Ok, so here's an "introduction": Everything before the curse happened as in the TV show, but Regina was not able 'activate' the curse. She ran off to Wonderland and lived with her mom for sometime, after a while Cora is trying to force her daughter into another marriage. Regina defies her about it, telling her she won't marry anyone else. Cora decides to exile Regina from Wonderland and she returns to the Enchanted Forrest. Where she meets with middle-aged Snow and Charming and their daughter Emma. As the curse didn't occur and Emma was not sent to our world, she never met Neal - since Neal ran away couple of decades before Emma was born, as stated on the TV show.
Any doubts about the time line, you can ask me :)
This will be a SwanQueen fic eventually, but it won't have explicit scenes. So I'll rate it T. However if you are offended by soft-softcore femslash (as in kisses and maybe implied stuff), I'd advice you to not read this fic.
"You will marry him, Regina." The eco of my mother's voice sounded across the empty hallways.
"I will not do such thing, mother."
I stared at Cora with a defiant look. She raised her hand. A ball of magic appeared on top of her palm. "Do not make me use magic on you, Regina."
"I'd love to see you try," I pointed out, also summing a ball of magic on my own hand. "I married once because you wanted me to. I'll not marry twice."
"He's the president of the Congress,"
"And I," I added. "Couldn't care less."
"I know what's best for you,"
"No, mother, you know what's best for you." I spat.
A purplish ribbon appeared around my legs and it elevated me few inches from the ground. "Enough," Cora said, tightening the ribbons around my body. "I'm the queen of hearts, you'll do as I say or I'll exile you from Wonderland."
"So ... be ... it ... " I struggled to say, I could feel my lungs being crashed by the force exhorted by the ribbons. I had done as she said once and it had only brought me pain, misery and hate. I wouldn't not do as she said once again.
"Very well, dear." Cora snapped her fingers and my body dropped to the floor. "You shall know what is like to be poor and powerless, you shall experience struggle." My mother's hand was open and directed towards me. "By the power invested in me, I strip you of all the powers you have and I exile you from my realm, with no possibility of coming back to Wonderland."
A green myst appeared around me. The dust started entering my airways, I coughed and waved my hand, trying to free myself from the fog. It was in vain. Little by little the picture of mother started to fade away and the green color got more intense around me.
I closed my eyes and wished for it to end.
A pair of hands grabbed my shoulders and pulled me up. "No sleeping on the royal stables, peasant."
I opened her eyes with disgust. Peasant? Who the hell did this man think he was? Who the hell did he think I was? I opened my palm instinctively to blast him with magic, but nothing happened.
Starring at my empty hand, I tried to summon magic again. Once more, nothing happened. My mother had succeeded, she had taken my powers way. This was a nightmare.
With a bitter taste in my mouth, I raised her sight to face the rude man who had pushed me around. He peeled his eyes when he saw my face. "This is impossible," he said, almost whispering. "You are supposed to be dead."
I stared the guard in silence, a satisfied grin appeared on my face. I might not have my powers in this land, but at least some people still feared me.
I waited for the man to bow, but he did not do such thing. Instead he grabbed me by my arm and dragged me into the castle. Despite my complains, he didn't slow down nor loosen his grasp. If I'd had my powers, this guard would be nothing but fried meat for dinner.
"I order you to stop," I commanded after a while, I was tired of keeping up with his pace and I was no commoner to be dragged around.
The guard did as I said so. I smiled, then I realized he hadn't stopped due to my order. He had stopped because he was waiting for the permission to enter to a room. My smile faded away.
The doors were still closed in front of us, but I had lived in enough castles to know that behind those doors was whoever reigned this land. After a while the doors opened and the guard pushed me inside with out even ask me politely if I wanted to move.
I studied the room with great interest. It was bigger than my mother's back at her Wonderland's Castle, and that said something. It also seemed very familiar, maybe I had been here before, or maybe they had the same interior designer as other castles I had visited in my life time. The chandelier in the middle of the room had to be the biggest chandelier I had ever seen and the windows were decorated with strained glasses, they all had passages from history. Before I could continue studying the room, the guard that held me kneeled and brought me down with him.
