Note: I hope this hasn't been done, this alternative to what was on the show got stuck in my head and I had to get it out.

Disclaimer: I don't own Once Upon a Time or any of its affiliated characters. If I ran that zoo it would have happened this way.

Catching Idiocy

Lightning flashed, streaking across the waves but giving no hint of where Emma was in the roiling depths.

"Regina, do something!" Snow yelled.

Regina scanned the waves again. The irony of Snow White asking her to be the hero here didn't escape her but without being able to see her quarry there was no telling what her magic would bring up; another mermaid perhaps or nothing but some seaweed and half a leg, and Emma was running out of time.

To their left Charming was bumbling around, no doubt preparing to do something stupid. Killian was awkwardly trying to tie a rope about his waist as if that would keep him from disappearing forever beneath the waves. It would probably only stop him from reaching Emma and damned if Regina was going to find Henry just to tell him that his…mother…had drowned. She wasn't going to risk that on Charming's ability to reach her and there was only one person on the boat for whom getting back wouldn't be a problem.

"Regina-" Snow began yelling again but Regina was already in motion, her hands braced against the railing. Pressing herself up in fluid motion she launched off the edge, arcing toward where she hoped Emma was.

The water was cold, she hadn't thought of how cold it would be; perhaps idiocy was contagious or just inherent to heroics. It hit her body like knives and the urge to gasp was unbearable. She forced her eyes open, ignoring the sting of salt water and started swimming.

She could hardly see, her lungs screamed for more oxygen, her limbs felt stiff and heavy in the frigid water. Just when she thought she'd have to surface and try again lightning flashed and illuminated a form bobbing aimlessly in the current ahead of her. She clawed toward it, twisting and kicking violently to push herself through the churning water until her fingers brushed fabric and caught hold. She wrapped her arms tightly around Emma's arms and chest, closed her eyes and in a burst of magic felt the weathered deck of the Jolly Roger beneath her back and Emma lying gormlessly on top of her.

Regina sputtered, gulping in air as Snow and Charming pulled Emma's limp body off hers.

"No!" She heard Snow cry. "She's not breathing!"

Regina was hardly recovered but reached blindly forward, pulling Emma back to her chest and linking her fists below the her ribcage; she pumped twice and heard a sodden cough as Emma's lungs expelled the water she'd inhaled.

Emma gasped and Regina relaxed, leaning heavily on aching arms as Emma rested against her, warmth spread between them despite their foray into the frigid fathoms below.

Snow and David crowded in, each reaching for their daughter as if to affirm she was there and alive. Above their heads the clouds cleared and the moon gleamed full and bright once more.

"I told you," Emma whispered.

Snow and Charming traded grins of adoration and Regina rolled her eyes because honestly, who jumped off a ship to prove a point? But when she felt more than heard Emma breathe a husky, "Thank you," she thought privately that there just might be something to this ludicrous hero business.

"You're welcome."

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