ficlet by mauraraydor:
“Have you ever been in love before?”
“Yes,” you say quietly, “once.”
“Then you’re lucky,” she tells you. So were you, Abigail. “Because what I’m coming to understand is I haven’t,” she tells you and your heart constricts a little inside your chest. “But what they have it’s real, it’s true. My marriage to David it just, it was like an illusion. I don’t know how it happened but it was never real.” She sighs quietly and you feel something inside you break for doing this to her, “The way David looks at Mary Margaret, that’s what I want for me,” Open your eyes then, I know I still see you the same. “And I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna find it.”
“What are you talking about?” you question with a sense of panic inside your chest.
“I’m sticking to my plan and moving to Boston,” No, please, stay, “alone. If I stay here I’ll never be happy.”
I can make you happy again, Abigail, if you’d only give me a chance. “And what about David?”
“I wrote him a letter,” her eyes drift away, “him and Mary Margaret. I told them they should be together.”
“I-I’m sorry you did what?” you ask completely confused.
“I can’t see him, not now it’s just too painful,” Believe me I know. Her arms wrap around your neck and yours instantly settle around her waist though a little awkwardly at first because you aren’t used to her body being pressed to yours anymore, to the smell of cherry blossoms and lavender and something completely her. “I’m gonna miss you Regina,” she says against your ear and you try not to think about the long years you’ve been missing her, the fact that until you found out she was David’s wife you thought she was dead. “You’ve been a good friend to me,” the words are meant in kindness but they cut you to the core, I should be more than your friend, Abby, so much more.
“You’re really going?” you question and try to keep your true feelings away.
She chuckles a little, “It’s funny, I’ve always had this irrational fear of leaving Storybrooke. Like something’s just holding me back,” there’s hesitance in her voice now, “Is that crazy?”
You give a small chuckle now, “No, change is always frightening,” If only you knew how frightening, Abby. She nods a little and somehow you know you have to let her go, “But you know what Kathryn,” and it takes all the effort in the world to get out Kathryn and not Abigail, “This just may be what you need.” You smile at her while your heart breaks, “Maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for.”
You make it through the rest of the afternoon and all the way home, thinking about calling her only a few times, before you reach for your phone the first time.
You’re in your study and Henry is upstairs finishing his homework since he saw Dr. Hopper today so you’re all alone with your thoughts, your memories.
Memories of a beautiful blonde princess riding a grey dapple mare alongside your faithful chestnut gelding. Memories of a beautiful night spent laying beneath the stars as your mother and father talked with King Midas and the two of you slipped away. Memories of the first time you called her Abby and the smile that lit up her features and your world. Memories of your mother finding the two of you settled under your apple tree, Abby’s back resting against your chest as the two of you discussed the future. Memories of a promise that King Midas would never allow the two if you to be together. Memories of Abby’s father smiling as he saw how happy you made his daughter and that happiness causing him to give his blessing. Memories of waking the next morning to find Abby and the rest of King Midas’ party gone and your mother’s assurance that you would never see your princess again.
Abigail had been taken away then but you had let her walk away this time, just let her walk away from you. You shake your head, you have to stop her. You dial the number from memory, not because you’ve dialed it so often but because you almost have too many times to count. “Hello,” her voice sounds almost like music, just like it did when the two of you used to be happy.
“Kathryn,” your voice is quiet, almost breakable.
“What is it Regina?” she questions and you can almost hear a slight fear in her voice.
“Can you come back?” you say still just as quiet. “At least for the night,” you find yourself picking at invisible lint on your skirt, “There’s something I really need to talk to you about. You can stay here and leave in the morning.”
You don’t know what it is, the vulnerability you can hear in your own voice or maybe Abigail’s own feelings but you hear her quiet, “Sure, Regina,” and the fist that’s held your heart so tightly for the past few hours loosens it’s hold a little, “I’m almost to a place where I can turn around, I’ll be there soon.”
As the line clicks off, the two of you never say goodbye, you hear Henry’s footsteps on the stairs and he appears in the doorway. “I’m headed to bed, Mom.”
You smile at him, “Alright, Henry,” he actually moves toward you, surprising you with a hug. You kiss the top of his head, he let’s you, “Sleep well, honey.”
“You too, Mom,” he’s at the door when he turns back to you, “I’m sorry she left, Mom, I thought she’d stay.”
He reads you just as well as your father did, “She still might,” you tell him simply and he smiles at you then.
“I hope she does, Mom.”
You nod, your only concession that you hope she does too. As the minutes you thought it would take turn to hours you feel worry creep into your chest. You want to go look for her but something tells you not to leave Henry tonight, something that knows fate better than you do. Instead you wait and you keep your phone in hand hoping she’ll call and tell you what happened, that she’s alright.
The ringing of your phone wakes you, though you only dozed off an hour ago when you could hold your eyes open no longer, and you snatch it up, “Hello.”
“Mayor Mills,” Sidney’s voice drifts through the phone and something causes your heart to clench, “I have some news I thought you should hear.”
Your temper is short you know you won’t be able to handle his simpering today, “Spit it out, Sidney, what is it?”
You hear his deep intake of breath, “They found Kathryn Nolan’s car this morning.”
You feel everything crumbling around you but you still manage to say, “Thank you, Sidney,” and close the phone before you sink down onto the couch behind you once more.
“Mom, I’m gonna be late,” Henry calls before appearing in the doorway. He watches you a moment but says nothing, “What happened?” he finally asks.
You shake your head and look over at him, “I’m not sure yet,” you tell him as you stand. You stop in the doorway, hugging him, surprised when he doesn’t stiffen at your touch, “Come on, I’ll drop you off on my way to the Sheriff’s office.” He nods and leads the way toward the car, I will figure out what happened Abigail I promise.
“Have you ever been in love?” “Yes. Once.”
Once Upon a Time (AU): Queen Regina/Princess Abigail
We might never meet again.