"Watch it, idiot!" I complained as my knees crashed painfully against the wooden floor. I decided to make a personal note and write down how many time would I have to kill this man to make him pay for everything he had done to me, so far I had to kill him 3 times.
"Your majesty," The guard ignored my complains. "I found her sleeping on the stables."
I raised my gaze to meet the ruler of the kingdom were my mother had sent me. I never expected to find a woman. Her skin was white as snow; her lips were red as blood and her hair, even though it had some white hair, was black as ebony.
I couldn't help but to cringe at the resemblance of the queen with Snow White.
Actually, if it wouldn't be for the fact that the woman looked at least ten years older than me, I could swear that the queen was Snow White.
"Regina?" The queen spoke. Her voice froze my blood. I had heard that voice before, uncountable amount of times, it was my least favorite sound: it was Snow White's voice. "How is this even possible?" she asked. "You look so young, as if time hasn't passed."
"I'm afraid I can't say the same thing, dear." I replied.
"Lovely as always," A male voice commented. I turned my head to meet with Prince Charming, whom time hasn't forgotten either. His hair was almost white now and some wrinkles had started to appear on his face. "What are you doing here?" He asked in an unfriendly tone.
"Charming," Snow looked at her disapprovingly. "That's no way to treat our guests."
"Guests?" Charming looked as shocked as I was.
"Well, of course," Snow replied. "The guard found Regina sleeping in the stables. You don't expect me to leave her wandering in the streets, do you?"
Charming walked towards her, "But, Snow."
"Enough, Charming." She said raising her hand. "Regina," she added addressing to me. "You are welcome to stay here as long as you want."
I thought that I had already seen how stupid could Snow White be. But after being invited to her castle, I realized there was no limit to the girl's stupidity. I'd rather die in the streets than be caught, again, in the same castle with Snow White. Even though, I have to admit, to stay in the castle would give me access to Snow White. I could finally finish the revenge I sworn to fulfill all those years ago.
"I'm awed by your hospitality, Snow," I replied, putting on the most fake of my smiles.
"You'll tell us where have you been all these years during supper," Snow said excited as she walked towards me. "I can't believe it's really you! I thought you were dead." The queen hugged me
After I'm done, you will wish I was. I said to myself as she hugged Snow back.
The same guard that had dragged me across the castle moments ago took me to my chambers. He didn't speak a word, but he treated me much better than before. I gave him a quick smirk, I loved when I was superior to the people around me, he opened the door for her and let me go into my room.
"Your maid will be here in no time," he said. "Supper is right after sunset."
He closed the door behind him.
I stared out of the window and into the wild. The sky had started to become pink and purple. How lovely were sunsets at the enchanted forrest, I hadn't noticed how much I had missed them until now. It was good to be home. Back to were I belonged.
And things were about to get better.
I entered to the dinning hall closely followed by my maid, a girl named April.
I felt like a new person after that bath I took. The new dress made me feel quite good as well.
The only thing that was missing was my magic. I needed to find a way to break my mother's curse and get my magic back, that way finishing Snow would be much easier.
Charming and Snow were waiting for me. Even if they looked older, the true love spark hadn't disappeared between them. I gazed at them with a mix of disgust and jealousy. To think that I could have had all this if little Snow White wouldn't have interfered, if she wouldn't have broken the promise she had made to me. The thought of it just revolted my stomach.
"Regina!" Snow smiled at me. "So glad you could make it!"
"Wouldn't miss telling you about my past months." I replied.
"Months?" Charming looked confused. I nodded, his question had confused me as well. "Regina, it's been years since we last saw you."
"What do you mean?" I asked. "I ran to Wonderland few months ago, after my attempt to start the curse failed." I added, a little bit ashamed of admitting my defeat.
"That was almost 30 years ago, Regina," Snow said with with that emphatic tone she usually used on me. I hated that tone.
Well, that explains the white hair. I thought
"That's impossible," was the joke on me? Did they think I was stupid enough to believe that I've been in wonderland for 30 years?
Snow was about to tell me something but the sound of trumpets broke the silence first. I looked at Snow confused, were we expecting someone? I doubt that Charming would have thrown a party to welcome me.
Charming walked towards the door with a smile on his face. "They are finally here!"
"Daddy!" I heard someone say as the doors opened and a blonde woman entered the room and ran towards him. "I've missed you dearly, dad."
