The shaking of the wagon was terrible. Emma had already felt sick earlier when she had pushed her hand into the thug’s chest and this ride made her positively seasick. She pulled Regina’s upper body into her arms and pushed herself to the middle of the head of the wagon, both her legs stemmed into the sides of it. The shaking lessened and she pulled Regina tightly against her, whispering soothing words unto unconscious ears.
“You’re gonna be all right,” she whispered. “I promise, I’ll get you to Henry in time. He’s gonna save you, Regina.” She repeated these words over and over. Her mind focused on what had to be true. She trusted Mulan, she would do everything in her power to help Emma save Regina. Because she understood.
But it took so long, waiting in the back, not even able to look outside as the wagon was like one of those things you saw on westerns, with a roof because people slept in it. She could only look out back and nothing looked familiar and nothing looked in the least note-worthy.
“You know I thought about what you said on Easter, that we should have all our holidays at your house because your kitchen is bigger. I don’t think so. My kitchen’s big enough to cook in it. We’re only three. I know you only want to be at the mansion ’cause you know where everything is and everything is there and it’s where you put it. You have to give up some control sometimes, Regina,” she rambled and she didn’t care.
“I know that you need that, control. I know because I feel the same way. We’re pretty alike in some ways. Don’t scowl, you know it’s true. We both have abandonment issues from our childhood. Your mother’s never been there for you and, well, my parents weren’t simply there. And I know that you blame yourself for that, but, please, don’t. I’ve forgiven you, you know. I really have. You have to forgive yourself for some of the things you’ve done because... because I know you think that people can’t love you if they know. But the thing is...,” Emma stopped, not even sure she could say it while the other woman was unconscious and couldn’t hear her.
“The thing is Henry loves you. And he wouldn’t if you weren’t loveable. You know how smart he is. He’s a lot smarter than either of us. I don’t know where he gets that, really. Probably from all the reading he does ’cause let’s face it, I’m not that smart, Neal’s not that smart... and you sometimes lack a little sense. Don’t be mad, you said so yourself, on Henry’s birthday. I think you’re smart. And I think you’re loveable ’cause.... ’cause I love you, Regina.” Emma closed her eyes. She was breathing heavily into Regina’s hair from just the exertion of having made the confession.
“I love you. I know you think I’m crazy, and obnoxious, and disorganized, a little lazy. I’m not saying you’re wrong. And I know... I know you couldn’t love me ’cause of all those things. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t love you ’cause I do. You’re amazing.”
For a while, Emma simply held Regina. She stared out of the back and thought about all the ways Regina was amazing, about the things she had admired her for pretty much from the first. And, yes, she had admired her, even though she didn’t want to.
“You did a great job with raising Henry, you’re still doing it. I know it hasn’t been easy on him with the curse and I know you have regrets but he turned out good... I know ‘well’, he turned out well. Stop correcting me all the time. It’s annoying, but it’s okay. I know you do it for my own good and for Henry, so that he doesn’t grow up butchering the English language like I do. You’re good at scrabble. I know I say I hate you for it, but I don’t. I don’t hate you at all. Do you know that I still have that shirt of yours? I’m not wearing it anymore but it hangs in my closet. I’m afraid I’ve gone all ‘Brokeback Mountain’ on you with that shirt. I love it. I’d actually thought of wearing it on Christmas, you know, just to see your face. And then I thought you wouldn’t like it, or wouldn’t recognize it. Do you even know what I’m talking about?”
Emma smiled to herself, thinking about how she’d ended up wearing one of Regina’s shirts. This made her think of Regina wearing it, how she had looked, how she always looked just perfect.
“You are so beautiful. I know you know that. Nobody who dresses like you wouldn’t. You know exactly what to wear and how to wear it. You have great taste but I like you best in jeans and a simple top. When we’re at the mansion or at my place, just hanging out, relaxed. When you smile, and when you laugh. When you tell me something I didn’t know about you. Sometimes I can’t breathe properly because you take my breath away, especially when you smile. Or when you... when we tease each other and you go all ‘what did you just say to me?’ And sometimes you roll your eyes at me, you do that a lot. Am I really that horrible? I know you like me, don’t even try to deny it. You like me because Henry loves me and you trust his judgment. And because I make you laugh. And because I love your food. You love to cook for me, I know that, even though you always complain when I come for dinner. I know you like me.”
Emma shook her head.
“I know you can’t love me, Regina. Not like I want you to, but you like me. I’ll always be your friend and somehow we’ll get back to how we were before we left Storybrooke the other day. When you’ll be all right, if you want we can leave tomorrow, right after Henry woke you up. If you want to leave just wake up, Regina. I need you... to wake up. Henry and I need you. Can you imagine the kind of student he will be if you don’t. He’ll turn more and more like me and then we’ll just hang around the house all day, playing video games or watching movies without any motivation to do anything. You have to come back to us. We love you, Regina. We love you...”