A/N: Okay, I know you guys were given too many feels last chapter, so here's one to soothe it all, with a guest appearance from one of my favourite characters: Jeff! :D (This guy is gorgeous, seriously)
I've received quite the bunch of questions after last chap, so here's me answering some of them:
IGottaFinYou asked: "Is Robin gonna get jealous of Sebastian?"
Not of Sebastian, no. But he might not like Regina coming closer to another male of Storybrooke. You shall see. ;)
IGottaFindYou asked (again): "Which Gramps would Henry send after Robin? One has a gun and a sword...but one's RUMPELSTILTSKIN!"
He would send David, I think, 'cause our favourite idiot likes to act chivalrous and all that. Rumpel, I think, wouldn't give a damn what Regina feels at the moment. Sadly.
moonluver26 asked "I'm confused as to why everyone's mad at Robin."
Because he didn't spare Regina a glance at the diner and went home with his wife perfectly content as it is? (Well, as far as they are concerned anyway)
Guest asked: "Oh my god I sense a time jump!"
Not right now, as you will see. But there will be one. Just...not right now. ;)
Cat asked: "Please tell me that it is not their last kiss."
Spoilers! :D (Of course it's not, I would not be a good shipper if I broke the thing.)
And a treat to everyone in the end of this chapter! Yaaaay!
8. Fifth sunset
After her conversation with Robin, Regina needed a drink. A strong, very strong drink. So instead of heading towards Granny's for a quick cup of coffee, she took her car and drove to the outskirts of the woods, and towards the Rabbit Hole.
As usual, the bar was not crowded during the day. A few regulars were scattered around the room, either alone or in small groups.
Regina could recognize Leroy and a couple of other dwarfs that she could not put a name on at that time of her day, as well as Jefferson, alone at the counter, a few empty shots already before him.
Strangely, it's to him that she headed, sitting on the stool to his right and ordering a glass of scotch.
The Hatter didn't even spare her a glance, and swallowed another glass.
Regina couldn't help herself and asked: "What could possibly be going so wrong that you're drinking yourself to death?"
He snorted, then gestured towards her own drink. "I could ask you the same thing, however, I have an idea." He looked at her from the corner of his eye. "Things are not so great at home for the moment... Grace wants to go live at her fake parents from time to time."
Regina nodded, taking a long burning gulp our of her glass. "I can relate to that. Henry wants to live one week at my house and one week at Miss Swan's."
"Yes, well, let's drink to that." He clanked his glass against hers. "To second-choice parents."
"Cheers." She gulped another half of her drink and asked for another.
"Seriously though, Regina, you shouldn't try to get yourself pissed for a guy."
A pang shot to her heart. "What I do with my life is thankfully none of your concern, Jefferson."
The afternoon passed this way – Jefferson and Regina drinking in silence, other customers sometimes walking up to them for a quick chat, the bartender – someone called Hare, if she recalled well – warning them not to drive pissed afterwards.
Regina sent the guy a glare, stating that with her magic, she needn't walk home at all.
The evening drew closer that way, and when eight rang, so did Regina's phone.
She had ignored it all day. But by then, Henry's name on the screen made her realise that she had indeed somewhere else to be.
She took the device and put it to her ear, her sight a little blurred with all she had drunk. "Henry?"
"Mom, where are you? Gramps told us you had gone to the station this morning but no one has seen you for hours!"
She took a deep breath, alcohol still impeding her trail of thoughts. "Don't worry darling. I'm at the Rabbit Hole. I needed a drink and some time alone. Jefferson is with me." She moved the phone off her ear for a moment, and the Hatter sent a 'Hello Henry' towards it before she pulled it towards her once more.
"This does not make me less concerned. I'll send someone to fetch you."
"Henry... I don't-" but the door to the bar opened, revealing Snow White, and she sighed. "No need. Your grandmother's already there." And she hung up.
Snow walked straight to her, not glaring, but not pleased either.
"And what do you think you're doing?" She planted herself in front of Regina, hands on her hips. "You could have had an accident driving home!" Then she sent a rightful glare to Jefferson. "And I won't even talk to you about the fact your daughter is at my flat worrying herself sick."
Jefferson's blue eyes widened, but he didn't move.
Regina sighed. "Snow, calm down. I did not intend on driving back home. I have my magic, and it's sufficient enough for this kind of things."
"Yes, well, it does not change the fact that pissing yourself to death is a good way of coping!" She lowered a voice a little. "David told me Robin never got back to them afterwards. What have you told him?"
"That it was over. That I did not want to see him ever again. You know: the usual."
Snow sighed, and took Regina's hand, pulling off her stool. "Come. I'll drive you home."
Regina stumbled on her feet a little, but her newly-found friend wrapped an arm around her waist and helped her walk to the door.
When it opened, both women were assailed by a gush of freezing air, air far too cold for May indeed.
Regina cursed under her breath, leaving a puff of vapour going out of her mouth. "What the-?"
But they did not need to ask themselves what had provoked that sudden winter.
In the far off distance, there was a figure walking their way.
Regina would have thought it was the effect of the alcohol when she distinctively recognized the figure, but the look on Snow's face told her it was no hallucination.
So when the woman – because it was a woman – was close enough, Regina gasped, and let out a started cry.