Sunsets and dawns

Forty-sixth dawn: Robin

A/N: I believe most of you readers will be content about this chapter. Not happy, because it is not a happy chapter, but content. Before you all start yelling "I told you so!", I had this chapter planned for a while, and you were right, it was about bloody time - as my favourite pirate would say - that we knew what was going on in Robin's head. And strangely enough, it's easier getting in his head than in Gina's. ;) So, you can expect one or two chapters again from his perspective. :)

Don't forget to keep asking questions!

WitchWarren asked: "We're not seeing Marian much, is that significant?"

It is in a way, because Regina doesn't really want to see the woman, but you'll see her today, and tomorrow as well. She does keep appearing in the worst of moments...

Addie said: "Tell me that you'll explore things with Elsa and Jefferson!?"

I will, don't worry, sweetie pie. ;)

20. Forty-sixth dawn: Robin

As he had done every day for a month, Robin Hood woke up from a restless sleep.

Ever since he had had to move to Granny's with his family, it had begun to seem like life was repeating itself. Every day seemed the same, tasteless, slow, boring.

'Family'. The word kept echoing through his mind like a curse, and each time he found himself doubled over, a headache threatening to take over.

'Family'. How could he even think of family when ever since Marian had returned, he had felt empty?

If truth need be, Robin should have admitted to himself that family was where the heart was. And his heart had not belonged to his wife for a long time...

If he was honest to himself, it had belonged to the Queen from the moment they had met in the Enchanted Forest. And no matter if she had pushed him away on every occasion she had. His heart was hers. And had always been.

He groaned, the pain in his temples coming back stronger, and he exited the bedroom to the small sitting-room where he kept his clothes.

No. He could not think of her. It was too painful, too fresh...too reviving.

For even if he didn't admit it to himself...ever since he had walked away from Regina, he had been empty-hearted.


Robin whirled around from where he had been putting on his shoes, and smiled genuinely at his son, hair ruffled and sleepy-eyed, who slowly made his way towards him, jumping on his lap on the sofa.

"Yes, little man?"

"Why are you not in bed?"

Robin threw a sideways glance at the clock on the wall and noticed the ungodly hour – four in the morning. Then he sighed. "I have to go. The Prince needs me to battle the bad people that have arrived." He kissed the top of Roland's head. "Think you can protect your Mama while I'm away?"

Roland nodded sleepily. "I can."

"Good..." He kissed his son again, then put him back on his feet, standing to grab his jacket and exit this accursed family setting he had begun to loathe.

"And where are you going?"

He froze. Marian had awaken – and she always did, had always been able to tell when he was restless – and came to stand by him, a gentle hand touching his shoulder.

"David needs me again to patrol the woods."

"At this hour?" She nuzzled her nose in his back, and Robin sighed, his eyes prickling with tears he knew he wouldn't shed.

In moments like those, he truly hated himself. How could he be this unhappy when he had a loving wife and a perfect son? How could he? Bile rose in his mouth, and he slowly untangled himself from Marian's soft body.

"Yes. I know it's early, but we thought we could perhaps see them at night. When they aren't aware."

She nodded, understanding, trusting. He hated himself even more. "Okay. Do be careful." She smiled softly and leaned up on her tiptoes to peck his lips as softly as a breeze.

He closed his eyes for a second. But it felt so wrong.

The sole lips he wanted to touch his in this second weren't Marian's...

And he thought it best to ran away from her that instant. Before he did something he wouldn't forgive himself for later.

In that true hell he lived in, Robin Hood knew he didn't have many allies.

The Princess Snow White had made it pretty clear that she despised him for what he had done to the Queen, as did many others: Henry, Emma, David – even if he acted as if he didn't care – Tinkerbell, and even Granny.

The only solace he could find was in occupying his thoughts with the threat at hand.

For when he closed his eyes, the burnt memory of her smile made him sick to his stomach.

He wandered for a few hours in the cold empty streets of Storybrooke, trying to avoid the street he knew his feet would always bring him to – the street where a beautiful white mansion lied, and the person within it filling his dreams.

Granny's had opened for five little minutes when he decided he needed a drink – something hot they called coffee and he had soon taken a liking to.

The elderly woman wasn't there, instead, her foxy grand-daughter strolled to him, a cheesy grin on her lips.

"You're early, Mister Hood!"

He sent her a small glance, unamused, and nodded.

She leaned on his table, suddenly grave. "You know, my boyfriend is a doctor. If you have troubles sleeping, he can help with that."

Robin's blue eyes met hers, and he sighed. "I'm grateful for the offer. But unfortunately, sleeping means dreaming. And for the moment, that is something I would quite avoid."

Red – for he had not taken a liking to her cursed name – nodded, and put a steaming cup before him. "You can still go to him. There are medicine for dreamless sleeps." She winked and moved back towards the counter, asking for the kitchen maid to hurry up to prepare the dwarves' breakfast.

Robin stayed there for another long hour, drinking coffee on coffee, thoughts strolling to a time when he could smile and joke and be happy. A time not so long prior.

He had been on the verge to leave when Emma and her pirate got down from the latter's room – he was painfully aware that at least one couple could find solace after their adventure in the past – and upon seeing him, walked straight towards him.

"Hey Robin!" Emma put her hands in her back pockets, something she seemed to do when uncomfortable, he had soon learnt. "We were about to go fetch Dad. Another patrol in order this morning."

Robin nodded. Sometimes it still felt weird to have Emma call her parents Mom and Dad when they looked the same age, but he had quickly learnt not to voice his troubles. "I'll come."

"Okay, then." She smiled up at her companion and hurried out of the diner, and soon, pirate and archer followed.

After a quick detour to the sheriff station to fetch their weapons, the group of four handed up in the forest, this time close to Zelena's barn.

David quickly instructed his followers that they needed information on what these Atlanteans – they had learnt the previous day about their identity and had quickly filled Robin into that – were doing in Storybrooke and if they eventually were a threat.

Robin, having been witnessed how these strangers had tried to abduct Regina, was sure they were.

They had walked for hours on end, using Robin's skills at tracking to try and find fresh traces of their visitors presence, all to no avail, as if they had disappeared for a while in preparation for something, when David called for a pause.

It was close to midday, and he took out the device they called cellphone to enquire on his wife and son's well-being.

Emma stood close to him, a goofy grin on her lips as she listened to her mother's voice on the other side.

Hook stood close to Robin, and unbeknownst to him, was studying his stance.

"You look tired, mate."

Robin's eyes snapped to Hook's on his right, then he sighed, lowering his bow and nodding. "That's because I am."

Hook – or Killian, as he wanted to be called now – nodded. "I know what it's like." He paused, looking over at Emma. "When you love a woman but can't have her."

"You do have her."

"Aye, but I've been through hell for it."

"If your words are meant to make me feel better, they are failing to the task."

Killian chuckled humourlessly. "I know. But, just so you know...if the others are pissed at you for the whole 'wifey thing', I'm not. So, you can tell me anything, mate."

Robin looked at the pirate under a different light. He studied him, his genuine offer, then nodded. "Thank you."

Killian nodded back.

David chose that moment to call an end to their stroll in the woods.

Snow White, along with her grandson, had probably found out more about their guests of honour, and that called for a meeting at the loft.

Robin's heart constricted in his chest at the thought of seeing Regina that morning – something he knew would reopen his wounds and set fire to his soul – but he followed anyway, without a word.

And when they walked back into town, Robin's mind went back to their last encounter all alone. When he had been knocked out and had awaken to her sight, crying over him as if her heart had been broken a second time.

And the ghost of a kiss on his lips.

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