i ♥ damaged characters, dark fairytales, thoughtful meta, lit crit, television, shakespeare.
List of favorite Regina’s outfits : dresses in 1x07 & 2x10
you have me right where i want me
sleeping warrior (storybrooke au)
tw: extreme obnoxious fluff
“lan, wait up!”
aurelie shuffles awkwardly up to the dark haired girl ahead of her, hot coffee sloshing over her fingers. “ouch,” she mutters to herself, hurriedly shoving one cup into lan’s surprised hands so she can suck on her singed hand in an attempt to soothe it.
“oh, thanks,” lan says unsurely, accepting aurelie’s proffered gift with that damning gracefulness of hers. “are you okay?”
“i’m fine,” the tiny brunette is quick to assure lan, sucking in a deep breath and shoving her tender hand into the pocket of her coat. “i wasn’t sure how you like your coffee, or if you like coffee at all, so i just got it with cream and sugar, to be safe.” after the words spill out of her mouth aurelie feels like an idiot, a blush pillowing under her skin as she search’s xue lan’s eyes for any indication of gratitude. “i hope that’s okay.”
lan’s eyes smile and the olive skin around her lips dimples when that smile reaches her mouth. “aurelie, what is this about? i appreciate the coffee, but what have i done to deserve it?”
aurelie’s heart pounds painfully into her throat and she swallows, donning a sheepish grin as convincingly genuine as she can manage. “well, you’ve been really helping me out lately, and, um doing really well with your english lessons, so- this is just a small… gift. for your achievements.” god, as if she could sound any more idiotic.
but xue lan’s face glows with subtle warmth and she shuffles her boots against the snow on the sidewalk, clearly flattered. “you are too kind. thank you.”
“it’s the least i can do,” aurelie says earnestly, sobering. “you’ve really become a big part of my life, lan. without you i don’t know how i could have survived marshall’s accident. i know i’ve told you all this before, but you gave me a purpose again, a reason to get out of bed.” o-kay. a little intense there. diversion. joke. aurelie tries to think of something lighter. “so… i bought you coffee.”
she waits anxiously for a shift in lan’s darkened features and finally it comes in a short, hesitant laugh, with which aurelie harmonizes in a giggle.
the two lapse into a lull of silence, eyes cast shyly downward. a flurry drifts from the sky and speckles their hair with snowflakes, melting against the soft puffs of their breath.
“do you want to come over? i have some tomato bisque i was planning on making, and it’s a proven fact that food tastes better when you have someone to share it with,” aurelie chuckles gently.
xue lan nods, says, “okay,” and steps closer to aurelie. “you have a snowflake on your eyelash,” she observes, bemusedly, and reaches forward with callused hands to pluck it off aurelie’s thick lashes. “do you make wishes on these?” she asks, still unfamiliar with storybrooke’s customs. she’s been here for as long as she can remember but she’s always been unsure of herself, steeped in the hazy reflexes of her own culture. it took her months to learn how to speak english and she doubts she ever would have if it hadn’t been for aurelie. sometimes she doesn’t know where she’d be if it wasn’t for aurelie. sometimes she doesn’t even remember what her life was like before she met her.
aurelie stops xue lan’s hand from retreating, holding it suspended over her face. “we can both make a wish on it,” she suggests, face hot with adrenaline. the girls close their eyes and aurelie blows the snowflake off her hand, watching it float down to their feet.
“what was your wish?” xue lan asks, though she knows it’s none of her business, and wishes are secrets not meant to be shared.
aurelie’s teeth tug on her lower lip and she rolls forward on the balls of her feet, pressing her lips gingerly against xue lan’s. she wants to stay there forever, leaning forward against her best friend, her savior, feeling on her lips the taste of magnolias and sunlight, because she’s terrified that when it ends, she’ll have ruined everything.
but when it is over, and aurelie has returned to reality despite the cottony network of fear and giddiness clogging her veins, she is overwhelmed with relief to see that xue lan is smiling.
“that was my wish too,” she says, and aurelie feels her chest collapse with joy.
xue lan leans forward and kisses aurelie again, this time deeper, braver, and aurelie swears she’s going to dissolve.
