“Regina, I have something you need to see.” David announced.
“David, I just got home from an alternate universe, can’t this wait?” Regina frowned.
David set a fair-sized cage upon the counter. “You bought me a pet snake?” Regina asked, knitting her brows quizzically. “A venomous one too…”
“It’s not just any poisonous snake.” David replied. “This one prefers to poison it’s victims with apples instead of fangs.”
Regina stared blankly for a few moments and then her eyes went wide, “she got herself turned into a serpent!?” She huffed, pinching the bridge of her nose. “I leave for a few days and she gets herself turned into a snake.”
“Actually she got turned into a snake within the first few hours.” David pointed out.
“Well that just makes this situation so much better.” Slowly Regina made her way over to the cage gazing at the sleek black cobra with the gaudy gold cuff. “What am I supposed to do with her?” She briefly reached a sympathetic hand out to her former self. At an irritable hissing she quickly retracted it.
“I don’t know.” David answered. “Keep her warm and well fed?”
“I can’t even hover my hand near her, much less drop food in her cage! What do I even feed her?” Regina grumbled.
“What do you normally eat?” David asked.
“Great idea I’ll give the snake a whole plate of spaghetti.” Regina bit out sarcastically.
“Sounds good to me, put the noodle with more noodles.” David shrugged.
Regina rolled her eyes. “She can’t have people food, she’s a snake.” She paused. “But I don’t want to feed myself mice.” The thought alone had her lip curling back in disgust.
“Then feed her grapes or something.”
Regina looked towards the fridge, it was after all, the most rational idea proposed that night. As it was, she could always just toss the grapes through the bars and not have to worry about getting bitten. She took the cage in her hand, “thank you David, I’ll figure out something.”
She set the snake cage upon her nightstand and shivered, deciding that it was time to turn the heater on. She peered at the cobra and wondered if it was cold. Regina tapped her chin…well she had nothing better to do.
The Queen watched as Regina disappeared around the corner. It was now or never, her chance to make a grand escape. Twisting her head to the side she made a rather successful attempt to fit through the bars. But at the clank of gold on metal, her luck ran out. She tried again and once more, but it was no use for the cuff around her neck had her trapped.
She hissed to herself, not that she could do much else anyhow. Gold would pay for this. Out of spite the serpentine queen gave one last furious attempt to squeeze through the bars. What happened next seemed to go in slow motion; the force of her body crashing against the wall of the cage sent it flying off of the table. She caught things only in snippets and frames; a brief flash of Regina’s favorite lamp, the sound of Henry playing Enya’s Only Time—who can say where the road goes, where the day flows—coupled with the patter of many bouncing grapes, and the splash of water. She tried to take one last bite of one of the grapes but it tossed itself just out of her reach. Finally the cage fell onto the floor with a considerably loud crash. The sound of her tragic fall was drowned out by another song from Henry’s room, “mmm watchya say?”
He was singing along.
She felt deep within her tiny, black heart a pang of betrayal.
The helpless snake slithered around trying to regain her composure. Again, she hissed, realizing that she would now have to deal with the discomforts of the textured walls of the cage rather than the smooth, semi-comfortable floor of it. No matter, she thought, reassuring herself that someone would soon be along to place the cage back atop the nightstand.
As fate would have it, apparently the crash was not loud enough, for her heroic counterpart did not come to save the day. She would spend the next four hours on the ground vexing Gold and ruing his exitance. As well as the existence of that miscreant who gave her scales in the first place.
“Seriously?” Regina muttered. “How is it that you can make things difficult for me even as a snake.” She stooped down and picked up the snake cage—a minor inconvenient. “Here I am, nice enough to knit you this nice cozy sweater, and you decide to spill yourself and some grapes all over my perfectly clean carpet.”
Regina picked each grape up, one by one. The snake perked up when she grabbed one particular grape and then let itself fall dramatically to the floor when it saw Regina turn away from it and drop all of the grapes—including thee one true grape—into the garbage.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Regina slapped her hands against her legs. She opened the cage and reached for the snake, she hesitated, expecting it to lash out and bite. Instead she found herself holding a limp noodle. “Quit being so dramatic.”
Out of spite or actual dismay, the snake queen let her head droop lower and limper.
“Don’t worry I made something that will cheer you up.” Regina stated as she dressed the former queen in her handmade snake sweater. Regina smiled, pleased with her work. It was perfect with its black feathery hem and shiny black yarn. She even added a few little jewels to make her little nope rope feel more royal.
Still the queen did not perk up. “Okay, well I also made you this.” With a smug smile Regina fitted a tiny golden paper crown onto the cobra’s majestic head. “See, it even matches your collar. Henry helped color it.”
The last thing that the queen wanted was a crown that matched the contraption keeping her from freeing herself. She was frankly quite offended that her other half would even think that she’d want something like that. What kind of grown woman makes tiny paper crowns anyhow? A childish one, she answered herself.
And then it set in.
They needed each other.
Regina needed her to keep her from becoming way too excited to see dwarfs and to keep her from calling the Charmings old at inappropriate times. And she needed Regina to help her keep it in her pants. Upon putting some thought into it, the queen had to admit that Aladdin wasn’t her best catch. No wonder Regina had thought she had too much to drink that night.
Yes indeed, the two needed each other. And she had to find a way to reunite them before Regina could do something too embarrassing, such as dancing through a field of daises with Blue and her flock of fairies. At least if that happened, Swan could no longer judge her.
The queen smiled, as much as a snake could smile anyhow. She had the perfect plan to reunite them. It was a flawless plan really, and it would absolutely work. She’d be able to stop this madness before it had a chance to get really out of hand.
If only she wasn’t a snake.
From down the hall she caught a waft of sugar cookies. The queen cringed realizing just how critical the situation truly was. She didn’t have much time. They had been separated for too long.
It was happening.
If she didn’t stop her other half soon, the entire town would be filled with rainbows, glitter, unicorn stickers, and joy.
The cobra shuddered. But how could she do anything in this smol snake body?
gif by anothershadeofgreen