“Please Regina, you know I wouldn't ask if I wasn't desperate” Snow pleaded desperately as she stood in Regina’s kitchen rocking baby Neal’s buggy in hopes that he'd stay asleep long enough for her to have a conversation with her former enemy.
“I don't know what you expect me to do!” Regina responded with a raised voice. She almost felt guilty as she saw Snow’s sad face looked even sadder. She wanted to help Emma truly she did but she'd already tried to let Emma know she was willing to listen when she was ready to talk. Emma had just completely ignored her offer and Regina had respected her choice to keep things to herself.
“Just speak to her. Find out what's going on, make sure she's ok.” Snow pleaded frantically, making a conscious effort to keep her tears at bay and she continued rocking the buggy, her focus solely on the sleeping baby in front of her.
“She's anything but ok, she's a mess!” Regina spat out before she had time to filter herself. She had never been good at sugar coating things, especially not when it came to the Charming’s or their daughter.
“Regina...” Snow half pleaded half warned as her tears began to fall.
“Snow you need to face this. Emma isn't in a good place. She's a mess. She's hiding away from everyone. She won't even let Henry close. Since the pirate left she's been even more distant.” As she spoke Regina walked over to Snow and placed a hand on the other woman's shoulder, squeezing it lightly and offering her a forced but reassuring smile before looking in the buggy at the still sleeping baby.
“I don’t even know why he left. She just said things between them didn’t work out and then he was gone. Surely that can’t be all there is to it. She literally went to hell and back for him”
“She was always too good for him. I asked if he hurt her, she promised me he hadn’t done anything, but that was all she said” Regina said sincerely.
“I don't know what to do. I'm her mother. I should be able to help her but she won't listen to me. She brushes me off with a fake smile and ’I'm fine’” Snows sobs escape her lips as her tears fall freely “I don't know what to do” she finally managed to say as she brought her hand up to rest against the one Regina had placed tentatively on her shoulder.
“Just let her know you’re there for her. She'll speak to you when she's ready. She needs some time and space. Just don’t give up on her” Regina tried her best to reassure the desperate woman. She knew Snow loves her daughter deeply she just doesn't think she really understands her that well.
“I'll never give up on her.” She manages between sobs.
“I know you won't and deep down she knows that too” Regina knew Snow loved Emma and it broke her heart to see her friend so heartbroken.
It was shocking how far they had come, from enemies to friends. She really did see Snow White her once arch nemesis as her friend and not just a causal friend. Snow White was one of her best friends, they were family.
“Do you really think so?” Snow looked Regina in eye her lip trembling and eyes wet.
The hope evident in her eyes almost brought a tear to Regina’s eyes. “I do and I will try to speak to Emma but I won't push her and if she she's not ready to talk then you need to accept that”
“I just need to know she's ok”
“I'll try” Regina squeezed Snow’s hand one final time before moving across the kitchen and silently making a cup of tea for them both.
Once the drinks were ready Regina and Snow sat together at the kitchen table. A familiar silence fell between them neither wanting to say the wrong thing.
A baby's cry broke the silence and Regina had never been so relieved for a distraction. “I'll get him” she said before adding a “if that's ok” with a hopeful smile.
“Sure” Snow returned the smile.
Regina lifted the grumpy looking 8 month old from his buggy and held him against her chest. His grumpy face immediately morphed into a happy one as he played with Regina nose while babbling away.
Regina took her seat across from Snow, while making fish faces and making crazy eyes at the little boy. “Hello little Man. How’s my favourite Charming today?” she asked in a playful voice.
Snow smiled happily as she watched Regina interact with the now smiling baby. “You’re good with him” Snow stated matter of factory as she took a sip off her tea.
“I can't believe that Henry was ever this small.” Regina said with a big smile on her face as she watched the boy in fascination as his tiny hands stocked her face gently.
“Well he's definitely not small anymore. He's taller than both you and Emma.” At the mention of her daughter’s name sadness washed over the pixie haired women.
Regina stopped making faces at the boy and turned him to sit on her knees so he was facing his mother. “Snow I promise you I will do anything in my power to help you with Emma. But I need you to know that I can't break her trust. If she does tell me something I'll encourage her to talk to you but I won't tell you anything without her consent.”
“I know that. I just need to know she's ok and I know that if she'll talk to anyone it will be you.”
Snow had spent a little over an hour with Regina before she had to leave to get the baby home for dinner and bed. Regina had reluctantly handed the happy baby back to his mother after placing a loving kiss on his soft face.
“Thank you for today Regina. I'm sorry for bringing all my problems to you like this.” Snow said sheepishly.
“You don't need to apologise, if I can help I will do.”
Once the baby was strapped into his buggy Snow gave the other woman a hug before whispering a final “thank you”
At first Regina felt a little overwhelmed with the hug but soon relaxed into the other woman’s embrace and returned the hug timidly.
Since their return from the underworld Regina and Snow’s friendship had grown immensely while Emma's and Regina’s had been on hold, but then it seemed like Emma's whole life had been on hold lately.
She had promised to help Snow with Emma and she intended to keep her word but she wasn't entirely sure how she was going to do that. Her plan was to go around to Emma's house the next day and hope she'd be invited inside for a little while. That was as far as her plan went.
When Henry retuned home Regina was busy in the kitchen stewing her apples while waiting for her dough to rise.
Henry sat down at the kitchen table while filling his mother in on the adventures of his day. Regina listened eagerly asking questions through the conversation.
“What are you making?” He asked with a smile.
“Pasta bake is in the oven for dinner and I'm sorry dear but this is for your mother”
“Ma will share with me! What is it?” He asked hopefully.
“Apple bear claws”
“Wow she'll love them” He said with a big grin. “Thank you for looking out for her”
“You don't need to thank me Henry. She's my friend. I want her to be happy.”
“I know that but still just thanks” he said with a shrug before giving his mother a small hug.
Regina returned his hug and kissed his forehead “go wash up. Dinner will be ready in five minutes”.
The pair ate dinner together before Henry finished his homework just in time to catch Regina putting Emma's bear claws into Tupperware containers.
Henry smiled at her with his puppy dog eyes in a silent plea.
“Fine you can have one then its bedtime for you” she said attempting to sound stern but with a big smile.
“You’re the best” he said before taking the pastry from the Tupperware and stuffing it straight into his mouth.
Regina was mortified at his lack of etiquette but couldn't hide the smile as he reminded her so much of his other mother as he scoffed the apple pastry into his mouth.
“These are amazing” he said with a still full mouth “Ma is gonna love them” he offered his mother a thumbs up while still chewing on his food.
Normally Regina would have given him a lecture about manners but she was too distracted with worry about his other mother to deal with it so instead she smiled at him lovingly.
She tossed and turned all night. Planning out how things would go with Emma. She played out about ten different scenarios on loop until her alarm sounded and it was time to get up and make breakfast for her and Henry.
Once they were both fed, Regina dropped Henry off at school before making her way over to Emma's house.
She took a deep breath and knocked on the door “here goes nothing” she whispered to herself as she waited for the blonde to answer the door.