Regina's POV

We had been waiting for almost three hours. Luckily I had brought my laptop so I could try and get some work done, but I just couldn't seem to concentrate on my work right now, not with everything going on. Yes it was true that Emma wasn't my favourite person in the world, after trying to steal my son and everything; but that doesn't mean I don't care about her. She was Henry's second mother after all, and as much as I hated to say it, she was family. Nobody deserved what happened to Emma, I just hope the damage isn't permanent.

After reading the same paragraph for the fiftieth time, I close the document and look up from my laptop to find Henry once again pacing the hallway, waiting for news. He hasn't slept much the last few days, none of us have. I tried to get him to sleep, a couple of times I convinced him, but all he did was toss and turn before waking up crying. He's having nightmares. Nightmares that Emma dies, nightmares that they never found her in the mines, nightmares that he was trapped with her. He doesn't sleep, it's too painful, all he does is pace up and down the halls, waiting for news.

Emma woke last night. She had been in a medically induced coma, so her body didn't go into shock, and had time to heal before she had to deal with her injuries. She had sustained some internal bleeding which had been operated on immediately, along with a few sprains and scratches. The biggest injury was yet to be known. Upon bringing Emma to the hospital, the doctors had examined her and forewarned us that Emma may have sustained damage to her hearing. The explosion had caused her ear drums to burst, and there was no knowing how or if Emma would be able to hear. That was part of the reason why the doctors had kept her in the coma. If she woke before, and couldn't hear, the stress of this could cause her body to take longer to heal. She needed all the strength she had if the worst became inevitable. The doctors had examined her ears while she was unconscious, however the only way to know for sure was to have tests done with Emma awake. Today was that day.

I wasn't allowed in the room when they woke her, and we all agreed it best that Henry be exempt too. There was no knowing how Emma would react, and there was no need for Henry to see that if worse came to worst. Snow had informed me it was the right choice. Her and David had exited the room, both very upset, obvious that they had both been crying. Snow explained that Emma couldn't hear anything at this point in time, and they needed to take her for further testing. Henry had asked Snow how Emma had reacted, if she was ok. Snow had just smiled and assured Henry that she was fine, and that she had to have some more tests done. David had taken me to the side and explained to me exactly what happened, out of earshot of Henry. He explained that Emma had been extremely upset, and very confused, which is to be expected. Mostly, she had cried, already accepting the fact that she was deaf before the final tests were carried out. I can't imagine how it must feel like to be in her position. She must be so scared. I could feel my chest feeling tighter, and a lump form in the back of my throat, but I couldn't let my emotions show. I had to be strong for Henry. I had to show him that everything was going to be ok, no matter what.

David and Snow had accompanied Emma for her hearing tests. Henry and I waited. It was all we could do. Wait, and hope that everything was going to work out.

I looked around the hallway, wondering how much longer it would take. Maybe they found something that could help her, and had gone in to fix it straight away? I tried to believe that, or any other positive reasoning as to why it was taking so long. Every time though, it came back to the same answer. No. They hadn't found a cure. No. They weren't celebrating and thanking the doctors and forgot to tell us the news. No. I knew the answer.

"Gramps!" I turned my head to the left, following as my son ran down the hallway towards David. I stood up and made my way over to him, meeting him halfway. "How is she? Is she ok? Did they fix her?" David looked down at Henry and smiled at him, ruffling his hair and holding him close. The smile was a mask. My answer was in his eyes.

It was four days ago when we had first heard of the accident. Henry and I were sitting down for dinner when David had called. Emma had been called to the mines for a disturbance. All they knew is that she went into the mines where an explosion had gone off and collapsed on her. David had called from the hospital. He told me we didn't need to come and he would let us know when he had more news, but how could I just sit at home and wait? Henry couldn't do it, and neither could I. Telling Henry that his mother had been in an accident had been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I will never get the image of his face out of my mind when I told him. He was heartbroken and so scared. I never wanted to see my baby boy in that much pain again, but as I watched as David tried to explain to him about Emma, I knew I wasn't that lucky. Once again I saw the confusion in his eyes as he tried to decipher what he was being told, and then the realisation that overtook. His lip quivered and I could see he was trying to be brave. He turned his head away from David and looked at me, tears slowly starting to creep from his eyes and down his cheeks.

