Title: Hell In Your Eyes
Author: Sapphire Smoke
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Pairing(s): Emma/Regina & Regina/Cora
Predecessor: Beneath The Mask
For: NaNoWriMo 2013
Timeline: After 2x09 "The Queen of Hearts"
Summary: Regina hadn't given much thought to the damage her mother had caused her psyche; at least not for many, many years. She had believed Cora to be dead for a long time, and with her 'passing' Regina had buried her darkest secrets, her most profound source of pain. With her mother dead, she assumed, the past would die with her. In the end though, it seemed, neither Cora nor her past had really left her at all.
Warning(s): Parent/child incest, humiliation, noncon, graphic violence, torture, self harm, major character death
A/N: Please be aware that this is a sequel to a Black Queen fic, and if that is not something you are able to handle then it's unlikely that you'll enjoy this one, despite it being primarily Swan Queen. That being said, while you don't have to read the first fic to relatively understand this one, it's recommended that you do so you know exactly why Regina has such severe PTSD when it comes to certain things. Updates for this fic will be every Sunday, and for those of you who read Transgressions, I'll be updating that again in early December after NaNo has finished.
Fingers fisted in the bed sheets as taut nipples scraped the fabric, the warm body atop her own moaning softly in Regina's ear as fingers slid through the scorching heat between the brunette's thighs. Regina's eyes fluttered closed, feeling a soft pair of lips grace the junction of her neck as breasts brushed the smooth skin of her back, and she set her knees in a wider stance to allow better access to what she so desperately found she needed.
The room was delved in darkened shadows, and it felt as though nothing existed outside of her and the woman who shared her bed. Each touch was accentuated, each sound an echo as the world around them blurred, leaving nothing but them and a desire that Regina had kept locked up inside of her for so very, very long. A constant victim of her own paranoia, Regina was finally free to immerse herself in a moment she never believed she would have. It was liberating, yet it was still so very terrifying.
Two slender fingers entered her as teeth latched to the nape of Regina's neck, and as sun-kissed hair came tumbling down over her shoulder to tickle her skin, Regina reached behind her to pleadingly grasp at the other woman's body. "Emma," she breathed, fingernails scraping against heated flesh as the blonde's lips found the underside of Regina's jaw.
Emma rocked against her slowly, the evidence of her own arousal being pressed against Regina's thigh as her fingers twisted and delved deeper inside of her wanton body. "How long?" she whispered softly, the words tickling Regina's ear as her breathing hitched. "How long have you wanted this, wanted me…?"
"A while," Regina admitted in a soft voice, turning her head just slightly so her nose bumped against the other's woman's, her gasp of pleasure stifled as she pressed her lips to Emma's cheek. Fingers intertwined with her own, holding Regina tightly as she increased the speed just slightly. Regina held back just as hard, her bottom lip becoming trapped between her teeth as a shudder of unexpected emotion ran through her veins like a raging fire.
"You should have told me…"
"I couldn't." The word came out broken, hitched in a throat tightened by past fear, and a light kiss was placed upon her forehead, her jaw, her shoulder. The feeling of the body atop her shifted, the sensation of the skin on hers changing, and Regina released a shuddered gasp as violence overtook the blackened room in an instant, a hand fisting painfully in her hair.
"And it should have stayed that way, my love," the voice told her, no longer Emma's but of her worst nightmare. Regina's eyes widened as her breathing shallowed in absolute panic, but as she tried to struggle against the woman's hold, Cora pressed her entire weight against Regina's back, holding her down, the fingers that once belonged to Emma still buried deep inside of her.
"You are a disgrace," Cora hissed in her daughter's ear, forcefully holding Regina where she saw fit. "I had thought you had learned your lesson, my dear; and yet here you are again, destroying your life once more as you foolishly desire the very woman who demolished your curse, took your son. You disgust me, Regina. You are nothing, and I will take great pleasure in showing you just how far you've fallen…"
"No," Regina gasped, before her fear of the past repeating itself ripped through her violently, and she began thrashing wildly against her mother's hold, the world around her dissolving the harder she fought. "No, you're not here; this isn't real! You're not—!"
"Real!" Regina finished screaming, jerking awake suddenly as she sat straight up in bed, the sound of her own voice having jolted her from her dreams. She still felt so very panicked though, and when a hand suddenly touched her thigh out of nowhere she let out a terrified shriek, her fist colliding with a face that was delved in shadows.
"Fucking hell, Regina!"
