We Can Love Again

Everything She Could Ever Ask For

She didn't even care where she was headed- it didn't really matter. As Regina filed through places to go, she realized that almost every single destination in the Enchanted Forest would just make her angrier. She could go out in the middle of nowhere and scream, but she figured that wouldn't help with anything. Frustrated and defeated, Regina opted into going back to the rather dismal temporary living space.

She appeared in the middle of the room, where everyone happened to be talking and laughing, engaged in multiple conversations. Everyone silenced when they saw her, suddenly redirecting their conversations towards her.

"You're back this soon?"

"Did you find out what you said?"

"Did you have fun?"

Regina simply waved her hand to freeze them in their places, falling into her bed and covering her face with her pillow. She screamed into it for a few seconds; before long she couldn't hold the tears back anymore. Defeated, Regina lay hopelessly on the bed, honestly not knowing what to do.

Then she felt a light tap on her shoulder. Startled, she looked up to catch the eyes of Emma Swan, who was completely taken aback by Regina's state. Never before had she seen such a broken woman. Regina always hid her emotions, no matter what the circumstance. Her face was smudged with the remnants of wet tears, her makeup long since faded.

"How'd you-?"

"I can do magic too, remember?" Emma said, taking a seat on the bed. "But that doesn't matter. You want to tell me what happened?"

Regina scowled. "Go away."

"No, you're gonna tell me what happened," Emma persisted, working on her patience as best she could. "Does it have to do with... Him?"

"I said go away!" Regina said, louder this time. She didn't want to talk to Emma- it wasn't like things were ever going to get better.

"What's going on?" Came Tinkerbell's voice, walking over him to observe the scene.

"Something happened with Robin, that's what," Emma muttered to her, watching the queen practically sobbed into her pillow, her body curled up on top of the sheets.

Tinkerbell frowned. "That's not good..."

Emma couldn't agree more. "Look Regina, this past two weeks you've been on the best behavior you've ever had," she said in a demanding voice, "you can't go back to being pissed off all the time- it affects all of us!"

She knew Regina wouldn't respond, so she continued. "You're the strongest person I know, there's no way you lay here and cry like this!"

Though it had only been a few minutes, Emma couldn't bare to see her in this state. She tried being supportive, but enough was enough- this needed to be fixed.

"Tell me what happened," she said, attempting to pull her upwards so she was sitting up beside her.

"He- he came back..." Regina muttered, wiping her eyes, "Rumple. He tricked me into looking bad in front of them and..." She threatened to burst into tears again. "I messed up. But I didn't do anything!"

"Wait, Rumple's back?" Emma asked with surprise, turning to Tinkerbell. "If he really did mess with her we need to talk to Robin."

"You can't talk to him!" Regina yelled to her, "you'd just make things worse!"

"Nothing can as painful as listening to you cry!" Emma yelled right back turning to Tinkerbell. "You remember where his place is?"

The other woman nodded in response.

"Good. Because we're going there right now." She stood up and tuned out Regina's protests. "I'm so done with this."

Tinkerbell quickly flashed them out of the room before Regina could use magic to stop them- they appeared in the empty fields a few seconds later.

Emma immediately began marching towards the front door. "Wait, aren't wegoing to make a plan first?" Tinkerbell asked rapidly, trailing behind her.

"There is no plan. We just have to tell Robin that Regina had nothing to do with what happened."

She pounded on the door a few times with her fists.

"And you believe her?"

"Why the hell would she trash her relationship with this guy on purpose?" Emma said in response, "I know Regina- she only gets that pissed off when she thinks someone's gonna hurt her kid... Which is Roland in this case."

They both waited about twenty long seconds before the door finally swung open.

"Can I help you?" Robin asked, though he already knew why they must be standing in his doorway.

"Yeah. We gotta talk to you about what happened with Regina earlier," Emma said irritably, stepping into the house without his consent. Tinkerbell gave him a slightly apologetic look.

"Right now, Regina's sobbing in her bed like some sorry asshole," Emma said, placing her hands on her hips, "and that's totally not okay with the rest of us. You do realize this is all your fault, right?"

