A Heart for a Heart (Once Upon a Time)
AN: Alright, I've had this one sitting in my folder of rough ideas for years now and I figured that I would finally do something with it. So I polished it a bit and am now putting it out there for you all. I hope you enjoy it!
It hurt, it really hurt. When Graham, her reluctantly faithful Huntsman, walked away from her to go and join Emma, Regina had felt something that she hadn’t thought herself capable of feeling any longer. Like her heart was being squeezed just like she was about to squeeze Graham’s. And as she stood in her vault beneath her father’s tomb, as she held Graham’s still beating heart in her closing fist, she found herself thinking about her past and all the things that had been taken away from her, all of which now included Graham. The rage that welled up inside of her was what finally tipped her over the edge to end the Sheriff’s life without mercy.
As she walked out of her father’s resting place while wiping her hands clean of the ashes of Graham’s heart she found herself preoccupied,
‘Why can there never be anyone for me that I can actually keep near me?’ Regina thought furiously, though with more than a dash of sadness added in. Stopping for a moment she looked up to the starry sky and closed her eyes while her inner monologue continued, ‘Everyone I love or care for somehow either leaves me or dies. First Daniel, then later Kurt and Owen, and now even Henry wants to leave me…’
“Why can’t I ever have someone just for me? Someone that would be there for me, someone that couldn’t be taken away…” Regina said aloud as her thoughts gained purchase in the air, “I wish I had someone who loved me and would never and could never leave.” Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the Evil Queen never noticed that there was actually someone there that was listening quite intently.
This single loud and resonating word startled Regina out of her thoughts and as she opened her eyes and looked forward she saw what could have been a young woman if it weren’t for the glowing eyes filled with menace and the fact that horrific burns and scars covered every inch of her skin.
“What!?” Regina uttered out in shock, “What’s done? What’s happening?” At this the ‘person’ before her gave a dry cackle before she responded with,
“Your wish mortal, you’re about to get your wish,” the being before the Mayor said, “A life for a life… Have fun now!” With that the apparition was simply gone as if she had never existed to begin with, and Regina was just about to shake the whole experience off until she could better think when there was a rumbling caused by the ground starting to shake a bit while the smell of ozone became prevalent in the air around her. At that moment a small vortex unlike any she had ever seen before opened up right in front of her; then there was a scream and a man fell out only to land hard on the ground.
“Ouch… What the hell hit me this time?” the new arrival asked a moment after the vortex that delivered him closed and he opened his eyes. His gaze locked with hers and for some reason his next words surprised her, though given very recent events they really shouldn’t have. “Huh… Hey pretty lady; you didn’t happen use the ‘W’ word now did you?” Then he passed out cold and after a shocked moment Regina reached for her cell phone to call an ambulance.
“So how is he?” Regina asked as Doctor Whale stepped towards her and away from the bed holding the mystery man.
“Physically, he’s fine. Well, I suppose anyway. Mentally though… That I’m not so sure about.” The doctor said after a moment as he continued to examine the initial medical reports he held in his hand.
“What do you mean?” The Mayor asked, stepping closer to the man so as to better take him in now that he was in a proper light. He was lean and relatively well-built with a ‘not quite bronzed’ tan. He had dark brown hair and scruff, and from what she could see of him with his shirt off he possessed more than a few scars. But there was one feature about him that really caught her interest, and that was the odd scarring around one of his eyes.
“Even though he was unconscious when he was brought in I can tell you that this man has been through quite a lot in his life. He has an estimated 20-25% of his skin covered in one type of scar or another, and after the initial testing we found that he has at one point torn multiple ligaments and tendons. That and the definite damage that has been done to one of his kidneys and a part of his liver...” Dr. Whale listed off as he gently shook his head at the fact that the man he’d been brought in this late at night to take a look at was in as good a condition as he was all things considered.
“So what is your final prognosis, doctor?” Regina interrupted with more than a little bite in her voice. She could more than see that extensive damage had been done to the younger man in front of her and she didn’t feel that she needed the details. This particular night had been long enough.
“He’ll live, he will just be pretty sore in the morning.” The doctor said while trying to look nonplused by the interruption. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do considering that Sheriff Graham’s body had been brought in not a few hours ago right before this particular man.
“I’m sorry doctor, I know after what happened tonight… I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that.” Regina said as she brought forth a sad look that for the life of him actually looked genuine.
“No, I understand. You of all people are probably the most hurt by the Sheriff’s passing.” Whale said with an appeasing gesture, his own gaze turning down a little at the thought of the now passed man.
“Indeed,” was all Regina said as her eyes went back to the strange man that the universe almost literally thrown at her.
Now what was she going to do?
AN: So? What did you all think? Trust me I would like to know. See you all next time and here's to wishing you all only the best! ~Semet