Regina's breasts heaved as she tried to catch her breath, tried to come to her senses about what was happening, where she was, and an angry hand hit the switch on the wall. The room flooded with light and Regina blinked at the harsh intrusion, her vision becoming filled with the sight of Emma Swan, holding her nose in some vain attempt to get the blood to stop flowing from it. It seemed Regina had hit her pretty hard.
"What… what the hell are you doing in my bedroom?!"
"Taking care of you, you idiot!" Emma spat, furious that when she had only tried to comfort the woman from her obvious nightmare, it had ended with a fist to the face. "Though apparently you're feeling well enough to deck me in the face, so maybe I should just fucking go." She winced, pressing her fingers harder against her nose as she held her head towards the ceiling. "I swear to god, if you broke it…"
Shit. The curse from the portal. In her half-awake haze, Regina had forgotten. It had nearly killed her, and the process of dispelling it took quite a lot out of her. She must have been sleeping for days, because her entire body ached and even the slightest of movements aggravated her unused muscles. Regina knew Emma was there when she passed out, but she hadn't expected her to be there when she awoke; especially not days later.
"No, E-Emma… wait," Regina implored, stumbling over the woman's first name, as it wasn't often she said it. It was that though which made the woman pause before getting to the door, her hand suspended in the air near the doorknob. Regina took a breath, trying to dispel the demons from her mind as she attempted to fix what she had done. "I'm… I'm sorry. I didn't mean to—just, come here, please. Let me look at it."
Emma's gaze shifted towards her, seemingly unsure of whether or not to even trust Regina's apology, as it wasn't exactly often that she heard the woman speak those words. But eventually she turned, relenting to Regina's care as she wordlessly sat next to the other woman on the bed. She winced after Regina gently guided her hand away from her nose to look at it, and the brunette's brow creased in guilt and concern at how bruised and swollen it was already beginning to look.
"I think it may be broken."
"Great. That's… fucking great." Emma exhaled a frustrated sigh, her hand catching some droplets of blood before turning her face back up to the ceiling. "Because that's just what I needed at 3 am; a trip to the ER."
"You don't need to go to the ER," Regina reminded her, guilt still swirling in the pit of her stomach for what she had done. She hadn't expected anyone to even care enough to see if she was alright, let alone stay for days to make sure of it; and if she were being honest (which she wasn't, not usually), it actually meant something to her that it was Emma who had done so. "I may be out of practice as far as healing is concerned, but it shouldn't be terribly difficult to fix, if you'll allow me to."
"How out of practice, exactly?" Emma asked warily, her words coming out muffled by the hand that was pressed against her face in an effort to stop the bleeding. "Cause if there's a chance you could accidently take off my entire nose or something, I'd rather just go to the ER."
Regina lightly rolled her eyes at that. "I can assure you, dear, the chances of that are very slim."
"Doesn't mean it still won't happen. Maybe I should just—"
"Miss Swan," Regina interrupted, her half-awake state furthering her impatience. "Stop being a child about this and let me see your nose. It's far too early in the morning for a trip to the hospital, and I don't know about you, but I would like to go back to sleep sooner rather than later."
Emma grumbled something inaudible behind her hand, but eventually let it fall to her lap to allow Regina's attempt to heal her. Feeling her heart pound in her throat for reasons relatively unknown to her, Regina reached up to gently cup Emma's cheek with one hand while she tried to concentrate and her other passed over the other woman's nose. There was a sudden crunch and a yelp, but Regina's grip fell to the back of the other woman's neck to keep her still as she focused on dissipating the bruising that surrounded it.
"You're fine," Regina assured her, a small eye roll following the woman's complaint about her having magically reset her nose. At the hospital, it would have hurt far worse. Her hand dropped from Emma's neck as she shuffled to stand. "You look perfectly alright now, save all the blood. Let me get a washcloth."
When she returned with a damp cloth, Emma was testing out Regina's handiwork by running her fingers over the bridge of her nose. She squeezed it, and after finding she no longer had any pain, she exhaled a relieved breath as Regina sat back down beside her. Emma's hand instinctively reached for the cloth, expecting to have to clean herself up, but Regina impatiently slapped her hand away before pressing it to the woman's face.
She had done this, therefore she should probably be the one to fix it in its entirety.
Emma blinked in surprise, but her expression turned to one of unexpected gratitude as she shot Regina a small smile. "Thanks," she murmured softly. "And, uh, sorry for the… bitchiness."
