A/N: Okay, here's the first chapter! It's a little shorter than the stuff that I normally do, but I think I might do better with shorter chapters, so we're gonna try this out! I hope more people will review this chapter, as the prologue didn't get as many reviews as I had hoped that it would get... it was a little disappointing, but that's alright! Thank you to the four of you that did write a review! I truly did appreciate it! I'm gonna set a goal for how many reviews I get a chapter, and, as this is the first chapter, I want the goal to be 5 reviews. If this is blown out of the water (lets hope) then I'll raise it! That's how I did one of my older stories, and people seemed to respond well to it, so... we'll see! Anyway, I'm sure you're tired of my blabbing haha... on with the first chapter!
Disclaimer: I don't own OUAT!
Love is a complicated mix of many different emotions that settle inside a person over a period of time. Hate, though it's supposed to be lodged on the opposite side of such an extreme emotion, can often be associated with love. Many people fall in hate before they fall in love. Many people fall into lust first, as well. People tend to be caught up in the notion of being "in love," never quite understanding the excruciating pain that actually being in love can cause one.
Emma, however, can feel the pain that radiates off of her heart with every move she makes, for she somehow made a grave mistake. Granted, she didn't understand the terms of the mistake, the fact that Marian was actually Robin's dead wife. She didn't know that Regina considered herself "in love" with Robin. And, though that hurts like nothing ever should, what manages to bring her to her knees in utter, blinding pain is that she hasn't heard a word from the normally informative woman.
As infuriating as it may seem, all she knows is what Henry offers her, which isn't much. She has learned that his mother "isn't doing well," and will "probably need some dinners or something" brought to her so that she'll actually eat. As soon as she'd proposed that she brings Regina dinner from Granny's, he shut the idea down.
"No offense or anything, mom, but I just don't think that's the best idea. She's been though a lot, and you've caused a lot of that damage." When he saw the painfully obvious guilt that was crawling like bile up her throat, he changed tactics. "Mom, I know you didn't mean to hurt her, but… it happened." He shrugged at left it at that, somehow seeming much older than she thought he was.
"I messed up, didn't I, kid?" There was little hope in her voice when she asked, for she knew the damage was irreparable. The fire of red hot pain that shot throughout her veins didn't stop when his answer came, though.
"Yeah, mom, you did." He had sighed sadly and left the kitchen; she merely bowed her head, hardly holding in her tears.
Not long after that, she headed to the spot that she's currently at, banging on the front door of the mansion.
"Regina! Regina, open up. Come on… I know I messed up. I know, please, I'm sorry. Just let me explain. I couldn't… I couldn't just leave her there to die. I should have been able to, and I should have just left her, but I couldn't. I didn't know who she was! Please! You have to believe me." Her fist sore from banging, she starts softly thunking her forehead against the door, hoping that Regina will at least let her explain. She doesn't even know what she's doing here, really. It only causes her more pain, but… she couldn't leave her alone. Not when she needed to know that Regina's okay.
And see, the thing is, she knows Regina's not in love with him. She can't be… she doesn't even know him. She doesn't know him like Emma knows her. She doesn't know him like Regina knows Emma.
But, obviously Regina doesn't see it like that. Emma's ripped away her second chance, even though she hasn't.
It's been two weeks, and still no word. Nothing. No matter how hard she bangs, how long she stays, nothing matters. Not many people have seen Regina. The people who have, try to avoid Emma.
"Please. I'll do anything to make it up to you. I'm sorry." At this point, she's sitting on Regina's porch, back leaning against the door. Emma's voice carries no strength like it used to. See, Regina being with Robin, watching her be happy with someone else, was torture. But taking away what little happiness that Regina had managed to find… that's another kind of torture. Emma's wracked with guilt, love deducing her to nothing but ash in the face of the loved. She's taken the one that her love loves. How insanely accurate.
She however, wasn't expecting any sort of response. Not now, and not really ever. So when she falls backwards, her head easily slamming back against the tile floor of the walkway, she squeaks in surprise, masking the pain quickly. There above her, stands her beloved, the stoney mask set in place already.
As surprised as she is by the quickly changing events, she almost forgets that she should right herself and not stay sprawled out all over the poor woman's entrance way.
"Regina." She breathes, slowly sitting up, not even bothering to rub away the pain in her skull from the rough collision.
"Miss Swan," the cold, calculated voice sends shivers down Emma's spine, "if you want to do something productive, then I suggest that you get off of my porch, and get away from my house before I give into the temptation to end these late night visits you've been torturing me with permanently."
"Regina, please." She whispers, her voice hoarse and her eyes burning. "Please, I'll do anything. I'm sorry. I'll do anything to make it better. I didn't mean for this to happen." A snarl forms across Regina's face, curling her lip over her teeth.
"Please," she hisses menacingly, "there's nothing you can do but leave my sights for a very long time. I'm sick of everyone always talking about the person that's ruined my happiness. I'm sick of seeing you everywhere. You and your precious boyfriend making those disgusting lovey-dovey faces at each other, being happy when I'm stuck being miserable because of a mistake that you made, even though it was specifically said to you not to change anything in the past!" Her heavy breathing accents the harsh words that make Emma's heart sink deep into her stomach, making her feel sick.
