We Can Love Again

Babysitting the Queen

She was exactly one week away from her due date. Everything felt like it was being thrown at her at once; with the kids back at school and the weather finally beginning to warm up, the last thing on her mind was how she was going to survive having a baby. All Regina knew was that she was beyond done with pregnancy. Everything was sore. Everything was uncomfortable.

There was nothing she could do about that. She didn't even realize her baby was coming so soon, the reminder came to her when Robin helped her down the stairs early Thursday morning. As much as she loved him, Regina hated feeling like she was completely invalid.

"Please, sweetheart, I can walk down the stairs by myself just fine." She tried wiggling out of his grasp, but he wouldn't let her.

"You need to be careful, because the baby could come at any moment." He responded.

Moaning, Regina surrendered to him and finished their way down the stairs. "So you're going to hover over me like a shadow for the next week?" She asked, raising an eyebrow, "I think you're forgetting that you have work."

Robin seemed to have legitimately forgotten about it, because he scowled. "Well I'm sure I can keep the store closed for another few days..."

"Absolutely not, how is Archie supposed to get Pongo his food for the week?" She asked innocently, knowing how to get him.

Robin gave her a heavily conflicted look. "You're right... I need to go. But that doesn't mean I will leave you alone in this house for the rest of the day, I'll make sure our little-"

Before he could say the baby name they had picked out, Regina placed a finger to his lips and shushed him. "We can't take any chances on anyone knowing- Emma probably has this place rigged with spells."

He suppressed a smile and gave her a quick kiss. "You worry too much, Regina. Who shall I call up to keep you company?"

"You mean who will you call to babysit me?" Regina muttered, "and it would be much easier if I just drove over to Ruby or Snow's apartment."

Shaking his head, Robin gave her a stern look. "I can't let you drive, dear."

Regina couldn't believe her ears. "I'm not a child, Robin!" She was about to go off on another tangent, but he realized then that it wouldn't do any good. Her fiancé was simply looking out for her and their baby- no matter how painful it was for her.

"I... Guess I can give Snow a call," she surrendered, giving him a slightly apologetic look. She had been meaning to talk to her for quite some time now about things.

"Alright," he said quietly, "I trust you'll be okay here until she comes. You call me if something doesn't feel right."

She nodded. "You better go if you want to get there in time."

"I could get there faster if you'd let me take the car..."

"Not happening," Regina said, rolling her eyes and giving him a slight push towards the door.

It felt nice to finally be completely alone for the first time in days. She called up her stepdaughter and explained to her how Robin insisted on someone keeping track of her during the day. Of course, Snow was more than happy to comply.

"Have you been getting enough sleep?" Snow asked, once she saw her staring blankly at the television. They had become so casual with one another over the past year that she didn't even have to think about knocking on the door.

Regina blinked a few times and gave her a small smile, shaking her head. "I can't sleep. Not while my back feels like someone put a hundred pounds on it."

Taking a seat down next to her, Snow gently took hold of her hand. "Don't worry, I know how that feels. I still remember being pregnant with Emma, doesn't feel like that long ago."

There it was, the twinge of guilt. She seemed to get them more and more often around Snow; maybe it was just the hormones. "I don't... I don't think I've ever officially apologized about taking away your chance to be a mother to her," she said hesitantly, "being pregnant with my own child made me realize how horrible I was for doing that to you. I wish I could take it back... I really do."

Her stepdaughter's face clouded with sympathy. "I wish with all my heart that I could've raised her... But Emma's still the most perfect daughter I could ever dream of having. I just thought I could get pregnant again so we could have another chance at it but... I guess it wasn't meant to be."

No matter how hard Regina tried to avoid emotional conversations with her, they always ended up happening.

"I told you months ago that I want my daughter to have you in her life- I still mean it. You can be there for everything; all the moments as she grows up. I know it's not the same thing as having her be your own, but it's a gift I can give to you."

Snow smiled brightly, showing her strong emotions inside. Thankfully, she wasn't crying.

