Pressing a hand to her stomach, Regina watched Henry leave with the happy crowd. I'll see you later, she replayed in her head. She swallowed hard, forced herself to keep standing.
Gold looked at her, a small smirk on his face. "Congratulations," he said, "You've just reunited mother and son. Maybe one day they'll even invite you to dinner."
Regina didn't answer, eyes burning. She let herself out of the shop quietly, climbing into her car.
For a long moment, she just sat there, leaning her head against the steering wheel and trying not to cry. It only half-worked; hot tears still pushed at the corners of her eyes, but she managed to hold back any audible sobs. Still, she thought, if anyone were to walk by, she probably looked a mess.
Regina took a couple of deep breaths, forced herself to lift her head. She looked at herself in the rearview mirror, tried to be pleased that at least her makeup hadn't run. Forcing herself to smile, she pinched some color back into her cheeks and flipped down her sunglasses before starting the car. As she drove, she fiddled between stations on the radio, but no matter how loud she turned it up, she could only hear Henry's words, see his back as he walked away from her.
By the time Regina pulled into her driveway, she was feeling decidedly…peculiar. A sharp headache was beginning between her eyes, and her entire body felt mildly achy. As she fumbled with shaky hands to fit her keys into the front door lock, she tried to tell herself that she was simply coming down with a cold or the flu. Deep down, though, she knew that wasn't it.That damn curse, she thought, as she finally got the door open. Once inside, she sagged against it for a moment and pinched the bridge of her nose while catching her breath.
Once she felt a little more stable, she made her way into the kitchen, occasionally leaning a hand out to the wall to steady herself. Tea, she thought. I'll make some tea. And then maybe take a nap. Or just go to bed. She sank down at the kitchen table and buried her head in her hands while waiting for the water to boil. Her vision was starting to feel a little bleary. When the kettle rang, she pulled her tea canisters down, and shook out chamomile and ginger loose leaf into her strainer. Hopefully, she thought, that would help with the nausea that was beginning to rise in her stomach.
Breathing in the steam, Regina carried the mug into the living room, where she kicked off her pumps and settled on the couch with her feet curled under her. She sipped her tea and tried to focus on the soothing taste and warmth of the beverage, instead of how increasingly off she felt. Time seemed to be moving strangely; after what she could have sworn was one blink, she looked at her clock to see that almost two hours had passed. She must have dozed off without realizing it. Looking around and trying to reorient herself, Regina felt oddly disconnected from her surroundings. The world around her tilted, and she closed her eyes again. Her headache was getting worse by the minute, and she almost felt as though her bones were buzzing.
Bed, she thought faintly. I should just go to bed. Everything will be fine in the morning. She pushed herself to her feet, and made her shaky way across the house. Waves of nausea rolled through her as she moved, and she had to lean heavily on the banister as she climbed the stairs. So many damn stairs. Why had she picked a house with this many stairs?
By the time she was almost to her bedroom, every nerve in her body screamed as though on fire. Aborting the mission, she stumbled into the hall bathroom instead and heaved violently into the toilet, before collapsing down on the floor and pressing her head against the cool tiles. She couldn't tell if she was burning or freezing, and absolutely everything hurt. Black spots danced in front of her, and violent spasms of pain ripped their way through her body until she thought they would tear her apart. Oh god, she thought desperately. What have I done?
Everything grew more and more surreal, as Regina faded in and out of consciousness. She couldn't stop the brutal tremors that continued to convulse her, and she periodically had to push herself up on weak, trembling arms to retch again into the toilet, even though there was soon nothing left in her to expel.
At some point, she began to hallucinate. Henry first, looking angry as he stood in front of her. Leave me alone, he told her,leave everyone alone. Then: Good wins. Good always wins. You should know that better than anyone, and Regina wondered if this was good winning, if this was her final punishment for all the atrocities she had committed.
Finally it was Cora. Love is weakness, she said, and pulled Henry's heart out in front of her while Regina cried out for her son. My son, said Emma furiously, and Regina shook, and shook, and shook.