Author: A. Magiluna Stormwriter
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 24 December 2012
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairing: implied Regina/Emma
Word Count: 3857
Summary: Henry makes a Christmas wish on a falling star.
Spoilers: Takes place after episode 02x09 "Queen of Hearts," so consider the entire series up for grabs.
Warnings: No standard warnings apply.
Website: ShatterStorm Productions – Doggie Duo
Link to: http://bdkk.shatterstorm.net/
Archive: ShatterStorm Productions & AO3 only…all others ask for permission & we'll see…
Feedback: Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW12
Author’s Disclaimer: "Once Upon a Time," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, Kitsis/Horowitz, and ABC Studios. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "Once Upon a Time," ABC, or any representatives of the actors.
Author’s Notes: This is based on an idea that my friend Brit and I wanted to RP for a Swan Queen story, but we didn't get the time. So I decided to try my hand at it as a story. This ended up much longer, and yet not long enough, than I'd planned. Maybe I'll expand on it, maybe not. We'll see.
Dedication: For Brit, for initially coming up with such an awesome idea with me in the first place. And my muses, as always…
Beta: shatterpath, as always, but all remaining mistakes are entirely mine. Constructive criticism will get errors corrected more quickly than anything else
By A. Magiluna Stormwriter
"Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight."
++ Henry ++
I feel like a stupid kid as I stand out here in the cold, dark night, staring up at the stars in the sky through a light dusting of snow. I should be inside with everyone else, doing all of the Christmas Eve celebrating, but it just feels too crowded. I told Gramps that I needed a little air, and he totally understood, practically pushing me out the door with a promise that he'd run interference with Emma and Gramma if they asked.
There are a couple of wispy clouds way up high, skittering across the nearly full moon. They have nothing to do with the low, full clouds that are releasing the snowflakes falling all around me. There must have been more clouds out here a few minutes ago, because I don't remember it being this bright, but they're not here now. I think I'm grateful for that.
I can hear them laughing inside. I bet Grumpy or Granny is telling some story that I'm probably better off not hearing. I'm okay with that. They've all been so good to me tonight, making sure that I have enough to eat and drink, keeping me occupied, but something hasn't felt right at all.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Emma and Gramma are home and safe. But everyone is here tonight for this celebration. Well, there are two glaring exceptions: Mr. Gold and my mom. Mr. Gold did make a very brief appearance with Belle before they went to do whatever it is they're doing tonight. So I guess that means that Mom's the sole exception. And no one inside seems to care about the fact that she's all alone tonight.
No one except me.
I should be with her tonight. Right about now, we'd be sitting down to our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of roast beef and all the yummy vegetables that soaked up all that beef juice while everything baked. Just the thought of it makes my stomach growl and clench uncomfortably, and not just because I miss the meal either. I don't even know if she made dinner tonight, given that I'm not there. Or if she bought any Christmas presents or decorated the house. That sick feeling in my stomach hits again, and I wrap my arms around myself tightly as my eyes drift skyward once more.
The falling star catches my attention and I remember something Mom taught me when I was just a little boy. Without thought the words tumble from my lips, Mom's voice echoing mine in my head as the lyrics are said. I close my eyes tightly and think about my wish. As I do, I remember something that Mom once said when she thought I couldn't hear her, and it gives me an idea.
"So I know this is probably really foolish and all," I say, opening my eyes to stare up at the sky again, "but I'm gonna give it a shot anyway. If fairies and falling stars can grant wishes, you've fallen down on the job for my mom. She deserves to be happy and get her happy ending, just like the rest of us do. I know she did some really bad, evil stuff in the past, but she's really trying to be better now. She's even been working really hard at redeeming herself for me. She kept her promise to bring Emma and Gramma home, and she could have died doing it."
I pause and close my eyes against the tears I can feel all of a sudden. "I-- I haven't been the best son to her, and I feel really bad about that. I just don't know what to do to redeem myself for it, like she's been doing. I guess… If you're listening up there, could you please just grant this one wish? All my mom wants is to be happy. Right now, that's all I want, too. I don't need any other presents than to have my mom get her happy ending. I guess that goes for Emma, too. They both deserve it, and I know… Well, I know that they can help each other so much if they'd just try."
++ Emma ++
Glancing around the diner, I can feel my eyebrows pulling together in a frown. Where the hell has my son disappeared to? We're about to do the weird little open a single present thing that Mary Margaret has been waiting for all night. Henry should be here for this. Using a reload from the buffet table as an excuse, I case the joint and come up empty with regard to that boy of mine. As David walks by -- I really can't call them Mom and Dad yet, it's just too weird -- I catch his eye and motion him closer.