“only, i do not like tomatoes, aurelie,” she confesses. “would you come to my apartment to share with me some egg drop soup?”
a laugh bubbles up aurelie’s throat and she shakes her head in the affirmative. “i would be honored to go to your apartment and eat some egg drop soup with you, lan.” she can’t pronounce the first part of xue lan’s name, but right now she wishes she could. she wants to scream it at the top of her lungs, sing it to herself every second of every day, inhale it and keep it in her lungs forever.
timidly, aurelie slides her gloved hand into xue lan’s, and xue lan quietly squeezes it.
“then let us go,” the dark haired girl says, and the two set off down the sidewalk, leaving behind them a trail of footsteps that meld indistinguishably together as if they’d never been apart.
manage me, i’m a mess
you want to tell her that you love her, but you can’t.
“ruby? what on earth brings you here at one o’ clock in the morning?”
you’re standing on her doorstep and she’s wearing a loose fitting nightgown, her tired eyes bespeaking a sleepless night, her hair as perfectly coiffed as you assume it was before she went to bed. you know why she isn’t sleeping. you know that the town was all too close to having a bounty on her head. you want to tell her you won’t let her get hurt, but you don’t know how.
“i… i just. um, can i come in?” your words fiddle out of your mouth as if they were never meant to be said, and you find that you can’t look her in the eye, even as she nods unsurely and lets you in.
“now will you tell me what this is about?” she asks, pointedly, those dark eyes searching yours for an answer.
you gulp, ball your fists, lick your lips, shrug your shoulders unconfidently. a sigh squeezes past your clenched teeth. you don’t know where to begin, how to begin, why you’re even standing in her foyer in the first place. your legs just moved and you couldn’t stop them and, well, here you are.
“regina, your curse was a gift,” you start, biting your lip in a mild effort to stop from shaking. “everyone else hates you for it, but i- i don’t. for twenty eight years i got to be normal, i got to have a life free from the wolf. i have you to thank for that.”
regina’s eyebrows tilt downward and her mind chews over your words, unsure how to digest them. “you’re… welcome,” she finally says, but you don’t know if she means it or not. you don’t suppose she’s been thanked very often. “can i offer you some cider, or anything?” her words come haltingly, eyes flicking from the floor to you to the floor again.
“i noticed you, regina,” you say, chest flooding with unbearable heat. “when you came to the diner, i always noticed you. you may not have been polite all the time, and you didn’t always tip well, but i… kind of have a special skill for recognizing a troubled soul when i see one.”
“i’m sorry but i’m not following.”
“i’m saying i noticed you. at first it was just this stupid little crush, but now, after remembering what you did, well, i thought i’d hate you, but i don’t, because- you saved me. so. here i am.”
she’s speechless, mouth parted ever so slightly. you’ve caught her off guard and she doesn’t like surprises, which she tells you silently in her guarded body language and incredulous gaze.
“i want to thank you,” you say, bravely stepping forward. you cock your head to the side, run your tongue over your lips. you’re terrified but you’re running on adrenaline now and nothing can stop you. your hand ghosts over her arm and you lean forward, but she steps away before your lips can meet.
“ruby, i haven’t been capable of feeling those things for a very long time. i’m sorry,” she says, turning her head to the side to avoid looking at your crushed face.
splotches of red bloom under your shamed skin and you back away, winded. “i just thought,” you begin, struggling to keep your voice level. “i thought maybe, before the curse, you noticed me too.” you stop yourself, dismissing your words with a shake of your head. “clearly i was wrong. i’m sorry. i’ll see myself out.”
you hope that she’ll come after you, she’ll apologize and say she’s just not ready, that there is a connection between the two of you but she’s afraid. but she doesn’t. she stands in the hallway and doesn’t say a word, eyes fixed to the ground.
it’s after you shut the door behind you and walk quickly to the edge of the sidewalk that you finally let the tears flow, and allow yourself the luxury of heartbreak.
holding a heart
they call it the fortress, their new kingdom. it takes weeks to track down the survivors of cora’s rampage and when they do, even longer to nurse them all back to health and some semblance of mental stability. there’s only a handful of them altogether, maybe twenty, but with time they’re able to harvest the trees in the surrounding forests and erect a safe haven, successfully managing to keep the ogres at bay, for the time being. fear is never more than a breath away.aurora inspires them with hope, strives with mulan to find a way to join the rest of their people in storybrooke – or, at the very least, maintain a safe place for them all to return. mulan keeps watch over the fortress at night, with aurora stubbornly at her side.