Her shoulders slump at the weight of the truth; she knows Regina's right. She should have listened to Hook, and she knows it. She just wanted to save the woman in the dungeons life. She hates that it made Regina so upset with her, and for that she thinks she might not have saved her. But then she reflects on the fact that Marian is his wife, and she hates to think that if she had known that, she might still have saved her.
She hates herself for that thought.
Her shoulders sink more.
Her head hangs slightly as she stands to face the infuriated woman. The nerves that normally fray at just one look from the brunette are gone, replaced by the grief of knowing that those nerves were probably never returned, and, if they were at one point, there was no going back to that time. She's stuck, never going back, but never really moving forward either.
She raises her head and locks eyes with Regina, desperately hoping that she's conveying every feeling that she has in that moment. "I'm sorry." She takes a step down the stairs that always seem so incredibly uninviting. "I just wanted to save her. I'm sorry that it cost you your second chance. I truly had no intention of any of this happening." She turns to walk the rest of the way down the stairs but pauses when she is suddenly hit with something that she's been dying to say. She'd forgotten in the face of the anger and ill-concealed hate practically vibrating off of the former queen. She turns to face her once again.
"But Regina, everything happens for a reason. It's something that I've been working on truly believing ever since the curse broke. Truthfully, it's how I handled it. It's how I forgave you for everything that you did to my family. If none of that would have happened, then I wouldn't have had Henry, and he wouldn't have been raised by someone like you: a fantastic mother." She breaks eye contact for a moment, her eyes hardly flickering down before coming back up to the mocha brown, hardly saving herself from drowning in them.
"You may not want to believe it right now, but there's a reason that I brought her back, accident or not. Fate doesn't just do these things to break us." With a short, humorless laugh, she shakes her head slowly. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?" It's not posed as a question, more of a statement of fact, making Regina question what she truly believes.
Regina doesn't seem to find the irony in that statement.
Emma shakes her head again, eyes sadder than before. She turns her back on the stone cold brunette, shoulders slouched in defeat. Once she's down the steps, she turns her head over her shoulder, offering one last quick remark, not daring to look the composed woman in the eyes.
"For what it's worth, he's an idiot for letting a treasure like you go."
She walks away then, never seeing the crack in the mask.
Henry knew as soon as Emma grabbed her jacket that she was going to try and apologize to his mother again. He knew it wouldn't work, too, but Emma had always been such a stubborn person. And, well, so had his mom.
Which, in turn, meant that Emma, once again, wouldn't be home for a while. It really didn't bother him; he'd give anything for his mom to be better again. She'd been mopey the whole time that he had been at her place, though she tried her best not to show it. He knows she hates talking about how she feels, which is why it was never brought up.
Henry is a very knowledgeable person; he likes to think that's where his connection to Rumpelstiltskin is.
He's not blind to the fact that his blonde mom really wants to make up her mistake to his brunette mom. He rolls his eyes at their stupidity. It's obvious his blonde mother has a crush, though he's still not sure about his brunette mother. She's a little too focused on Robin to see anything else, which is a little gross to Henry, if he's being honest. He so did not need the memory of walking in on them kissing.
He liked Robin when he first met him, sure, but if he's not willing to stand up for his mother, to pick her first… well…
His mom deserves better than that.
Once he'd figured out that his blonde mom would be out for a while, he'd decided to go for a walk. Now, he's not really sure where his feet have taken him. He's somewhere… in Storybrooke, obviously.
And he really isn't sure until he starts to see the still dented Welcome to Storybrooke sign up ahead. But that's not what really catches his eye.
There's a lump next to the sign. A small lump with blonde hair.
Worry clouding his vision, he picks up his pace a little bit. Surely it's not a person.
Lo and behold, it is. A small person.
He looks down at the little person, bundled up in clothes, asleep, and bends down to her level, much like his brunette mom did, and still does, for him. He goes to reach out for her but stops at the buzzing feeling in his hand, obviously from being too close to the border. He can hear the buzzing coming from the magic that the border puts off, and, like most times that he came close to the border in his life, it freaks him out a bit.
"Hey, kiddo?" His voice is quiet as he rocks the foot closest to him. The tiny foot falls limp, and for a moment, he's scared that the little girl is dead. Adrenaline along with fear cloud his mind as he reaches out to pull her into his arms, disregarding the magical danger all together.
Once the child is away from the boarder and into the almost 13-year-old boy's lap, he quickly checks for a pulse, and, upon finding one, sighs in relief.
Slowly standing, he cradles the small, blonde-headed girl to his chest, convinced that his family will take her in until they can get her healthy and back to her family, whoever they may be.
With that thought in mind, he walks back to town with the girl wrapped safely in his arms.
A/N: Alright! So, 5 reviews for the first goal! If the goal is broken twice in a row (the minimum will always be 5 reviews) then I will probably stop writing this story, because that makes me think that people aren't interested!
On another note entirely, I won't be able to update for the next little bit because I'll be in Europe, so I won't have any reception. I will be back the second week of August, though, so you won't have to wait long! You all are great, and I'm so glad that you read this, even if you didn't review! I do seem to have quite a few followers and favorites, so I thank you all for that! :) You're great!