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Aug. 25th, 2013

; mirror mirror

ignoring the switch [[closed to Emma for H&M]]

When they get back to the hotel, Regina goes about their normal routine (which they're still working on as they get used to things), and starts their laundry before going to the bedroom. Slipping the skirt and blouse off, she puts on clothes that she's only bought recently at Emma's encouragement - soft cotton, grey shorts and t-shirts for lounging in. It's a change for Regina, clothes that she's trying to get used to.

She's still feeling a little thrown by Granny though, and she lets out a breath, sitting on the edge of the bed. Emma did help her feel better, and she smiles just a little, remembering her words, that she's always safe with her.

Aug. 3rd, 2013

; offering an apple

[[closed to Emma Swan for H&M]]

Regina's breath catches in her throat as soon as she hears Emma say the words. I want you.

Tugging at Emma's hand, she leads her toward the hotel, but a part of her, for once, just wants to be spontaneous. It's Emma that brings it out in her, and she pauses between two buildings, kissing the other woman in the dark, a hand cradling the back of her head.

Jul. 7th, 2013

; sitting on her throne

late night stroll [[closed to Emma for H&M]]

Not having much to wear other than pants, dresses, and skirts - all of which Regina knows are ridiculous for a walk - she puts back on the shorts she wore to the picnic. Her top though, is peasant cut and white. Somehow, more casual than the picnic, but still expensive. It's cut lower and for a moment, she feels almost uncomfortable. But she goes downstairs anyway, realizing that the feeling in the pit of her stomach is eagerness.

Because heels seem silly to wear for a walk too, she's wearing flats - another first. She's finding herself doing a lot of firsts when it comes to Emma. Entering the lobby, she waits, not surprised that Emma's late. Her back is the elevators, head down as she waits.

Jun. 27th, 2013

; giving snow the apple

for H&M

Regina had noticed, long ago, that there was a piano in the lobby of the hotel. It looked similar to the one in her home in Storybrooke, but truly, the only common fact about either piano is that she'd never really touched them. She knew how to play, and play well, because her mother had demanded it. Piano lessons from four to eighteen that ended only then because she'd married King Leopold. And he constantly enjoyed putting her on the spot, demanding - not asking - that she play for guests. She loathed it (she loathed him) and so, though a piano had appeared in her home with the curse, she'd never touched it. She'd toyed with the idea once of teaching Henry, but she didn't want him to hate something as strongly as she had. The fact that he might enjoy it never crossed her mind.

Now though, as she walks to the elevators lost in thought, she pauses to regard the instrument. Not playing never meant not having an appreciation for the music, and she did still enjoy piano sonatas especially. With everyone working on a Thursday in the middle of the day, the lobby of the hotel is relatively empty except for comings and goings, so she sits on the bench and lets her fingers hover over the keys. It's been such a long time, but closing her eyes, she lets herself settle, then looks down, pressing the notes and feeling the give under her hands. It's more cathartic than she realizes, perhaps because she's not being forced to play, and as the music fills the room, Regina's thoughts wander. Specifically, to Emma Swan.

She can't help a falter in the notes as she scowls for a moment before pushing on with the song. But she can't deny what the woman said. They stopped the fail safe. Together. Regina's magic alone wasn't enough, Ms. Swan's magic alone wasn't enough. No magic in any land should have been enough. There were two things though, that Regina had never counted on: That the fail safe would ever be out of her control, or that she would ever have true love again.

Banishing the thought, she shakes her head at herself. There was nothing of the sort between she and Ms. Swan. And yet...

The most powerful magic of all is true love. She'd said that, or words similar to Snow White once. But that couldn't be the case with this woman that infuriates her, and challenges her, and pushes every single button known to Regina.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out, Regina continues playing, trying desperately not to think about it for now.

Cora, fresh from a magic session with Merlin (relearning was harder than she thought it would be, and never did she think she would wish for Rumpelstiltskin’s tutelage again) paused in the lobby of the hotel, closed her eyes, and listened. She knew right then, that her daughter was playing. A sound that she hadn’t heard since before her banishment through the looking glass. Stepping forward and around the corner proved what she’d already assumed, and she listened for a long while, watching Regina’s face. Her face looked troubled, and while Cora didn’t know exactly what happened on her daughter’s return trip home, she did know thanks to the village wide messenger system that she’d been in the clinic.

Not knowing precisely what that was, Cora had elected to wait. Then, being told there was no contact wanted, she hadn’t reached out. But now, she watched. And when her daughter stopped, she cleared her throat.

Regina’s back naturally straightens at the sight of her mother, realizing too late that she’d been slouching slightly. “Mother.”

Cora walked forward at the acknowledgment. “You play beautifully. You always did. Your father always loved listening to you play.” A slight dig, she knew, but she didn’t say anything by accident. Ever.

Swallowing, Regina looks down. “I never told him that I hated it, because it was the only time you let him sit with me.”

Reaching out, Cora placed one hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “Learning to play was good for you. It gave you a skill.”

Shaking her head and barely keeping from rolling her eyes, Regina shifts on the bench, away from her mother. “I can ride. I can read and write. Those aren’t skills?”

Cora sighed, and though she knew Regina’s scooting over wasn’t an invitation, she sat beside her anyway. “You’re putting words in my mouth.” She glanced at her daughter’s hand, then back up, out into the lobby at large. “I see you’ve already removed your wedding ring.”

“And how long did you keep yours?”

Cora stiffened, but only a bit. “I don’t like seeing you hurt.”

