She had lingered outside his cell, in the dim light of the lamps, alone because she’d sent away her escort while she listened. Alone, because she had known, even then, that she would turn on any guard who mocked the Thief’s pain. He had cried in breathless, racking sobs that had gone on and on, long after she thought he would have exhausted himself. Finally he had slept, but the queen had not. The sound of his tears had kept her from sleep that night and woken her from nightmares since that evening she’d heard them.
“The second night you repeated the same words over and over. I think the fever had set in by then. Do you remember what you said?”
She knew every one of them. His voice, broken and stumbling, had filled her dreams until she had wept in her sleep, crying tears for him that she’d never been able to cry for her father or for herself. “Oxe Harbrea Sacrus Vax Dragga…” she began.
69 - Swan Queen :) (bonus points if it's Emma saying it to Regina)
Emma took a little too long to notice. But when she did, she marched across Regina’s office and tried to grab at her hand. “Why the hell are you bleeding?”
Regina glared up at her from her desk. She was doing her reading one-handed. But she was no worse for it.
But, against her will, Regina let her examine it. The bandage was sodden with blood and she winced as Emma opened it up.
“Regina, this needs stitches.” Emma looked around. “The dressing needs changing, at least. Do you have a first aid kit?”
“I said I was fine, Miss Swan. Do you need your hearing checked?”
Emma ignored her, and started to roll up Regina’s sleeve, finding yet another cut. Another bandage barely doing its job.
“Regina! What the hell…”
Regina yanked her arm away.
“Seems to me you need a lesson in personal boundaries.”
“That has to hurt,” Emma said. “Why are you so afraid to be human? I can take you to see Dr Whale right now.”
“Not on your life.”
Regina headed towards a far cabinet, and struggled one-handed to pull out the first aid kit. She refused Emma’s help and began to wind another bandage over her wound, roughly. She tried very hard not to let the pain show. When she looked back over at Emma, she found the other woman glaring.
Emma let out a breath, staring up at the ceiling in frustration.
“If someone hurt you, I need to know. You have every right to personal safety in this town, same as anybody else.”
“Thank you for that rousing speech,” Regina said, her voice cracking a little despite her attempt to be unmoved. “But nobody hurt me. It was….an accident.”
“I don’t believe you,” Emma said. “And if you don’t tell me the truth right now, I’m calling Dr Whale and getting him to make a house call with his home sewing kit.”
Regina glared at her, but Emma simply stared her down unflinchingly.
“Fine,” Regina said. “But you won’t like it.”
Emma crossed her arms, looking even more determined. Regina wanted to growl.
“I made a few miscalculations, and this is the result. It’s nothing to be alarmed about.”
“This was a…magic thing?”
“All magic has a price.”
“Yes yes, I know. I’ve seen The Craft.”
Regina glared at her.
“Do I look like a ninties goth chick to you, Miss Swan?”
“Honestly?” Emma said. “A little? I mean, the way you looked in that…you know.”
She made a motion near her breasts, and seemed to regret it instantly, blushing. Regina fought the urge to smile.
“Excuse me? The Evil Queen was not some poor-me trailer park goth chick.”
Emma smiled beatifically, and Regina realized she was being toyed with. She sighed.
“So, a spell?’ Emma mused. Regina nodded, rolling her eyes. “Is that why you can’t heal it?”
“It’ll be fine in a few days.”
“Presuming you don’t bleed to death first.”
“Oh honestly, it’s a cut. Don’t be so melodramatic.”
“It’s a gash, across your whole hand!” Emma said, looking frustrated. “And your arm. And more, probably. Because I can tell when you’re hiding shit.”
“Am I meant to check with you every time I do a dangerous spell?”
“Yes!” Emma hissed, and then she faltered, blushing a little. “I mean…God Regina. I just….”
Regina watched her, warming a little at the way Emma looked at her in concern.
“It isn’t as bad as it looks, Emma.”
“Yeah?” Emma said, looking disbelieving. “Would you even have told me if you were doing something that could get you maimed? Why would you even do this?”
“It was just a little protection spell,” Regina said, forcing the words out. “Ok?”
“No, not ok. What the hell, Regina? Protection from what?”
“Well you may have noticed how often we are in the path of general calamity?” She sighed. “Is it too much for me to want my son and his mother to be safe? I don’t think it is!”
Regina paused then, realizing what she had admitted to. She felt her face grow hot, and she looked away. At the wall, at the floor. Anywhere but Emma.
“You wanted to protect me?” Emma said, in wonder.
“Of course I did,” Regina said, trying to sound haughty. But her voice wobbled a little. She felt Emma rather than saw her when she came closer. Letting out a breath, she allowed the comfort of Emma’s hand on her shoulder.
“It goes both ways, Regina,” Emma said softly. “Remember that.” And Regina tried to remain unmoved, but the warmth in Emma’s expression took her breath away. She merely nodded in response. And Emma let out a sigh, looking back down at Regina’s injury.
“Now, I am going to dress that properly,” she said, giving Regina a firm look. “And you are going to shut up and let me.”
Please send help, it’s almost midnight and I’m arguing with the cat as to whether she’s allowed to use my right arm as a pillow for the rest of the night. I’m typing this one-handed. She may be winning.