Sunsets and dawns

Ninety-eighth sunset (part 2)

A/N: A slightly shorter chapter, but I wanted it to be solely focussed on Regina giving birth. To those who asked for something graphic and such, that was never going to happen. That's not the way I write, and if you don't like it, then don't. :p

Oh God, it's already the second-to-last chapter... -_- This feels weird.

43. Ninety-eighth sunset (part 2)

Regina

She had never been in labour before, and yet she knew it was it. When Thea had been struck down by Neal, she had felt the worst pain possible down under, as if incapacitated by her period, and then a throb coming and going at regular times. Every contraction sent her body into 'pain' mode and her back arched from the bed, her insides feeling as if she was torn apart from within.

Marian left Roland's side as soon as she heard one scream of pain. "Regina, what is it?"

Regina met the nurse's worried gaze, and she repeated what she had told Robin not a minute prior. "I'm in labour."

Marian's eyes widened. "But...it's far too early for that!"

"You don't have to tell me!" Regina moaned again as another contraction slashed at her insides, and the nurse ran out of the room, no doubt to fetch Dr Whale.

Tinkerbell, Neal fussing in her arms, came to stand by her bed. "Have you broken your waters?"

Regina didn't ask how the fairy knew so much about pregnancy and giving birth, and shook her head. "Not yet, no..."

"Then we have time. Shush, darling, everything's fine..." Neal stopped fussing and met her green eyes, blue widening, and it struck everyone in the room that this baby in particular was very very clever already. "Henry? Do you mind holding him? I have to go fetch Snow. They probably don't know what happened here."

Henry left his mother's side and took his uncle in his arms while the fairy ran out the door too. Only remained Robin, Henry, Neal and little Roland who was sitting on his father's bed, brown eyes widened in worry.

"Is the baby alright, Gina?"

She gritted her teeth and turned her gaze to Roland, trying a smile that she knew felt false. "She just wants to meet everyone, darling, she'll be fine..." But she knew the danger of giving birth this early. She knew it, and she was really not reassured by it...

A few moments later, they all heard running in the corridor, and Snow appeared, soon followed by Elsa, Jefferson and Emma.

Snow ran to Neal and took his in her arms, cradling the back of his head with eyes wide as if she could not believe what Tinkerbell had just told her. Tinkerbell who was, surprisingly, nowhere to be seen.

Elsa and Jefferson hurried to Regina's bed and the Frozen Queen placed a cold hand on her swollen belly, the coldness of it numbing the pain just a notch. Elsa's brow furrowed and she squeezed Regina's hand tighter. "She is not placed right..."

Regina didn't have time to ask what it meant. Dr Whale and Marian came back, Imelda with them. The doctor didn't waste any time in asking everyone out except for Robin, and the group scattered in the corridor while another contraction yet tore Regina apart.

Whale felt at her belly and his brow furrowed has had Elsa's a moment prior. "She's not turned right. Her feet are first." His eyes met Regina's. "Are your waters broken yet?"

She shook her head but, a second later, a warm liquid was soaking the bed under her. She let out a startled sob. "Now they are."

"Alright, then we can't lose any more time. We have to perform a C-section. It's the only way."

Robin stopped them from moving Regina's bed right then. "Wait wait... What does that mean?"

Marian placed a soothing hand on his arm. "Regina's baby can't go out properly the natural way. We have to take it out from the belly. She will not feel a thing, I promise."

He opened his mouth as if to say something but, with another moan of pain, Regina was taken away and she lost his sight in the long corridor as she was brought to an OR.

Robin

The wait that started right after Regina was carried away was almost unbearable as soon as he realised fully what was happening. His True Love was taken away from him, their daughter unsure to make it alive. It was too soon. Far too soon...

Snow White was quick in placing a helping hand on his arm, her son's blue eyes smiling up at him, and he caressed the infant's cheek. "He saved our lives today."

"So I've been told..." she smiled widely at her son and placed a kiss on his head. "My children are exceptional," she glanced at Emma who had an arm wrapped around Henry, "and so will be yours."

He let out a tired sigh. "I do hope so..."

There was a silence, then Snow's mouth turned down in shame almost. "You know, I wanted to apologize for the way I treated you since...it...happened. It was not my place-"

"I don't resent you for it. I deserved it. And I am glad that at least one person was on Regina's side before Elsa arrived." His eyes fell on the Frozen Queen, who was boldly sitting on Jefferson's knees, and both shared a worried conversation with Grace, who had rejoined them.