Robin sighed. "She's the one who decided to attack some guy! Right in front of my kid too, what was I supposed to do?"

"And you didn't believe her when she said the man was Rumplestiltskin, probably the most psychotic man in this realm?!"

"Well he didn't seem so 'psychotic' when I encountered him in the past!"

"How can you-"

"I think what Emma means to say is that he tricked her into making herself look bad in front of you so you'd be angry with her," Tinkerbell added herself into the conversation quickly, trying to lower the tension that was already beginning to build up.

"Why would he do that?"

"They have an... interesting relationship." Emma told him. Interesting didn't even begin to explain it.

"Rumple is sensitive about his power," she clarified, "he always wants to feel like he's above everyone else- including Regina. I think he saw her getting stronger, and made sure to knock her down so he could continue feeling that way."

Robin paused as he heard what she was saying. "She's getting stronger? How?"

"By being with you, of course," Tinkerbell told him, "you and Roland are the reason she's been so happy lately."

He was supposed to be cross with her, but Robin couldn't help but feel a surge of pride through him. He didn't realize how true that statement was.

"I... I guess I should've believed her when she told me," he finally admitted, causing both Tinkerbell and Emma to let out a sigh of relief.

"So, if we brought Regina back here... You'd give her another chance?" Emma asked, with a small smile on her face.

"Yeah," he said, his face falling slightly. "She's really that upset over what happened?"

"Oh course she is. She's under the impression that you and Roland never want to see her again." Tinkerbell told him, "Regina might seem like nothing bothers her but... She's really weak inside. All the hope and belief that she can change got shaken... How is she supposed to act?"

Hearing this, Robin began to fully regret what he had done- he wanted to apologize to her and tell her everything would be okay.

"Well, bring her over as soon as possible."

Emma and Tinkerbell were happy they succeeded. "Could I talk to Roland really fast about it?" Emma asked Robin, then turning to Tinkerbell. "You go get Regina- drag her here if you have to."

She nodded, and left the house in a burst of green pixie dust.

"Sure, you can try..." Robin told her, "he's pretty sad though. He's in his room."

"Thanks," Emma smiled, starting down the hallway towards the halfway open door at the end of it. She was getting better at persuading Henry out of being mad, she figured she could do the same with the four year old.

Giving the door a tap with her fingers, Emma walked in the room to see Roland sitting on his bed with his back to her, his back slumped sadly with his head facing down. He turned around when he heard her come in, his brown eyes watery despite how hard he tried to cover it.

"Go away," he told her, turning back around to give her the cold shoulder.

Emma let a small laugh. "You know, that's exactly what Regina said to me earlier this morning."

He frowned when he heard her name being said.

Emma sat down next to him and put her hand on his back. "So, that's it? You're gonna be mad at her forever?"

He didn't respond.

"You do mean that means she wouldn't come over anymore, wouldn't play with you... Do you really want that?"

He most certainly didn't. Deep inside, he already really missed Regina. But he couldn't get the image out of his head; the image of her aiming a fireball at the man, her eyes completely absent of the love he was used to seeing.

"No..."

Emma really felt bad for the boy. While practically the whole town of Storybrooke had seen the bad side of Regina Mills, he hadn't before.

"She wants you to know that she's sorry," she said nicely, "and that she had a reason for what she did. That man could have hurt you, and she did what she had to do."Roland heard her say something about him being a bad guy; however, it never crossed his mind that she could have been protecting him.

"Regina's pretty sad about it... How about we all quit being sad and make up? Then you can be happy again."

He didn't want Regina to be sad- he was pretty tired of moping around himself. So he simply shrugged his shoulders for a yes, I would want to be friends with Regina again.

"So if she comes and talks to you soon, are you gonna for forgive her?"

He looked up at her and nodded. Emma patted him on the back and stood up. "Awesome! See, everything will get better." She threw him a comforting smile before exiting the room, hoping Tinkerbell was having luck getting the queen out of her bed.

"Come on Regina, just apologize to him!" Tinkerbell hissed towards her, practically dragging her across the field towards the house.

