Confused. That is how Regina was. Completely confused, beyond any level of confusion. Which confused Regina even more.
Thankfully, the Merry Men (mostly Robin) trusted her enough to go on a walk by herself, she needed this right now. She needed time on her own to think about that was going on.
First, there was Robin, who treated her as if she mattered to him. As if he cared about her. Then, there was that feeling inside her chest that didn't let her breath. It felt like when her mother restrained her with magic, but it also felt warm and cozy - almost like when she was with Daniel. She shook her head. What was she talking about? Robin, making her feel something that could be compared to the love she had felt towards Daniel? It was ridiculous. Besides, even if there would be something going on between them, he was a thief, and she was a queen. Their story would be a tragic one, if not impossible.
But maybe, it would be good while it lasted. Wouldn't it? Wouldn't it be better to have a short life, with nothing material but filled with love rather than a long life with everything money could buy but no one to share it with?
"I wish - I wish someone could explain me what is happening to me!" Regina said in desperation and sat on a tree's root, giving up.
A breeze caught Regina's attention, they were too early into spring for such a warm raft of wind. Then she felt something else too, it reminded Regina of her mother, if her mother would have been a loving mother. Which only meant one thing: the breeze was made by magic, light magic. She looked around, to find the person that had casted it.
"Up here," a high-pitched voice called her. Regina looked up, but didn't find the person that had spoken, other than an annoying green butterfly that rested on a bush, Regina was alone. The person giggled "Wait,"
It was then when Regina saw the green butterfly transforming, more like growing, into a human-size woman dressed as a fairy. Regina studied her with curiosity, she had heard about fairies, but after making hundreds of wishes that never came true, she stopped believing in them. This lady, however, had to be a fairy, there was no other logical explanation to the green-see-through wings that sticked from her back.
"Well, this is so much better," she said, now in a normal voice "the name is Tinkerbell, but you can call me Tink,"
"You are a fairy," Regina pointed out. Tinkerbell nodded at Regina's statement "Oh, dear... did I just make a wish that actually came true?"
Tinkerbell shook her head, "You can't make wishes Regina, and even if you could, I wouldn't be able to make it true,"
"Why you can't make wishes? Or why I can't fulfill them?" Tink asked confused.
The Queen thought shortly about it before replying "Both,"
"Ah, well, as a daughter of an evil witch, you are not allowed to makes wishes, even if you have royal blood - which sucks and it's totally unfair,"
Regina furrowed her eyebrows at the fairy's vocabulary, she never thought such pure creatures would be so vulgar. Then again, Tinkerbell didn't seem like the average fairy that she had seen illustrated on her childhood storybooks. Her hair was blonde and her eyes were light green, unlike the usual darker colours that the fairies in her books' images had.
"And I can't grant wishes because I'm in probation," Tinkerbell keep on talking.
"Why are you in probation?" the fairy didn't reply, which made the Queen press her lips into a smile. The silence was just a proof that it had been something that the fairies would completely disapprove of, which was both amazing and amusing. This was quite an extraordinary fairy. "So, why are you here?" the brunette asked, changing topics.
"I heard you needed someone who could explain what is happening to you," Regina nodded "so, tell the beginning,"
Regina looked at her skeptically "I barely know you"
"But I know everything about you," Tink smiled, "I know when a woman is in love, and not with her husband,"
"I'm not - ," she stopped talking when she noticed Tink raised eyebrow "How would you know about all this? Are you a spy?"
"When you have been a fairy for as long as I have and seen as much places as I've seen, you know how to read humans as good as a paper from a book," the fairy smiled, "And that smitten face, I've seen it million times before you, and I'll see it million times after you,"
"Ever saw a queen falling in love with a thief?" Regina asked, hopeful that maybe someone, somewhere, sometime, had the same problem she had right now.
"No, I can't believe I have," her reply darkened Regina's face. "But, I've seen plenty of forbidden love,"
"Yes," Tink nodded, "They have always ended tragically, though,"
"Was it worth it?" Regina asked the same question she had wondered some time ago, but this time out-loud "While it lasted?"
"Yes," the fairy replied, and Regina believed her.
"Tell me about it,"
"Once Upon a Time, in another realm" Tinkerbell started and sat next to Regina, "There lived two families, the Montague and Capulet, they hated each other beyond any logical reason. One night, the Capulet family decide to throw a party; and Romeo, a member of the Montague family decides to sneak in,"
The fairy's mind travelled to the faraway land, where the food and the wine were so good, as if it was made by the God Dionysius himself. To the night of the party, where she had presence the start of what could have been the greatest love story ever told by mankind.
"Romeo was looking for a woman called Rosaline, but instead he meets Juliet, both girls members of the Capulet family," Tink continued with her story. "As soon as Romeo sees Juliet he falls deeply and madly in love with her," she smiled absently, she remembered the look on Romeo's face as if it had been yesterday. "Later that night, Romeo climbs into Juliet's room and they swear love to each other, and they agree on marrying,"
"Just like that?" Regina asked, "What about the hate between their families?"
What about the hate? she wanted to ask. How could someone forgive and forget the hate that they had felt so easily? Her mind travelled to her stepdaughter, and to the way the Queen felt about the Princess - the emotion was hard to name, but Regina was sure it was close to hate. Snow White had, after all, ruined her life; Daniel, an innocent and sweet man had died because of the girl.
"Sometimes you need to let go of that hate to fully enjoy life, Regina," the fairy replied before continued with the story, and for a moment Regina thought that Tink could read her mind, "They married in secret the next day,"
"That easy?" the Queen looked confused, "How is that supposed to be a tragic end?"