"Hey, Emma," he says with a broad smile, leaning over to press his lips to my cheek. "Having fun tonight? Random Gift is about to start."
"Yeah, it's been great. Do you know where Henry is? He should be here for this, but I can't seem to find him."
Something flits across his face briefly before he answers, but I can't quite name the emotion associated with that look. "He was feeling a little crowded and stepped outside. I thought he'd be back by now, but I can still see him out there, so he's fine."
"Okay, thanks," I say with a grin of my own and feel some of the tension ease in my shoulders and chest. "I'm gonna go get him so he can participate."
Before he can answer, I head outside without my coat since I don't intend to be out there for long. Coming up behind Henry, I can hear him talking and I slow down in curiosity. The weight of his words hits me like the proverbial ton of bricks, and I feel sick to my stomach for not insisting harder that Regina be allowed to come to this little shindig. They all had no issues whatsoever letting Gold come by, regardless of how short a visit it was, but they were all so adamantly against Regina even being invited that I just took the coward's way out and backed down from the fight. The fact that Mary Margaret used those big old puppy dog eyes of hers didn't help at all.
The fact that I can hear tears in his voice makes my decision for me. We'll do this Random Gift thing, but I'm going to insist we go first, then we're heading over to the mansion. No one should be alone on Christmas, not even the Evil Queen of fairy tale and legend. David and Mary Margaret can just deal with the fact that Henry won't be at the apartment tonight. I'll probably go home, but he'll stay with his mom, where he should be tonight anyway. And I think I'm just going to ignore that whole "help each other" thing that he just said. I think I'm way too sober to contemplate exactly what he means by that.
++ Blue Fairy ++
Ever since the curse was broken, things have been very tenuous within Storybrooke. Magic is, as the Dark One likes to say, unpredictable here. The fact that he and Regina tried to take all of the diamonds for their magic has not been forgotten by anyone here, despite whatever intentions they may have had toward that end. They still did something that shouldn't have been done with such subterfuge.
No one knows that I have been regaining my powers ever since the curse ended, especially these two children that think they are so very powerful. No one knows the truth about me in this town, and I don't know that they'll ever need to. The Dark One knows that Reul Ghorm is a fairy and more powerful than he is, but he doesn't know her identity. My identity. He also doesn't know that, like Regina, I retained all of my memories when the curse was enacted. In his blind need to find his son, he didn't take into account that my magic is stronger, older, and trumps anything he tries to do.
I have tried to remain neutral and let the course of events flow as they're meant to. Having some gift of foreknowledge has been both blessing and curse to me, but it is part and parcel of the role Fate has delivered to me. Sometimes Fate can throw a curve ball even to me, and so I find myself coming upon the boy outside Granny's Diner as I take my nightly walk through the town. I manage to keep myself shrouded from view, something that allows me the opportunity to observe these people that I have been charged with protecting and watching over.
There is something about his stance that calls to me, and I let loose just the tiniest bit of magic to create the falling star. I know very well what his adopted mother taught him as a tiny babe, and I think he is due a wish granted after all he's lived through in the last year and more. But his words, as loud as a shout in my ears despite his low, reverent tone, strike with the accuracy of a viper. He's absolutely right about my actions regarding every wish Regina's ever made. He just doesn't understand why I did what I had to do. I doubt many would.
The fact that a boy his age is more interested in his mother's happiness -- both of his mothers' happiness -- than presents at Christmastime is powerful. The look on the Savior's face as she stands behind and hears his plea may be even more so. There are things about the Savior and the Evil Queen that no one else knows, not even the Dark One or the Queen of Hearts.
Decision made, I allow a brief flourish of my hand, sending out the required magic to set this wish's conclusion in motion. No one needs to know how it came about, just that it has.
++ Regina ++
I don't even know why I bothered to make this meal. I'm the only one here tonight, and I highly doubt Henry's even let a single thought stray my way, let alone toward the meal we've had every Christmas Eve for the last ten years. I'm sure his Charming family has spoiled him absolutely rotten on sweets and presents, while alternately tainting his heart further toward me. I have only ever wanted the best for him, but that hasn't mattered to him ever since he received that damned book from his grandmother.