“do you think they’ll ever come back?” mulan whispers, almost to herself, as she stares out into the black abyss that is the forest around them.
she hears aurora inhale, can practically feel her heart thud softly against her chest. she doubts the rush of having held aurora’s heart in her hands will ever leave her, and its memory overwhelms her every time she sees that ivory chest rise and fall. “i don’t know,” the princess sighs, a puff of warm air curling out of between her lips. “but whether they return, or whether we find a way back to them, i don’t believe we will be separated forever.”
aurora glances at her guardian and a faint smile touches the edges of her mouth. “don’t worry, mulan. it’ll be set right in the end.”
“but how can you be certain?” mulan rebuts, rounding on her, eyes bright with worry. “you’ve seen what cora is capable of. who knows if they’ll make it back alive. what if they aren’t strong enough to destroy her?”
“it’s beyond our control,” aurora answers with a little huff, crossing her arms over her chest stiffly. “but for what it’s worth, i believe in them, even if you don’t.”
“of course i believe in them,” the dark haired woman mutters, tartly, “i’ve seen emma’s strength. i’m only afraid it won’t be enough.”
for the warrior to admit to fear is a clear indication that she is indeed very troubled, and for one of the first times aurora bears witness to her carefully guarded vulnerability. her heart, ever bound in gratitude to mulan’s bravery, surges forth like a tidal wave, and she follows the impulse to press her hand over mulan’s. “i’m afraid too,” she admits, eyebrows creased with sincerity. “but no matter what, we’ll always have the fortress, and our people,” she pauses, lifts her gaze to mulan’s, “and each other of course.” the thread of intimacy between them is hot and it burns aurora like the fire in her dreams. she quickly cuts it, anxious and exposed. “and in time we’ll be able to rebuild more. our population will rise too, just yesterday i learned that vasilisa is with child, and – ”
mulan ties that thread back together with their lips, silencing aurora’s nervous ramblings with a brashness she would later repent. but it’s worth it, and aurora tastes like everything she had imagined – roses, sunlight, home. the euphoria shatters all too quickly, and mulan crashes back to reality. she stumbles back, unable to look her princess in the eye.
“i – forgive me, aurora, i forget myself. prince philip – ”
“is dead,” aurora finishes for her, closing the distance between them. she raises her hand to mulan’s face, brushes her cheekbone with her thumb. “philip will always be special to me,” she asserts, gently, “but you will always hold my heart in your hands.”
and when the thread draws their lips back together, they know it will never be shorn again.
"we will rule these people together, mulan," the princess, ever more the queen with each passing day, murmurs softly into the cradle of mulan’s ear, "and no matter what happens, you needn’t ever be afraid."
and in that moment, mulan knows she is right.
let the beast run wild
tw: mature content, dubcon, bdsm
you try not to show it, but she terrifies you.
when she comes to amuse herself with your fragile form you try to take yourself out of your body, try to think of the warmth in snow’s smile or the taste of your grandmother’s favorite soup. you try not to think of the coldness of your cell, the queen’s mouth on your breast, the way the pit of your stomach tightens with fear and want, the way your throat stings with unpurged shame. but your sense of smell tugs you back into reality, tendrils of the queen’s smoky sweet scent curl around your ankles and bind you to the present.
you crave her scent and you hate yourself for it.
the door to your cell creaks and you shiver, squeezing your eyes shut as if somehow that will save you. you feel her presence before you smell her, your phantom hackles rising with poorly concealed vitriol.
her voice, like her scent, is unbearably intoxicating. you drink it in like it’s the last thing you’ll ever smell. “come out to play, my little cub.”
during the first few months of your captivity you tried to fight back, you tried to escape, but now following her orders has become instinct. resisting isn’t worth the retribution it brings. so you crawl forward on all fours as she likes and perch at her feet, head cast down at the straw matting of the floor. “mistress,” you say, and it clatters flatly against the ground.
“why the long face? aren’t you happy to see me?” she clucks, lifting your chin with her slender finger and studying your empty eyes with triumph.
you have nothing to say so you don’t answer. she doesn’t like it when you speak, anyway. you learned quickly not to respond to her questions, her goadings, her jibes and taunts. it’s worse when you talk. easier to forget the sound of your own voice.
it’s moments before you’re undressing under her hot gaze, unperturbed as your only armor falls in a heap to the ground. it isn’t much comfort anyway, a burlap sack would have been more comfortable than the chafing fabric she’s given you. she likes the cuts and rawness of your skin, tells you over and over that if she wants a princess she’ll have one. but she doesn’t. she wants a wolf and a wolf she will get, a little foundling whelp of the forest.
with a snap of her fingers and a current of purple smoke, a studded whip appears in her hand. her smirk is so sinister that you know in this moment she is the wolf and you the sheep. thick silver chains settle about your ankles and your wrists, cold and sharp as a scream. but this is routine. you don’t give her the satisfaction of a tremor. your nerve becomes as stiff as the steel binding you.
the queen cracks the whip, moves toward you. your nose drowns in her fragrance; your flesh prickles in rebellion. “so you are happy to see me,” she murmurs, thumb swirling around your puckered nipple. you don’t react. “do you want me, pet?”