"Because that is not the end, but the beginning," now, the fairy's face was not full of joy and all the shine in her eyes had turned dull, "Romeo was challenged to death by a Capulet, he didn't accept the duel. But Romeo's cousin, to protect the Montague's and Romeo's pride, accepted the duel. When he is fatally wounded, Romeo decided to break the fight, and ended up killing the Capulet,"
"He avenged his cousin's death, that's understandable," Regina reasoned.
"Not for the Prince ruling in that realm," Tinkerbell replied, "He exiled Romeo. But their tragic story is not to end there," the fairy continued, "Juliet was being forced to married another man, and she sought me for help,"
Regina shivered, she could empathize with Juliet. Being forced to marry someone was the worse curse that a woman in love could suffer. She wished she would have had someone like Tinkerbell to help her get out of her arranged marriage.
"I gave her a sleeping potion," Tink confessed, "One that was only supposed to last 24 hours, enough for her to be buried, and then she'd run away with Romeo," guilt was taking over the fairy, and Regina could see that. The Queen's stomach turned into stone, she had lived long enough with her mother to know that Magic always came with a price, "I sent a message to Romeo, letting him know about the plan, but it never reached to him,"
A tear escaped from the fairy's eye, but she was quick enough to wipe it.
"Romeo heard about Juliet's death and got a poison from the dark one, then went to the Capulet crypt and drank the potion, ending his life next to his beloved wife's body," her voice shivered. Regina's heart broke a little bit, not only because the story was too close for comfort, but because the fairy seemed wrecked about it.
Tinkerbell remembered when she had gotten to the crypt, it had been too late to save Romeo, too late to prevent Juliet's heartbreak. There was no blood, yet, but it felt so morbid, so sad. Romeo's corpse was lying next to his wife, so young, so lifeless, so wrong.
"When Juliet woke up and realized that Romeo was dead, she stabbed herself and died too," silence fell between the two ladies, "and that's why I'm in probation,"
"It was not your fault, Tinkerbell," Regina said after a while, patting the fairy's back, "You were trying to help, you couldn't foresee that the messenger would not reach Romeo in time,"
"But it was my fault," the blonde said in an almost inaudible voice tone, "Hadn't I given the potion to Juliet, she wouldn't have died, neither would have Romeo,"
"And they would have lived terrible sad lives," the Queen replied, "They took a risk for their love, and it didn't have a good outcome, but they tried,"
"I guess you have the answer to your own problem, then," Tinkerbell smiled, but the joy didn't reach her eyes. "I'll be going, otherwise I'll get in even more trouble," the fairy stood up and started to shirk to her pixie size "It was nice talking to you, Regina Mills," the blonde admitted, her high pitched voice was back.
"It was nice talking to you too, Tinkerbell," Regina admitted with a smile,
"If you ever need someone to talk to, I'll be around,"
Regina nodded and looked as the fairy flew away. Romeo and Juliet's story was, indeed, a tragic one, but they had risk their life to make their story work. And she wanted to believe, with all her heart, that right now the star crossed lovers were stars in the sky, and they didn't regret their choices for they were together now and for eternity. Wasn't that worth the risk?
She looked up at the starts, the sun had set while she was talking to Tinkerbell and the white dots on the night sky were already starting to shine. When Regina was a little girl and her nanny died, her father had explained that when people die they fly to the sky and shine on the people that they protected. It might have been a naive way of thinking, but Regina had held into that story for many years. It had made her feel less alone and it made the pain that her mother inflicted on her be more bearable.
"There you are," a male voice broke the silence that had surrounded Regina ever since the fairy had left her to her thoughts.
Regina shifted her gaze from the sky to the ground, to notice that Robin was walking towards her, "I was looking at the stars,"
"I see," Robin stopped few inches away from where she was sitting, "May I?" he asked, pointing the place where Tinkerbell had sat a while ago. Regina nodded and the Thief sat next to her. The Queen silently thanked for the warmth that Robin's body, it was getting cold. "Do you know the stars?"
"Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Bootes, Cancer, Crater, Hydra, Leo, Virgo," Regina recited, looking again towards the sky.
For anyone who was not familiar with the stars that could be seen during spring, those names would have resulted strange and random, but Robin knew perfectly what Regina was talking about: the constellations.
"Aren't you a box full of surprises?" Robin said in a teasing tone,
"What do you mean?"
"I hardly think they taught you that in 'How to be a Queen' course,"
"I was a girl before I was a queen, and I had ..." her voice trailed off and her heart sank. She had a lover, but she wouldn't tell that to Robin, it would only open wounds, "I had a friend, he taught me those things,"
Robin realized that Regina was keeping something for herself, but he didn't push her into telling him. "He taught you well," the Thief said, "He must be proud of you,"
"Yes," Regina said, noticing how a star next to the Leo constellation, a star that she had never seen before, shinned brighter, "I'm sure he is,"
The thief didn't say anything else, he just slid his hand against Regina's, tangling their fingers together. He expected her to pull away; surprisingly, she didn't and it felt refreshing. He decided to gaze at the stars as well, he looked at the Cassiopeia constellation and noticed something new on the sky, two stars he had never seen before.
"Some stars appear to shine brighter tonight," he commented, still staring at the constellation, "Look at those two stars, next to Cassiopeia,"
Regina shifted her gaze from the Leo to the Cassiopeia constellations, "Yes," the Queen agreed with him, "There's also a single star next to Leo,"
"If I wouldn't know any better, I'd say they are shinning for us," Robin smiled, and then their gazes locked. Brown eyes getting lost into the blue ones.
"Maybe they are," Regina replied, not looking away and squishing Robin's hand. And for the first time in a long time, she believed that.