"And I couldn't be more grateful for that. Seeing you happy reminds me of everything we've overcome together- we're more than good friends now, we're family."

"Family always stands by one another," Regina finished for her, letting her head rest on the couch.

"Are you stressed out?" Snow asked, almost immediately.

Regina nodded.

"Are you scared about having the baby? Because it's completely natural to-"

"I'm not scared, I'm terrified," she corrected, "I've seen the movies where the woman is lying there on the hospital bed screaming and yelling profanity while twenty doctors surround her like bees- that's going to be me. And, to top it off, I haven't felt her move since last night. Is that a bad thing?"'

Shaking her head, Snow got up from the couch and headed for the kitchen. "I have the perfect solution to that problem," she said, grabbing a jug of orange juice from her fridge and pouring a glass. "Doc told me about this trick, says it works all the time."

Handing her the juice, she watched her drink it down. Almost immediately after she downed it, Regina placed her hand on her stomach with a surprised look on her face. "Oh my God, how does that even work?"

Laughing, Snow took the glass from her. "I honestly don't know. But we solved that problem, didn't we? Just don't tell me I put you into labor."

"Let's hope not," Regina joked, "but I am ready to see her. I'm tired of not sleeping, taking vitamins, waddling around... All of it."

Snow completely understood where she was coming from. She couldn't wait to see her little baby girl; she wondered if she would look like Regina, with raven hair and deep brown eyes. Or maybe she would take after Robin, with his sandy hair and kind smile.

"So is Whale going to deliver your baby?"

"I think so, Robin thought it would be best for someone who knows what their doing to be there through the process." Regina said, though Snow caught some insecurity in her voice.

"But what to do you want?" She questioned, "it's okay if you're uncomfortable with it. I would too... But I could never do that, since I slept with him."

Regina almost choked on the air around her. "You did what?!"

Smiling sheepishly, she simply shrugged. "It was before the curse broke. Long time ago."

Regina simply could not wrap her mind around innocent Snow White having sex with Frankenstein.

"That's... Wow. And you want him to deliver my baby?"

"Well, I know Mother Superior works in the hospital ever so often. I don't think she's certified to be a midwife, but she could be there to help."

Regina shrugged. "I don't know, I just want her to be healthy and strong."

Snow couldn't help but smile. It was both cheerful and amusing to see her so enthusiastic about the baby. Many women were said to have the pregnancy glow, but Regina really and truly had it.

"She'll be beautiful, just like you." Snow said, "it'll be different having a sister added to the mix."

Laughing out loud, Regina covered her face with her hands. "Don't say that! You're... What did Blue call it... A Godmother- that's what you are to this baby."

Snow was somewhat taken aback by this; Regina hadn't formally asked her to be a Godmother to her baby, but it made her excited inside to have that honor.

"Thank you Regina, I would love that. Now what do you have planned for the boys when the baby does come?"

Regina kept her hands comfortably over her bump, as she seemed to do without even having to think about it.

"Will agreed to have them stay over at his apartment until we have things sorted out. They're putting up a fight about it though; they both want to see the baby as soon as possible, which I get, but it'll be a lot easier to have them gone for a little while. It's Emma's weekend to have Henry too- so it'll be a mess. But everything will be worth it once our little girl comes."

There was a shift in the tone of her voice when she talked about her child. It was a passionate mix of pride and sheer joy.

"It sounds silly but... I feel like I already know her: a sweet, innocent girl who is completely sinless, full of love..." Her voice trailed off to keep herself from rambling too much.

"Well, everyone will love her, that's for sure." Snow added, pulling out her phone. "You're due date is next week, right?"

Regina nodded, slightly curious as her stepdaughter's eyebrows rose slightly.

"It says on Good Morning Storybrooke that there's going to be a snowstorm starting Tuesday. Your baby might be welcomed to the world with freezing temperatures and lots of snow."

Frowning, the former queen sorted out the chances of her baby being born during the storm.

What an unfortunate turn of events that would be.

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