“yes, mistress,” is the answer she wants to hear and the one you give her. you don’t know if it’s genuine or not, and that sickens you.
“good,” she says, satisfied. “i’ve brought you a present. i think you’ll like it.” you can’t read her tone.
this doesn’t fit the usual script of conversation. she may be teasing or threatening, it’s impossible to predict which. your heart rate accelerates without your permission, your nerves threaten to heave into your throat. you’re uncertain of what she means and being uncertain unsettles you. you want to be prepared, to brace yourself. you’re loathe to go in blind.
when she produces a bone from thin air and throws it at your feet, you don’t have time to bristle.
she lurches forward and you disappear inside her shadow.
caught in your riptide
tw: mature content
the first time killian attempts to seduce her, she almost resists.
at dusk he comes to her cottage, gait swinging with purpose, eyes drowned in black. she’s the one he hasn’t had, which of course is what makes him want her all the more, what makes taunting him an especially gratifying pursuit.
“look at that, the infamous queen of hearts has let her hair down,” he murmurs, crossing the distance between them with a few strides, boots clapping against the wooden floor.
it’s true, he’s caught her in rare form, hair tumbling down her shoulders, nightgown hanging loosely against the contours of her frame. she smiles limply and says, “well, it’s not very often that i receive visitors at this time of day. what can i do for you, killian?” she’s in a sour mood today; preserving lancelot’s corpse had taxed her energy and all she wants now is sleep. it seems, however, that captain hook has other designs.
he grins wolfishly at her, raises that silver claw of his and twists a strand of her hair. she levels her eyes with his, lifting her lids tiredly. “i’m tired,” she protests, but it’s weak, for the warmth pooling between her legs is already becoming difficult to ignore. and perhaps this enterprise could help her relieve some of her tension. her lip twitches, she inhales, surveys the rest of his anxious body, exhales.
“you never sleep,” he counters, lips hovering over her ear, breath hot and tantalizing, and in it cora swears she smells the sea.
she closes her eyes as a shiver dances up her neck, the prickled gooseflesh her sign of surrender. killian ghosts his lips over the dip under her ear and cora lifts up the corners of her mouth, this time in earnest. a swirl of purple smoke curls out of her hand and killian is against the wall, ropes of purple binding his limbs. he struggles, but only for a moment, as long as it takes for him to realize he doesn’t want to be freed.
she magics the hook into her hand, saunters toward him with renewed purpose, hitches the metal curve at the top of his breeches and rips down. when he’s exposed, she tosses the hook aside and rests her hand firmly on him and in spite of himself he groans, tucking his bottom lip under his teeth. he’s not wont for her to see him like this but he’s wanted her ever since their first meeting, so at the same time he doesn’t care how she sees him as long as he can have her by the end of it.
cora’s grip on him tightens, he throbs under her hand. she applies just enough pressure to make killian’s breath hitch before she leans forward and swallows his exhale in a kiss, her body flush against his. killian can feel her nipples harden against the thin fabric of his shirt and he intensifies the kiss, wanting nothing more than to crush her under his weight and fuck her against this wall. but she’s in control, she’s always in control, even though in a moment she affords him the small benefit of releasing one of his arms, and with her free hand guides his fingers under her dress to the heat between her thighs. he barks out a short laugh of triumph as he feels it slick and heady under his touch.
“how long have you wanted this?” he questions, words squeezing past gritted teeth.
“as long as you have,” she replies, and in seconds his bonds evaporate; they slide to the floor, he tears off her nightgown, buries his face in her breasts.
and then, with a cry, they become one.
OUAT Season Two + Cora Mills montage
I think the part that people forget about Rumple is that he can live forever and he’s been alone for a very long time. People left alone, who can live for so long, tend to go a bit crazy. I mean you say look at Regina, and yes! Do! Because she’s been through a lot. But one person pointed out that Regina never had a single friend.
