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Title: Carried in Swarm of Bees
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairing: Gen with past Regina/Emma
Categories: Angst, AU, Future fic, post-canon, what if
Length: Medium (6,109 words)
Warnings: Major character deaths

Author on LJ: icicleair
Author Website: loaded_fantasy Author’s writing journal @ LJ / Author’s profile @ AO3

After living for years in New York to escape the tragedy that haunts his hometown, Henry returns to Storybrooke to confront his demons and reconcile with his past.

Every now and again I get in a mood where I want to read fic that guts me and makes my heart hurt, and this story fits the bill perfectly. What I like most about Once Upon a Time are the complicated relationships, none more so than Henry and Regina and how their relationship compares to his relationship with Emma, his other maternal figure. This story diverges from canon and sets up the premise that everything was in Henry’s imagination, that the fairy tale roles he cast people in were how he dealt with his life as a child and now, this is how he reconciles with that past.

I enjoyed the quiet way in which this story is told, it’s muted and different from the vibrancy of the fairy tale world. It makes it a little more sad, sure, but also more realistic. The imagined future for Henry at the end fits in perfectly with this story and characterization. The memories of interactions with Emma are easy to picture as the dialogue and mannerisms are in character. The author also does a terrific job with Regina and her very presence.

Carried In a Swarm of Bees


Epic Recs

Length Guidelines

Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
Epic: 40,000-100,000 words
Super Epic: 100,000+ words


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