Regina pressed the cloth above the woman's upper lip, gently dabbing the blood from her skin. "I broke your nose, dear," she responded, voice just as soft for reasons she did not want to contemplate right then. She tried to focus on what she was doing, instead of the way Emma was looking at her while they were in such close proximity. "I'm just surprised you didn't do the same in return."
"You just had a nightmare, Regina. I get that it was involuntary, and I'm not that much of an ass."
Regina swallowed hard, trying not to think about what it was that awoke her as she turned the cloth over and gently dabbed the woman's lower lip. "Why on earth were you in my bed?" she asked instead, hoping the change of topic would sway Emma from asking about what she had been dreaming about.
It was bad enough that her partner in it had turned out to be her mother, but the start of it had been very much Emma, and it took quite a lot of effort to make sure that the thought of it didn't make her flush like some silly child. While Regina was aware of her attraction to the other woman, she had purposely tried to suppress it, because after what she had been subjected to as a girl, the thought of being with another woman in that way frightened her nearly to death.
But God, when Emma looked at her like how she was now, it made ignoring the burning feeling in her gut so much harder.
"I thought you were aware I had a guestroom," Regina continued, her tone a bit more biting than she intended as she sought to bury her foolish desires. "Or even a couch, for that matter."
"Look, I—I get that you're probably pissed about sharing your bed with me, but it was either me or Henry, and with how you were…" Emma sighed softly, her brow creasing in distress as she remembered. "I mean, if you only got worse, I didn't want to subject the kid to that. But he… he kind of insisted someone be with you twenty four seven, just in case."
An unexpected emotion rose up within her, and Regina's hand dropped to Emma's to clean off the blood on her fingers, not wishing to have the other woman see her blink back tears. After Henry had abandoned her once his birthmother and grandmother had returned, Regina had felt utterly insignificant and replaceable. She knew her son was worried when the curse she had extracted from the well began to make her ill, but in all honesty, a part of her – and perhaps it was an irrational part of her – feared that Henry wouldn't care very much if it had ended up killing her. He had a new family now.
But it seemed that wasn't the case at all, and as Regina ran the length of the cloth around Emma's ring finger, she shot her a tight, grateful smile. "Thank you," she told her, the words sounding a bit hoarse from how tight her throat was with suppressed emotion.
Emma sucked in a small breath, her gaze piercing as Regina purposely didn't look her in the eye, and nodded her understanding.
"You're… feeling better though?"
Regina nodded, probably putting far too much concentration and effort into slowly cleaning Emma's hand as she held a staring match with the appendage. It seemed she wasn't the only one though, and Emma's gaze fell to her own hand as she turned it over, allowing Regina to clean her palm.
"How long was I out?"
"Four days." The answer was soft, and Emma swallowed before clearing her throat awkwardly. Shifting her gaze to the floor, she told her, "You'd just… sometimes you'd convulse in your sleep. I don't know if—if that meant dispelling the curse was working, or if it meant something was wrong, but it was pretty fucking—" Hesitation followed, the admission of it frightening her never actually being voiced, but Regina understood without having been told. Instead, Emma looked up at her and shot her a brief, tight lipped smile. "Just glad that's over, you know?"
Emma's concern for her wellbeing both touched and perplexed her, and Regina finally looked up at the woman, her hand holding the cloth stilling in Emma's as her brow creased in question. But Emma wouldn't meet her gaze, and she switched the subject quickly. "So can I, uh… can I ask what you were dreaming about?"
Regina dropped Emma's hand as though she had been burned, and the answer, "No," was quick to fall from her lips as she rose from the bed, having been merely rubbing Emma's skin with the cloth more than cleaning it for the last minute or two anyhow.
"It's late," Regina dismissed before Emma could reply, crossing the room to put the dirty cloth in the hamper. "I wouldn't be opposed to you occupying the guestroom until morning. There are clean sheets in the hall closet."
"…You said my name."
"Excuse me?" Regina turned to face her, panic rising in her throat at the way Emma was looking at her. Dear Lord, she hoped she hadn't moaned the other woman's name in her sleep; it was one thing to desire Emma, but quite another to have her aware of it.
Emma shifted uncomfortably from her spot on the bed. "Before you… started screaming about someone not being real – maybe me, I don't know – you… you said my name. So I just, I thought maybe—"
"That gave you some right to know?" Regina bit back defensively, the tone making Emma look less sure of herself for even trying to bring this up. "There are a great many people who appear in my dreams, Miss Swan; that doesn't mean I am required to prance around town and inform them of it. Dreams are deeply personal, and I do not believe we are close enough to warrant the discussion of them, do you?"