After becoming the Dark One, did he ever really have any friends?
My biggest issue right now is not who’s worse off, because many people know my opinion on that. My issue is double standards, people pointing out how much worse the other is.
They are both broken for different, but similar, reasons. They’re complex. The things about these two is that they’re not purely good or purely evil. They both do good and bad things, they both make good and bad decisions. They’re both broken.
Now, you are allowed to like one more than the other, that is okay. You are not, however, allowed to attack one character and find the other mightily superior. It’s ridiculous and wrong. Please, please, please stop posing ‘Regina is better because’ ‘Rumple is better because’ because I’m sick of it on my dash and it’s impossible to blacklist because no one tags it ‘things Tedra does not want to see’
So. I know a lot of Evil Regals complain about Rumple double-standards but are ironically blind to their own, and vice versa.
Here’s how it is. They’re similar but different. Both villains who have gone through hell. Both lost their son, and both lost their true love, the difference being that one is alive for the other/within reach for the other.
And yes Rumple pushed away Bae, but so did Regina.
And Rumple made Regina, but let’s not forget that Rumple was made too. Evil is made and they are very similar but very different characters.
Two sides of the same coin if you will.
Now, can we stop arguing? No? Well it was worth a shot.
YES, THIS x 1000000000000.
Look, I’ve been among the frustrated who see Rumple as getting treated better than Regina, BUT that is more with the fans and less with the script. And it goes both ways. There are just as many Regina apologists as there are Rumple apologists, and it’s annoying regardless of who’s being defended. I will say that Rumple, to this point, has received better treatment in the script for some of his offenses, and his fans have been quick to expound on that in some cases. But now that Regina is on a path to redemption, it’s happening in her fandom as well.
I’m a huge Regina stan. She means a lot to me. A lot. I typed up a whole meta post about how much she means to me and how I feel like if she can get redeemed, so can I. But the shit slinging between Dearies and Evil Regals needs to stop. The whole “Regina is better than Rumple because x y z” and Rumple is better than Regina because “x y z” needs to stop.
They are both broken, misguided people.
They have both been made, they have both been abused, and they have both been trying to redeem themselves.
They have both helped people, they have both done selfless things in the name of parental love, they have both loved and lost.
The nice thing about this show is that Regina and Rumple are set up as direct, obvious parallels. They are mirror images, they are two sides of the same coin, they are progeny and progenitor. That’s one of the beautiful things about their relationship is that in so many ways they are the same and they don’t even realize it. And between them, I think, there IS a lot of love. Complicated, passionate, angry, hateful love. The kind of love that doesn’t really make sense but it’s there anyway because they’ve experienced so much together, and they’ve done so much to each other, that there can’t not be feelings there. I’m not talking about romantic feelings, no. I’m talking about the twisted puppet/puppetmaster love; the love the abused has for their abuser. And it goes both ways, because they have both abused each other.
I mean, really, you guys? Regina and Rumple are equal in the crimes they have committed. Equal. People may counter that to say that Rumple’s done more evil because he created Regina; and others may counter that to say that Regina’s done more evil because she led Rumple to believe Belle was dead. But, honestly? They’ve done the same amount of damage, in different doses. And I really feel like the writers have gone out of their way to make that exponentially clear. I think Robert and Lana themselves have gone out of their way to make that exponentially clear.
So, just. Stop with the hateful comparisons. It’s not fair, to either side.
Our babies are broken, twisted, and complicated, and the fact that they both have such ardent defenses from their fans is an incredible testament to the writers, the characters, the actors, and the show itself.
Can’t we all just recognize that and enjoy the show on peaceful terms?
I thought they were called “Beauties”
Yeah, I’ve heard that? But idk, it seems to me that could get confused with Belle. *shrug*
So, nenyas and I were talking and we were both wondering why Aurora’s fans don’t have a name yet! I tweeted her to ask her to give us a name but idk if she’ll respond or not.
Anyone have any ideas?
that time when this happened
no regrets ok
so here is my two cents for this whole mulan/aurora ship name issue. i think sleeping dragon is cool, but “dragon” isn’t really applicable to ouat!mulan as of yet, so… meh. and then warrior princess is a tag filled with xena, and sleeping warrior doesn’t really jive with me, so honestly i put it down to either murora or mulora. and since mulora is easier to say, and we’d basically get our own tag… gotta vote mulora.