Snow nodded. "Regina found her true friends in a short amount of time. We were all surprised at how loyal Tink, Elsa and Jefferson are to her... But then, we four are the only ones who knew her before she turned evil..."

Robin nodded, his thoughts going to the night when Regina had told him of the tattoo. Of how they could too have met before she turned evil, if she hadn't been afraid of being happy for the first time in her life... "I wished I could have said the same..."

Snow placed her hand on his arm again and gave him a friendly smile before he went to sit by Roland, who was uncharacteristically silent.

An hour passed without news. Robin was starting to feel restless: his palms were wet, he was trembling, his thoughts were jumping to dark conclusions as to why it took so long.

Fortunately for him, he was not alone in the wait.

At one moment, Roland tapped gently on his hand, asking for his attention. "Papa?"

He looked down at his boy and his wide brown eyes, curious in contrast of his father's worry. "What is it, little man?"

"Can I still go and live with Mama sometime?"

Robin's eyes widened a bit at his question. "Why couldn't you?"

"Because she will live with the doctor now..."

Robin was at a loss as to what was happening, and Snow, next to him, jumped into the conversation to explain. "Marian and Viktor are seeing each other. Apparently, they kissed when the nursery was under siege..." She smirked a bit. "I can't see I haven't seen this coming..."

"But..." Robin's eyes were wide. "I thought the doctor was seeing the wolf-girl...Red!"

"Oh, it ended two weeks later. Red had her sights set onto someone else. And I hope Naveen is ready for her..." She chuckled. "To be honest, I think Viktor was interested in Red until the moment your wife arrived." She made a sudden grimace. "Sorry, I shouldn't-"

"No worries." He sighed in awe. "I am glad that she found someone."

"She's a nice person. A very nice person. I'm sorry I hated her on principle..."

"Yes, she is a good person. Gentle, passionate, clever... And she is extremely beautiful..."

Snow cleared her throat and lowered her voice as a question raised in her mind. "Are you still in love with her?"

He thought for a moment, then shook his head. "She was my first love and I don't think I will ever be able not to love her... She is the mother of my first-born... But, no, I am no longer in love with her. I truly believe I stopped being in love with her the moment I set eyes on Regina..."

Snow chuckled. "I know the feeling..."

He smiled back, and the long wait continued.

Half-an-hour later, Whale appeared at the corner of the corridor, a mask falling from his chin as he wiped his hands clean.

Robin and Snow sprang to their feet in the same movement. Whale stopped facing them, and a small smile appeared on his lips. "There were some complications, but they are both perfectly fine. Regina is still out, so I advise you to wait before you go see her."

"And the little princess?" Snow's worry was evident."

"She is strong. Her magic prevented us from taking her out in one go. We had to sedate her, as dangerous as it may be, or she would not have let us take her out..." He paused. "She is not quite ready to be out in the world yet. We put her under a tube. But I think she will be ready to go home in less than a week." He bowed his head. "A beautiful, 43cm grand girl, weighing 1kg900. She is tough." He patted Robin's shoulder and went back the way he had come.

Cheers erupted along the corridor. Elsa and Jefferson embraced with wide grins, as did Henry and Emma who kept telling her son he was a big brother, and Snow started dancing around with little Neal.

A small hand closed in Robin's, and he met Roland's eyes. "Is my sister alright, Papa?"

Robin smiled and stooped to hoist Roland in his arms, and he smiled a true genuine smile. "Yes, she is my boy... Do you want to see her?" Roland nodded, and Robin left the cheering crowd, walking towards the maternity service and his daughter.

Nurses were kind enough to direct him to the nursery, and through the glass, he eyed the five babies in their cribs until he spotted the little one with a tube in her mouth. Over her head was a label on which was written 'Mills-Locksley, girl'.

His heart leaped in his throat as he eyed the babe, her round cheeks and tiny, tiny fists. She already had the smallest tuft of hair on her head, and he realise she'd be brown-haired like him.

Roland placed his hand on the glass and grinned. "She's pretty."

Robin nodded, tears prickling in his eyes. "That she is, little man."

And both remained there for a long moment...

Next chapter: Baby R is presented to Storybrooke's inhabitants and we learn who will be her godparents...

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