The food is sitting on the island to grow cold as I try to decide if I should package it up and freeze it or just throw it all away. I have absolutely no appetite tonight, choosing instead to drown my sorrows in alcohol. Sensations are both blunted and far sharper than I care for, but the night is still young and there's quite a bit of alcohol in this house to be imbibed. Eventually, I'll just pass off into an inebriated, fitful slumber. Or perhaps this will be the night that I drink enough to just not wake up. I'm sure that would make things so much easier for everyone in this damnable town. Clearly nothing I do will suffice as just penance for my past deeds.
The knock at the door startles me from my darkening thoughts and I wonder if it will make any difference if I just blast the carolers into dust. Before I can even get to the steps, let alone descend them, the door is thrown open and I can see two very distinct shapes silhouetted in the moonlight. Anger and pain slice into my heart, rushing to the surface with such intensity, and I don't even realize that my grip on the goblet in my hand has increased until it goes flying from my hand toward that mane of blonde hair.
"Mom!" Henry shouts, turning long enough to shove at Emma before he races up the stairs to my side. "Mom, don't!"
"What do you want?" I growl, unwilling to take my eyes from the mossy green ones staring back at me in shock and pity. "Come to get the last of Henry's things, have you?"
She doesn't say a word, just stands there and stares at me. Clearly it's the alcohol making me imagine the glassiness in her eyes that can only come from the formation of tears. She and her parents have made it abundantly obvious that they don't care about me, so the tears must be some sort of coercion tactic for Henry. She may be able to fool him, but I won't be so easily duped.
"Mom, that's not why we're here." Henry's voice is accompanied by a sharp tug on my arm, pulling me back from the stairs. The movement tears my eyes from hers and toward his. There are honest tears in his dark eyes, and I feel the instant pang of remorse for potentially causing them. "Please, just stop. We came so I can spend Christmas with you."
It takes a moment for his words to sink in. When they do, the surge of hope burns away any trace of intoxication and I pull him into a bone-cracking hug that he returns. I don't want to let go of him, fearing this is all just some alcohol- or depression-induced fantasy. Only when he squirms in my arms do I finally release my grip.
"Can I come in?" comes the quiet request from the doorway. I want to refuse, but I know that would only upset Henry and make him regret coming here, so I simply nod. She steps inside and closes the door behind her, but doesn't move any closer just yet. "Somebody should probably clean up that broken glass out there, but I have a feeling it's totally buried in the snow already."
"Well, some things are easier to cover up than others," I reply, suddenly feeling too tired to fight with her. I press a kiss to Henry's fore head and try to make my smile for him look convincing. "Are you hungry, Henry? I just pulled the roast out a little while ago. I hadn't even gotten the chance to carve it yet."
His face lights up just like it used to. "You still made it? Can we eat it now? Can Emma eat with us? I promise I'll even clean up and do the dishes when we're done."
I can't even begin to think about refusing him when he looks so happy to be here for the first time in months. "You don't have to clean up, but we can certainly all sit down to dinner." I glance curiously at the blonde at the foot of the stairs. "If you're interested, of course."
She smiles up at me shyly and nods. "It smells fantastic and beats all the nibbly stuff they had at Granny's." Her smile falters a bit. "Just for the record, I tried to get them to invite you, we both did, but it got shot down. I'm sorry. It was a shitty thing to do."
The table is set and the food dished out to the happy patter of Henry talking about all sorts of things. I can't even follow half of what he's saying, but revel in the bright, sunny tone of his voice. Emma has been uncharacteristically quiet, following my instructions without pause, but I can feel her eyes following me when she thinks I don't notice. We share our meal in comfortable silence when Henry isn't regaling me with tales of his horse and sword fighting practice. He sounds so happy, and I have to force back the tears.
I send them off to the den to find a movie while I clean up after dinner, but Emma refuses to leave right away. Henry comes running into the kitchen before Emma's even finished helping me clear the table. There is a crestfallen look on his face and I feel my heart seize up.
"Mom, where's the tree?" he asks softly, and I can see that he's fighting the urge to cry.
"I didn't think you'd be here," I finally admit slowly, swallowing back my own tears, "so I couldn't bear to decorate."
Startling me with her voice, Emma says, "Then let Henry and me do it for you while you finish up in here. Just point me in the direction of the decorations and we'll take care of it. Do you have any Christmas music to play?"
"I can show you where it is, Emma," Henry says before I can formulate a reply. "And I know where Mom keeps her Christmas music. But you can't come in the den till we're done, okay, Mom?" I nod and swallow the lump in my throat. "Good. We'll play the music loud enough for you to hear it, but I'll come get you when we're ready for you."