"Emma!" He yelled as she jumped into a hug.
Dad. Emma. Wait a minute.
Emma was the name of that stupid baby Snow had given birth to last time I heard of her.
I turned to Snow, who was now next to me. "Daddy's girl, huh?" I commented, wanting to hurt her by the fact that Emma was still with her father and had completely ignored her mother. But Snow just nodded with a smile.
"They are two peas of the same pod." She stated. "Sometimes it's like having four kids."
"Four?" I asked shocked. Were there more Snow-babies? A disgrace had fallen into this land, and for a change I had nothing to do with it.
"Mother!" Emma said after she detached from her father and walked towards her Snow.
Emma hugged Snow so tightly that I could swear she'd kill her by bursting all her internal organs.
"I've missed you, Emma." Snow whispered.
"Me too, mom,"
This was too much for me, it was just sickening. If my mother could see me she would be proud of her decision, this was by far the worse punishment I could have received.
"Emma, I want you to meet someone," I heard Snow say after a while. "This is Regina, she's - "
"So the rumors are true," Emma interrupted her mother, her voice was not amicable like her mother's. The blonde pierced me with her blue-and-hazel eyes.
"Yes?" I replied, not sure of what I should answer. I had gotten to this realm few hours ago, how there were rumors about me returning already?
"What are you doing here?" She asked, her voice tone was almost like her father's.
"Emma, stop that." Snow gave her a warning look. "Regina will tell us with time."
"Yeah, I'm sure she will," Emma raised an eyebrow. "How come you look so young?" She pointed out. "I thought you were older than my mother."
Ain't time difference a bitch?
I didn't reply, but I stared at her.
She stared back at me.
I couldn't help but noticing the resemblance to both of her parents. Her eyes were just like her father's. The blonde hair was also not passed-down from her mother's side. Her skin was porcelain white, just like Snows. Her cheekbones were also inherited from her mother and it made the resemblance between both woman almost impossible to miss.
Looking at Emma was painful, not only because she was quite pretty, but because she was the living and reminding proof that Snow had had her happy ending and I hadn't. I blinked, hoping I hadn't stared for too long.
"Were are your brother and sister?" Snow asked, taking Emma's attention away from me.
"Oh, they decided to help aunt Ruby with all her stuff." she replied, still staring at me. "They will all be here in a second."
"What about Henry?" Charming asked.
Who on earth was Henry? And how many people were we waiting for dinner? Were they all part of the Charming Family? Because I honestly couldn't bear with Snow and her retarded husband. Having her kids around was going to be worse walking barefoot on broken glass.
"He's asleep," Emma explained. "The journey was too long for him, you'll have to wait until morning to see how much he had grown."
Charming looked a little bit disappointed for the news Emma had just given him. It made my day to know that he was at least a little bit miserable.
The other two Charming children joined us in no time, both looked like they were about to end their teenager years. They were a little bit different than Emma. They both had black hair, just as Snow's, and looked about the same age. They were probably twins.
The girl had long hair, she looked just like Snow looked when she was that age. I looked at her with disgust, just when I thought things couldn't get worse. The boy looked like a black-haired Charming when he spoke, it has clear that the boy had copied all his facial expressions from his father.
Following the black haired kids was Ruby, who hadn't changed, just gotten older, as the rest of them. She stopped when she saw me.
"I want whatever you are taking to look like that." the werewolf pointed out with a smile. I couldn't quite catch if it was honest or if she was just mocking me.
"Ruby!" Snow hugged her. "Please tell me my kids were not a big burden."
"They are wonderful kids," she said. "So obedient and well-mannered, I wonder where they got it from."
Maybe I had died during the curse and went to hell, there was no other explanation for this stomach-turning evening.
"You forgot to say how smart we are," Sassy mini-Snow commented.
"Yes, you are," Ruby grabbed the girl's cheek.
"Please stop before I vomit." I though out-loud without noticing. They all turned at me, shocked by what I had just said.
I thought that of all the Charmings, no one could hate me more than the prince did. But I was mistaken. And I proved that when I saw the way Emma was looking at me; her jaw tight and her eyes shooting invisible darts.
