Title: Come Into BeingFandom: Once Upon a TimeCharacters: Regina Mills, Emma Swan, Henry Mills, Prince Charming, Snow WhiteCategory: Fluff, Angst, Season 3 Fix-It FicRating: PG-13Word count: 33,608 (Total)Summary: Regina Mills wakes up alone on one of the most important - and terrifying - days of her life. But it isn't all bad. Not until things take a turn for the worse. It was a long journey to get to where she and Emma Swan are now. Will it all have been for naught?Spoilers/Timeline: Post Season 3/ 10 years down the roadAuthor’s Note: Aw, man. Writing's been something I haven't done much if any of the past few years. So how did I dive back in? With the Swan Queen Big Bang: Banging All Summer, of course. And it was a total blast. Many thank yous to the organizers. They did a wonderful job.Many, many thanks to ohthesefeelingz for betaing this monstrosity for me, and to ludivinelaurel for her encouragement and support throughout writing this thing. I was feeling pretty jammed with this fic when I got her note cheering me on.Warnings: Non-graphic mention and reference to the non consensual nature of Leopold's relationship with Regina.
When Emma got the phone call, it was a fucking relief, best sound she'd heard all day. It was sweet salvation to be rescued from Mary Margaret's clutches. If Mary Margaret had once had doubts about Emma's relationship with Regina they were long gone now and Mary Margaret had thrown herself into helping with her only daughter's wedding with an enthusiasm that was more terrifying than an ogre with anger issues.
Regina had refused to rescue her, saying she wouldn't deprive Snow of her daughter again, and smiling a smugly satisfied smile. Emma's stomach had churned, but it was the smile on Regina's face that had left her glaring. Amused and unsympathetic was not what Emma was looking for. Kathryn and Henry were the only two who would be with Regina before the ceremony and neither would fuss over her and primp her hair or tell her nauseating platitudes about true love and the wonderfulness of life until it made her want to punch something in the face. Really hard.
So when the phone call came, Emma snatched up the phone right away. "Sheriff Swan." She listened for a moment, glancing at Snow out of the corner of her eye, considering how much she would need to sell it to escape without managing to raise Mary Margaret's suspicions. Then her attention sharpened. It seemed lying wouldn't be needed. "Magical mayhem. Right. That sounds serious. Text me the address and I'll be there in five."
"Emma," Mary Margaret protested. "Oh no you don't. Let David take care of this. You have a wedding to get to."
"Sorry, can't," Emma said, not sounding apologetic at all. "You know I need David working security for the wedding. I don't need anyone deciding today is a good day to pick up old grudges. I've got this. I'll be back in plenty of time, Mom. The wedding's not for hours."
"Emma..." But Emma didn't wait to see what else Mary Margaret had to say, already slipping out the front door. There was that whole better to ask forgiveness than permission thing, although Emma didn't feel like she needed either. What she needed was to escape before she screamed and this was the perfect opportunity.
You so owe me, she sent the text off to Regina on the way to the patrol car. She had been saving it back in case she needed to make a quick getaway from Mary Margaret's overwhelming tendencies but this would work too.
Hardly, dear. Don't be late. The reply came back in an instant, the phone vibrating in Emma's hand in a short sharp burst to get her attention. She smiled down at the message and took a quick second to answer her.
No way in hell.
***. ****. ***
“Sherriff!” Her title greeted Emma like a cheer as she stepped out of the patrol car. Despite it’s jovial tone something about it set Emma’s teeth on edge. Years before she had become Storybrooke’s sheriff, Emma had learned to pay attention to hunches like that. They had served her well more often than not, and over a decade of trying to bring order to a town full of fairytale characters with a variety of irritating magical talents and complex feuds had done nothing but reinforce those instincts.
It was obvious the party had been going on for some time. Trucks and cars were parked in a loose, chaotic semicircle around the small clearing. Music blared and a few girls danced laconically in front of them. Bottles of beer and wine were scattered all around, carelessly discarded and there were more than a few red solo cups in the hands of kids Emma knew were far too young to be drinking. It was a call about a magical disturbance that had brought Emma out here but so far she hadn’t seen anything but some underage drinking and a party that was going to get out of hand. Irritating, time consuming, and the last thing she needed on her wedding day.