Emma looked as though she felt foolish, and an awkward hand ran through her hair as she looked away from her. "No, I—I wasn't trying to… I don't know. I just…" she sighed heavily, "don't really like the thought of me being in your nightmares, is all. Even though that probably sounds really fucking stupid and selfish, and—Jesus, I ramble when I'm tired; I should probably just shut up now."
Regina just stared at her, feeling her heart pound in her throat as Emma made great effort in looking anywhere but at her. "Why would that even concern you?" she asked without thought, the question burning in her mind despite her better judgment to just dismiss it.
Emma shrugged, looking a little self-conscious. "It just… does. I don't know." She idly picked at the bed sheets, taking a moment to formulate her thoughts. "I guess… no one really wants to be the center of someone's nightmares, you know? That's… it's not what I really want to be viewed as, so if it's my fault I'd rather just, I don't know, fix it, or whatever."
Regina swallowed, not really expecting Emma to care about how Regina's subconscious viewed her, and her gaze shifted as she admitted softly, "You weren't." Regina cleared her throat then, trying to make her voice sound a bit stronger as she clarified, "the center of that nightmare, I mean. Merely a passerby; don't concern yourself over it."
"Right," Emma nodded, her lips pursing for a moment as she sat there in silence. Regina's brow creased as she watched her, wondering if the sudden shift in their dynamic was due to her saving Emma and her mother's life, or something else entirely. Perhaps both. "Regina?"
Dark eyes met light.
"I could, I don't know, stay… if—if you want."
"I already said you're welcome to the guestroom," Regina responded, not understanding what Emma meant until she looked far more awkward than one person really should, tugging on the back of her neck with her hand as she averted her gaze and she shuffled to stand.
And then Regina realized.
Emma was concerned that she'd have another nightmare, or perhaps that she wouldn't be able to fall back asleep after having her first. And the notion made Regina just stare at her, helplessly unable to understand why someone—why she would care, and her lack of answer just seemed to make Emma even more uncomfortable.
"I'm gonna… just go get some sheets. I'll, uh, see you in the morning, Regina."
"Miss Swan." It was out of Regina's mouth before she could think about it, and the urgency in her tone made Emma turn towards her in question. Trying to downplay her desire for it, Regina cleared her throat and noncommittally informed her, "You may do whatever you wish to. Far be it from me to deprive you of the company at night, especially if you need it. You did look after me when I was ill, after all; I wouldn't want to put you out."
Emma smirked at that, understanding what Regina was doing. But she didn't want to say that she needed someone—needed her, because it sounded so terribly pathetic. They were merely dreams. Still, if having someone there stood to comfort her, Regina didn't want to just dismiss it. In fact, she would… she would prefer it, if Emma stayed with her the rest of the night.
But, oh, was that such a dangerous thing to want…
"Right, because putting me out would probably be rude."
Their eyes connected once more, and Emma gave her a soft, encouraging smile. Feeling herself start to flush like some silly little child over her wellbeing actually being a primary concern for someone, Regina merely averted her gaze and climbed back into bed. The bed frame creaked as Emma climbed in next to her, and when she reached up to hit the light switch, the entire room became shrouded in darkness once more.
Silence passed between the two women for a few long moments as Regina situated herself on her side, facing away from the woman in the bed as she stared at the far wall. She could feel Emma behind her, and though she couldn't see her, she was certain that the woman was facing her. Staring at her, probably, for the feeling made a shiver run down Regina's spine.
Her name was said softly, barely even above a whisper, and the sound of it was so very appealing to her that all Regina could do was make a small sound of acknowledgement in response, not trusting her voice.
"Wake me up if you have another nightmare… okay?"
Regina's bottom lip became trapped between her bottom teeth, a feeling she feared to name burning hot in her chest as she took a hesitant breath, still so terribly afraid of coming off as needy. Still, despite the fact that she was a grown woman, despite that fact that she should probably be able to handle her past demons, there was something comforting about Emma wishing to protect her from them. And so her own response was quiet, voice tight with an emotion that she would never voice.
"If you insist, Miss Swan."
Dark eyes pierced the reflection of the glass, its contents showing a disappointing truth that Cora Mills had not actually expected. She had believed that she had trained her daughter better than this, but the sheer amount of unrequited desire in Regina's gaze as she looked upon the Savior was positively revolting, and told a much different story than the anger and bitterness Cora had assumed Regina would bear for the woman.
