5. Third sunset
After Regina had cried her fill and Snow had held her as tight as she could, both women got down the stairs, David and Emma mildly surprised to see the Queen in their home while her former lover had just left.
Just as Snow asked if Regina wanted to stay for diner and she had declined, Henry called, asking her if he could stay at Grace's for a little while longer, promising Jefferson would drop him back home at nine sharp. So she agreed to both his and Snow's request.
She would not have supported an evening alone...
Emma left right after, obviously at odds with remaining there with someone who by then worked hard not to rip her head off, and said she'd sleep away for the night. Away meant with Hook, but apparently, none in the room gave a damn.
David was surprisingly supportive of Regina throughout the evening. Serving her water when she told him the wine was too strong for her, offering to change the meal with she wasn't up for meat, everything.
In some way, it could have been tiresome, to be treated like a child.
But in another way, if felt good to be cared for, even by those she had once vouched to destroy...
"So, do you have any plans for tomorrow?"
Regina swallowed the part of cake she had been chewing on for the best of two minutes – the food was tasteless and felt hard as stone lately – and tilted her head to the side. "Plans?"
"Well, Henry goes back to school tomorrow, so... Perhaps you'll go back to the office too?"
She nodded. "Oh, yes, I guess so. But plans?"
"Yeah, well," her gaze turned to David, who was making a strange grimace, as if he was careful not to hit a sore spot, "there are a few things to be discussed, so..."
"We'll see that tomorrow, Sheriff Nolan." She smirked at the look on his face. "For now, let me enjoy Snow's lack of skills in bakery."
Snow made a muffled sound in her own cake. "Oi! My cake is perfect!"
"My apple pies are a hundred times better."
David chuckled and looked aside at his wife. "Sorry my love, but that is true."
Snow pouted then chuckled with her husband. "Okay, I admit. Your pies are better. But still," her face turned serious, "is it edible? 'Cause I made it only for you..."
Regina's eyes widened a little at her antics, but she smiled softly and nodded. "It is very good, Snow, really. And thank you."
"Well, you're a friend, and basically family now, so...I'd better take care of you when Henry's not there to do it." She winked.
David smiled too when his grandson's name was spoken. "He's grown up a awful lot lately, don't you think?"
Regina nodded. "You have no idea."
By then, Neal had started calling, and Snow excused herself from her guest to go up and check on the little monster.
David started gathering the dishes, Regina helping out to wash them, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
"So..." Her eyes met the blue ones of the Prince, and his grave face, and her brow furrowed in a silent question. "Are you okay with Robin being a deputy?"
She almost let the dish she was washing slip through her fingers, but caught it at the last second, shaking her head faintly. "Do I have a say in the matter?"
"No, but... I still want to know..."
"Why have you accepted him?"
David shrugged. "In spite of what transpired lately..." he cleared his throat, "well, he is a good man. And the best marksman in the Enchanted Forest."
That sent a memory through Regina's mind. Their meeting in the missing year, a monkey trying to capture her, an arrow flying to its eye, never missing its target. She shuddered.
David noticed her discomfort, and sighed. "Sorry, I shouldn't have brought that up..."
"No, that's alright. I should be able to at least say his name, if he is to work for the town. All I ask for now," she met his eyes again as he took another dish from her hand, "is that he stays away for a while."
She nodded her thanks, and then, their quiet discussion was interrupted by Snow coming down, a writhing Neal in her arms.
The Queen smiled at the sound of 'help me' in Snow's voice, and quickly dried her hands to walk towards her and her godson, and she smiled down at the infant, placing a soothing hand on his stomach.
She tutted when she felt his belly twitch, and locked eyes with Snow. "He's just got a little pain. It's not unusual. Don't worry. Just rub his tiny little belly with your hands, and it shall calm down."
"Do you mind?" She leaned over, handing her the baby like an offering.
Regina smiled. "Of course not." She took the babe in her arms, placing him carefully in the crook of her left while her right hand went to his stomach, tracing circles on it very slowly, letting the warmth of her skin soothe his pain. "There, my lovely, there..."
He cooed away, visibly more at ease, and Snow's eyes widened. "I read so many books when I was pregnant, and none ever talked about that!"
Regina chuckled. "Henry used to have those pains almost every night. It lasted three months. Believe me, when you've tried everything, using your hands seems too easy to be true." She leaned down, kissing Neal's forehead before handing him back to his mother who automatically repeated Regina's gestures.
David was finishing the dishes, and Snow was obviously going to put Neal back to sleep, so she took it as her cue to leave.
Snow kissed her on the cheek, something she hadn't done since she was a little girl, and David waved at her from the kitchen sink. "I'll see you tomorrow, Madam Mayor."
She smiled. "Yes. Good night to you both."
And as she stepped into the night, alone in the cold streets – far too cold for May, but she didn't pay attention – she felt good. Not really good, just good.
Another day had passed...