++ Henry ++
We only have the little fake tree that usually stays in my bedroom, but it's enough to decorate so that there's a tree to put presents underneath. We put as many of Mom's favorite ornaments on it as possible, as well as decorating the whole room like she likes it. Emma runs out to her car to grab the bag of presents I've been squirreling away with my allowance money from Gramps, as well as the stuff that Emma bought for Mom that she clearly intended to be from me. I feel weird that I can't find anything from Mom to put under the tree in her normal hiding spots, because it hurts to think that I upset her enough not to decorate.
We finally finish what we can and I smile as I find Mom's White Christmas DVD and cue it up. Emma settles on the couch with a smile and motions me toward the kitchen. Grinning sheepishly at her, I nod and head out of the room. Stepping into the kitchen, I can still smell the roast beef in the air, but now it's mixed with the familiar scent of hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies. Mom's making a tray up for us, and I can see she's nervous, which makes me smile even more.
"Hey, Mom?" I ask softly, trying not to startle her. "We're ready for you. Can I carry the tray in?"
She smiles and runs her hand over my hair. "It's a little heavy, Henry. Do you think you can manage?"
Pulling myself up to my full height, I grin broadly at her. "I've been learning how to fight with a sword and it's made me strong. I can do it, but first I want to take you in there." I walk over and grab her hand. "Close your eyes and let me guide you. I want you to be surprised." I'm kind of startled that she even does as I ask, but don't question it as I lead her slowly toward the den. Once she's in the doorway, I stop and wink at Emma. "Okay, Mom, open your eyes."
"Oh, Henry," she says in a breathy tone as she takes in the transformed room. "This is absolutely beautiful. You've both done a wonderful job. Thank you."
Emma smiles and shrugs her shoulders. "I just did what the kid told me to."
There's such warmth to the smile on Mom's face at Emma's words. I haven't seen that smile in a long, long time now, and it makes me glad that we're here. Without another word, I lean up to press a kiss to her cheek. "Merry Christmas, Mom."
When Emma stands up and comes closer, I can feel Mom stiffen slightly. It gets worse when Emma brushes her own lips against Mom's cheek. As she pulls back with a soft smile, she points up to the mistletoe I made her hang.
There's no malice to Mom's tone and I just laugh as I point toward the couch. Without complaint, she goes to sit down and I run back to the kitchen to bring in the tray of goodies. Settling it on the coffee table, I grab a throw pillow and set it on the floor in front of the television.
"So movie time now," I say as I grab for my cocoa and a couple of cookies. "I know we normally do a present on Christmas Eve, but I don't need to do that tonight. We can save them for tomorrow." I can't hide the faint fear in my voice at the thought that there's nothing for me to open, but know that I don't deserve any presents after the way I've treated her.
"You'll have presents in the morning," she says softly and blinks several times. I know she's trying not to cry, and just smile encouragingly at her. "And maybe Santa will stop by tonight after all."
We settle into the movie quickly, and I can feel my heart start to ease at the familiarity of our Christmas rituals, even with the addition of Emma in the mix. Gramma had tried to get me to watch this movie a couple nights ago, but I'd begged off because it didn't feel right to watch it without Mom. I didn't tell her that, and I know my refusal hurt, so I'll just have to explain it to her when I see her next.
"Henry?" Emma's voice is so quiet, I barely hear her until she whispers my name again. "Shh, just turn around slowly."
I do as she asks and watch with an open mouth as she gently lowers Mom's head into her lap. Mom is completely asleep and looks so very peaceful for the first time in a very long time. "I can't believe it," I whisper back just as softly as I move to pick up Mom's feet and settle them on the couch. Turning around, I grab the Christmas throw that we normally snuggle under to watch the movie. With extreme care, I lower it over Mom's body. Before I go back to my spot on the floor, I gather up the mugs and napkins and return the tray to the kitchen. When I come back into the den, I can see Emma combing her fingers through Mom's hair, a secretive smile on her face.
++ Blue Fairy ++
There is a subtle shift in the air as I continue my walk through town, stopping in front of the mayoral mansion. I know that the Savior and the boy have arrived at Regina's home; I have known this since the moment they stepped onto her property. The overwhelming darkness that looms over that house has been slowly lifting all evening. Even if I can only give them this one night, I will do what I can to fulfill this wish so desired. I've already done far more than I should, but it's past time that I finally try to right at least one wrong done in the past. Beyond that is outside my influence or control.