The Savior had broken her curse, destroyed everything that her daughter had worked so hard to build, but yet again, frivolous beauty seemed to blind her from what she needed to do; what she was meant to do, what she was meant to become. It wasn't just pathetic; it was simply unacceptable.
Would she never learn?
The woman who lay tentatively on her side in her oversized bed was no longer a Queen. She had fallen from grace, becoming a pale image of her former self as she concerned herself with goodness and redemption. She had changed herself to satisfy this… woman's desires, and yet even so, strangely, it seemed that Regina had not yet taken what it was that she craved.
It was entirely perplexing, and Cora found herself tilting her head slightly at the image before her, trying to dissect her daughter's thought process. Clearly the attraction was not one-sided, so why did she hesitate? Was it that she still feared her own mother might be beneath the form that she ached to touch? It was a thought that gave Cora a small sense of satisfaction amongst a sea of disappointment, for if she found all of her hard work had been undone in the time they had spent apart, it would inevitably call into question her ability to properly parent the girl.
And that was an unfathomable notion, for she had done right by Regina. Because of her, her daughter had become Queen. Cora had given her everything that she could possibly want, and yet this was how she repaid her; by practically becoming the lap dog of the very people who sought to take the world from her? From them?
The curse breaking was supposed to leave her daughter broken and angry; not frail and… compliant to those who had defeated her.
The disgust Cora felt made her stomach burn, and her lip turned up into a sneer as she watched the sleeping Savior search out her daughter's warm body. An arm wrapped around Regina's waist, and the former Queen, who had yet been able to find sleep, stiffened at her unexpected touch. Cora watched on bated breath, waiting for her daughter to untangle herself from the woman and prove herself not a fool, and yet after only mere moments Regina relaxed her muscles, her eyes finally drifting closed.
An enraged exclamation followed the scene, and the hanging mirror shattered to pieces on the cabin's wooden floor.
The door opened behind her, the sound having alerted her shipmate, and Cora didn't even spare the Captain a glance as she stared at the remnants of her mirror and demanded, "How long?"
Hook's eyebrows rose, but he knew better than to question what had upset her. "About a half-day's journey, Your Majesty." His eyes fell to the shattered glass on the floor, and he added as an afterthought, "I do hope you're planning to clean that up."
Cora's eyes narrowed, but with a dismissive wave of her hand the mirror was adorned on the wall of the cabin as good as new, its image showing nothing but what was before it. Her eyes connected with Hook's through the reflection of the glass before she turned on her heel to face him.
"There may be a slight hitch in our plans," Cora informed him, the scowl still not having fallen from her face. "It seems my daughter is… not quite as alone in this world as I had hoped."
"And why would this concern me?" Hook asked, one eyebrow rising at the woman's misconception that Regina's affairs actually involved him. "My dear Cora, you seem to have forgotten that Storybrooke is where we will part ways. The crocodile is my only concern, not the unfortunate social habits of our former Queen."
Cora took a step towards him, very much invading his personal space as she raised her brow and questioned condescendingly, "And does the presence of magic in Storybrooke concern you, Pirate? Because if you're even half as intelligent as you believe you are, the thought should give you pause."
Hook faltered at the unexpected news. "It was meant to be a land without magic, was it not? How is that possible?"
That, Cora did not know, but she intended to find out. Seeing her daughter reset the Savior's nose with magic was… unexpected, and it complicated matters. She waved Hook off however, not wishing him to know how much that concerned her as she paced the length of the room. "It matters not. What does matter is that Rumpelstiltskin will surely be as powerful in this world as he was in ours, and without my help, you will not stand a chance at defeating him."
Hook stayed silent at that assumption, and Cora watched as he struggled to come to terms with that fact. It seemed to frustrate him more than he was willing to let on, but his biting response of, "What do you propose then?" was enough to show his displeasure with the situation.
Cora grinned wickedly, satisfied that he was seeing things her way; things were always so much easier when people simply bent to her will. "Help me rid the world of the Savior," she proposed, a predatory gleam in her eyes as she advanced on him once more. "And I shall help you rid the world of your crocodile."
Hook stared at her for a long moment before a smirk slowly began to tug on the edges of his lips. "Your Majesty," he drawled, bowing his head in respectful acknowledgment. "I do believe we have an accord."