A/N: Time-jump ahead, my darlings! This time Regina's pregnancy is starting to show and I can play with it a little. ;)
Keep asking questions!
A reader said many things. ;)
God if I could answer you PM wise, I'd write a mile-long text... XD But thanks for all your kind words and appreciation and guesses, even if they are from being the truth in this story, I could have made them real. :p
A reader asked: "When are we getting a chapter with Regina and Jefferson and Robin feeling the first bite of jealousy?"
In four days time. ;)
Juliette101 asked: "Maybe you could find her [Marian] someone?"
I'd love to, and in these moments, I hate that I chose Frankenwolf and not something else, 'cause Marian would have ended with Viktor... :/ I'll try to find her someone worthy of her inner kindness. ;)
25. Eighty-first dawn
Regina looked up from her mirror and met Snow's gaze on her, a small smile playing on her now friend's lips as she entered the room further and closed the door behind her.
Regina had her hands on her stomach, where the soft swell of her pregnancy had started showing. Her breasts were sore, she went to the toilet every minute or so, but just the sight of that made her heart swell in her chest. She was really doing this. She was really going to have her own child.
Snow stood behind her and met her eyes with a soft smile that Regina could really relate to as the one she sent her on her wedding day. So happy for her.
"It suits you. Being pregnant."
Regina smiled a little. "You think?"
"I'm sure." She put her hand on her shoulder then moved backwards towards the door. "So, I'm asking again: you ready?"
It was the day Regina would know if she was expecting a boy or a girl.
The last month or so had been rather quiet, what with her being the centre of attention of many because of her abduction by Kida and her men.
None of those had been seen in town or around it ever since, even if she had the distinct feeling of being spied on when she walked through town with her escort – mostly Jefferson or Elsa, but Tink and Snow were often taking turns as well.
Her last visit to Dr Whale had been to confirm her baby was 'well tied to its mother', since her late pregnancy was one at risk.
Today she'd know.
And it scared her to death.
Before, she had been able to tell herself she was carrying life within her, but not to such a level that her baby actually became real. Putting a gender on it, choosing a name...it'd make it so real it brought tears to her eyes.
She nodded quietly. "I am."
Snow smiled and opened the door to the room, backing away in the corridor then the stairs. "Good. I'm waiting in the car!"
The ride to the hospital was a quiet one. Snow surely knew what it meant for Regina, and if herself had not wished to know what the sex of her baby was before Neal was brought into this world, it wasn't the same for her friend.
She needed to know this was real.
She needed to know she'd have this little part of happy ending.
She needed it like air.
Ever since she had pulled that stunt with Marian at the diner, Roland was more often than not in her legs every time she stepped in for her morning drink.
His mother would sit with her and her usual company, and if their conversations never bordered on interesting, at least, both women seemed at ease with one another.
Regina accepted that Robin had chosen his wife over her – seemingly at least since he was never seen with her anymore – even if it broke her heart, and Marian accepted that Regina had changed and had played a great part in both her men's lives while she was gone.
Two hearts broken, maybe three. Impossible to mend in that maze of a situation that was Robin's loyalty to marriage and Marian's feelings that lingered.
As did Regina.
Everytime the archer would appear in her vicinity, she'd feel her skin humming for him, her breath hitch and her heart beat quicker. She'd act like a teenager and walk away, promising herself not to blush, but the deed was done.
It reminded her invariably of that moment in the woods when she had thought she had lost him, that the Atlanteans had killed him and left her alone for good. Not again. She could not live that a second time.
So when their eyes met, she reminded herself that at least he was still alive and well.
Marian was acting as a nurse at the hospital, and apparently enjoyed it. She didn't miss an opportunity to thank Regina, and whenever she'd go to Whale for a 'check-up', she'd be the one to welcome her.
But this time, there was a trick to be played.
This time, Regina would need that glamour spell.
Snow stopped the car and turned to her passenger. "Are you going to be alright?"
Regina nodded. "The concentration needed for a glamour spell doesn't need much. I'd be able to sustain it at least until Whale arrives."
"Okay. Go on then."
