The Impending Storm
Snow was right, the snowstorm did hit. It was light at first, simply mere snowflakes drifting across the sky and melting when they hit the earth. Everyone couldn't hide the fact that they were slightly disappointed with this change in weather; mostly because for the first time in forever the town of Storybrooke might have actually gotten spring a tad earlier than usual.
"We still have to go to school?" Henry asked, a slight irritation to his voice.
"Yes, yes you do," Regina replied, helping Roland into his jacket, "it's not even that bad out there. Just a little snow."
Tugging his backpack onto his shoulder, his scowl deepened. "Can you drive us to the bus stop at least?"
She fought so hard to keep her cool. "I already told you Henry, your father banned me from driving- I don't even think I could if I had the chance. Just walk... Please." Her eyes were filled with urgency; there was no way he could fight against that. His mother was still getting used to treating him like a teenager instead of a child, trusting him with such a task of safely taking he and his brother down to the bus stop in the snow. As much as the cold weather was an inconvenience to him, the thought of being treated like an older boy delighted him.
"Come on Roland, we have to get there in time." Henry said, calling his younger brother with an outstretched hand. Giving his mother and father a smile, he opened the door with his free hand, revealing the torrent of frozen winds and blurring snow.
Robin stepped up to the doorframe and watched his two sons start down the sidewalk for a few seconds before shutting the door and turning around to face his fiancé.
"Well, we have a little time before I have to leave for work. What do you want to do?"
Regina thought for a moment as he came closer to her, a smile soon spreading across her face.
"I know. How about we go to Granny's?"
His facial expression revealed that he didn't seem too thrilled with that idea. "Really? Another hamburger?"
She was quick to shake her head. "No, orange juice. Snow gave me some the other day and I forgot how amazing it tasted."
Giving a sarcastic roll of his eyes, Robin put his hands on her shoulders. "We have orange juice in the fridge, dear."
"No we don't," she sighed, "I, uh, drank all of it."
"I'll let you drive..."
That certainly perked him up. "The weather though... It might get worse. And I don't know how to drive in really bad weather."
Gently taking hold of one of his wrists, Regina guided his hand down until it hit the curve of her abdomen. "You'll do fine. Just remember who you're protecting."
He smiled. "I remember every day. You didn't think I only ran on coffee, did you?"
Holding her chin high, she replied stoutly, "wouldn't dream of it."
Robin was speedy in fetching the keys and guiding her towards the black Mercedes, which was now covered in a white blanket of snow. Helping her get settled in her seat, he fastened her seatbelt and made his way over to the opposite side; Regina never let him drive, not after he almost ran that stop sign. He was more than excited to show her what Killian had taught him.
"I have to say, you have gotten better." Regina said, trying to conceal her smile as they pulled up to the diner.
Leaning over towards her, he let out a boyish grin. "And you said I couldn't do it."
The snow kept falling as Regina glanced up at the chalky white sky- it was sticking to the ground too. Cold began spreading across her body, making her realize more personally where Henry was coming from when he said he didn't want to walk.
"It looks like it's getting worse," Robin stated, leading her into the diner, "we'll be better off if we hurry."
The restaurant was just about empty when they walked in. Granny was busy wiping down a table, and Emma was sweeping the tiled floor with a wooden broom. They both looked up in surprise when the couple entered.
"What the hell are you doing out in weather like this?" The older woman asked, in her usual dry sarcasm.
Regina looked up at her and smiled. "I was wondering if I could have a glass of orange juice," she said simply, not even realizing how pathetic it sounded.
Granny glanced towards Emma for a few long seconds. "Orange juice." She repeated, eventually grabbing a glass from an overhead cabinet and taking off in search for the juice.
Her absence left Robin, Regina, and Emma alone in the room; the blonde, however, seemed to be more interested in sweeping the floor than anything else.
"So... What exactly are you doing here?" Regina asked, watching her move the broom back and forth.
Glancing up, Emma didn't even try to hide the pissed off look on her face. "Ruby and I bet that I couldn't take more than six shots last night. I won, but one of the shot glasses accidentally fell off the counter and broke- Granny's making me clean this whole place up."
"Damn right I am," came Granny's voice from behind the counter, carrying with her a glass of orange juice as she joined them. "And the floor better be clean soon, because I'm tired of being stuck here when I'm not going to get any customers. None that are pregnant and craving, that is."
She gingerly handed the cup to Regina, who seemed as happy as ever to receive it. "Thank you, so much."
"How much do we owe you for that?" Robin asked, digging his hand into one of his front pockets.
"Oh nothing," Granny told him, causing Emma to shoot her an astonished look. "Not for my two favorite customers- Regina, are you alright?"
Her eyebrows knitted with concern as she noticed the woman's face seeming flushed, matching the whiteness from the atmosphere outside. Regina's hands were firmly wrapped around the cup, her lips slowly releasing from the rim, the orange juice almost halfway gone.
