind, anger surging through her body. When the small flame in the fireplace suddenly flared up, Regina forced herself to calm down. She kept staring at the now receding blaze oblivious to the sudden silence. Slowly sensing the absence of the saviour's annoying voice she turned back, only to face an empty study.

"Of course she ran. Always running isn't she? But who could blame her when I do such a good job at driving people away. People do seem to go to great lengths to run away from me."

Regina's hands automatically reached inside her blazer pockets and the brunette inhaled deeply, placating herself.

She needed a drink, 'What's one more drink?'

She smiled sadly at her table where a half-filled container of malt was surrounded by several empty ones. The drinking had certainly increased. As had her resolve to become a recluse. She hadn't stepped out of her house once after Cora's demise.

'No.'

Regina's hand tightened around the crystal.

"Not demise, murder," she reminded herself. "Cold blooded murder."

She knocked back the contents of the glass, now used to the accompanying burning of her throat, and slammed the glass back with force. Something cracked, the table or the glass, she didn't care.

She was supposed to be mourning, her bleak mind reprimanded. All her sorrow should be reserved for her mother, not the inane saviour. It wasn't like she wanted Emma to fight, to stay. Emma was probably just making sure Regina wouldn't do anything rash against her precious Snow.

Regina huffed; she didn't need fake sentiments.

She didn't need anyone. Period.

"She is the same. They're all the same. Even-even-"

No. Her tongue wouldn't concede.

Her boy... her little boy. No, it wasn't his fault. She just wasn't good enough for him. Maybe it was time she accepted she never could be.

Her mind felt heavy with despair and she yearned to return to her bed.

Revenge could wait. Snow White could wait. The stupid saviour could wait. Now she must sleep. Sleep and forget this world. She walked absent-mindedly towards the door and unfortunately overlooked the rug the tip of her shoe found purchase in.

"What in Gods-"

Her knees collided with the rug first, her hands bracing her for the fall in reflex. Staring at the woollen pattern right below her eye, she felt the tears falling, dampening the expensive piece of Afghan drop by drop.

"Pathetic. Can't even walk."

Her head felt heavier as her strength waned; she slowly descended, resting her right cheek on the carpet facing away from the fireplace.

'How the mighty have fallen. Mother would be so proud.' Regina smiled to herself as she closed her eyes, the tears leaking through.

Five more minutes and then she will pick herself up and get it together. What that it was she wasn't sure but she desperately needed five minutes when the whole world wasn't conspiring to watch her fall.

Exhaustion was about to draw her into sleep when a rustling sound forced her to open her eyes.

Regina gasped; she should really just stick to her cider.

She lifted her head, tilting to take in the tiny figure in front of her. She blinked a few times; squeezing shut her eyes for a moment longer to clear the moisture.

No. Still there.

"Emma?"

The pocket-sized action figure kicked her shoes on the russet strands of the rug and looked up to face wide brown eyes with a guilt-ridden expression.

"Hi", came the high-pitched but barely audible squeak.

Brown eyes slipped shut as her head collapsed down with one last coherent thought floating through her head.

'How the mighty have fallen indeed.'


TBC