Regina closed her eyes and put a hand on her slightly swollen belly, reciting a spell in silence. Her palm glowed purple, and when she opened her eyes again, she could feel her body tingling with the magic enacted.
Snow's brow furrowed. "I see no change." Her fingers tentatively touched Regina's stomach. "It's still there."
Regina chuckled. "That's because you know it is there."
"Oh." Snow smiled softly, as if relishing again in the fact she had been one of the first to know, then she gestured Regina towards the building. "I'll wait here."
"Thank you." And the Queen opened the car-door, her fate being in the hands of a small glamour spell.
The hall was buzzing when she arrived – old people having broken their ankles or boys having cut their knees playing around – and she headed directly towards the information.
The nurse there she knew well – Elvira, the one that had been her contact in the hidden asylum for twenty-eight years – and she sent her a small smile the woman answered – she too had been redeemed her own way.
"Madam Mayor? Another appointment with Dr Whale?"
Regina nodded. "I'm scheduled for ten I think."
Elvira checked her old fashioned agenda and nodded. "That's right. Go sit down, I'll call a nurse to fetch you."
"Thank you." Regina directed herself to one of the few remaining free chairs scattered around the hall and waited, while Elvira's voice echoed around the whole place by microphone. 'Nurse Marian, a patient is waiting for you in the main hall.'
Marian arrived approximately ten minutes later, and confounded herself in excuses as she headed towards Regina in her white garb that made her stand-out like a fish out of water.
"I'm sorry. We had a delivery and it didn't go well..."
Regina's brow furrowed. "A delivery? Is it Princess Aurora?" To her knowledge, only her too was pregnant, but it still was far too early for her delivery.
Marian nodded. "I shouldn't tell you, but since you have guessed..." They quietly made their way towards the service. "It was early and Aurora bled a little too much. But the baby is perfectly alright."
"That's the main thing."
"Yes it is." They walked in a comfortable silence, and Regina was grateful her spell worked, for the other woman never once directed her eyes to the small bump Regina could make under her tight dress.
She had decided to keep dressing as casually as usual to not draw attention.
So her glamour spell worked.
"You come here often. Are you alright?"
Regina snapped off her thoughts and looked aside to the nurse who had her nose crunched as if in deep thought. She nodded. "I'm perfectly fine. Dr Whale just wants to make sure the blow to the head I received a few weeks back hasn't made any permanent trouble."
Marian nodded, accepting the excuse.
Regina would have to think of another for any future visits... She promised herself to ask her personal gang of lies to help. Jefferson and Tink would be ecstatic and would certainly produce the most horrible tricks, but whatever.
Whale quickly dismissed Marian when she made Regina enter his consultation room. The nurse complied without a question, to which Regina was grateful. But the other woman probably thought it best not to intervene in her private life when their link was a man they both loved...
"Ready to see if that little one is fine today?"
The doctor was awfully optimistic when it came to her pregnancy, she had noticed. Probably the memories they shared of Daniel and his brother Gerhart.
She nodded. "I am."
He nodded back and placed the coldest gel possible on her belly. She hadn't had the full ultrasonography before, merely had the monitoring registering the baby's heartbeat and general health. So this was a first.
"Yes, sorry, it's a bit uncomfortable. But it's worth the trouble."
Regina smiled a little, feeling a lump form in her throat as he branched the machine. "Yes, it is..." Her voice was swallowed in her fear, and the doctor sent her a compassionate gaze.
"It's going to be alright, Regina..." He pushed the device to her stomach, and suddenly, the screen sprang to life, and she looked at it, eyes widened at the sight she was given.
Her child was there. Hers, her own.
She could trace the contours of its head, the small pattern of fingers tucked into its mouth, tiny feet not clearly defined.
It was hers.
A tear escaped her eye.
"See, that it the head, and the hand. Your baby is left-handed, apparently." Whale chuckled. "We can still see the heart through the skin, and her legs are a little too thin still, but she is healthy."
Regina nodded, then his words clicked in her mind. "It's-it's a girl?"
Whale met her eyes and nodded. "Yes. You are expecting a little girl. Congratulations, Regina."
She tried to swallow the sobs that escaped her afterwards, but failed to.