"You can't make me!" Regina shouted back, pulling hard against her strong grip on her arm.

"You're acting like a child right now!"

"Well you're forcing me against my will!"

"Look, he wants to apologize to you, so get in there and listen to what he has to say!" Tinkerbell stopped dragging her and placed her hands on her shoulders. "Trust me."

Regina's scowl finally melted after a few long seconds. "Are you sure he said that?"

Tinkerbell sighed. "You seriously need to start believing in me more often. Who lead you to him in the first place?"

Regina couldn't argue with that one. Still, she was nervous about seeing him again. He kept on giving her chances to be better; it was only a matter of time before he stopped and left her to fend for herself.

"Okay... I'll do it," Regina said, taking a deep breath.

Emma opened up the door just as Regina reached for the handle.

"We'll be out here if you need anything." She said quickly, giving her a pat on the back.

"So you're going to spy on me?" Regina gave her a look; she knew exactly what she and Tinkerbell would do.

"No... Of course not." Emma's voice trailed off before she pushed her through the door, closing it immediately afterwards and sending Tinkerbell a triumphant look.On the other side of the door, Regina found herself face to face with Robin- for a moment, she had no idea what to say. By the looks of things, neither did he.

"Hey." He said simply, shrugging his shoulders a slight bit.

"Hey."

They stood in silence for a few seconds.

"...Emma and Tinkerbell told me what really happened."

"Look," Regina started, "I know I have a bit of a temper when it comes to Rumple-"

"You don't have to apologize, I believe you." Robin interjected, causing her to give him a surprised look.

"Really?" All she could do was stare.Robin gave her a comforting smile, making her breath catch in her throat for a moment.

"Yes really. I should've believed you the first time. It's just... I didn't know Rumple could be such an ass."

Regina cocked her head to the side curiously. "You're just now realizing this?"

Robin cast his eyes downward. If Regina wasn't so good at reading people, she wouldn't have noticed him looking as sheepish as he did. Slowly, all the pieces mended together inside her mind.

"You made a deal with him, didn't you?"

"He's the reason Roland's alive right now," Robin said, sadness flashing across his eyes, "but now I know he's a man that can't be trusted. I can't even begin to imagine what he's done to you."

Regina didn't know what to say- that must have been some deal he struck with him. She felt a lot better inside, but concern still weighed her down slightly.

"Can I talk to Roland really fast?"

Robin smiled. "Of course you can. I think Emma persuaded him enough."

As Regina walked towards his bedroom, she passed a window where Emma and Tinkerbell's heads poked out from the base of it, going completely unnoticed by her as she walked past them. She entered Roland's bedroom to find him lying down on it, looking up at the ceiling. When he noticed her come in, his head perked up.

"Can I come in?" She asked, her voice nice and sweet.

"I guess so," Roland said nonchalantly in reply.

Regina went over to his bed and lay down on the opposite side; though with how big the bed was, there wasn't much space between the two.

"Roland, I want you to know how sorry I am you had to see all that this morning," Regina said, taking no time in breaking the ice.

Roland turned his head to the side so he was facing her. "You said you used good magic," he told her, "that wasn't good magic."

"I know. But do you know why I did what I did?"

The boy simply shrugged.

"I did that because I thought he was going to hurt you. And I couldn't let that happen," she smiled towards him as he gave her a slightly surprised look with his eyes.

"I- I love you Roland. I couldn't let him do anything to you, because you mean so much to me."

The words rushed out of her mouth before she could really comprehend what she was saying.

His eyes filled with tears as he heard her words- she loved him. He was only four, but he knew love was a strong and special word.

"I love you too Regina."

She immediately wrapped her arm around him and held the boy close to her as she felt hot tears spring up in her eyes. Right here, right in this moment, she felt a peaceful bliss that made her heart swell with emotion. She had Roland, the boy who didn't care that she was once queen, the boy who saw her for who she really was and still loved her. They were both laying on a worn, straw filled bed that dipped down in the middle; yet Regina felt like she had everything she could ever ask for.

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