At that, Regina can’t contain her hollow laugh. “How can you be serious? You killed Daniel. I held him in my arms as he died, and you don’t like seeing me hurt?” Her voice is raised, but she lowers it out of respect. “The only thing you ever wanted to see was me on a throne. And now I know. I know everything mother, so please. Stop.”

She didn’t like this, not knowing what Regina did, and Cora focused on what she did know: That Regina was aware of her lack of heart. Literally. “Do you know why I removed my heart?”

“Because love is weakness,” Regina parrots.

“Because I let Snow White’s mother treat me like I was no better than the dirt on the bottom of her shoe. I let your drunk grandfather offer me to the men at the tavern for mead. I swore that I would never let my heart or love for anyone keep me from making my way right to where I wanted to be.”

“What could loving me have done to hurt you?!” Regina cries out, unable to help it.

Cora looked down, not saying anything for a few beats. “It ensured that I would never stop. No matter how much you begged and pleaded, you would be queen. And you would never know the life I had. Ever. I wanted - and still want - the best for you.”

Regina slumps again in defeat, closing her eyes. “You want what’s best for you. I won’t pretend anymore that anything you do is for me. Not while you don’t have your heart.”

“You want me to put it back in? Is that what you’d prefer?” Cora asked.

There’s a long, long pause then from Regina, then finally, she speaks softly. “Mother. I gave you your heart. I put your heart back into your chest.”

What?” Cora said, her voice louder than she intended it to be. “You foolish...” she stopped then and took a deep breath. She didn’t know the circumstances after all. Perhaps it had been agreed upon.

There’s a tear streaking down Regina’s cheek that she doesn’t even bother to wipe away. “You looked at me the way I’d been dreaming you would since I was a little girl. You looked at me and you smiled. You really smiled at me, and it was...it was everything that I wanted.”

Without her heart, there was no emotion to be felt at Regina’s words, but she could see that her daughter was distressed. “And then? Am I now the mother you always hoped for?”

Regina just stares at her mother, at the tone of her voice, and perhaps that’s what keeps her from putting her words delicately. “You’re dead.”

That, she hadn’t been expecting, and the color drained from Cora’s face. “...How?”

Now, Regina turns away again, closing her eyes tightly. “Me.” Then, her face darkens just a bit. “Snow White. She cursed your heart and tricked me into giving it to you.”

Standing abruptly, Cora stared at her daughter. “You see? Do you see where your weak heart leads you? Was it worth it? You cry when I’m cruel and now you cry because I’m gone. You can’t have it both ways, dear.”

Regina lets out a gasp as her tears come quickly. “We can! Here. Things can’t be changed at home, I tried, but here...you have your heart, it isn’t cursed. Please. Mama...please.”

“I won’t listen to this,” she snapped. “You don’t want a mother, you want a friend.”

“No!” she cries, and Regina stands now too, to face her. “Do you realize what has happened to me? What I’ve endured because of you? Because of what you wanted for me? This is a chance for things to be different! For you to know your grandson, why won’t you take it?”

Cora walked up to Regina, one hand going to her face, cupping her chin in her hands. “My darling girl, as long as I know that I’m in control...I won’t give up what I know I have.” Power over her daughter. With no heart, she won’t be blinded by anything else. “I know that I would love you if I had my heart, and now you’ve seen it. Let that be enough.” She turned to go, smoothing out her dress.

“Please,” Regina whispers again. “I’m going to lose everything. I’m going to be tortured. People are going to take my son. Please give me this.”

Tortured. The word hung in the air, and Cora, feeling what she could feel, felt rage. “And if I weren’t dead, I could make them pay. I could keep Henry safe. That’s what you did when you gave me my heart.” With that, Cora turned and walked away, not bothering to continue the conversation. Though the look on her daughter’s face would certainly stay with her.

Once her mother goes, Regina sinks back onto the piano bench, breath coming too quickly even as she tries to keep from breaking down. She can’t get to her room quickly enough for her liking by walking, so she uses her magic, leaving in her wake a cloud of purple smoke. And then, in private, she covers her face in shame and cries.

Mar. 12th, 2013

; in mayor mode

a need for comfort [[closed to Daniel for H&M]]

In light of recent events and another conversation with her mother, Regina has been tense. She feels as if she's waiting for something to happen, whether it be the return of Cora's magic or something equally horrible. There's conflict too, in knowing what it's like to want to change, but not being given the chance by anyone.

She's so lost in thought as she washes dishes, that she doesn't realize until it's too late that the sink has started to overflow with water. Cursing softly, she turns the water off and stands with her hands on the counter, closing her eyes for a moment and trying to relax. She can't do anything about something that hasn't happened yet, but should she be taking measures to ensure nothing ever can? Regina hasn't been in a position to simply not know what to do in a long time, and the constant questioning is starting to take its toll.
Tags: ,

Dec. 12th, 2012

; in mayor mode

take this empty heart [closed to Daniel for H&M]

(continued from here)

In the years since Daniel, there have been men she's slept with to be sure. But they were conquests; hardly even lovers. Men whose hearts she took and commanded to love her. She felt nothing lasting, only distraction for a while until she dismissed whomever had taken to her bed that night.

With Daniel, even an errant touch makes her heart jump, and now as she lies beneath him everything feels new again. She hasn't loved (or been loved) like this in forty years. A lifetime of not feeling; of no simple human connection. A part of her never wanted it; never wanted this feeling if it wasn't with him. She loved him, even as she was unsure about the things she'd done and the decisions she'd made, the one constant through everything has always been her love for Daniel.

Regina's hands move under his shirt to rest on warm skin, and she takes a deep breath, her eyes searching his as a small smile graces her lips.
Tags: , ,

Aug. 5th, 2012

; in mayor mode

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