A Little Interruption
Three weeks with Caroline in their lives, and getting up in the middle of the night wasn't getting any easier for the outlaw. He loved his daughter, he really did- but he needed his sleep, so did Regina. It was slowly tearing down their bodies, making them weak, and, dare he say, more irritable. Sometimes both parents forgot they had other children to worry about; Caroline quickly began to take all their time.
Her cries acted like an alarm clock for him- they had a system going where they would switch off every night, so the other one could have some much needed sleep. He had become numb to the sleep deprivation that his body went through on a daily basis; he had also trained himself to avoid all the obstacles he faced on the way down the hallway while in the complete darkness, including his son's dog.
"Hey, hey don't cry," Robin muttered, wiping the sleep from his eyes as he leaned down to scoop her up in his arms. It was nearly three in the morning, and this was the fourth time Caroline had woken up crying.
Holding her snugly against his chest, he began his decent downstairs and towards the kitchen. They had gone through this routine so many times before, it just seemed like another fact of life. Once he got the bottle out of the refrigerator, he would stick them in the microwave and wait for it to warm up. While he did this, Robin would try and calm her down as best as he could- multitasking was slowly getting easier for him to accomplish.
"Daddy's going to take care of you, don't worry."
Her body relaxed almost immediately after she began to drink the warmed milk. Robin found it interesting, all the makings of his daughter's personality. She seemed so fascinating to him, being such a little thing yet be so strong. Having her in his life made him recall the days when Roland was that small. The man had to raise him all by himself, and it had not been easy. But he knew one thing for sure when he had his son, and that was that he would do anything and everything to ensure the best outcome for his children. Granted, at the time he didn't know about Henry or Caroline's arrival into the family; he certainly didn't think he would ever find love again.
He loved the way she looked up at him while she drank down the bottle. It was almost like she was trying to talk to him, maybe to give him a thank you for tending to her every beck and call. But she was a princess, and Robin was going to continue to treat her like one until the day he died.
"You drink these down so fast," he told her, setting the empty bottle back on the counter and set her small body on his shoulder, gently soothing his fingers on her back.
The infant was slowly fading back into sleep, one that he hoped would last more than two hours.
Then they would start the climb back upstairs, Robin trying to keep Caroline as steady as possible.
"I'll see you bright and early in the morning," he said, a small smile escaping through his exhaustion as he gave her forehead a light kiss. Setting her down in her crib, he gave her one last lookover before heading back towards his bedroom, where it took everything he had not to fall down on the bed and sleep wherever he landed. Regina was fast asleep on the other side; he was careful not not wake her as he settled himself amount the warmth of the covers and drifted off into a deep sleep.
"You go back to sleep, you need it more than me," Regina told her fiancé as the baby monitor went off again by their bedside. She knew he had been up at least five times the previous night, and when she glanced down at his sunken face, a wave of sympathy washed over her. What a good daddy he was.
Regina didn't want to get up either, but she told herself that it would all be worth it in the end.
After assessing her daughter for a moment, she realized that there wasn't anything wrong. Yet she still continued to cry, in short breathed wails that caused her face to redden slightly. Henry used to cry like that all the time when he was a baby; Regina supposed it meant he didn't like to be alone.
"I guess you missed me, huh." She muttered with a smile, gently picking her up and cradling her child in her arms. The woman simply stood in the center of the room and rocked her silently, soon becoming lost in the paintings on the walls, traveling back to the days when she and Robin had first met. While doing so, she was humming something soft and sweet down at Caroline; after a few moments it seemed to calm the infant down.
It wasn't long before she began to doze off again in Regina's arms. Regina hadn't felt as peaceful as she did then in what seemed like forever. She continued to rock her gently back and forth, though when she caught sight of Robin standing at the doorway, she almost jumped out of her skin.
"God, you scared me," she whispered, giving him an odd look, "how long have you been watching me?"
Letting out a sly grin, he walked over towards her and gazed down at his sleeping daughter. "Not very long. You need to sing more often though, because you have a beautiful voice- I didn't think you could get any more perfect."
Regina rolled her eyes at his comment. "I wasn't singing, I was humming. And I think it calms me down more than it does her."
The image of his fiancé holding their baby girl delighted him to no extent- he felt overwhelmed with love at that moment.
He leaned forward and captured her lips with his; it was originally planned to be just a light kiss, but Robin couldn't seem to break it once it began.