“Alright, everyone. Listen up!” Emma yelled. When it did nothing to penetrate the volume of the music blaring from the vehicles, Emma sighed. She wasn’t ready to just start arresting kids. There was only one of her - and several dozen of them. She had faced worse odds, but this wasn’t about survival. This was about paperwork and there was no way in hell she wanted to stare down that multi-headed monster. Three more always appeared whenever one was finished.
Emma put her fingers to her mouth and let out a piercing whistle. She might have given it some extra magical oomph, because this time it did manage to cut through the noise. She waited until the sound had died down and everyone had to face her. The slowly dawning looks of horror on some of their faces were her favorites. Oh yeah, she still had it.
“Shut that music off,” she called, gratified when two boys ran to do what she had asked. It took a moment but when they were done, Emma stepped forward to the center of the clearing. It was a risky move, putting some of these kids at her back and Emma wouldn’t have done with any other situation. But these were kids she knew, had seen around town. They weren’t dangerous magical beings from the Enchanted Forest. They were the children of those dangerous beings. They had mostly all grown up in Storybrooke, not exactly with Henry - most of these kids were younger than him - but around him, participating in the same school plays and sitting through a million assemblies. So she was going to give them a choice, because it was her wedding day and she was feeling…generous. Yes, generous, not lazy at all.
Emma was still going to take the moment to instill a little healthy fear of Storybrooke’s Sheriff in them. She put a little extra swagger into her step as she walked, and rested one hand on the gun in her holster. She had a sword in the patrol car for problems that required a more specific solution, but when she was here in Storybrooke, she still favored her gun. There was something satisfying about using it to break up Theseus and the Minotaur. Or you know, Aladdin and Jafar.
“You all know who I am,” Emma declared. There were groans and nods and several people started talking all at once. Emma held her hand up quickly to cut them off. If the situation fell into chaos, she would never get them back to where she wanted. “And if you know that, then you know that today’s my wedding day. To the Evil Queen.” Emma managed not to wince. She hated using that title for Regina now and never did, but if leaning on her soon-to-be-wife’s badass reputation would get her out of here and little faster - and Regina never found out - it might be worth it.
Looking around the clearing, Emma met the eyes of everyone that she could, letting them see just how unamused she would and encouraging them with the weight of her gaze to imagine just how unhappy Regina would be if she was late to her own wedding because of this mess. “Thing is, I don’t really want to be out here. So how about you all just pack up your vehicles, find someone who isn’t drunk to drive you, and go home. So I don’t have to deal with this to-” Her attention had still been drifting across the crowd as she spoke, out of habit more than anything else. Her gaze landed on a teenage boy - a head shorter than those around him, scrawny and with a shock of blonde hair - his eyes widened with fear. Puzzled, Emma cocked her head, trying to figure out why he was so frightened. Light exploded out of his hand in a shower of multi-colored sparks. It wasn’t directed at her from what Emma could tell, just an explosion of color and sound.
“Okay, you need to get that under control,” Emma started to say, moving forward to push her way through the crowd to him. She wasn’t sure who he was - though she’d seen him around town before - or what his powers were. But he looked more frightened of what he had done than anything else. His eyes comically wide as he stared at his hands. The look on his face when he saw her coming was worse. He didn’t wait to see what she was about to say and do. He bolted.
“Shit,” Emma swore as she tore after him. The moment they both lurched into motion, the crowd scattered, everyone running in different directions. At first they were just scrambling to get out of Emma and the boy’s way. The moment he had started running, he had started leaking magic again, pouring out of him in fits and starts. Then people started ducking for their cars. A girl slipped, someone screamed and the whole thing dissolved into chaos. Emma slowed enough to yank the girl to her feet and then dove back in the direction the boy had gone.
She slammed into him as she charged around the corner of a pickup truck. His wide eyes looked just as startled as she was. Emma had an instant to realize he had probably been trying to hide from her around there, taking advantage of her distraction, before magic exploded in her face. The light was so brilliant it blinded her. Emma threw her arm up instinctively to protect herself, flinging up a magical shield with it, but she was too late. His magic slammed into her, throwing her into the air. Emma had a half-second to try and stop it or slow it, but the necessary concentration slipped through her fingers. She hit the ground hard, her head snapping back as she landed and smacked into a boulder with a sickening crunch. Pain exploded behind her eyes and darkness consumed her.