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Title: Hand-In-Hand-In-Hand
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Pairing: Red/Regina/Emma
Rating: G
Words: 693
Notes: For [community profile] ladiesbingo, prompt "myth/fable", and Multiamory March.
Summary: A Wolf, a Queen, and a Saviour: three tales twisted together, black and white and red.

Once upon a time there was a Wolf with a pretty smile and a sweet heart and a cloak so Red they named her for it. She longed to roam, to travel, to see distant lands, but her home was a cottage and her grandmother was her jailor.

When her taste of freedom came finally, it was not the sugary happiness she had dreamed of. Freedom tasted like blood, blood of the man she loved, chains rattling and teeth flashing as she said the worst kind of goodbye. Freedom was pain, and the Wolf’s cottage and the Wolf’s grandmother could no longer be her safe haven.

So the Wolf ran.

Once upon a time there was a Queen who was known as Evil by all the people of her kingdom. She embraced the name, for there was power in fear, and she grinned with glee as people trembled before her, fire on her fingertips and revenge on her mind.

She had a black heart, true, but it was a sad heart also. The Queen was lonely, and she was miserable. For the man she’d hoped to find her happy ending with had been killed for the crime of loving her, and no matter who the Queen threw the blame at, anger did not ease the heartache.

So the Queen lashed out.

Once upon a time there was a Saviour with an aura that shone as white as a Swan. She was the result of true love made whole and real, but she had lived her whole life alone, nobody to give her own love to. All the good that came into her life disappeared, like purple smoke drifting away on the slightest breeze.

The Saviour was born to be a hero, but over time she had grown claws and teeth as sharp as any monster. She used them to protect herself, because she would not be hurt if nobody could get close enough to leave scars. Yet eventually the Saviour found her place and she found her people and she vowed to only use her claws and her teeth for good.

So the Saviour stayed.

They found each other, the Wolf and the Queen and the Saviour. They found something unexpected; they found something magical.

The Wolf did not trust herself, but the Queen and the Saviour trusted her, having faith in her to be strong and to always follow the truth, scenting it out like tracks in a forest. In time the Wolf learned to believe in her own power. And in teaching her this, the Queen and the Saviour realised they had not trusted themselves either, and they too learned better.

The Queen was hard and cold inside, but the Saviour and the Wolf thawed her, awakening a soul that the Queen had fought hard to conceal. The Queen thanked them, for although the thaw brought pain with it, it also brought the capacity for joy that she had missed so very much. And in teaching her this, the Saviour and the Wolf realised they also needed to thaw and let others in, and they too learned better.

The Saviour could not believe in happy endings, but the Wolf and the Queen showed her, building a space for the three of them out of the pages of a storybook. It was not always easy, but it was always right, even on the days when it seemed wrong. Happy endings were worth fighting for, after all. And in teaching her this, the Wolf and the Queen realised they hadn’t believed in happy endings as well, and they too learned better.

Once upon a time there was a curse that was broken by love. In its wake, the three women were ready to find their way in a new version of an old world.

They had all tasted blood and they had all known tragedy and they had all been alone. They did not forget these things, because they were forged in sadness and stronger for it, but they moved on hand-in-hand-in-hand. They moved on together, the Wolf and the Queen and the Saviour, their love a fairytale of its very own.


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