Regina was slightly taken aback due to the passion the kiss delivered; she hadn't felt that needy for him since before Caroline's arrival.
"Maybe I should- go out her down." She finally said, once she worked enough courage to take a step back and break the kiss. Robin nodded, seeming just as dazed as she was. Her heart was beating a mile a minute as she gently adjusted the blankets in Caroline's crib. She could feel her fiancé's eyes on her, and it made her body feel like it was high in the clouds.
When she turned back around, his hands were instantly firm around her waist. He began to slowly rock them back and forth in the middle of the nursery.
"What the heck are you doing, Robin of Locksley?" She asked as he pulled her further towards him, eliminating most of the space between them.
"Dancing- I thought it was obvious." Robin replied smugly.
"This isn't dancing, this is swaying, dear." Regina told him, gingerly taking his hand in hers and beginning to lead him in a waltz. Though, with Robin not knowing what he was doing, it quickly turned into a struggle for him to keep up with her footing.
"This is dancing. Trust me, I know. I've attended far too many balls in my lifetime."
It was quite amusing to see him so out of his comfort zone; his attempt to get close to her had turned the other way around, with Regina completely in control.
"You know, it's tradition for the bride and groom to have a dance together right after they're married," she explained, raising an eyebrow, "you're going to need how to dance for that."
"Well I know how to dance," Robin retorted, extending his arm out in order for her to take a spin.
"No need to lie to yourself- I'm sure Charming would be happy to give you lessons."
Robin brushed off her sarcasm and smiled, gladly taking the opportunity to kiss her again.
"You talk too much," he muttered, soon abandoning the dance in order to hold the sides of her face with his hands and kiss her harder and harder, until the both of them needed air.
Regina caught a sideways glance towards Caroline's crib, making her remember where the two of them were exactly.
"Maybe we should let her sleep," she told him quietly, trying to catch her breath as best as she could.
As if on queue, Robin bent down and scooped her up in his arms, almost causing her to yelp in surprise. He carried her bridal style all the way down the hallway, making her pray Roland wasn't around to catch them. Being parents of three, it was becoming harder and harder to be young and dumb with one another.
He carefully set her down on the bed, and in a second he was on top of her, his hands traveling down her sides as he kissed her.
It only took but a moment for pain to begin forming in her midsection when he brought more his weight down on her, bring back her senses.
"You heard what Whale said," she muttered, causing disappointment to show in his eyes as she stopped the kiss, "no sex for six weeks. We have to let my body heal."Robin groaned, obviously upset by this reminder. Regina sent him a mischievous look with her eyes as she wiggled out from under him, sitting up and bending over in order to open up the drawer to her nightstand.
"Speaking of sex, I need to introduce you to something," Regina said, pulling out a black cardboard box and showing it to him.
Robin seemed utterly confused, so she continued by opening up the box and taking out a small square wrapped in blue plastic.
"This is a condom- you put one on when we have sex so I don't get pregnant," she explained, letting him take it, "because I don't think we need another baby right now."
Robin stared at it inquisitively. "I don't get it. Where do I put it on?"
Regina couldn't help but laugh. "You know... Down there."
His eyes widened. "You mean I have to put something over my penis? That sounds demeaning! And Regina, you live with boys, I think you can say the word penis."
"No, I despise that word!" She exclaimed, "you just have to do it, okay? I can assure you it won't make things any less pleasurable."
Just then, the door to their bedroom opened, revealing Roland in his pajamas, clutching his blanket in his hands.
Regina nearly screamed when she saw him; she closed the box of condoms and promptly threw it across the room.
"Roland! I told you to knock before coming in here!"
The boy seemed taken aback by her demeanor. "I'm sorry Mommy," he said quickly, so confused he didn't know what to do.
"I'm sorry- just knock next time, okay? What do you want, you're supposed to be in bed."
"I can't sleep," Roland said grudgingly, "can you tuck me in and read me a story?"
Sighing, Regina quickly glanced towards Robin and nodded.
"Sure, as long as you promise to stay in bed this time. I know you miss Henry, but you still need to take your nap."
He nodded and turned back down the hallway, his blanket flying behind him.
"I'll be back soon, I promise," she whispered towards her outlaw, a dangerous gleam in her eyes as she let her legs fall down over the side of the bed.
Robin watched her exit the room, soon feeling an emptiness inside of him when she left. He supposed it was simply the price of true love; a price he was more than willing to pay.