"Mom?" His voice trembled as he took a step towards me. Within seconds I was kneeling on the floor, holding him close. Once Henry calmed, ok truthfully, once all of us calmed down, David continued to explain. The tests had confirmed what the doctors had guessed. The explosion had damaged her hearing and she was now permanently deaf.

"But, how will we talk to her?" Henry whispered from my embrace. He looked between me and David, waiting for an answer. How was he supposed to communicate with his mother? It was an important question.

"Well…" David began, "I guess for now… we can write for her? Get her a book maybe? Or, um, a small whiteboard… eventually she will learn sign language, and we will too, and that's how we will be able to talk to each other." He explains.

"Can she still talk? If she can't hear how can she know she is talking or not?" He asks curiously. These were all very good questions, ones I hope David had the answers to.

"Yeah buddy, she can still talk. She'll just sound a little different than usual though, because you're right, she can't hear herself, so it makes it a little hard. But she can still talk to us, we just need to help her so she can understand us too."

"Through writing and sign language?"

"That's right." He smiles, rubbing Henry's back.

"Mom? Don't you know sign language?" Henry turns to look up at me, as does David.

"I do." I say simply.

"You do?" David asks quickly. Before I had time to explain further, Snow appears in the hallway. It is evident from her smudged makeup that she has been crying again. Henry runs over to her and gives her a hug. She relaxes into him, and it's obvious that that is exactly what she needs right now, comfort.

"I want to see her." Henry states, looking at all three of us with a stern expression.

"I don't think that is such a good idea Henry." Snow says, "She's not doing too well right now."

"I need to see her! She needs to know that I'm here for her! She needs to know it's ok." He is stubborn, I'm not sure who he gets that from. The stubbornness from Emma I think, that look of determination, that's all me. He's definitely my son right there.

"Henry.." Snow leans down to meet Henry's eyes, "Emma is not taking it well right now. She is angry and upset. You don't want to see her like that." She says softly, trying to reassure him that he should wait.

"No. She needs me." Henry responds, sticking to his ground. She looks over to me and I just shrug. I know my son, I know that he needs to do this. There is no changing his mind. I don't know how he will react to seeing her, but I know he won't stop trying until he does.

We walk to her room, and Snow gently opens the door. Henry creeps in, looking back at me nervously. I smile at him from the doorway, and that's all the courage he needs to do this. Emma is sitting on the edge of the bed, her back to us. Snow walks over to her slowly, ensuring she comes into her view before doing anything else so Emma knows her presence and doesn't get startled. Snow grabs the board from the table and writes two words. 'Henry's here.' Emma reads the board carefully, and slowly turns her head in the direction of Henry. I can see that he is scared, but he smiles at her and goes to take a step forward, but stops immediately as Emma starts screaming.

"How could you bring him here? I don't want him to see me like this! Go away! Go away!" she screams over and over, throwing the board across the floor, and shaking Snow angrily. I yell for Henry to come to me, and David runs to separate his wife and daughter, but Henry ignores me. Instead he walks over and grabs the board that has been tossed to the floor and writes something down. Slowly he walks over to where David and Snow are trying to restrain Emma. Without words, he pushes himself in between them and holds the sign up in front of him so Emma can read it. 'I Love You'. He just stands there, holding up the sign, and waiting. When Emma finally meets his eyes, he passes the board to David and wraps his arms around her, holding her tight. I wipe away the tears that have fallen down my face as I watch my son comfort Emma. He pushes her back onto the bed and climbs up with her, lying her down, still holding her closely. She begins to cry into him, pulling him closer. I glance between Snow and David, and we all realise one thing. Henry was right. She did need him.

Hope you like it!