Angsty Snowing drabble, set in au Storybrooke, Enchanted Forest doesn't exist. Told through Regina's pov b/c why the hell not?
Regina's been to her fair share of funerals, but she thinks this might be the saddest one she's ever attended, and that's including her own father's. Military funerals are always the worst though, especially when the deceased is so young. It hits even harder when it's someone you knew.
David Nolan was both.
Only nineteen at the time of his death, David had graduated from Storybrooke High just two years after Regina and Daniel. She hadn't known him well, but he and Daniel had served in the same platoon in Afghanistan. He'd saved Daniel's life, volunteering to take the last seat in the Humvee that had hit a roadside bomb just weeks before. So, no matter how much Regina hates funerals, no matter how much she hates coming back to Storybrooke, she's here to pay her respects. To thank David for unknowingly saving the man she loves.
As they take their seats, she scans the crowded room for familiar faces. David's mother and step-father are in the front row, along with Jackie Lewis, James' girlfriend. She's heard that James is at the VA hospital in D.C., still in critical condition. There's an entire two rows reserved for military personnel, forcing a crowd of mourners to stand in the back of the church.
When she looks back at Daniel, he's searching the room, frowning. "What's up?" she whispers.
He turns back to her, confusion written on his face. "I don't see Mary Margaret anywhere," he says.
"Who?" Regina asks. She's cut so many ties since moving to Boston that, small as Storybrooke is, she barely remembers half the people she went to school with.
"Mary Margaret Blanchard," Daniel replies. "David's fiance. I don't see her."
Regina shrugs, takes his hand as the organ music starts. "Maybe she just couldn't handle being here," she suggests.
"Maybe," he murmurs, turning his attention to the priest, but she can tell he doesn't believe it.
The priest is about to open with a prayer when a side door opens and someone slips into the room. There's a slight commotion as people start muttering about the newcomer. Regina hears some particularly nasty remarks, so when the congregation bows their heads to pray, she peeks over the girl, curious as to who could warrant such vile reproof.
The girl is standing by the door she entered through, head bowed and hands clasped in front of her. She has long dark hair, skin like porcelain, and a ring on that finger, and suddenly Regina recognizes Mary Margaret Blanchard.
It makes sense that she didn't remember her before. Mary Margaret's even younger than David, only seventeen if Regina's remembering correctly. They'd never crossed paths at school, but Regina remembers hearing about her, recalls that her nickname used to be "Snow White". And now, it appears she's an outsider at her fiance's funeral.
As the prayer comes to a close, Mary Margaret shifts, and Regina gasps, her hand coming up to cover her mouth. Tears that have been on the verge of falling all morning start to course down her cheeks. Because the girl is pregnant, very pregnant, and it's all too obvious now why she's standing alone in a crowded church.
Regina's eyes never leave Mary Margaret throughout the service. She's clearly devastated, struggling to hold it together, but not one person makes a move to comfort her. When they relocate to the cemetery for the burial, Regina tries to stand by her, but she gets swallowed up by the crowd.
She doesn't see Mary Margaret again until much later that evening. She's back at the church, having only just realized she forgot her purse there earlier. She's about to leave when she spies something through a window; a lone figure kneeling by a fresh grave. She doesn't need a second glance to tell her who it is.
Mary Margaret's not saying anything when she approaches, just quietly crying, as she probably had been all day. Regina hesitates for a moment before sitting down beside her. "Hi," she says softly, trying not to startle the girl. "It's Mary Margaret, right?"
Mary Margaret nods, barely glances at Regina. "Yes," she says, "and you're Regina Mills."
Regina raises an eyebrow. "I'm surprised you remember me."
"Don't be," she replies, letting out a small laugh. "My friends and I looked up to you for the longest time. You were like a role model to us." She pauses. "And David really liked you. He only ever had good things to say about you and Daniel."
Regina reaches over, taking the girl's hand in hers. "I'm sorry," she says sincerely. "I can't even imagine what you're going through right now."
Mary Margaret manages a smile before breaking down, sobbing uncontrollably. Regina wraps her arms around her, rubs her back as she cries.
"Sorry," Mary Margaret mumbles once her sobs decrease. She pulls back a little. "I'd blame that on the pregnancy hormones, but I can't blame Emma for everything, especially not this."
"Emma," Regina repeats. "That's her name?"
Mary Margaret nods. "The last letter I got from David...I'd just told him we were having a girl and he was so excited. He was practically begging to name her Emma."
"How are you handling all of this?" she asks. "It...doesn't seem like you have much support."
The girl sighs, shakes her head. "It's rough, but...I'm getting by." She sniffles. "I'm trying to stay strong. For him...for her."
Regina nods, takes Mary Margaret's hand again. "If there's anything Daniel and I can do for you, anything at all..."
Mary Margaret hesitates, then looks up at Regina. "Um, this might sound a little odd, but are you going to the reception at his parents' house?"
Regina nods. "Yeah, why? Do you need a ride?"
"Oh, no," she replies, laughing humorlessly. "I'm not allowed in Mr. Spencer's house. He's never liked me, but he never had an excuse to ban me from the house before." She glances down at her belly. "But now he does."
Regina's speechless, can't even fathom what Mary Margaret's telling her. Meanwhile, the girl's reaching into her bag and pulling out a dreamcatcher. "Could you give this to Ruth, please?" she asks.
"Of course," Regina says, taking the delicate ornament. "It's beautiful. Did you make this?"
Mary Margaret nods. "Tell her it's for James. To keep the bad spirits away while he's recovering."
"Okay." She stands to go, but she doesn't feel right about leaving the girl in the cemetery by herself. "Are you sure you don't need a ride somewhere?" she asks. "Home, maybe?"
Mary Margaret shakes her head. "I need to be alone for a while. But thank you...for everything."
Regina leaves her by David's grave, taking one last look before she gets in the car to go. She finds herself hoping that Mary Margaret has a dreamcatcher of her own to keep the bad things at bay. But if not...well, she'll always have Emma.