Regina Mills was beginning to rethink the whole working out thing. Her mind was beginning to doubt her, telling her that there was no way she was ever going to loose the weight that had come with the baby. But, she had made a promise to her friend, and she intended on keeping it. If she hated it completely, then she would try Emma's way of going about the topic, and so on. Her wedding was slowly beginning to become a top priority in her life, as well as keeping her two boys in check and tending to a newborn.
"Well well, what's all this about?" Robin mused, seeing her standing before a mirror and pulling her hair into a ponytail.
She cast him a sideways look. "I don't need any comments from you- I'm going running with Ruby."
He looked her over, surprised to see her in extremely tight capris and a red tank top.
"What, I didn't say anything," Robin said, "good for you, getting out there and running. I suppose that means Roland and Caroline are under my care until you get back."
Regina let out a small smile. "I suppose it does. I should be back in a few hours."
She then bent down to tie her tennis shoes, hoping that Ruby's prediction of fifty degree weather was true. Once she finished, she checked herself one last time in the mirror before starting for the door. Regina planned on walking past him without another word, playing hard to get, but that quickly changed when she felt a slap to her ass, not just a tap but a slap, making her spin around and send him a baffled look, her mouth gaping open.
Robin couldn't help but laugh at her expression as she continued on her way without another word. Ruby texted her and told her she was waiting restlessly outside her house, and if she didn't hurry, she was going to turn into a werewolf and tare up her front yard.
"Took you long enough!" She exclaimed when she saw the queen exit her house, looking as though she was seriously considering the whole yard idea.
"Sorry, I hurried as fast as I could," Regina muttered, sending her a smug look.
"You try getting Roland to leave you alone long enough to change. It's a Sunday morning too, I'm supposed to be sleeping right now."
"Well you want to look perfect in your wedding dress right?" The younger woman inquired, setting her hands on her hips.
Regina sighed. "Yeah... Guess that means we're running for the next little while."
Ruby took no hesitation in starting off towards the sidewalk, in a slow jog that was easy to catch up to. It honestly had been quite a while since the former mayor had gone out and ran; she was always too busy with work for that.
The morning was peaceful- chilly, but not overly cold. The freak snowstorm that had plagued the town was all gone, no traces left behind. It was finally beginning to look like spring. The two of them started out in a comfortable silence, starting down the concrete sidewalk side by side. Regina hoped and prayed nobody would be out to see them running.
"I finished the rest of those online classes last night," Ruby started, giving her friend a sideways look, "I'm finally a college graduate. But what use does a fairytale character have for a diploma these days?"
A smile formed on her face when she heard this. "True, but I'm sure you can find a better job around here somewhere- maybe you could start your own painting business."
She thought on that idea for a moment. "Maybe I could. I don't think Granny will ever let me leave the job at the diner, though."
Regina hated to admit it, but she was already feeling tired, making her feel more and more out of shape. "Yeah, you're right about that one. Granny tried to get me to become a waitress for her a few weeks ago, but I told her I was shooting for my old job back again."
"Really? You think you're gonna be mayor again? Good luck getting Belle to give it back."
Regina rolled her eyes. "It won't be for at least six more months, maybe more towards a year from now. I still want to be there for my kids, especially Caroline." She then had to draw in more rugged breaths as she tried to keep up with Ruby. "Plus, it was my job first."
"Well it'll be just like old times. Good Lord, are you already slowing down?" The woman asked in a demanding voice, turning around to see Regina a couple feet behind.
"Well you're going way too fast!" Regina exclaimed, resting her hands on her knees, "you're a werewolf, I'm not!"
Narrowing her eyes, Ruby leaned forward and grabbed hold of her wrist, forcing her to continue forward.
"I promised you I'd get you skinny again, and that's exactly what I'm going to do," she explained, though Regina's protests were abeyant.
"The weather is nice, you've got a sexy outlaw that wants to marry you, three kids, an awesome best friend who takes you running... Life is good."
Maybe her words were true, but Regina knew she was in for absolute hell.
While his mother was outside slaving away, Henry was loving life confined by four walls, Neal's forty inch television supplying all the entertainment he needed. He loved spending time with his biological dad. While Robin was fun, the rules that his parents set were far too strict. Neal let him do practically whatever he wanted, which was good for such a well disciplined boy to have every once in a while. But he could only take the recklessness for a little bit, before he began to somewhat miss Robin and Regina.
"So Dad, how did your date with Tinkerbell go?" Henry asked nonchalantly, taking a quick second to grab some popcorn and pop it into his mouth. They were in the middle of playing video game (one that both of his mothers most likely wouldn't have approved), and the twelve year old thought that it would be a perfect opportunity to spring the big question when he least expected it.
Neal, dressed so eloquently in his grey t shirt and basketball shorts, was certainly not expecting that question then. "Umm... It went pretty well. We have more in common than we thought."
The answer delighted him- he had been waiting to ask the question for quite a while now. "So... Are you guys going to go on another date soon?"
His father cast him a sideways look. "I don't know. I have to give her at least some space; I don't want to come off desperate and forward."
There was a silence between them as he said that. Henry chose his next words very carefully.
"You know what Snow always says- take a chance, and see what happens."
"And how did you ever get so wise?" Neal asked, soon beginning to pay attention more to the conversation than the video game.
Henry shot him a lopsided grin. "I dunno. That's what my mom did to get my dad- trust me, she wasn't nearly as happy as she was before then.
To have a romance like Robin and Regina, like Snow and Charming... It all didn't seem possible.
She couldn't hear anything above her panting breath. Ruby kept pushing and pushing her- she concluded that she would rather be anywhere else but where she was now.
"How long have we been going for?" Regina demanded, feeling cold sweat on her forehead. If there was one thing she hated the most, it was sweat.
"Only three miles," Ruby explained, seeming perfectly content running alongside the road. Regina felt as though she could collapse at any second.
"W-when can we stop?"
Ruby turned herself around so she was facing her, still going faster than she was.
"When we make a full circle around the town. Man, I didn't peg you as a quitter."
Regina scowled at her. "I'm not a quitter! I've just been pregnant for nine months! It's impossible to just spring all this running on me and expecting me to-"
Just then, Ruby slowed down to a stop in the middle of the sidewalk, giving her friend a sympathetic look as she wrapped her arms around her heaving body.
"You're right, I'm sorry. You did good today, Regina. If you keep this up just about every day for the next two months, you'll be set on your dream wedding.
Trying to regain her breathing, Regina attempted a smile. "All thanks to you. Someone else will have to watch Caroline though, since Robin goes back to work on weekdays."
The younger woman tightened her grip around her. "You're such a good mom. Maybe you could push her in one of those strollers."
Letting out a mock laugh, she shook her head. "Not happening."
The two of them then began the slow walk back towards her house; though tired and exhausted, they were laughing as they nudged one another, acting like typical teenage idiots. Regina didn't care who knew- Ruby was truly a best friend, someone that she knew without a doubt would stay with her for the rest of her life.