When she didn't reply, Robin eyed her more closely. "Darling, is something wrong?"
Regina opened her mouth, but she couldn't find words to speak. There was a wetness forming between her thighs. She could feel it, without a doubt.
Then something hit her. It was like the contractions she had experienced in the past, but undoubtedly different. The wave of pain came to such a surprise to her that her hands let go of the cup, sending it crashing to the ground. It burst into a thousand pieces as Regina let out her first strangled cry.
Robin's blood froze completely in his veins; he knew it was time. His instinctive response was to hold his arm around her so she wouldn't fall.
Beside them, the broom dropped. "Should- should I call the hospital?" Emma asked, in a surprisingly small voice.
Granny nodded, helping Robin set Regina down in one of the chairs. She gave a long, drawn out moan as she squeezed her eyes shut, her hand blindly finding her lover's.
"We have to take her to the hospital," Robin stated, eyes round and fearful.
Granny left the couple and opened the front door up, only to see a dismal land of white before her. Snow was beginning to pile up on itself, alongside sheer ice that gleamed off every noticeable surface. She immediately made up her mind, lowered her eyes, and turned back around, shutting the door firmly behind her.
"The roads are far beyond unsafe to drive in, Robin." Granny began sternly, dismally watching Regina's face twist with agony. "We can't take her all the way to the hospital. Not in this storm."
Robin simply stared back at her, eyes burning in their sockets. "Are you mad? She's in labor; we have to take her to the hospital! Now!"
"Honey, you can't see more than ten feet in front of you out there. If you want to her to go outside in that storm, then you're the mad one." Granny replied calmly, knowing very well that getting angry wouldn't do any good in the current situation.
She felt Regina grab her arm with astounding force; when she looked down at the poor woman she saw her eyes were filled with tears. "I- I can't have my baby here! Whale s-said I could take something that would take the pain away-" she was interrupted by another contraction, one that caused her to release a couple tears and a series of small whimpers.
"Labor, Whale, she's in labor!" Emma was yelling into her phone, only hearing faint voices over the pounding in her head on the other end. "We're at Granny's right now!"
Then the line went dead.
"Shit!" She exclaimed furiously, taking her hand and placing it over her phone, causing it to glow a deep blue color. Then, she placed the phone back up to her ear, only to get nothing in response.
Emma glanced up at the three of them; all she had to do was glance up to let them know that Whale was not going to deliver Regina and Robin's baby.
"I know you're scared, but you have to listen to me," Granny instructed, not continuing until the woman's terrified eyes met hers. "You must do exactly as I say. I promise I'll do everything I can to bring that baby into the world. Do you trust me?"
Regina was breathing in deep, fluid gasps as she began loosing the battle to keep away her pain.
"Do you trust me?" She repeated, louder this time.
"Yes, yes I trust you!" Regina told her, clenching her teeth and bending forward as another one struck her.
"Good girl. Now you need to try and control your breathing, calm yourself down a little. They're just contractions."
Regina wanted to scream at her, lunge at her throat and tell her to try dealing with them, but of course she didn't.
"Can I talk to you for a moment?" Robin asked, seething with anger inside as he attempted to sort out all the problems in his head. He didn't even wait for her to answer- Robin placed his hand on her back and marched deeper into the deserted restaurant.
"Are you sure you know what your doing?" He asked, his eyes boring into hers.
"I've delivered a baby once before, so yes." Granny replied quickly, taking to note his bravery and protectiveness over her.
"This is my future wife and my daughter's lives at stake," he said, "please, just... Get her through this."
He hadn't been truly scared about delivering the baby until now. The idea of a trained doctor heading the procedure in a sterilized hospital room gave him comfort. The current situation, however, did not. Robin felt like he had traveled back in time to when Katrina had fallen into labor, with nothing but the grass beneath her to lie on. She died. Looking at the scene before his eyes, he saw too many similarities.
"I will. But I'll need your help. And yours." She said, directing the offer to Emma, who was kneeling at Regina's side in an attempt to comfort her. But the cries and moans still came, and they were becoming more frequent.
The cold from the outside world seemed to seep its way through the tiny cracks and crevices, chilling the room substantially. The power must've blown out, too. None of them noticed.
"We need to move her," Granny said, "to the back room. Lay her on the floor in there."
Regina didn't even try to protest anymore. Robin and Emma worked together in picking her up- Robin kept his arms firmly under hers while Emma lifted her legs.
The room they entered was even colder; it was also small, almost dark, and slightly damp. The two of them gently placed her on the floor as Granny ordered, and stepped back, waiting for further instructions.
Regina had started to cry she was in so much pain. She could hear the wind howling outside. She could only see darkness before her eyes. She could feel her baby struggling inside of her.
"What do you say Regina, are you ready to have a baby?"