A/N: Hello there my dearest readers! So, after being given too many wrong feels during the 3x22 finale, I've decided, the muse with me, to write a chaptered story that will eventually give Regina her overdue happy ending. Bear with me, because these first chapters will hurt. Because she hurts.
1. First sunset
Her heart ached. Ached so badly her whole body was numb.
As Emma walked away from her wrath, all she felt was tired. Tired and heartbroken.
And he was standing there, barely a feet away, his arms around the woman he had loved and missed so much. Not sparing her a single glance.
No. It hurt too bad.
So Regina whirled on her heels and exited the diner quietly, making sure no one and certainly not him noticed her departure.
But she quickly proved to be wrong when the door opened behind her and two figures followed her silently, making her stop on the pavement and turn around to shoo away these trespassers.
Her brown eyes, almost dark in the night, widened when she saw Henry. And Emma, but mostly Henry.
He smiled sadly at her. "Mom?"
And just that, just that word, she let out a cry, trying to muffle it by putting her hand before her mouth.
And her baby, her son, came to stand in front of her, grabbing her by the shoulders and drawing her in for a hug. "It's okay Mom. I'm here."
She let go, holding onto him for dear life. Her son. Who believed in her no matter what. Who loved her no matter what.
Above his shoulder, she could see Emma, standing awkwardly there, her hands in her pockets, a sorry smile on her lips. She looked almost as pained as Regina felt.
So the former Queen untangled herself from her son, keeping his ever growing hand in hers, and sighed, her eyes meeting the Saviour's. "It's alright, Miss Swan." Her voice was as broken as her heart. "I understand your motives."
"Really? 'Cause right now, even I don't..."
"Really. You are not called the Saviour for nothing."
Emma smiled again, this time a little more genuinely, and turned around.
Regina's eyes widened when she realised what she was doing. She looked aside at Henry. "You're coming home with me?"
Emma looked over her shoulder and grinned. "I've had him for a year. I think it only fair you have him for at least a week. Besides, you need him more than I do." And she entered the diner again.
Henry leaned over, whispering in his mother's ear. "And she wants to be alone with Killian tonight."
Regina rolled her eyes. "Finally? It only took her so long!" But the thought of Emma being finally reunited with who she knew deep down to be her True Love made her heart ache with renewed strength, and she doubled over with a yelp.
"I'm okay, Henry, don't worry..."
He sighed, helping her up and starting to walk towards their home. "No you're not. Come on. I'll take care of you."
Her house felt far too empty when she arrived. Far too quiet when Robin's laugh didn't echo in the kitchen as they washed the dishes only a night prior. Far too empty when she didn't see him sitting on the couch, smiling up at her in a silent invite to join him.
And as Henry led her straight to her bedroom, it was smelling far too much like him. Because yes, that night, he had stayed. And for the first time in years, for the first time in her life perhaps, someone had made love to her.
And now, all of that just hurt too much.
She backed away from the room silently and headed to Henry's. Her son followed, a silent understanding in his eyes.
As she lay in his bed, his own scent still embedded in the covers as if he had never left, she outstretched a hand.
He smiled and kicked off his shoes, joining his mother in the covers, an arm wrapping around her waist as she drew him in, his head cradled to her chest.
"I love you Mom."
She gasped, tears starting to fall onto her cheeks and wetting the top of his head. "I love you too, Henry."
He held her tighter. "Try to sleep. I'm here."
And that, as small as it was, her baby in her arms...she fell asleep.
A dreamless sleep.
Courtesy of the part of the heavens that still didn't try to break her piece by piece...