I didn't look away. I was going to show this little brat that I was neither afraid nor intimidated by her. And I'm pretty sure she was sending me the same message, because her eyes didn't leave mine at any moment, she didn't even blink.
They all seemed to notice the exchange of killing glares between the blonde and I because Snow asked us to sit and have supper to break the tension between me and her older daughter.
"These two are the twins," Snow said. I knew it. "Eva and Edward."
What was up with the E names?
"You are the Regina?" The excitement on Eva's voice voice confused me. I nodded. "Mother has told me - us - so many things about you!"
"Yeah," Emma said with not even half of the enthusiasm her sister had shown. "Like all the times you tried to kill her," she pointed out. "Please, pass me the pepper, Eva." The blonde addressed to her sister, changing topics as if we had been talking about an unimportant matter, such as the weather. Emma was too sarcastic to be Snow's daughter.
Even if Emma didn't like me and didn't make an effort on hiding it, talking to her was was better than talking to Eva. Eva sounded just like Snow.
"Don't be rude, Emma," Emma's sister told her, passing the pepper. "And don't pay attention to her," She added looked at me. "Mother told me how you saved her life and how you were the first person to explain her what true love was."
"And how you tried to destroy hers," Edward added. Well, another kid that got his father's common sense.
"You forgot how she tried to send us to a land with no happy endings." Emma pointed out.
"Plus, she ruined their wedding." Edward pointed at his older sister with his spoon.
"Stop it you two!" Eva said. "That was a long time ago, people change."
It was nice to see how just by my presence I was already destroying Snow's family.
"No, they don't Ava," I said, pretending I didn't know her name.
"Whatever." I said standing up. "Let me tell you all something,"
The happy family stopped eating and stared at me.
"Since you are all so eager to know why I'm here," I stared at Charming, "And what is my hidden agenda," my eyes shifted at Emma, who was listening carefully to each word that came out of my mouth. "I'm here because my mother banished me from her kingdom because I didn't want to marry another imbecile."
Emma stood up to defend her grandfather, but Snow placed her hand over Emma's fist. It was a silent message that said: please don't.
"I also lost all my magic on the process," I added. "Other wise I'd have roasted couple of your guards already and maybe even you both." I glared at Charming and at Snow. "And just when I thought that my day couldn't get worse, I met you all," I stared at the twins and Emma.
"Emma," Snow said. "Why don't you escort Regina to her room?"
Emma opened her mouth to refute her mother's wishes, but Charming raised an eyebrow at her. Emma sighed and looked at me and pursed her lips disgustedly. "Yes, mother." she said as she threw the napkin on the table and walked towards the door.
I followed her.
We walked in silence for a while, I didn't know where she was talking me, but I was sure that it was taking longer than what it took April to take me from my room to the hall. I didn't ask either, I didn't want to give her the wrong impression: I didn't want her to think I was scared of her or what she might do to me.
We were in the middle of an empty and poorly illuminated hallway when Emma turned on her heels, I felt her hands grabbing my shoulders and pinning me to the wall.
"Listen to me, bitch," She said in a not very lady-like manner, "If you harm my family in any way I'll personally haunt and destroy you." I chuckled. "Laugh as much as you want, I'm not as gullible as my father nor as naive as my mother." She said getting closer to me, the distance between our bodies was barely existent. "You don't know what I'm capable of when I feel that my family is threatened."
I raised an eyebrow, this girl was something different than her parents. "Are you done?" I asked.
She stared at me. "Yes," I could feel the warmth of her breath on my face. I almost missed it when she let me go and I suddenly felt cold. "Your room is the second door to the left." Emma pointed out.
"I hope you sleep with an eye open," I said as I watch her leave.
"And with a knife under my pillow," She added without looking back.
Soon all sight of Emma had disappeared and I was left alone in the hallway. I walked towards the room Emma had instructed me and was relieved to notice it was in fact my room.
I had to find a way to get my magic back, then I could destroy Snow's happiness, and then I whatever I pleased. Maybe return to show mother what I was really capable of doing and that my powers were as strong as her. I'd return to conquer Wonderland and make her live a living hell, just as she had destroyed my life.
In the middle of my vendetta-day dream I remembered Emma's threat, her body pressing mine against the wall. It made me shiver. Why had that happened? I had no clue. But I couldn't not Emma getting between me and my revenge.